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Regimental Museum (Brecon)

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The Men Who Died



271                272                             

When the war broke out in August 1914 the Germans made arrangements for the defence of TsingTau and the British sought Japanese assistance.

The Borderers were escorted from TienTsin on September 19th by HM battleship Triumph, the torpedo boat Usk and the Japanese force. From the time they encountered the Germans they were under continuous fire, and they dug themselves into the sides of the hills. By November 4th they had got to within a few hundred yards of the enemy's advanced positions and on the 7th of November the Germans surrendered. The German reaction to the Borderers was far

from pleasant; some of the Germans spat on the Borderers' flags.

These events became known as the Siege of Tsingtao and took place between 31 October and 7 November 1914. It was fought by Japan and the United Kingdom against Imperial Germany. The siege was the first encounter between Japanese and German forces and also the first Anglo-Japanese operation during the war.

Thirteen of the Borderers were killed, including Sergeant Arthur Payne, and thirty-seven wounded. On the 4th December 1914, The 2nd Battalion went to Hong Kong and then to Aden where they joined other soldiers from Breconshire for a time. Shortly afterwards they embarked for England arriving at Plymouth. From there they were billeted in Coventry. Following the news of these events the

Sergeant Arthur George Payne

South Wales Borderers, 2nd Battalion, service no. 7235

Killed in Action in China on November 6th, 1914, aged 30

Saiwan Memorial Hong Kong

Arthur was born in Portskewett, Newport in 1884, the son of George and Elizabeth Payne. Arthur’s sister Florence was born in 1887. By 1901 The family had moved to Abertillery.  Arthur, now seventeen, is working with his father as a coalminer. Only Arthur and younger sister Mabel, 7 were living at home at this time.

Arthur enlisted in Brecon on December 31st, 1901 completing his drill training there before joining up with the South Wales Borderers, 3rd Battalion in early March, 1902 and later moving to the 2nd Battalion.

On the 26th June 1908 Arthur married Alice Parsons in Farnborough; Arthur was now a lance sergeant.

In 1911 he was serving in South Africa and was now a full sergeant.

His battalion, the 2nd, had left England in December, 1910, and sailed for South Africa. They went up to Pretoria, and remained there until October 1912, when they went to TienTsin in China. There was a great deal of tension in the area due to Imperial Germany and other European powers making attempts for colonial control, Germany had

begun to interfere in Chinese local affairs.