John George Lawrence was born in 1881, in Sheepbridge, Whittington, Derbyshire, the son of John (born at Bishop's Tachbrook, Warwickshire) and Ellen Lawrence (born 1856 at Cuddington, Buckinghamshire). His father's occupation was listed as "iron works labourer" in 1881, "sewing machine agent" in 1891, and photographer - in Brightside Bierlow, Yorkshire, in 1901, and in Beaumont House Lodge, Heronsgate, Rickmansworth in 1911. John senior may be the 58 year old John Lawrence whose death was registered in Barnet in 1913.
The 1901 census shows John George Lawrence living with his parents at
|LAWRENCE, John||Head||Married||M||45||1856||Photographer||Teachbrook, Warwickshire|
|LAWRENCE, Ellen||Wife||Married||F||46||1855||Cuddington, Buckinghamshire|
|LAWRENCE, Nellie||Daughter||Single||F||21||1880||Cuddington, Buckinghamshire|
|LAWRENCE, John||Son||Single||M||19||1882||Photographer's Collector & Canvasser||Sheepbridge, Derbyshire|
|LAWRENCE, Olive R||Daughter||Single||F||17||1884||Clay Cross, Derbyshire|
|LAWRENCE, Sarah A||Daughter||Single||F||14||1887||Whittington Moor, Derbyshire|
|KUYPERS, William H K||Boarder||Single||M||21||1880||Wood Carver||Sheffield, Yorkshire|
By 1911 he had married Florrie, started a family, and was living at
|LAWRENCE, John George||Head||Married||M||30||1881||Photographic Artist||Shropbridge Derbyshire|
|LAWRENCE, Florrie||Wife||Married2 years||F||33||1878||Doncaster Yorks|
|LAWRENCE, Olive||Daughter||Single||F||0 (8 MONTHS)||1911||London|
|DUNHILL, Phyliss||Stepdaughter||Single||F||8||1903||Doncaster Yorks|
|DIXON, Harold||Boarder||Single||M||25||1886||Photographer Artist||Brighton Sussex|
The 1912 Bradford Street directory shows he was no longer living at 11 Oxford Road, and he is understood to have set up business as a photographer in Gadebridge Lodge, Hemel Hempstead by about the time war broke out in August 1914. In the middle of August the 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th (howitzers) London Brigades Royal Field Artillery took up war stations in the Hemel Hempstead area, and if the following photograph was taken before they moved to France in March 1915 the young Second Lieutenant could well be one of the officers named in my book The London Gunners come to Town - but if so I don't know which.
Photograph No 3324 by Lawrence of Hemel Hempstead.
Possibly from one of the London Brigades RFA which were stationed in the town in 1914.
In October 1916 a number of cases were considered by the military tribunal, and John George Lawrence, a 35 year old married photographer, living in Gadebridge Lodge was given one month to get prepared for military service, as clearly being photographer was not a reserved occupation. (The Gazette, 14th October, 1916). He obviously returned from the war as the follow newspaper report indicates:
Ex-soldiers accommodation problem
Petty Sessions :
William Griggen, of Hemel Hempstead, applied for an ejectment order on John G Lawrence, the tenant of Gadebridge Lodge, Hemel Hempstead. He stated that he wanted the house for occupation by an extra master or man.
Lawrence said he tried before he came out of the army, and since, to get another house, but it was impossible. He had been all over Hemel Hempstead, Boxmoor and Apsley. He had been established in business 4½ years as a photographic artist, and it was impossible for him to go out at once.
After consideration the Chairman said to Lawrence you will have to go in a month.
Lawrence: Is that what I get for fighting for my country.
Gazette, 22nd March, 1919
The case came up again later when Lawrence had made arrangements for a house in Queen Street, and was waiting for the existing occupants to move out. It is not known whether he moved into Queen Street, but he is not listed in the 1922 or later Kelly's directories for Hertfordshire (having missed out on those for 1914 and 1917).
Second Lieutenants in Hemel Hempstead, August 1914-March 1915
The following list give the names of the second lieutenants who are named in The London Gunners come to Town and who were probably in Hemel Hempstead.
H. P. Barrow, 17th County of London Battery
James Henry Van den Bergh, orderly officer, 6th London Brigade RFA
Aubrey Francis Blackwell, 6th London Ammunition Column
A. M. Bown, 7th London Ammunition Column
H. E. Brown, 16th County of London Battery
Thomas Henry Willes Chitty, 6th London Ammunition Column
Nevill Christopherson, 12th County of London Battery
M. T. G. Clegg, 20th County of London Battery
Philip Henley Dodgson, 7th London Ammunition Column
G. L. Elliott, 15th County of London Battery
Henry Cyril Dixon Kimber, 19th County of London Battery
Victor Carrington Lucas, 16th County of London Battery
G Lyon-Smith, 17th County of London Battery
Geoffrey Isadore Charles Marchand, 16th County of London Battery
F. L. Mond, 15th County of London Battery
Alan Grant Ogilvie, orderly officer, 7th London Brigade RFA
R.C. Ollivant, orderly officer, 5th London Brigade RFA
Philip Harold Pilditch, 7th London Ammunition Column
Reginald George Hewett Pixley, 7th London Brigade RFA
Steward Edward Hewitt Pixley, 19th County of London Battery
John Cecil Glossop Pownall, 16th County of London Battery
K. L. Raworth, 17th County of London Battery
W. R. Smith, 6th London Ammunition Column
Richard Barker Ullman, 7th London Ammunition Column
M. G. Whitten, 17th County of London Battery
J. C. Woollett, 15th County of London Battery
Arthur F. Yencken, 15th County of London Battery
|July 2012||Page created|