Roll of Honour

H. Lawrence

 H Lawrence Grave, AveleyThere is an  H. Lawrence buried at St. Michaels Churchyard Aveley. The date of death is 13th November 1915 and he doesn’t appear on Aveley war memorial which would indicate he died in that area of Essex probably after being shipped home after being injured, but that his family did not reside in that area.

possibly Horace Lawrence

H. Lawrence only appears on the Felsted United Reformed Church Honour Roll suggesting that either he or his next of kin did not reside in the parish of Holy Cross, Felstead, or that a close relative was a member of the United Reformed Church either living in the parish or in a neighbouring parish.

The Commonwealth War Graves website does not have any information which leads to a positive link so it was necessary to do some investigations to establish a possible link.

The 1920 electoral roll for Felsted shows no Lawrence families resident in the parish, and the closest possible link is Frank Cecil Lawrence and Beartrice Alice Lawrence living at Church End, Stebbing. There is no H. Lawrence on the Stebbing War Memorial which would suggest that Farnk was not the immediate next of kin.

The 1911 census for Stebbing shows:
Frank Lawrence, age 22, occupation: labourer, born: Bocking, Essex.
Beatrice Lawrence, age 22, his wife, born Felstead, Essex.
Eva Lawrence, age 3 months, born Braintree, Essex.

Frank's age confirms that he would not be the father of our H. Lawrence, but looking at the previous 1901 census entries we find a link in Bocking, Braintree:
William Lawrence, age 44, occupation Agricultural Labourer, born Toppesfield.
Amelia Lawrence, age 42, born Bocking
Ernest Lawrence, age 18, occupation Hand Mat Factory, born Bocking
Sidney Lawrence, age 17, occupation Hand Mat Factory, born Bocking
Percy Lawrence, age 16, occupation Hand Mat Factory, born Bocking
Frank Lawrence, age 13, born Bocking
Absolam Lawrence, age 11, born Bocking
Daisy Lawrence, age 9, born Bocking
Horace Lawrence, age 7, born Bocking
William Lawrence, age 6, born Bocking
Florence Lawrence, age 2, born Bocking

This gives us a definite link between Frank and Horace.

Interestingly a check of the Birth, Marriage and Death index shows that Horace Lawrence died aged 22 at the end of 1915 in the Braintree registration district. This would be the right age for the Horace listed in the 1901 census. His death certificate records his death on 13th November 1915 and that the cause of death was Phthisis Pulmonalis, more commonly known as Pulmonary Consumption. His occupation is listed as Storekeeper in Iron Foundry. A look at the burial register for St Mary's, Bocking shows Horace William Lawrence was buried there on 17th November 1915

This presents a new set of questions:

Had he been in military service and been discharged after being injured or ill? Was his condition a result of the privations of trench warfare?

Unfortunately the death certificate gives us no clue about military service so we cannot be sure this is the correct H. Lawrence for our honour roll.

There is also no H. Lawrence on the Bocking War Memorial but E. Lawrence does appear. This would suggest that Ernest is commemorated but why not Horace, unless his parents were living elsewhere, and Ernest had married and his wife was still in Bocking. It could be that the E. Lawrence is also from another branch of the Lawrence family which would explain why there is not E. Lawrence also on the URC Honour Roll.

We need to investigate the membership lists for the URC to see if this gives us further clues.


Another Possibility is Herbert Frederick Lawrence

Herbert Frederick Lawrence was born in 1897 in Smallburgh, Norfolk. He was the son of John Thomas Lawrence and Ann Elizabeth Lawrence of North Walsham, Norfolk. He died aged 21 on 7th May 1918, and served as Lance Corporal 9647, with the 1st Battalion, The Norfolk Regiment.

The link to Felsted is tenuous and yet to be proved, but a search of Electoral Registers for Felsted shows an Eric Walter Lawrence living at Horstages Farm in 1939.  Eric married Lilian Gowlett in the Dunmow Registration District in 1937. She was born in 1907, and Eric was born in 1897 in Bromley.  However in 1911 Eric was living as a boarder with the Congregational Minister of Smallburgh in Norfolk whilst a scholar. At the same time Herbert who was the same age as Eric was also living in Smallburgh. It has yet to be proved but they could have been cousins.

If Eric had been living in Felsted at the time when the Honour Roll of the URC was drawn up and had been a member he may well have asked for his cousin to be remembered. This would go some way to explain why H. Lawrence does not appear on the other village memorials, as his next of kin were not resident.