The child of Edward Lawrence (a general builders labourer) and Mabel Waterman, Edward Lawrence, the first cousin once-removed on the mother's side of Nigel Horne, was born at St Lawrence, Thanet, Kent, England on Oct 21, 19071,2, was baptized there on Nov 24, 1907.
During his life, he was living at 2 Clifton Road, St Lawrence, Thanet on Apr 2, 19114 and at Grosvenor Road, Ramsgate, Kent in 1932.
He died c. Feb 1990 in Thanet1. He served in the military in 1926 (royal Artillery. Army number 772756).
Thanet Advertiser 21 Jul 1923: "The Cycle Suffered."A collision occurred in King-street, Ramsgate, on Tuesday, shortly after noon, between a motor car driven by Mr. Harry Barnes, a visitor, and a bicycle ridden by Edward Douglas Lawrence, a newsboy. The bicycle was badlydamaged, but the rider was unhurt.". Thanet Advertiser 2 Feb 1932: MENACE TO SOCIETY
YOUNG MOTOR THIEF SENTENCED
A story related at Ramsgate Police Court on Monday of the skill and ingenuity of a young man who was described as a "menace to society," opened in a London street and has its final chapter in a prison cell.
The intermediate chapters deal with the thefts of a number of motor cycles and give an insight into the workings of a brain which, as a result of being put to the wrong use, is now confined behind iron bars.
The store was related during the hearing of the adjourned ease against James Arthur Evans, aged 23, of Fair-light-avenue, and Edward Douglas Lawrence, aged 24, of Grosvenor-road, who were charged with being concerned together in stealing aRoyal Enfield motor cycle, value £45, on 19th December last.
Defendants made their first appearance before the magistrates on 27th January, when the Chief Constable (Mr. B. F. Butler) said there was a possibility of further developments and asked for a remand in custody while further enquiries were made.
On Monday defendants were further charged with being concerned together in:" (1) Stealing six chickens, value 24s., from a fowl house at the rear of the Rose Inn, High-street, St. Lawrence, between 1st and 2nd December; and (2) Breaking into the Bridge Stores, Whitehall-road, Newington, on 28th December, and stealing a three-valve wireless set and a number of component parts to the total value of £4 4s. 3d.
An Eloquent Plea
An eloquent appeal for leniency made by Mr. E C. Allfree resulted in Lawrence. for whose defense he appeared, being bound overly as it was the first time he has been in trouble. Evans, who has twice been placed on probation, was described bythe Chairman (the Mayor, Alderman C. Nixon) as " a menace to society," as a result of the skill and ingenuity he showed in making alterations to the stolen motor cycles and was sentenced to six months bard labor. There was a tense moment before Evans was removed from the dock. His sister, who described him as "a good boy," called out " Never mind, Jimmy, show them you're not "yellow like the other one."
When the case was called Detective. Sgt. Pettey said that in consequence of a complaint being received on 19th December enquiries were made. At four o'clock on the afternoon of 26th January, he saw Evans at the Police Station in company with Detective Constable Cuckney.
Evans made a statement in which he said he was in Turner-street at 7 o'clock on the evening of 19th December, when they saw a Royal Enfield motor cycle. They decided to go for a ride on it and Lawrence drove while be sat on the back. They took the motor cycle home before going to London to look for work. Later they hid the machine behind some bushes at Newington while the number plates were altered and the number on the engine scratched off.
Detective Stg. Pettey continued that he saw Lawrence at his home at half-past four the same afternoon and told him that there was a man in custody at the Police Station for stealing a motor cycle.
Licence Stolen From Car
At the Police Station he showed Lawrence a copy of the statement made by Evans. Lawrence made a statement in corroboration of that made by Evans and said he was present when the number plates were altered.
Later when they were charged with the offense Evans said he did not want to say anything. Later be said the charge was correct except, that he rode the motor cycle first. Lawrence sai, "Leave it as it is."
Cross-examined by Mr. Allfree Detective-Sgt. Pettey said he had known Lawrence for some time and he had never been in trouble before. He knew that he had been in the Army and that he had received his discharge in February,1930 with a good character.
