LAWRENCE, John Benjamin

1st World War
Date of Birth
Date Attested
Attested at
Teeswater - Ontario
Original Unit
Regimental Number
Date of Death
Age at Death
20 years 11 months
Biographical Summary

DIVISIONAL UNIT:     4th Canadian Infantry Division                                                                                                                                             10th Infantry Brigade                                                                                                                                                             47th Battalion - Western Ontario                                                                                                                                           Canadian Infantry Corps                                                                                                RESIDENCE:             Belmore - Ontario                                                                                                                    BIRTH:                       Belmore - Turnberry Township - County of Huron - Ontario                                                              MEMORIAL:               Vimy Memorial - Vimy - Pas de Calais - France                                                                            MOTHER:                  Mrs. Mary Lawrence - Belmore - Ontario                                                                            Personal:                    Height was 5'  5" and weight was 130 pounds with a medium complexion, blue eyes and brown                                       hair. John was raised in the Methodist faith and earned his living as a farm labourer.

Private Lawrence embarked from Canada on the SS Metagama and he arrived in Liverpool on October 17, 1916. In February of 1918 he transfers to the 4th Reserve Battalion - Witley Camp - Surrey and then transfers to the 47th Battalion. He embarked from England and went overseas into France in March 1918 and before joining his unit he spends time at the Canadian Base Depot and Reinforcement Camp. He joins his unit in the field on August 14, 1918.                                                                                                                                                              The weather on September 3rd was good weather and visibility with winds from the south-east. At 11 am the advance began to move forward with the 46th Battalion leading and the 47th following in support. The 47th advanced in open formation on a two Company front and then conformed with the line established by the 50th Battalion on the left. The line was secured but the casualties were high and this was because the enemy had good vantage points in Oisy la Verger and from observation balloons he was using. As the 47th crossed the summit of Mont Dury Bridge the enemy artillery barrage began to fall on them and here the area was exposed and devoid of any cover. The enemy was using high explosive shells with instantaneous fuses and he was also using gas shells.    Private Lawrence was killed in action while he was advancing wit the men of his Company at St Quentin which was somewhat west of Ecourt. As they advanced an enemy high explosive shell fell among them and Private Lawrence was killed immediately. He had been at the front for just three weeks.                                                                  During the advance of September 3rd the 47th Battalion casualties were 20 men killed and 64 men wounded.