Lieut.-Colonel Edward Lafone Graham LAWRENCE, D.S.O., M.C. (6992)

Commanded the Depot Worcestershire Regiment from November 1935 to November 1937.
Commanded the 1st Battalion Worcestershire Regiment from August 1939 to March 1941.

Lieut.-Colonel Lawrence was born 17th October 1890. He was gazetted to The Worcestershire Regiment on 5th October 1910, and was posted to the 2nd Battalion, which he joined at Jhansi. In 1912 he was cross-posted to the 1st Battalion Worcestershire Regiment, with which Battalion he was connected for the rest of his regimental soldiering, then stationed at Alexandria.

He went to France with the 1st Battalion and served with them until appointed to 69 Infantry Brigade as Brigade Major in 1916, an appointment he held for two years. He was awarded the M.C. in 1916. From 1918 to 1919 he was G.S.O. 2 with the 7th Division and was awarded the D.S.O. in 1919. He was three times mentioned in despatches for services in France and three times for services in Italy. He was awarded the Italian Croce di Guerra and promoted Brevet Major.

In 1919 he was G.S.O. 2 Cairo District and then O.E.T.A. Palestine and Syria. He rejoined the 1st Battalion in November, 1919, but in August, 1920, he went to be Brigade Major in Iraq until February, 1921. He was awarded the General Service Medal with clasp for Iraq. From 1922 to 1925 he was Adjutant of the 1st Battalion and from 1925 to 1935 he commanded “C” Company in the Battalion.

In 1935 Colonel Lawrence went to command the Depot, but did not complete his tour there as he was posted as second-in-command of the 1st Battalion Worcestershire Regiment. It was during his tour in command of the Depot that the Regimental Museum was moved from the Ante Room of the Officers’ Mess to the Keep.

Whilst at the Regimental Depot, Norton Barracks, Worcester, he encouraged and furthered close and friendly relations between The Regiment and the County, including in the hunting field where he hunted regularly with the Croome Hounds and encouraged all officers under his command at the Depot to follow his example.

Lt.-Col. E. L. G. Lawrence, DSO, MC
(known as "Jockey")

In August, 1939, Colonel Lawrence was promoted to command the 1st Battalion then in Palestine. On the outbreak of war he took the Battalion to the Sudan. In March 1941, he was appointed Commandant Sub-areas Eritrea and Sudan, which post he held until returning home in July, 1942. From September 1942, until January 1944, he was Garrison Training Officer to the Birmingham Home Guard. He then went to North-West Europe as Staff Officer, Civil Affairs, which post he held until June, 1945, when he came home on leave pending retirement.

Colonel Lawrence went on retired pay on 30th January, 1946, with thirty-five and a half years’ distinguished service in the Regiment.

After the war he lived for some years at Bourton-on-the-Water, Glos., from where he regularly came to attend the Annual Reunion at Norton Barracks, until he left Gloucestershire for Dorset.

Lieut.-Colonel E. L. G. Lawrence died suddenly at Lansdown Nursing Home, Bath on 2nd September 1971, age 81. His funeral took place at Bath Crematorium on 7th September 1971, and The Worcestershire Regiment was represented by Lieut.-Colonel E. R. Newcomb, Lieut.-Colonel C. P. Vaughan (also representing the Colonel and officers of The Worcestershire Regiment, and Brigadier H. U. Richards), Lieut.-Colonel J. W. B. Stuart, and Major and Mrs. A. L. Rendell. Wreaths or messages, were also sent by Major-General F. C. Roberts, V.C., D.S.O., O.B.E., M.C., Colonel R. E. L. Tuckey (both former Commanding Officers of the 1st Battalion) and Major C. G. Burke.

At the time Colonel T. J. Bowen wrote:

"I served under Colonel ELG's command as a Platoon Commander in the Sudan and in the first half of the campaign in Eritrea and Abyssinia in 1941. The impression of ELG as a Commanding Officer is quite indelible; he was above everything else a character, and most particularly a Regimental one.

When the 1st Worcestershire first went into action in World War II, ELG was the only person in the Battalion who had previously seen action apart from Major J. O. K. Knight the second-in-command who, to his extreme indignation, was left out of battle. I think ELG must instinctively have realised this, and he must have felt it as a tremendous challenge. He certainly rose magnificently to the occasion, and I can remember his stalking round on the Ridge at Gogni like an old lion, very much in the front of the battle and setting an example to everyone.

Perhaps the strongest characteristic was his loyalty to his Regiment. He had identified himself with the 1st Battalion for the whole of his life and with "C" Company for many years of it. To him the Battalion and the Regiment always came first and foremost. By the time of the second Battle of Keren in 1941 he had passed his 50th birthday and he realised this. I am sure that it was entirely out of loyalty to his Regiment that he took the difficult decision of voluntarily relinquishing his command to make way for a younger man. I can remember how terribly sorry everybody was to see him go and how we felt that a great and popular character had left us.

I shall always look back on him with affection and above all as one to whom the old Worcestershire Regiment took pride of place in everything he did."

Colonel Lawrence in retirement