Lawrence De Gray


Oct 11, 1887

Born in Fort Covington, New York, USA to John and Margaret Sarah (nee Benn) De Gray


Nov 23, 1907

Married to Edith Laviolette in Cornwall, Ontario


Dec 8, 1915

Attested into the 154th Battalion CEF in Cornwall, Ontario 

Ø      Number 633006

Ø      Next of kin given as Edith De Gray, wife, Cornwall, Ontario

Ø      Previous occupation given as Gardiner

Ø      Previous military experience given as 8 years in the 59th Regiment, Canadian Militia

Ø      Religion given as Roman Catholic 

On enlisting he stated that he had a son, Lawrence Kelvin, age 9 years and a daughter, Edith Estelle, age 2 years


Oct 25, 1916

Embarked the SS Mauretania in Halifax, Nova Scotia


Oct 31, 1916

Disembarked in Liverpool, England and the battalion proceeded to Bramshott to continue training


Nov 21, 1916

Promoted to the rank of Lance Corporal


Jan 31, 1917

The 154th Battalion was absorbed into the newly formed 6th Reserve Battalion in East Sandling.  Shortly after the formation of the battalion, it moved to Seaford


Feb 27, 1917

Attended a Medical Board at Shorncliffe with Synovitis in his right knee.  The board notes that he fractured the knee cap while playing hockey in February, 1916.  There is no note in the service file to indicate the date, or where treatment was given. 

The board recommends light duties for 2 weeks


Apr 5, 1917

Granted permission to be revert to the rank of private in order to proceed to a fighting battalion


Apr 17, 1917

Transferred to the 21st Battalion


Apr 18, 1917

Arrived at the CBD (Canadian Base Depot) in the Rouelles Camp, Havre, France as part of a draft of 85 reinforcements from England and TOS (Taken On Strength) the 21st Battalion


Apr 21, 1917

Left the CBD and joined the 21st Battalion in the close support trenches east of Vimy Ridge


Aug 15, 1917

During the battalion’s preparations for the attack on Hill 70, Private De Gray was killed by an enemy artillery shell.  He was buried in a field near Hill 70 and his grave was recorded.  When the war ended and the Imperial Graves Commission was relocating the battlefield burials into proper cemeteries, Private De Gray’s remains could not be found.  This was most likely the result of heavy artillery shelling in the area.  As a result of not having a known grave, he is honoured on the Canadian National Vimy Ridge Memorial, Vimy Ridge, France.

He is named on the family grave marker in the St. Columbian’s Cemetery in Cornwall, Ontario

Following the war the British War Medal, Victory Medal, Plaque (Dead Man’s Penny), Scroll and Memorial Cross were sent to his widow, Mrs. Edith De Gray, PO Box 370 Cornwall, Ontario

A second Memorial Cross was sent to his mother, Mrs. John De Gray, c/o Mrs. Edith De Gray, at the same address.

From the Vancouver Province newspaper, September 10, 1917


Private Lawrence De Gray is also honoured on the
Cornwall, Ontario War Memorial


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