Havelock Bramwell Leonard Lawrenson

Information about birth

Year of birth:
Place of birth:
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

General information

Last known residence:
Kogarah, New South Wales, Australia

Army information

Australian Imperial Force
Service number:
Enlistment date:
Enlistment place:
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
 —  Australian Divisional Signal Company, 1st Coy.  (Last known unit)

Information about death

Date of death:
Place of death:
Retaliation Farm, Zonnebeke, Belgium
Cause of death:
Killed in action (K.I.A.)


Buttes New British Cemetery, Polygon Wood
Row: C
Grave: 14

Distinctions and medals 2

Points of interest 4

#1 Place of birth
#2 Last known residence
#3 Enlistment place
#4 ‘Place of death’

My story

Havelock Bramwell Leonard Lawrenson, a former telegraphist, was born in 1894 in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. He was the son of Ralph and Emily Lawrenson. On September 24, 1915 he enlisted in Sydney and embarked from Sydney on board HMAT A60 Aeneas on December 20, 1915, with the 8th reinforcement of the 17th Battalion, part of the 5th Australian Brigade of the 2nd Australian Division.

On the 4th of October 1917, the 2nd Australian Divisional Signal Company participated in the Battle of Broodseinde Ridge, which was a phase in the Third Battle of Ypres. According to the war diary of the 2nd Division, its task on that day was to maintain inter-communication within the divisional area. The movements of the 2nd Australian Division Signal Company are not well documented, so it is difficult to say in which circumstances Private Lawrenson died.

Havelock Bramwell Leonard, aged 25, was killed in action on October 4, 1917. Private Lawrenson was found after the war where he fell, near Retaliation Farm (28.D.28.d.20.65). Several witnesses in his Red Cross Wounded and Missing File state that he was hit by a shell and died instantaneously. One of those witnesses further claims that Private Lawrenson was at that time on a mission to relieve an amplify and power buzzer station. His remains were exhumed and reinterred at Buttes New British Cemetery; Plot 18, Row C, Grave 14.

Files 1

Sources 5

2nd Australian Division Signal Company (Australian War Memorial, Campbell (AWM), AWM4 22/12/10).
Sources used
Australian Red Cross Wounded and Missing Enquiry Bureau (Australian War Memorial, Campbell (AWM), RCDIG1064166).
Sources used
First Australian Imperial Force Personnel Dossiers, 1914-1920 (National Archives of Australia, Canberra (NAA), B2455).
Sources used
Unit embarkation nominal rolls, 1914-18 War (Australian War Memorial, Campbell (AWM), AWM8).
Sources used
Virtual War Memorial Australia, courtesy of Faith Jones
Sources used

More information 4