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Laurence Grisedale Wilson was born at Glencoin on the 6th January 1888. His father Joseph was a Woodman working at Glencoin Farm. He had married Laurence’s mother Sarah Ann in Penrith in October 1872 although both of them had been born in Matterdale, where they moved after they were married and where their first child, William Robert Kitchen, was born in 1873. They moved to Glencoin shortly afterwards and whilst there had another son, James Josiah in 1876, and then tin boys Joseph Edward and Charles Henry in 1878 (who sadly died in infancy. In 1879 they had their first daughter, Laura Maud, followed by Agnes Ida in 1882. After Laurence was born in 1888 they had three more children -
Laurence grew up at Glencoin alongside other families including the Boustead family, and would have attended Patterdale School. At some point in the first decade of the twentieth Century his father Joseph and the family left Glencoin and moved to Penrith. By 1911 they were living at 1 Union Lane Penrith. Joseph was employed as an Estate Labourer and twenty three year old Laurence was working a printer on a weekly newspaper.
We have been unable to find Laurence’s detailed service record but from his Silver War Badge entry and medal index card (see below) we know he enlisted in late 1915 as part of the Derby Scheme and would have been mobilised in 1916. Like other men from the Dale such as William Hodgson he ended up as a driver in the Royal Field Artillery, almost certainly serving in France. He was discharged at the end of 1918 with the silver war badge. This was given to soldiers who had been wounded in action or otherwise incapacitated, usually overseas, and his papers shows that he was discharged under Page 392 (xvi) Kings Regulations -
After the war we can only presume that Laurence returned to live and work in Penrith. We currently have no further information about him until his death in September 1974 at the aged of 86 whilst still living in Penrith. He is remembered on the Glenridding Village Hall Roll of Honour alongside many of his old school friends and neighbours from the Dale.
In terms of the rest of his family, we believe his father Joseph died in 1924 at the age of 73, and his mother died at the age of 82 in 1938. His eldest brother William moved to Kendal back in 1901, having married Mary Jane Wilson (nee Thewlis) in 1897. They were still living in Kendal in 1911 and had three children, Laura, John and Doris.
We believe Laurence’s brother James married Agnes Spedding Pearson in 1910 and they emigrated to New Zealand at some point where he died aged 85. Laurence’s eldest sister Laura married Thomas Davis, a miner from Greenside, in Patterdale in 1904. After that we have so far not found out any more details about her life. Similarly his sister Agnes married a joiner, William Armstrong, in 1910, and was living with her parents and her son Cyril in Penrith in 1911, but after that we’re unsure what happened to them. It is the same story with his younger sisters Mary and Ada, for whom we so far have no information after 1911, when they were still living with Laurence and their parents in Penrith. Laurence’s younger brother Frederick John Hebson joined the Metropolitan Police and in 1911 was a Police Constable in the Covent Garden Area. By 1924 he’d risen to the rank of inspector and left for India aboard the Mandala. So far we have found no further information on what became of him.
If you can add anything to the story of Laurence and his family please contact us.
Driver Laurence Grisedale Wilson
Royal Field Artillery
Born 6th Jan 1888 in Glenridding.
Died Sept 1974 in Penrith aged 86
Son of Joseph and Sarah Ann (nee Kitchen) Wilson of Glencoin and Penrith
Laurence Wilson’s Medal Card (above) and Silver War Badge Entry (below)