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681415 BDR. W. LAWSON.  R.F.A.


Biographical information about William Lawson is somewhat patchy.  We know from SDGW that he was born and enlisted in Liverpool.  From Soldiers’ Effects we know that his next of kin was his wife, Agnes.  A marriage certificate for William Lawson and Agnes Garrett shows that they married on 2 August 1916 at Wavertree St Thomas.  William’s age is given as 24 indicating he was born in 1892.  It says William is a soldier, his father’s name was Robert but he was already deceased when William married.  Agnes was 22 and she was born in Edge Hill.  The certificate also says that William was a widower.  A marriage certificate also exists for William Lawson, a platelayer, who married Harriet Hannah Incledon on 12 December 1912, at Edge Hill St Thomas.  William’s age here is recorded as 23, meaning he was born in 1889.  Harriet’s age is also recorded as 23.  She was a domestic servant, but she died the following year.  I haven’t been able to locate William or his father in the Censuses.


As for his military career, William enlisted in 1915 in the Royal Field Artillery, was assigned service number 681415 and posted to “D” Battery of 286 Brigade.  At some stage he was promoted to Bombardier. 


In June 1917, 286 Bde were engaged in the defence of Armenitères.  At 6.30am on 30 June one enemy shell penetrated a gun pit of D/286Bde.  The gun was damaged, 5 O/Rs were killed and 1 wounded.  William Lawson was among the dead.  He was about 26 years old.


Rank:  Bombardier

Service Number:  681415

Date of Death:  30/06/1917

Age:  24-26

Regiment/Service:  Royal Field Artillery, “D” Bty., 286Bde

Cemetery/memorial reference: VIII. B. 19.



After the War, Ages re-married.  Her second husband was Edward Percy Brooks (b. 1897 in Liverpool).  Agnes died in 1963.  Edward Brooks had enlisted with the King’s (Liverpool Regiment) in November 1914 but was discharged a couple of months later as he had a bad stutter and was judged unfit for military service.

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