William Lawrence

Name

William Lawrence

Conflict

First World War

Date of Death / Age

11/07/1916
27

Rank, Service Number & Service Details

Private
4/7074
Bedfordshire Regiment
2nd Bn.

Awards

1914 (Mons) Star, British War and Victory Medals

Cemetery/Memorial

THIEPVAL MEMORIAL
Pier and Face 2 C.
France

UK Memorials

Stanstead Abbotts Village Memorial
Not on the Ware memorials

Pre War

Born on 1st December 1888, in Ware, to parents Arthur and Annie Lawrence, he lived in Milletts House along with five sisters Laura, Alice, Edith, Beatrice and Maud. In the 1911 he lived in Gilie Cottages in Roydon Road, Stanstead Abbotts, with his widowed father and his sister Laura and a niece named Ivy. William like his father was a farm labourer. Enlisted in 2nd Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment on 11th November1914. At that time, he was recorded as born in Ware.

Wartime Service

Fought in 1915 at Neuve Chappelle, Festubert, Loos and Givency. In 1916 they were engaged in a number of the Somme battles including on 11th July, an attack on Trones Wood. The action began at 2.30am when all the battalion’s companies advanced, due to thick foliage however they were not seen by the enemy until they were only 400 yards from their trenches, when machine guns opened fire on them. At the time it was only possible to see a few yards ahead. The Bedfords managed to dig in within the woods but both A and B companies suffered heavy casualties, but they held out with the support of both C and D companies until, when almost surrounded they were ordered to withdraw the following morning. In total this attack cost the battalion almost 250 men from a force of 550. It was here that William was killed but his body was never recovered.

Acknowledgments

Terry Collins,colm Lennox