Rank or Title
Date of Birth
Date of Death
22 Apr 1918
Media files and documents
Place of Birth
World War I Address
Place of Death
War Memorial Location
Soldier or Civilian
Walter was born in 1895. He was 1 of 10 children born to Frederick and Ann Lawrence.
In 1911 Walter is 17 & working as a greengrocer at the family home of 27 Cowper Street, alongside older brother Bertie, 26. There are six other family members living in this six-roomed house, their widowed mother Ann, 54, Minnie 36, a Milliner, Sidney 28, a straw hat blocker, Louise 24 & Carrie 22 are both working as straw hat machinists & 15 year old Charlie is an errand boy.
Walter joined the 9th (Queen's Royal) Lancers and went to France in February 1916. The regiment only served as a cavalry unit during the early part of the war because the war had become very mechanised. Against an enemy that were using machine guns & shells, men mounted on horses would not have stood a chance so the Lancers operated as an infantry unit in the trenches for the duration.
On 22 April, 1918, Walter died in Nottingham Military Hospital from wounds sustained on the Western Front only days after he had returned from home leave. His mother and a sister were able to see him in hospital just hours before he passed away.
Walter is buried in the cemetery on Crawley Green Road. At the request of his family, a private funeral was held there on April 26th, 1918.
Walter's name is amongst the 274 men of the 9th Lancers that gave their life in WW1 that are remembered on the war memorial in the cloisters of Canterbury Cathedral. He is also commemorated in the Book of Life at Luton Parish Church.
The death of Walter, a former Chapel Street School boy, meant that widow Ann, who was now living at 59 Ashton Road, Luton, had lost her two youngest sons to the war. L-Cpl Charles Lawrence was killed in France in February 1917.