Other names: James Lewis
Locations in this story: Donhead St. Mary, WiltshireStalbridge, DorsetAlderbury, WiltshireUpper Parkstone, DorsetFrance & FlandersSouthampton, Hampshire
Story: James Louis (sometimes spelt 'Lewis') Lawrence was born in Donhead St. Mary, Wiltshire, in 1889 and was baptised in Alderbury, Wiltshire, on 13 Oct 1889 the son of Frederick Lewis and Clara Emma Lewis (nee Pike) who was from Stalbridge, Dorset. Whilst James was born in Donhead St. Mary, where the family had lived for at least three years, they had moved to Alderbury, Wiltshire, shortly after his birth and it was here he spent most of his childhood. By 1915 he had moved as a boarder to Pearson Avenue, Upper Parkstone, Dorset, where he was working as a Grocer's Assistant. He enlisted on 1 Nov 1915 and joined the Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry as a Private (Service No. 6886). On the 13 Sep 1917 he was briefly transferred to the Territorial Unit of the Regiment (Service No. 320713) until finally ending up with the 6th Battalion of the Duke of Edinburgh's (Wiltshire) Regiment (Service No. 203307). On 3 Nov 1917, whilst in France & Flanders, he was charged with illegally discharging a firearm and wounding a fellow soldier and was sentenced to one year's imprisonment later commuted to 3 months. Regretfully his service conditions were such that he contracted tuberculosis and was discharged on 15 May 1918 as being unfit for further duty. He was awarded the Silver War Badge No. 411859 and a 100% Pension. He was further awarded the Victory and British War Medals. His death was recorded in Southampton, Hampshire, in 1920.