Popular on local platforms as a humorous entertainer, Mr. William Joseph Payne died at his home, 15, High-street, Higham Ferrers, on Sunday.
Only 34 years of age, Mr. Payne had for some time been in ill health, but he continued work at Messrs. Sanders and Sanders, Rushden, where he had been employed since a boy, until Thursday of last week.
A member of the Rushden St. John Ambulance Division, he had for several years acted as trainer and "first-aid man" to the Rushden Swimming Club, of which he was a popular member. His humorous monologues in dialect were a feature at concerts all over the district, and he frequently gave his services at charity functions, as well as entertaining at clubs and other concerts.
Mr. Payne was the only son of Mrs. and the late Mr. A. G. Payne, of 7, Thrift-cottages, Rushden.
He leaves a widow, Mrs. Elsie Payne.
A guard of honour was formed by ambulance men at the Rushden cemetery on Tuesday, and the funeral service was conducted in the cemetery chapel by the Rev. T. W. Gill (Park-road Baptist minister). The family mourners were Mrs. W. Payne (widow), Mrs. A. Payne (mother), Miss G. Payne (sister), Mrs. Mitchell (cousin), Mr. and Mrs. W. T. Austin (mother-in-law and father-in-law), Mrs. A. Shelton, Mrs. E. East and Mrs, J. Barker (aunts), Mr. and Mrs. F. L. Austin (brother-in-law and sister-in-law), Mr. and Mrs. H. C. Austin (brother-in-law and sister-in-law), Mrs. C. Ingram (aunt), Mrs. P. Thompson (cousin), Mrs. C. Tansey (aunt), Mr. C. Payne (uncle) and Mrs. W. Burgess (friend).
Also present at the cemetery were Mr. A. L. Sanders (representing Messrs. Sanders and Sanders Ltd), Lady Divisional Supt. Miss W. M. Clipson, Divisional Supt. G. W. Timpson, and six members of the Rushden St. John Ambulance Division, Messrs. D. A. Okins and G. E. Morgan (Rushden Swimming Club) and Mr. J. Macartney (Newton Bromshold).
Funeral arrangements were carried out by Messrs. Whittington and Tomlin, Rushden.