Trooper William Lawson, Imperial Yeomanry - shot and partially paralysed 2 months 3 weeks ago #73461
Can anyone identify this man's Company of the Imperial Yeomanry, and the incident and date when he was shot with an explosive bullet? The town council and the people of Sunderland rallied round him for at least two years after the end of the war, at which point he seems to vanish from the news.
"A special meeting of the Town Council has been called for Wednesday, October 8th, at 3.30, when the Mayor will propose the following motions: -
....That . . . Trooper W. Lawson . . . Imperial Yeomanry [and 97 others of the I.Y. and Durham Light Infantry] . . . be and are hereby admitted to be honorary freemen of the borough, in recognition of the loyal and devoted service rendered by them in their gallant volunteering for, and taking part in, the war in South Africa on behalf of the Throne and the British Empire."
Sunderland Echo, Saturday 4th October 1902
The Volunteers received the Freedom of the Borough at a special meeting of the Town Council, when a commemorative tablet was also unveiled. The Mayor made a speech, in the course of which he referred to "One of the worst cases was that of Yeoman Wm. Lawson, who was shot through the right breast and arm, and had been discharged as permanently disabled, owing to paralysis of the right side, and he would just say publicly that he thought it a disgrace to any Government to pension a man off with 1s 6d a day under such circumstances, that pension lasting only 12 months, at the end of which time it was taken away."
Sunderland Echo, Thursday 6th November 1902
...."As previously intimated in our columns, the retiring Mayor had called attention to the sad case of Trooper Lawson. Mr Lawson was discharged from the army permanently disabled on a pension of 1s 6d per day. Before volunteering he was a forgeman employed at the Wreath Quay Works, and his average earnings had been from 33s to 35s per week, he being thus able to keep his wife and three children in comfort. Now, however, owing to deformed right hand and arm, the result of an explosive bullet, he is not able to do any particularly hard work. Of those who volunteered and went out from Sunderland, ex-Trooper Lawson is the only one, so far as is known, who has returned so much disabled. Small as the pension is, there is no guarantee of its being continued beyond a twelvemonth, as at the end of that period he is to be again medically examined, and the question of the pension further considered."
Sunderland Daily Echo, Monday 10th November 1902
Trooper Lawson's Benefit.
...."The entertainment for assisting the fund to be raised in the sad case of Trooper Lawson, who was permanently disabled in the Boer war, will take place in the Avenue Theatre on Tuesday, Dec. 16th, in order that it may not clash with the concert to be given for Christmas dinners for the poor on Dec. 15th. Although the present is a very busy time at the theatre, Mr Chas. E. Machin and Mr Percival Craig are making every effort for providing a splendid programme for the occasion. The theatre orchestra will give their services, as well as a number of other musicians, and many well-known artists will appear. A pleasing feature in connection with the benefit is the interest being taken by Trooper Lawson's comrades, who, knowing the sad circumstances of the case, have come forward to assist in disposing of tickets. They will hold a meeting in the Town Hall (by kind permission of the Mayor, who has sympathetically interested himself in the case, and consented also to preside at the meeting), on Monday night next, at 7.30, and it is hoped that, in addition to the Volunteers themselves, other gentlemen willing to assist will also attend."
Sunderland Daily Echo, Saturday 29th November 1902
TROOPER LAWSON'S BENEFIT.
