Charlie Johnson Payne

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Charlie Johnson Payne (Snaffles) (1984- 1967)

Charlie Johnson Payne was the fourth son of a boot-maker, shopkeeper and licensee, first in Warwickshire, where Snaffles was born, and later at Oxford. The family was interested in music , painting and literature. The last two subjects provided a firm base on which the young artist could build his life long occupation of drawing horses and people. Payne tried to enlist at the outbreak of the Boar War but he was too young. In 1901 he joined the Royal Garrison Artillery at Aldershot till he was forced to leave with a disability in 1906. Through out his life he wished to be in the thick of any conflict was always to be frustrated because of ill-health. In 1908 Fores Gallery of Piccadilly London became his agent and he submitted a stream of illustrations often humorous to the Graphic, Punch, Illustrated Sporting News and The Field both depicting scenes of war and of his well loved hunting,field sports and steeplechasing. His interest and compassion for people and their predicaments shine out from his water-colors, gouaches.

After the first World War when he went to Northern France in 1914 and later served in the RNVR camouflaging ships. He traveled extensively in Ireland and India. He wrote and illustrated a great many books and his experiences both before and after the second World War. In 1939 he helped camouflaged aerodromes and other potential targets and joined the home guard in Wiltshire.

It is believed many of his works were lost in fires in London during the Second World War and was certain some were destroyed on a VE celebration by a firework which fell in a warehouse in Exeter. Snaffles was the name he used from a early point in his career. He died at his home Orchard Cottage, Tisbury, Wiltshire on the 30th  December 1967.

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