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  • Buried in Newark Town Cemetery. Photograph Murray Biddle
Person Details
Ely Cambridgeshire
Walter Lawrence was the son of Abraham Lawrence and his wife Hannah Lee (née Cross). His father Abraham was born in Ely in 1851 (bap. Holy Trinity), the son of Henry and Jane Lawrence. His mother, Hannah Lee, was born in 1854 (bap. Holy Trinity) at Adelaide Bridge, Ely, the daughter of Nathan Cross and his wife Charlotte. Abraham and Hannah were married at Ely Holy Trinity in 1873 and had ten children of whom only eight were still living in 1911. Their children were born at Adelaide Bridge, Ely: Nathan b 1874, Charlotte b. 1876, Henry b. 1878, George b. 1881, William b. 1884, Jane b. 1887, Ethel b. 1890, Walter b. 1892 (reg. J/A/S), Anna b. 1895 and Emily b. 1901. Abraham, a general labourer, and his wife lived at various addresses in Ely during their married life but by 1911 were living in Adelaide Bridge; only two of their children, Anna and Emily, were in the family home on the night of the census. The eldest son, Nathan, was living independently in Adelaide Bridge with his brother George; both were working as general labourers. Also in their household was a nephew, Lawrence Hart (10). Henry, a chauffeur domestic, had married in 1903 and he, his wife Rosa and their young daughter were also living in Ely. Walter (19), though, had left the area and was living at 38 Lombard Street, Newark, where he was employed as a groom gardener by Dr. WG Dunwoody. Dr Dunwoody and his wife were from Ireland but two of their three children had been born in Ely, so Walter may worked for the family in Ely before they moved to Newark. Of the other four children - Charlotte, William, Jane and Ethel - none has yet been traced on the 1911 Census, nor the two who died before 1911 identified on the death registration records. Walter married Mary Elizabeth Selby (b. 1889) in December 1915 (reg. Newark), shortly before he went overseas, and they lived at 42 Hatton Gardens, Newark. There were no children of the marriage. Hannah Lawrence died in 1927 and her husband Abraham in February 1933; he was buried in Ely Cemetery.
1911 - groom/gardener (private employer). He was a driver for Messrs Warwicks and Richardsons, Newark, for four years before he enlisted.
13 Feb 1919
2750154 - CWGC Website
Motor Transport Army Service Corps
Private Walter Lawrence served with the 612th Motor Transport Company, Royal Army Service Corps. Walter served in France for three years until he returned to the UK in February 1919 for demobilization at Clipstone Camp, Nottinghamshire. On 12 February, within hours of having arrived at his home in Newark, Walter was admitted to a military hospital suffering from pneumonia contracted while on active service and died in the early hours the following day, 13 February. He was buried in Newark Cemetery (grave ref O.B. ’U’185).
Also commemorated on the Ely Holy Trinity WW1 War Memorial - 'W Lawrence'. Holy Trinity parish church later became the cathedral's Lady Chapel and the memorial was removed to another part of the cathedral. CWGC: 'Son of Abraham and Anna Lawrence; husband of Mary Elizabeth Lawrence, of 42, Hatton Gardens, Newark. Born at Ely' Newark Herald, 15 February 1919: ‘Soldier’s sad Death. Particularly sad are the circumstances surrounding the death of Pte. Walter Lawrence, of the Motor Transport ASC, which occurred at the Military Hospital in the early hours of Thursday morning. The deceased soldier, who was only 27 years of age, was a motor driver engaged at Messrs. Warwicks and Richardsons, where he had been employed for four years. He joined the ASC as a motor driver and proceeded to France three years ago. The firm had applied for his release and ten days ago he got his papers and proceeded to return home. At Dunkirk he contracted a chill, but presumably in his anxiety to get home he evidently did not consult his medical officer. He was demobilised at Clipstone and arrived at his home, 42 Hatton-gardens, at five o’clock on Wednesday evening. He was then in a very bad state, and Dr. Kinmont, who was sent for, ordered his immediate removal to the Military Hospital, but it was too late, his ailment, pneumonia, having gone too far, and he expired at 2.30 am on Thursday morning. Much sympathy will be extended to the young widow, a daughter of Mr JC Selby, of Hatton-gardens, whom he married before proceedings overseas. Pte Lawrence was very highly valued by his firm, and all who knew him was attracted to him by his genial disposition and splendid character. The funeral takes place on Monday.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Walter's widow, Mary Elizabeth Lawrence, was awarded a weekly pension of 13/9d (13shillings 9pence) with effect from 18 May 1919.
Remembered on


  • Buried in Newark Town Cemetery. Photograph Murray Biddle
    Walter Lawrence - Buried in Newark Town Cemetery. Photograph Murray Biddle