Wilfred Alfred Lawford

Rank Gunner
Service No 155197
Date of Death 15/09/1917
Age 37
Regiment/Service Royal Field Artillery "D" Battery. 88th Brigade
Cemetery Voormezeele Enclosures No.1 & No.2, Ypres, Belgium.


Wilfred was born in late 1880 to George Lawford (1853-1912), a carpenter, and his wife, Jane, nee Lifford (1853-1912). He had eight siblings: George (b.1878), Kate (b.1884), John (b.1888), Elizabeth (b.1890), James (b.1891), Jane (b.1894), Beatrice (b.1896) and Sophia (b.1899). Wilfred lived with his family in Brownlow Road and College Terrace, both in Finchley, up until joining the army in 1897.

Wilfred enlisted with the King’s Own Scottish Borders on 16th March 1897, with his stated age as 18 years, 4 months. This suggests he lied about his age (census and birth records indicate he would only be 17 in March 1897) to enlist earlier. He was already a member of the militia, in the 7th battalion Rifle Brigade, whilst working as a baker. He served in East India between 1899 and 1904, and in 1907 received the telegraph proficiency certificate.

His enlistment papers show that Wilfred was Christian, worshipping at the Wesleyan church in Finchley, now Finchley Methodist Church. They also describe him as being ‘5’5”, 127lbs with a fresh complexion, hazel eyes and brown hair. Distinguishing features - a tattoo of clasped hands and a heart bearing the words ‘true love’ on the back of his right forearm, and a scar on the front of his left arm.

Wilfred married Alice Monks in 1912.

The December 1917 monthly magazine of St Luke' Finchley, lists Wilfred's name in the Roll of Honour and adds, 'Mr Lawford was an old soldier who rejoined after war broke out. He was in France about 9 months. He leaves a wife and a little son aged 3. We may assure Mrs Lawford of our deep sympathy'.