Walter Lawrence was born in Stourbridge and was a pre-war regular soldier. He enlisted in the Worcesters in 1907 and was probably a Reservist called up on the outbreak of war in 1914. He joined the 2nd Battalion which took part in all the major campaigns on the Western Front from Mons to Third Ypres. In April 1918 the 2nd Battalion faced the second of the German Spring offensives on the river Lys south of Ypres. The Worcesters were quickly moved forward to stop the German breakthrough in front of Neuve Eglise. On April 13th the Germans attacked, infiltrating along the hedges and lanes towards the British trench line and establishing machine gun posts on their flanks. On the morning of the 14th it was apparent that the troops in Neuve Eglise were nearly surrounded. A successful breakout was led by Captain Crowe, who was awarded the VC for his bravery, but many fought to the last or were forced to surrender. Private Walter Lawrence died on the battlefield, along with 60 others from the Worcesters, including George Burrows and Ernest Jakeman, also from Stourbridge. He is buried at Le Grand Beaumart Cemetery (II 1 17) near Armentičres and commemorated on the Stourbridge and St. Thomas's church Memorials.
Mary Stevens Park, Stourbridge, West Midlands, United Kingdom
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