Private Alfred Rose Payten

Service number 1462
Birth Date 1887
Birth Place Australia: New South Wales, Goulburn
Death Date 1959
Death Place Australia: New South Wales, Sydney, Campbelltown
Final Rank Private
Unit 34th Australian Infantry Battalion
Conflict/Operation First World War, 1914-1918

Alfred Rose Payten was born on 4 November 1887 at Goulburn, New South Wales, one of five children born to Alfred Andrew Payten and Elizabeth Mary Payten (née Dignam). He married Maude Magdelene Sexton in 1910 at Temora. Payten was working as a photographer at Wingham when he enlisted at Maitland on 21 February 1916 as a private, service number 1462, in the Australian Imperial Force (AIF). On 2 May 1916, the men of the 34th Infantry Battalion embarked from Sydney aboard the HMAT Hororata.

In June, the men disembarked at Plymouth and moved into the trenches of the Western Front on 27 November, at the onset of the terrible winter of 1916–17. From December to February, Payten was in and out of hospital with scabies, rejoining his battalion on 14 March 1917. Five days later he was wounded in action, although he was back with his unit the next day. In mid-1917 the fighting shifted north to Belgium. The 34th Battalion took part in the fighting at Messines in June and Passchendaele in October, the latter being particularly costly for the battalion.

With the launch of the German spring offensive, the battalion was part of the force deployed to defend the approach to Amiens around Villers-Bretonneux, fighting in late March and early April. In May, Payten was hospitalised, rejoining his unit on 23 September. After the end of hostilities in November 1918, Payten attended the Polytechnic Day School of Photography in London from March to June 1919. He later worked at AIF HQ in London in the war records department.

During his time aboard, Payten had taken or collected many photographs: the Anzac Day parade held in London in April 1919 and scenes from his service in France, including a military funeral and his battalion on parade.

His wife Maude died in 1945, and Payten married Lonie Pearce in 1948. Alfred Rose Payten died on 18 September 1959, aged 71, and was buried at Rookwood Cemetery in Sydney.



Date of birth 1887
Date of enlistment 21 February 1916
Date of embarkation 02 May 1916
Date returned to Australia 01 November 1919
Date of death 1959