...."The sympathy that has been expressed on all sides in the case of Trooper Lawson, the Sunderland Volunteer Yeoman who was permanently disabled in the Boer War, is beginning to take practical shape. On Monday a meeting was held in the Town Hall, at which the Mayor (Councillor Turnbull) presided, and said his predecessor (Councillor J. G. Kirtley) had already drawn public attention to the case, and shown his sympathy in the matter, and he himself was most anxious to follow the ex-Mayor's example, and do whatever he could to further the success of raising a fund for this volunteer, who, in serving his country, had been so badly wounded by an explosive bullet that he could no longer follow his employment, and keep his family. The Mayor then asked Mr Percival Craig to inform the meeting what was proposed to be done. Mr Craig explained that some time ago the ex-Mayor wrote to him to know if he thought something could be done for Lawson, and he was pleased to be able to say that Mr C. E. Machin and himself had matters in hand for giving a special performance at the Avenue Theatre on Tuesday, Dec. 16th next. A splendid programme would be presented by well-known artists, and all that was now required was for the public to show their sympathy in the sad case by taking tickets and filling the theatre on the night in question. The tickets were ready, and Mr Craig suggested that a committee be formed, with power to add to their number, consisting of the following gentlemen: - The Mayor, Councillor Kirtley, Major Vaux, Captain George Clark, Captain Harrison, Lieutenant Machin, Messrs C. Machin, C. E. Thompson, J. T. Green, James Spencer, T. Williamson, and J. F. Kitching, and Sergeant Coghlan, Troopers P. Wilson and F. H. Thubron, and Bugler G. M. Brown. This was put in the form of a resolution and unanimously carried.
....A number of those present then took tickets for disposal, and seeing that the purchase of tickets before the date admit the holders to the early doors without extra charge, it is hoped the sale of them will be very large. Colonel Reed had kindly supplied the tickets, and a hope was expressed that other gentlemen would assist in a similar way so that the expenses would be very little."
Sunderland Daily Echo, Wednesday 3rd December 1902
Trooper Lawson's Benefit.
...."A further meeting in connection with the benefit concert to be given to Trooper Lawson at the Avenue Theatre, on the 16th inst., was held in the Town Hall last night, Mr C. E. Thompson, in the absence of the Mayor, presiding. Mr Percival Craig reported that matters were well advanced, and, with as view to making a special effort to dispose of the tickets, he proposed that a sub-committee be formed, consisting of Mr C. E. Thompson, Mr George Clark, Troopers Wilson, Brown, and Thubron, Mr J. Tindell Green, and Mr Alfred Brewer, the two latter gentlemen acting as secretaries. This was agreed to, and it was decided to try and arrange with the directors of the football club to have a collection and sale of tickets at the next match at Roker by some of Lawson's comrades in khaki."
Sunderland Daily Echo, Saturday 6th December 1902
TROOPER LAWSON'S BENEFIT.
...."The announcement of the attractions to be submitted at the concert arranged for Trooper Lawson's benefit on Tuesday next, the 16th inst., at the Avenue Theatre, should be the means of filling the theatre, for apart from the object of the event, the programme is likely to prove an exceptionally enjoyable one. The efforts of Messrs Machin and Craig have resulted in securing some of the best talent available, as the following particulars will show. From the People's Palace will come the Leonards (Bob and Jennie) in their excellent comedy act; the Ottoways, the champion bone soloists; the Sisters Pine in their burlesque performance; and Lennon, Hyman, and Lennon, the Australian entertainers who have recently arrived in England and whose performance is strikingly clever. A tiny performer will be little Mona, who although but eight years of age, has already made her name in public, while other juvenile entertainers will be master Ainslie, the clever boy soloist, and Little Fanny Blackett, whose singing and dancing have earned her a reputation in several of the Tyneside towns. A number of artists already well known locally will appear, including the military band of the Musicians' Union, which will render popular selections; the Excelsior Glee Singers; Mr Albert Rees, the clever and popular mimic of music instruments; Mr Gladstone Bell, the talented 'celloist; Mr Carl Hoffman, the conjuror; Dr Leonhardt, and Mr Lister. A special item will be entitled "Memories of Pantomime." In this most of the artists who are engaged for the coming pantomime, "Aladdin," will introduce the successes of their last year's pantomimes, so that the public will be able to hear those songs, &c., which were made popular in other towns by the artists, and will be able to judge what may be expected of them during the coming Christmas annual at the Avenue. Those who will appear in this novel part of the programme are: - Misses Isa Bowman, Frances Earle, Lilian Bell, Viola Villiers, Maggie Stewart, Gracie Wright, Messrs Alexandre, and Hughes, Jake Friedman, Charles Gardiner, Benson Kleve, Reginald Rutter, Frank Rowe, &c. It is important to note that tickets purchased before next Tuesday will admit to early doors at ordinary prices, and having in view the difficulty in obtaining seats at the similar concert organised for Sergeant McDonald's family, it will be advisable for the public to early secure these tickets of Mr J. Tindell Green and Mr Alfred Brewer, secretaries of the ticket committee, and various hotels in the town. The directors of the Football Club have kindly given permission for a section of the Volunteers to sell tickets at the match to-day, a number of them being in khaki. A pleasing incident is the fact that fifty officers and men of the Gateshead Volunteers have decided to come over from Gateshead to be present at the concert, and will appear in uniform."
