Charles Geraint Christopher Payne in Jan 1915

Charles Geraint Christopher Payne was born in Shifnal on 23 Apr 1888, the son of Charles Henry Payne. His father was the first cousin of Florence Evans and the younger brother of Florence's erstwhile governess Edith Payne. This photo forms part of a collection of World War 1 photos of colleagues and relations of Wilmot Evans. On the obverse it is inscribed "2nd Lieut Charles Geraint Christopher Payne, 1st Highland Light Infantry, killed in action Neuve Chapelle 14 Mar 1915" possibly in the hand of Florence Evans. The stiff card photo has been torn in half and put back together again. 

Geraint Payne had trained as an artist and architect joining his uncle's Architectural practice in Hampstead before the war. He first joined up in August 1914 as a Private in the Artists' Rifles before finally taking a commission in the First Highland Light Infantry in January 1915. His military career was pitifully short as he was killed by a sniper on (more probably) 12 March 1915 in France. The photo is a brief proud moment of a young man standing in his Scottish uniform as a newly commissioned officer. It contrasts with the grief depicted in the painting below.

Geraint's fiancee was the daughter of the artist Sir George Claussen RA. Claussen's painting "Youth Mourning" depicts his daughter's grief at Geraint's untimely death in a painting that has come to symbolize the despair and grief of war, now held at the Imperial War Museum. Claussen's great grandson has written an account of how the painting came about

Youth Mourning by Sir George Claussen courtesy Imperial War Museum