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Author Topic: Alexander Reginald Payne, Admiralty Artist  (Read 20145 times)

Maxim Bloesing-Olson

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Alexander Reginald Payne, Admiralty Artist
« on: 07 December 2023 11:58:34 pm »

Hello!

I am looking for any details for an individual in the Royal Navy named Alexander Reginald Payne. From what I can find he was a naval correspondent during WWII for the Boy's Own Paper magazines, and often illustrated cover art and wrote articles for them, which he signed as A.R.Payne. Two examples of which I have attached. He was born in 1909 in Surrey, and would've been in his early-mid 30s during his time in the Royal Navy.

I'm not certain whether they are the same person, but I did find there was an "A.R.Payne" with the rank of Lieutenant that served on the H.M.T.S "TRYME" in the Tanganyikan Naval Volunteer Force.

Does anyone happen to know of any photographs or records matching this description, or perhaps could recommend someone/somewhere that may better help my inquiry? I would very much appreciate it!
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PhiloNauticus

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Re: Alexander Reginald Payne, Admiralty Artist
« Reply #1 on: 08 December 2023 09:46:35 am »

I cannot trace him in the Navy - he is better known apparently as the original illustrator of Thomas the Tank Engine, and seems to have been a professional illustrator, rather than a naval officer.

see: https://ttte.fandom.com/wiki/Reginald_Payne

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zLPuLbCymx4

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Maxim Bloesing-Olson

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Re: Alexander Reginald Payne, Admiralty Artist
« Reply #2 on: 27 December 2023 08:40:18 pm »

PhiloNauticus,

I'm aware of his time with Thomas the Tank Engine, as I was the one who worked on the video you've linked!

Sadly he was never credited for his work, and died only a year after the book was published, suggested to have been linked to a mental breakdown from his time in the Royal Navy. I've been hoping to track down a photograph of him or perhaps his relatives to give him the recognition he deserves, having illustrated an icon in children's literature.

I am not too familiar with how the Navy kept records, but would ones have existed for war journalists? From what Payne contributed in the Boy's Own Paper magazines, it seems he was aboard ships in the early 1940s, discussing the events happening at sea.
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PhiloNauticus

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Re: Alexander Reginald Payne, Admiralty Artist
« Reply #3 on: 28 December 2023 05:26:55 pm »


This at the far edge of my knowledge of the Navy in WW2 - if he was working as a war correspondent etc., then as far as I know he would not have been regarded as being 'in the Navy', but would have been employed by a company that was allowed to publish pieces for newspapers/magazines etc. He may have been attached, briefly, to ships etc.  or simply given access to personnel. 
I think that all of this would have been covered by the Ministry of Information ?   
Perhaps this website may help?
https://moidigital.ac.uk
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