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1914–1918: World War I: John Edward Paine

[Family History — 1900 onwards:
1914–1918: World War I: John Edward Paine

Edinburgh, Sunday 17 October 1915
Grandad Paine and a friend ran away from home to join the forces, though they were below the minimum age for enlistment. They went to Scotland, hoping to join a Highland regiment because they fancied wearing a kilt, but it was in the 3rd Battalion of the King’s Own Scottish Borderers that they enlisted, before not long afterwards their parents came and brought them back home.

Note in my Mum’s hand: “A New Testament given to my father in 1915
and a pair of baby’s bootees found in the trenches during the 1914–1918 war”

Private John E. Paine
rd K.O.S.B.[1]


With the earnest
good wishes of his
friends at the
Military Institute
Gertrude Street

Edinburgh 17
th Oct 1915[3]

[1] 3rd Battalion of the King’s Own Scottish Borderers

The King’s Own Scottish Borderers…
3rd (Reserve) Battalion
August 1914 : in Dumfries. A training unit, it remained in the UK throughout the war. Moved on 9 August 1914 to Portland and Weymouth. Moved to Edinburgh in April 1915 and to Ireland in December 1917, initially going to Templemore. From May 1918 was at Claremorris.

[Retrieved from, May 2016]

[2] B.W.I.A.: Better walk if able (??)
[3] He was 16 years old.

We go forward 2½ years to April 1918 before Grandad was in the trenches in France, and found there a pair of baby’s leather bootees.

Note in my Mum’s hand: “Cards written to my mother (Miss Edith Anne Hindley)
by my Father (Mr. John Edward Paine) during the 1914–18 war.
There is also a photo of them both taken in 1918.”

Kinmel Park,[1] North Wales, Saturday 5 May 1917 and thereafter
In 1917, still just shy of the legal age, Grandad Paine enlisted again. Because this postcard gives the address for reply, I take it to be the earliest in the set. I have been unable to identify the “57th TRB”; the nearest I can find is “57th Trench Mortar Battery”.

[1] Kinmel Park in Bodelwyddan, near Abergele, north Wales, was a training camp with a trench warfare training area built in 1914 to prepare soldiers for serving in the First World War. Evidently, postcards for soldiers to send, e.g. to their sweethearts, were produced by (or for) Kinmel Park camp.

Postmarked “KINMEL PARK …, RHYL, 6.30AM, 5 MY 17”

My Dearest,
My correct address
te Paine
rd Hut F Co
th Camp 57th TRB
[sic] Park Camp
N. Wales

P.S. What does this remind you of
Your[s] ever Jack
x x x x x x

Miss Edith Hindley
23 Waterloo Road
SS Blackpool

My Dearest
      In return for
your P.C. I was going
to send the one you
sent last night but
I preferred “Kinmell Park” 
I hope this suits
I am in the Pink like
the “Jock” in the picture,
and I am quite happy
Your Loving Sweetheart

To My Dearest
With all my Love
x x x x x x x x x


To the tune of “Back home in Tennessee”

I’m so lonely, oh, so lonely,
 In our Blinking Camp,
I’m like a bloomin’ tramp,
 Not worth a penny stamp.
Father, Mother, [deleted] You, no other, [added]
[1] Sister, Brother,
 All are waiting me,
I’m getting thinner, miss my dinner
 And my Sunday’s tea.
Down in our Blinking camp,
 We’re always on the ramp,
That’s where we cop the cramp,
 Through sleeping in the damp,
All we can hear there each day,
 Is Left … Right, … march away,
Sergeants calling, Lance-jacks bawling
 “Get out On Parade.”
We go to bed at night,
 It is a glorious sight,
The earwigs on the floor,
 Double-up and then Form Fours,
Then when daylight is dawning,
 You can hear our Sergeant yawnin’
Show-a-leg there, Show-a-leg there,
 Down in our Kinmel Camp.

[1] Grandad Paine deleted “Father, Mother” because they weren’t “waiting me”. His father had long since died, on 17 February 1900, before he could remember him. His mother had died relatively recently: 6 June 1915.

The card is postmarked “KINME[L]”, but the rest of the postmark has been removed with the stamp. “1915” in the Ms. note seems too early, because the earliest dated card sent from Kinmel was postmarked on 5 May 1917.

My Dearest
      How do you like
this no so bad is it,
I am in the pink of health,
and spirits to-night,
I bet you would say
so if you saw me.
Cheerio Kid, twice as long
again and then,
  Yours for Ever Jack

Miss Edith Hindley
23 Waterloo Rd
S.S. Blackpool

Photo of Edith Annie Hindley and John Edward Paine, taken on Thursday 28 March 1918

Note in Grandad Paine’s hand:
“Taken on Thursday
28 March 1918
whilst on leave, & recalled
to rejoin Regiment

Postcards from France

To My Sweetheart,
With Best Love
From Jack
x x x x x

Just a card
to wish you Dear
every Joy and
x x x x x x x x x x x
x x x x x x x x x x

Card dated “15 April 1918”

Dated in more recent times in Grandad Paine’s hand: “15 April 1918”

To My Dearest
  Yours Always
x x x x x x x x x

Miss E. Hindley
23 Waterloo Rd
Lancs England

Card, postmarked on Monday 3 June 1918

Postmarked “POSTE AUX ARMÉES, 3 –6 18”

Miss E. Hindley
23 Waterloo Rd

I have been admitted into hospital
and am going on well.

[Possibly:] I have received no letter from you
for a long time
31 May 1918

Christmas card
—presumably from December 1918

All these things
we will miss, but
we will have a Xmas
on our own when I
come Home

New Year card
—presumably from January 1919

Just a card to
say my Thoughts
are always of
Yours Always
x x x x x x x x x x

Card, postmarked on Tuesday 4 March 1919

Pte J. E. Paine

Postmarked “ARMY POST OFFICE … 4 MR 19”

Dearest Edith
Just to say
I am on my
way Home.
Yours Always
x x x x x

Miss E. Paine
23 Waterloo Rd

Note in my Mum’s hand: “My father’s medals from the First World War 1914–1918
also the bullet that was removed from his chest in 1918. He was 19 years old.”

Bronze Victory Medal (left) and silver British War Medal (right)
The ribbons, though, are World War II ones: (from left) 1939–1945 Star; France and Germany Star; and Defence Medal.

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