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Those Who Came After The Original 500

Edward Lawlor Regt # 477
Donated by Michael J. Laurie

Michael Laurie writes:

Being seventy years of age and having been born and raised at St Thomas, (the name was changed from Horse Cove in the April l922 edition of the Newfoundland Gazette), I can assure you that there was no Edward Lawlor of Horse Cove, Nfld., serving in the First Five Hundred of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment.
There was no Edward Lawlor of that age in Horse Cove which had then less than 20 houses. Later, two Edward Lawlors were born; Edward son of Martin Lawlor and Mary Whelan, who would be 90 now if living and my father's second cousin and the present Edward Lawlor, son of Patrick Lawlor and of Mary Josephine Squires and who is still living there at 75 years of age.
His uncles John Lawlor and Andrew Lawlor served in the Royal Navy during WW I and were the only Lawlors to serve from Horse Cove in WW I. All but one person, Druken, who was shot and killed in battle, from Horse Cove volunteered in the Navy as they were fishermen and knew the sea and small boats at that time.

The person who served was Edward Lawrie whose number was 477. He went overseas with the Blue Puttees but since he and Cecil Mercer, Sr. then of Mundy Pond area of St John's, were too big to have uniforms (Mercer was 6 feet 5 inches and Lawrie though about 6 feet 1 inch was strong, not fat, but around 240 lbs, having been working on a wheelbarrow at the Newfoundland Railway for a couple of years before enlisting voluntarily.
Upon arrival in England, both Lawrie and Mercer were interviewed by officers of the Royal Navy and with their approval and that of the Commanding Officer of the Newfoundland Regiment, both Lawrie and Mercer were remustered into the Royal Navy forthwith. The Navy had uniforms for them.

Lawrie who was a double first cousin to my father, and whose parents had died in l895 and l903 respectively, listed his Uncle Jim and Aunt Ellen's house at Horse Cove as his home and which it was always (two Emberley sisters of Joe Batt's Arm married two brothers James and Herbert Lowry).

Ed Lawrie signed on in the Royal Navy for one year which was the custom and policy at that time. He was back in Newfoundland in l9l5 but still in uniform. While home Archbishop Ashley was engaged that year in laying the cornerstone of the new church being Holy Rosary at Portugal Cove, Newfoundland. Upon noticing Laure in naval uniform in the crowd, HIS Grace called upon him to lay the stone actually and used the occasion to encourage more young Catholics to join His Majesty's Forces. At that time, then Sir later First Baron Edward Patrick Morris was Prime Minister of Newfoundland and Sir Edward's aunt Bridget Morris of Waterford, Ireland originially, married Richard Emberley of Fogo Island, Newfoundland who converted to Catholicism with her upon their marriage. The same Richard Emberley was the great grandfather of Edward Lawrie. Philip Laure who is receiving a copy of this letter, still has Lawrie's naval hat box and his name is etched in its top as "Edward Lawrie." Laurie spend three weeks leave in Horse Cove and then re-enlisted in the Royal Navy for the duration of World War I. Never having tasted tobacco nor liquor, Lawrie spent some time in Gallipoli with the AnZacs and later was chosen to box and came to be the Naval Champion in Britain.

After the war, he returned to Newfoundland and resumed work at the Newfoundland Dock of the Newfoundland Railway. He remained there till retired in l955 with the Canadian National Railways having served 44 years including his naval time during WW I. Edward Lawrie as his name was spelled during WW I, went to night school and by the time his children completed high school, he did so as well. He had no formal education when serving in the Royal Navy. He spelt his surname as "Laurie" as did all near and extended Laurie family members for the past seventy years. St Thomas is now a part of the Town of Paradise and there is one family there today who spells its name as "Lawrie." They are not of any relation having migrated here from Ontario two score years ago or thereabouts.

During the period leading up to l925, records and deeds spell our family's surname as Lowry mainly but the census of l921 list us as "Lowrey" and Edward's brother Herbert working on Bell Island as "Herbert Laurie" for the first time officially.

For some reason unkown to me, the spelling of the name came to be standardized after that time, though an error occurred and I ended up being born in December, l934 with birth certificates in both names and of which I learned about only a couple of years ago. Seary was quite wrong about our name and he did not learn that the several spellings included the same family which settled Horse Cove about l8l0..

As a policy of the Newfoundland Railway Edward married Florence Vale and they bought a home at l89 Craigmillar Avenue, St John's, NF.(Railway gave mortgages to its employees to buy houses on Craigmillar Avenue and hence were called "the Railway Houses" or "the Railway Range" on the south side of Craigmillar Avenue, St John's, NL).

They had five daughters and one son Herbert who died at age six years. Though Edward and his wife and second-youngest daughter Kathleen Laurie are dead, all of the other girls are living in St John's and Edward's matrimonial home at Craigmillar is still occupied by two of his children. His lands at St Thomas are also owned by his children and grandchildren.

Please add the above to the appropriate page so that researchers are not sent astray. At least, they will have this information to accept or reject; the choice is theirs but I can evidence the foregoing to be true in any court of law yet.

Yours very truly,

Michael J. Laurie, B.A., LL.B.,
Retired Barrister and Solicitor,
Strathlaurie House,
48 Main Street, P.O. Box 61,
Wabana, Bell Island, NL A0A 1H0
Tel (709) 488-3818
Michael J. Laurie


553 St Thomas Line,
St Thomas, NL A0A 1C7
Tel (709) 895-2163

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