|Date of Birth||March 1, 1895|
|Place of Birth||Moncton, New Brunswick|
|Next of Kin||Harvey Atkinson, father, Stewiacke, Nova Scotia|
|Trade / Calling||Trackman|
|Service Record||Link to Service Record|
|Battalion||10th (Halifax) Siege Battery|
|Force||Canadian Expeditionary Force|
|Branch||Canadian Field Artillery|
|Enlisted / Conscripted||Conscripted|
|Address at Enlistment||Stewiacke, Nova Scotia|
|Date of Enlistment||April 25, 1918|
|Age at Enlistment||23|
|Theatre of Service||Great Britain|
|Prisoner of War||No|
|Date of Death||December 13, 1970|
|Age at Death||76|
|Buried At||Lake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario|
Lawrence Edward Atkinson was born on 1 March 1895 in Moncton, New Brunswick. His father Harvey Alexander (Harry) Atkinson was from Shediac, New Brunswick while his mother Alice Gertrude Kennedy had been born in the States, her parents also from New Brunswick. The 1891 census found the family living in Moncton where Harvey was working as a labourer. Children born to the family in New Brunswick were George (1888-1951), Percy Arthur (1891-1918), Bertha Lillian (1893-1963), Lawrence, and Dora Blanche (1897-1983). By the time of son Alvin Kennedy’s birth in 1900 the family had relocated to Lower (East) Stewiacke in Nova Scotia. The 1901 census listed Harvey’s occupation as a fireman at the mill while in 1911 his occupation was given as a lumberman at the mill. Other children born in East Stewiacke were Chesley (1903-1916), Edith Gertrude (1909-1988), and Evelyn May (1914).
With the onset of conscription in the latter part of the war, Lawrence signed his recruitment papers on 25 April 1918 in Halifax. His occupation was given as trackman and his father Harvey in Stewiacke as next of kin. He had blue eyes and light black hair. First assigned to the 1st Depot Battalion Nova Scotia Regiment, Lawrence embarked for England aboard the Nellore with the 110th Draft to the 10th (Halifax) Siege Battery that August.
Upon arrival in England on 15 August, Lawrence was taken on strength with the Reserve Brigade, Canadian Field Artillery at Witley. He was on command to Frensham Pond until early October when he was transferred to the Canadian Machine Gun Depot at Seaford where he was to serve until July of 1919. He embarked from Tilbury for Canada on 6 September and was discharged from service on 20 September in Halifax.
Lawrence’s brother Percy signed his recruitment papers on 3 January 1918 in Port Arthur, Ontario with the 1st Depot Battalion Manitoba Regiment. He too had blue eyes and black hair and gave his father Harvey back in Nova Scotia as next of kin. He arrived in England aboard the Cretic on 4 March and went overseas to join the 43rd Battalion in June. He sustained a gunshot wound to the thigh that August, rejoining the 43rd Battalion on 21 September. Just days later, on 28 September, Percy was reported as killed in action. With no known grave, he is commemorated on the Vimy Memorial, Pas de Calais, France.
Not a lot is known about Lawrence’s whereabouts after the war. By the time of the 1921 census Harvey, Gertrude and some of the children had moved to nearby Truro although Lawrence was not with them. By the 1940’s he was living in northwestern Ontario, farming about 25 kilometres north of Dryden at Richan. During WW2 Lawrence enlisted on 14 April 1941 in Port Arthur, Ontario. He served in the UK until he was discharged as physically unfit on 8 January 1942. In March of 1963 Lawrence became a resident of Pinecrest Home for the Aged in Kenora.
Lawrence died on 13 December 1970 at the Lake of the Woods District Hospital in Kenora. He was predeceased by his mother Alice in 1938, his father Harvey in 1948, and some of his siblings, most interred in the Pine Grove Cemetery in East Stewiacke. Lawrence was interred in an unmarked grave in the Lake of the Woods Cemetery in Kenora, a grave marker provided by Last Post Fund in 2019.
By Judy Stockham