Heritage Guide to The Geelong College

Search the Guide

To find information in this Guide please select one of the green coloured options.

To Select a Page Group when displayed, right click and select 'Open'.

Copyright Conditions Apply.

ENGLAND, Laurence Wylfred (1896-1916) +

ENGLAND, Laurence Wylfred (1896-1916)

L W England (War Service)

L W England (War Service)

Laurence Wylfred England was born on 1 October 1896 in Melbourne, the son of Gilbert Edward England and Mary nee Webb of Comara, Retreat Road, Newtown.

He was educated at Geelong College for five years from 1908.

Known as ‘Fred’ he went on to Longerenong Agricultural College, and subsequently returned to Geelong. At the time of his enlistment (No 2146) on 12 April 1915 he was studying Marine Engineering at the Gordon Technical College. He embarked on 25 June 1915 on HMAT A40 Ceramic for Gallipoli, being wounded there on 7 August 1915, requiring evacuation to Egypt, where he was hospitalised at Lustapha. He rejoined his unit with the 5th Battalion on Christmas Day 1915, prior to embarkation for France where he was wounded and posted ‘missing’ at Pozieres on 25 July 1916 after the Battle of Pozieres.

His sister made enquiries of the Red Cross Information Bureau to ascertain the circumstances of his death and, from men who were serving beside him, she learned that he was killed by a shell at Pozieres on 25 July 1916. Pegasus of May 1918 reported, ‘Private advices from Chaplain-Captain Neville state that he lies with many others just at the site of The Windmill at Pozieres, where the heaviest fighting took place. England was only 20 years old at the time of his death’. The plaque at the site reads, ‘The ruin of Pozieres Windmill which lies here was the centre of the struggle in this part of the Somme battlefield in July and August, 1916. It was captured on 4 August by Australian troops who fell more thickly on this ridge than on any other battlefield of the war.’ This is the site of the Memorial to the First Division.

Driver V Ferguson reported to the Red Cross Information Bureau:
‘It is reported and well-known in the Battalion that England was killed at Pozieres and buried between La Boiselle and Pozieres.’

England’s grave could not be found by the Grave Registration Unit at war’s end, therefore his name is commemorated on the Villers Bretonneux Memorial.

His older brother, Gilbert George England, (3340 WO Class 1) served with 29 Battalion, prior to his transfer to the clerical section, Headquarters Staff.

Sources: Based on an edited extract from Geelong Collegians at the Great War compiled by James Affleck. pp34-35 (citing Australian War Memorial; Pegasus May 1918; Photo Pegasus May 1918.)
© The Geelong College. Unless otherwise attributed, The Geelong College asserts its creative and commercial rights over all images and text used in this publication. No images or text material may be copied, reproduced or published without the written authorisation of The College.