Laurence was born on 21st June 1893 in Stepney and was one of 8 children. His parents were Jabez and Louisa Barnard. In 1901, his father was a draper and Laurence a pupil at Wilton Road Infants School in Hackney. The 1911 census reveals that Laurence was 17 years old and still living at home with his widowed mother and two of his siblings. His younger brother, Cyril also studied at Ilford County High School (1904-6). By 1911, Laurence was a clerk, working for a brush manufacturer.
In the Spring 1916 school magazine, Chronicles, it was mentioned that 2nd Lieut. Lawrence Barnard had become attached to the Trench Mortar Battery, 141st Infantry Brigade. Another Old Boy of the school, Stanley Lee, was serving under him. It was noted that, ‘Lieut. Barnard served his apprenticeship in the L.R.B., and spent many a day in front of the famous “Tower Bridge” at Loos. The area around Loos was one of France’s richest coal mining areas and the so-called ‘Tower Bridge’ was a massive pit head lift which stood to the rear of Loos village and which reminded those who saw it of the original Tower Bridge in London!
He had killed in action, aged 23 on 1st October 1916 during the recapture of Eaucourt L’Abbaye. He died on the first day of the Battle of Le Transloy, which was the last Allied offensive of the Somme Campaign. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial.
Research by Andrew Emeny, History Teacher at ICHS
ICHS school records and magazines
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
Ilford County High School started life as the Park Higher Grade School in 1901 in Balfour Road, Ilford. It was renamed Ilford County High School (or initially County High School, Ilford) in the years after the school’s management was transferred from Ilford School Board to Essex Education Committee in 1904.