Sunderland Daily Echo, Saturday 13th December 1902
THE VOLUNTEER MEMORIAL FUND.
...."At a meeting of the Volunteer Memorial Fund Committee which was held last night in the Mayor's Parlour, Town Hall, under the presidency of Coun. Kirtley, there being also present the Mayor (Coun. H. J. Turnbull), Ald. Coates, Mr C. W. P. Barker, and Mr Percival Craig, it was decided to give the balance in hand, after all expenses are paid, towards the Lawson Relief Fund. It is understood that about £80 will be added to the £100 which Mr Craig cleared out of the benefit concert given on behalf of Lawson, who is permanently disabled through the war. It was also decided to encase the memorial tablet in plate-glass."
Sunderland Daily Echo, Saturday 28th March 1903
THE CASE OF TROOPER LAWSON.
...."However much the British public may wish to forget the Boer War they do not forget those who suffered permanent injury in the war. Fortunately there were very few such cases in our own town, but that of Trooper Lawson was a particularly hard one, the shattering of whose right arm by an explosive bullet rendered him permanently unable to follow his former employment. Upwards of £100 was raised by means of a performance at the Avenue Theatre, and this was augmented by other sums from local war funds and donations of £5 from Mr C. E. Thompson and a guinea each from Dr Cunningham and Mr F. W. Flinn. Except for this latter gift no individual contributions were sought or obtained, and the trustees, who are the Mayor, the ex-Mayor, Mr Percival Craig, and Mr Tindell Green, having an opportunity of investing the fund profitably if £200 can be reached last month issued a circular with the result that about £10 was received per the Mayor (Ald. H. J. Turnbull) from the following ladies and gentlemen, whose donations the trustees gratefully acknowledge: - Briggs and Sons, £2 2s; H. S. P. Maitland, £1 1s; Tyzack and Branfoot, £1 1s; Mary A. Short, £1 1s; John Taylor and Son, £1 1s; John Blumer and Co., £1; Miss Oliver, £1; P. Lodwidge, 10s; J. S. Barwick, 10s; Cameron and Co., Ltd., 10s; Sunderland Theatres, Ltd., £2 2s. Only another £23 is required to complete the sum aimed at, and the trustees feel it requires but the facts to be known for the amount to be forthcoming."
(Sunderland Daily Echo, Saturday 6th August 1904)
Trooper William Lawson, Imperial Yeomanry - shot and partially paralysed 2 months 3 weeks ago #73462
My I.Y.cd shows quite a few "W. Lawsons". However, Palmer shows only one member of the IY who fits; "28522 Pte W. Lawson" of 15th Coy, 5th I.Y. who was severely wounded at Elandslaagte, near Klerksdorp on 25/2/1902. The 5th I.Y. had a bad day on 25/2/1902.
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Trooper William Lawson, Imperial Yeomanry - shot and partially paralysed 2 months 3 weeks ago #73464
There were several reports in the Sunderland Daily Echo of men of the Imperial Yeomanry leaving Sunderland in February and March 1901, but Lawson wasn't mentioned, nor was he in any of the Local Casualty Lists in 1902.
The Echo published a brief list of local casualties on 6th March 1902, which included "15th Company Imperial Yeomanry. - Sergeant A. T. Smith, enteric, Lichtenburg, Feb. 25th," but not Lawson.
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