Walter Lionel Paine, 4 June 1915

Captain Walter Lionel Paine, Old Oundelian and the first Housemaster of Crosby, was killed in action at Gallipoli on 4 June 1915.

He was the sixth son of Mr and Mrs G W Paine and was born in Upper Norwood on 2nd March 1881. He attended Mr Mallinson’s school in Dulwich and came to School House in Oundle in 1894. Two years later he won a prestigious Senior School Scholarship and was later Captain of the School 1899-1900, and stroked the school crew until, unluckily, he was diagnosed with a heart problem and was forced to give up strenuous sports.

From Oundle he went to Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge having won a Senior Classical Scholarship. In 1903 he returned to Oundle as a classics master, took a year off to study French at the Lycee d’Amiens, and in 1907 became the first Housemaster of the new Crosby House. He left Oundle in 1909 and went to Whitgift School in Croydon. 

At the outbreak of war he failed to gain a commission and so he enlisted as a private in the Grenadier Guards. His talent and ability led to rapid promotion. In December 1914, he was given a commission as Lieutenant in the King’s Own Royal Lancasters and just one month later was promoted Captain and Adjutant.

In May 1915, he was sent to Gallipoli with the 1st Lancashire Fusiliers. They had famously landed at Helles on 25th April and won six Victoria Crosses in one day – the so-called 6 VCs before breakfast. Captain Walter Paine was killed leading his men in the ill-fated advance of 4th June at Cape Helles and was buried in Twelve Tree Copse cemetery, close to where he fell. He was 34 years old at the time of his death.

In the Lancashire Fusiliers regimental town of Bury, they still hold an annual memorial service to the ‘Lost Lancashires’ on Gallipoli Sunday, the Sunday nearest to April 25th.

Colin Pendrill
Yarrow Fellow