Picture of HFEL PaytonHilda Frances Elizabeth Lucy PAYTON was born in Calton, Staffordshire on the 9th July, 19091. Her father was the Vicar2.

She had two brothers who died in WW1. Cpl Fredrick Thomas Croydon PAYTON died on the Somme on the 1st July, 19163. He was a member of the Special Brigade created to conduct gas attacks as well as smoke barrages. Lt. Clement Wattson PAYTON ( was an RAF ace awarded the DFC and also the Crois de Guerre from Belgium. He was shot down and killed on the 2nd October, 19184.

She trained as a nurse at the Charing Cross Hospital, London, 1930-19335. In 1938 she was working as a nurse in the Trinity Nursing Home, Torquay in Devon, where the British Journal of Nursing records a patient leaving a legacy of £1000 to her “who nursed me during my illness” 6.

Nursing in Service WW2

She joined the Territorial Army Nursing Service (TANS) on the 30th May 19417, and transferred to the Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service (QAIMNS) on 1 January, 1946 with a seniority of 1 February 19418. Her Commission was made substantive on 1st February, 19499.

After WW2

She transferred to the Queen Alexandra’s Royal Army Nursing Corps on it’s foundation. Capt HEFL Payton was posted to BETFOR (British Element Trieste Force) in 195110, and in 1951 she was also promoted from Captain to Major11. She was present at the Regimental Dinner given for the retirement of Brigadier Dame Helen Gillespie DBE RRC QHNS, held at Millbank in 195612. In 1958 she was posted to BAOR (British Army on the Rhine)13, and her retirement was announced the same year14. Later that year she married Dr. John Horsfield Otty15. She died on 8 January, 1977 in Bingley. West Yorkshire16.


  1. England & Wales Christening Records, 1530-1906
  2. The National Archives: England Census RG14 Ashbourne 437/20/211033
  3. Commonwealth War Graves Commission,-frederick-thomas-croydon/
  4. Commonwealth War Graves Commission,-clement-wattson/
  5. UK & Ireland, Nursing Registers, 1898-1968. General Nursing Council, England 1946
  6. Legacies to Nurses. British Journal of Nursing. 1938, February pp.44
  7. London Gazette, 6th February, 1942 pp.608
  8. London Gazette, 17th May, 1946 pp.2338
  9. London Gazette, 25th February, 1949 pp. 991
  10. QARANC Association Gazette Vol 1(6) p16
  11. QARANC Association Gazette Vol 1(9) p22
  12. QARANC Association Gazette Vol 2(15) p15
  13. QARANC Association Gazette Vol 3(4) p24
  14. QARANC Association Gazette Vol 3(5) p47
  15. England & Wales, Marriage Index 1916-2005
  16. England & Wales, Death Index, 1916-2007