Day: April 14, 2019

Sunday’s Obituary – Benjamin Lawrence (1904-1916)

Benjamin Lawrence is my wife’s 2nd cousin 1x removed. His parents are John Lawrence and Frances Maria Pritchard. The common link between them is William Darby and Maria Bingham – my wife’s 2x great grandparents.

Benjamin was born in Worcestershire in 1904 – he was baptised on Boxing Day 1904 at Lye, Worcestershire.

In the 1911 census the family had moved to Barnsley, South Yorkshire. Benjamin’s father, John, was a coal miner, so he presumably had to move there to get work.

John and Frances had lost two children while they were living in Worcestershire:-

John Leslie born in 1901 – died in 1904
Florrie May born in 1908 – died in 1909

Very sadly tragedy would strike again in 1916.

The following report is from the Sheffield Daily Telegraph of Monday 1st January 1917 (image from

Benjamin Lawrence - Sheffield Daily Telegraph 1 January 1917.png

Benjamin Lawrence (12) left his home, 133 Barnsley Road, Stairfoot, on Saturday afternoon, and a little later was found drowned in a ditch by the side of Barnsley Road. He was lying face downwards in four or five inches of water, and artificial respiration proved of no avail.

It’s hard to imagine the effect all these deaths of their children would have had on John and Frances.