Lawrence, Guy Francis

He was the son of George Patrick Charles Lawrence of the Chancery Bar Association and the Hon. Hildegarde Lawrence (daughter of Lord Davey), of Kingston Cottage, Bradford on Avon. He entered College fifth on the Roll from Copthorne School. He was a College Prefect and won the King’s Silver Medal for Latin Speech and the Duncan Reading Prize: he played in College VI, Association XI and 2nd XI cricket teams, and was a valued member of the Shakespeare Society, excelling especially in female parts. In 1912, he won a Classical Scholarship at Trinity College, Oxford, and became President of the O.U.D.S.

On the outbreak of war he joined the 7th Battalion South Staffordshire Regiment and after a period of training at Grantham went with them to Gallipoli, taking part in the landing at Sulva Bay. He returned to England with dysentery in September 1915 and on his recovery, being passed for light duty only, went to South Africa as A.D.C. to Lord Buxton, the Governor-General. He left after nine months in the hope of returning to active service, but being rejected for anything more strenuous than light duty, went to Egypt as A.D.C. to General Sir Archibald Murray, who at that time was in command of the British forces there. He took part in the fighting of the spring of 1917, and was mentioned in Despatches, but had to come home in August suffering from another attack of dysentery. He served for a short time at Aldershot as A.D.C. to Sir Archibald Murray again and was passed for general service at the end of the year. He was then transferred to the Grenadier Guards and after training at Chelsea went to France on Easter Day 1918, joining the 2nd Battalion near Arras from the Reinforcement Battalion. Reinforcement Battalions were men from each battalion held back from the front line “in reserve” to make good losses sustained in battle. In August 1918 he was appointed Battalion Intellegence Officer.

August 27th 1918 saw the 2nd Grenadiers play their part in the Battle of the Scarpe, during the Second Battle of Arras. There were three Wykehamists serving in the Battalion at the time: Lawrence; Lieutenant Cyril Gwyer (I1900-1902), who was second-in-command of No.2 Company; and Lieutenant Roderic Magrath Oliver (A1895-1901), in No.3 Company (see individual entries). All three were killed that day in St. Leger Wood. The undergrowth and fallen trees in the wood greatly hindered the troops as they tried to advance and Lawrence was killed at some point during the day although his death is not specifically mentioned in the war diary. Lieutenant Hugh Reginald Baldwin (C 1911-1915- see individual entry) of 1st Battalion, Irish Guards also died that day at St Leger Wood.

War: World War 1

  • Surname: Lawrence
  • Forenames or initials: Guy Francis
  • House: College
  • Years in School: 1905-1912
  • Rank: Lieutenant
  • Regiment: Grenadier Guards
  • Date of Birth: 8th March 1893
  • Date of Death: 27th August 1918
  • How Died: Killed in action
  • Location in War Cloister: Outer D3
  • Decoration: NA