Lawrence Edward Russell was born on 10 Jun 1892 in Little Amwell, Hertfordshire, the son of William Ernest and Margaret Susan Russell, and baptised on 12 July 1892 at Great Amwell, Herts.
On the 1901 Census the family were living at Haileybury, Great Amwell where his father was Bursar of Haileybury College. He was educated at Haileybury College, Great Amwell, 1906–10. By 1911 he had joined the Army and was a Gentleman Cadet at the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, Surrey and in 1912 had joined the West Riding Regiment as a 2nd Lieutenant. He was said to be living at Bryn[e], Digswell, at the time of his death (according to probate).
His mother later lived at Lane End. Sawbridgeworth, Herts.