Rank or Title
Date of Birth
Date of Death
16 Feb 1917
War time / or Pre War occupation
Place of Birth
World War I Address
Place of Death
War Memorial Location
Soldier or Civilian
L-Cpl Charles Lawrence, 23494, 4th Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, died at a clearing station in France on February 16th, 1917, three days after being wounded by shrapnel in action at Beaumont-Hamel on the Somme. He was aged 20.
Born in Luton in 1896, Charles was the youngest of five serving soldier sons of widow Mrs Ann Lawrence, of 59 Ashton Road, Luton (her husband, Frederick, died in 1898). He had enlisted in November 1915, having been formerly employed by Messrs J. Webdale and Sons at their Wellington Street store. He was an old boy of Chapel Street School, Luton.
In a letter to Mrs Webdale, military chaplain the Rev T. Harold Davies wrote: "He was such a brave lad and did his duty nobly. When severely wounded in the legs and hands he remained cheerful and spoke frequently of you, saying that he was sure he would see his mother within a week. We had great hopes that his courage and high spirits would carry him through, and are grieving at his death. He died at a clearing station some miles away."
More tragedy would befall the Lawrence family the following year, when another son, Pte Walter Lawrence, 10775, 9th Lancers, died of wounds on April 22nd, 1918. He was buried at Luton Church burial ground, Crawley Green Road.
[On the Luton Roll of Honour he is listed at Pte Charles Lawrence]