680865 PTE S. LAWSON. R.F.A.
Septimus Lawson was born on 22 March 1879 at Coupe Green, Walton Le Dale. His father was James Lawson (b. 1844 in Walton Le Dale), a dairy farmer. His mother was Ellen Jane Baldwin (b. 1845 in Walton Le Dale). James and Ellen were married in 1868 and they had 9 children, but 2 died young. Their children were: John (b. 1870), William (b. 1871), Thomas (b. 1874), Richard (b. 1876), Peter (b. 1877), Septimus (b. 1879), Margaret (b. 1882), and Joseph (b. 1888).
Septimus was a cotton weaver, like all his siblings. In 1902, he married Ada Darwen (b. 1880 in Bamber Bridge), and the couple had 3 children – James (b. 1904), Elzabeth (b. 1907) and Thomas (b. 1907). In 1911, they lived at 39 Brownedge Lane.
Septimus enlisted in the Royal Field Artillery. His service number was 680865. From this we know that he served with “C” Battery of 286 Brigade – my great-uncle Tom Brierley was 680873 so the two of them must have enlisted on the same day, in May 1915. So Septimus was 36 years old when he enlisted. Given he was married with a young family he could no doubt have deferred his service, but he signed up nevertheless. He landed in France in February 1917 and fought first in the defence of Armentières, then later that year in the final phase of the Second Battle of Passchendaele. In 1918, he fought in the Battle of the Lys and also in the final advance, including the capture of Cambrai, and then ending the War near Lille.
Septimus would have been demobilised in the spring of 1919. He came back to Bamber Bridge and in 1921, he and Ada had another child: Joseph. They had at least one other child but I don’t know the name. Some time later, the family moved to Derby where Septimus worked as an artificial silk weaver. He died in Derby in 1955.
Ada, his wife, was a cousin of James and Robert Darwen who were both killed in the War.