A Deaf Welsh Swimming Hero, Charles Payne, 1923
By H Dominic W Stiles, on 17 October 2019
In the British Deaf Times for 1923, right below that for Herbert Roxburgh, is the following article on Charles Payne (1894-1979), as another one one of those Deaf swimming heroes. They got his name wrong of course, as newspapers do…
A WELSH HERO.
Charles Pain [sic], of the Manchester Arms, Menai Bridge, has been presented by Mr. John Edwards, chairman of the local Urban Council, with an illuminated address, the silver medal of the Royal Humane Society, and £3 in recognition off his bravery in rescuing from drowning off the Menai Bridge Pier, on June 28th last, the young daughter of Mr. John Owen, Greenbank, Menai Bridge.
Councillor Captain Davies said Pain’s act spoke well for his swimming powers.
It transpired that this was Pain’s fourth rescue of persons from drowning, two of them at Menai Bridge. Pain, who is deaf and dumb, handed in a written acknowledgement of the presentation, and also expressed his thanks briefly by means of the deaf and dumb alphabet.
He was born in Menai Bridge, Anglesey, on the 22nd of December, 1894, son of an Essex born mariner, Charles Payne senior, and his Welsh born wife, Margaret. They were living in Anglesey by 1881, though in a quick search I did not identify Margaret’s maiden name. They had ten children, five living in 1911. At least three were deaf, Charley or Charles, Jenny born around 1886, and William, born around 1885. I do not know where they went to school – if you discover that or know more please tell us in the space below. In the 1911 census, Jenny is said to be Jenny Jenkins, married for three years with a son Charles William Jenkins who was a year old and born in Cheshire. I have not tracked Jenny down elsewhere. William sadly died aged eighteen, in 1902.
I know Charles married Annie Hughes (born 1895) in 1925, and they had several children. He became a house painter (1939 register), and died in 1979, but that is all I can add, so he is yet another person who was perfectly ordinary and anonymous for most of his life, but when an opportunity presented itself, did something remarkable.
A Welsh Hero. British Deaf Times, 1923, 20 (239/240), 105.
1881 Census – Class: RG11; Piece: 5574; Folio: 33; Page: 25; GSU roll: 1342338
1901 Census – Class: RG13; Piece: 5277; Folio: 91; Page: 12
1911 Census – Class: RG14; Piece: 34471; Schedule Number: 156
1939 Register; Reference: RG 101/7516H