Person NameLawrence; Sir; Herbert Alexander (1861-1943); Knight, soldier and banker
ForenamesHerbert Alexander
EpithetKnight, soldier and banker
ActivityGeneral Sir Herbert Alexander Lawrence was born in 1861 at Southgate near London, the son of Sir John Lawrence (1811-1879). He was educated at Harrow and Sandhurst then, following a family tradition of service in India, joined the 17th Lancers in 1882. Returning to England in 1891 he married Isabel Mary Mills (d 1941) the following year and completed training at the Staff College, Camberley, in 1896. Lawrence was selected for employment in the intelligence division of the War Office and was posted to Germany then to South Africa where he and Douglas Haig (1861-1928) first worked together. Despite his success, he was placed in command of the 16th Lancers, Lawrence retired from the army in 1903 and worked in the City in banking and as director of the Midland Railway. At the start of the First World War Lawrence distinguished himself in Egypt and in the Dardanelles and, after some time with the Home Forces and in France, he took over the intelligence branch at GHQ in 1917. In 1918 he was appointed chief of the general staff to Haig and was responsible for much of the military success of that year, his achievement was marked by a promotion to General before the end of the war. Lawrence then returned to the City and to Glyn's bank and was appointed to the board of several organisations gaining a reputation as a successful businessman. He received many honours and decorations and died at Woodcock, Hertford, in 1943.
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