Private George James Lawrence


George James Lawrence was born on 20 October 1899 at 10 Grove Road, Enfield Wash, Middlesex, the first of eight children of machinist (gun factory propeller, later carman) George Lawrence and his wife Annie Eliza (née Brand). At the time of the 1911 Census he was living at Enfield Wash with his parents and his five surviving siblings (another was born soon after). George's father died in 1916 and the following year his mother married a man named Reuben Lawrence.

By 1917 George was living at 58 Eastfield Road, Enfield, and working as a nursery hand. He was attested into the army on 28 October 1917 and called-up on 6 December. Initially posted to the 9th (County of London) Battalion (Queen Victoria's Rifles) (No.394928), on 29 March 1918 he was transferred to the 2/1 London Yeomanry (Corps of Lancers).

On 12 September 1918 Lawrence and 55 other men were compulsorily transferred to the Corps of Hussars (No.81238) and posted to the 1st North Irish Horse Regiment, which was then serving in France as corps cyclist regiment to V Corps. They embarked at Folkestone for Boulogne that day, joining the regiment in the field on 18 September, where they were assigned to A, D and E Squadrons, joining in the fighting during the Advance to Victory offensive in the final weeks of the war.

On 21 April 1919, with around twenty other North Irish Horsemen, Lawrence was transferred to the Army Cyclist Corps (No.23903) and posted to IV Corps Cyclist Regiment, part of the Army of Occupation based in Rolsdorf, Germany. He returned to the UK on 20 September and was demobilised and transferred to Class Z, Army Reserve, on 23 November 1919. His military character was recorded as '... very good. Found honest & sober during his service.'

At the time of the 1921 Census, Lawrence was living at 58 Eastfield Road with his mother, stepfather, six siblings and two step-siblings, and working as a nursery hand. He married Alice M. Lawes later that year. He appears to be the George J. Lawrence shown in the 1939 Register as living at 16 Falcon Crescent, Enfield, with his wife Alice and son Brian and working as a refinery furnace man.


This page last updated 2 January 2023.