Mr. Allfree went on to read extracts from Lawrence's conduct book, in which he was described as "honest, sober and a willing worker."
Detective Sgt. Pettey agreed that until he had to investigate the charges against Lawrence he knew nothing against his character.
The Chief Constable asked permission to reduce the charge of breaking and entering to one of larceny and defendants pleaded guilty to the three charges and asked the magistrates to take the second and third into consideration.
The Chief Constable said he wanted the magistrates to take a number of other matters into consideration at the same time. The matters he was referring to concerned Evans only. On 9th November he stole a Velocette motor cycle, value £30 fromCannon-road. and on 23rd January he took a license off Mr. Costerton's motorcar. The Margate police asked for a charge of stealing an Ariel motorcycle value £30 to be taken into consideration also.
The Velocette motor cycle was subsequently found abandoned on some waste land off the main Canterbury-road. It was in a deplorable condition and the alterations which bad been carried out were so extensive that it was very difficult to recognize it. The Yelocette was found on 20th December, the day after the Royal Enfield was stolen from Turner-street.
Astute London Policemen
The Royal Enfield was seen in the possession of Evans in London on 25th January and they were indebted to the astuteness of two Metropolitan Policemen for his capture. The officers noticed that the number plates appeared to have been altered so when he stepped near them they examined the road fund license.
They found that the license had been taken off a Morris Cowley car and altered so that the numbers corresponded with those on the machine. The license gave the make of the machine as a B.S.A. When the officers questioned him, Evans said hisname was Jack Roberts. As they were not satisfied they took him into custody and as a result of a communication Detective-Constable Cuckney went to London and brought him to Ramsgate.
The machine had been altered to such an extent that it was only after the most minute examination that the police were able to recognize it as a Royal Enfield. The Ariel had been treated in the same way. Evans' brother-in-law, who was appearing at the same time charged with stealing a motor cycle, had allowed parts of the machine to be interchanged so in all four machines had been disguised by a system of painting overly the bright parts, brightening the dull parts and interchanging parts.
Referring to the other charges, the Chief Constable acid Mr. C. English. the owner of the stolen fowls, said a considerable number more were missing, while the wireless set, which had also altered, was found at the house been where Evans was living with his sister.
It was quite true that Lawrence had not been in trouble before. He had lived in the town for some time end had been employed by various tradesmen. Since he left the Army he was employed as a conductor by the East Kent Road Car Co. for six months. Since then he had been out of work.
Evans came to Ramsgate in 1920. In 1925 he was charged with breaking into the County Rink and stealing a box of chocolates. He was then bound overly for two years. The next year he was charged with again breaking into the County Rink and wasbound overly a further period of a year to date from the conclusion of the first period probation. He had been away from Ramsgate for some time and returned in July, 1931. He had been unemployed since he returned and had been drawing 15s. a week dole.
In the course of an eloquent appeal to the magistrates to deal leniently with his client, Mr. Allfree said Lawrence found himself for the first time in his life in a very serious position. Until now he had led a blameless I and be bad a good Army character.
A Blessing In Disguise
"He is at a very critical time his career," said Mr. Allfree. "His whole life may be marred or made by the view you take of this case. I hope that this case will prove a blessing him for it has pulled him up before he has gone too far downthe road crime. It may be to his good that has been charged here with these the offenses. It will be if you can see your way clear to bind him overly."
Mr. Allfree went on to point out that although there were there charges against Lawrence the offenses had been committed within a short period. He had only known Evans write December and he had been led astray by him.
"If you commit him to prison it will not only mean that he will serve the sentence you decide upon," said Mr. Allfree. "Apart from the punishment you give him it will have the effect of branding him as a criminal for the rest of his life. You may feel that he deserves a term of imprisonment, but it will not end there. Whatever he seeks to do it must come oot that he has been to prison for theft."
Mr. Allfree added that Lawrence's father was in court and he and another gentleman were prepared to act as sureties for him if the magistrates could see their way to bind him overly.
Evans' sister, who had previously interjected that she wanted to say something, was given an opportunity to give evidence about her brother's character. She said he was a good boy and had been led into what he had done by Lawrence.
Announcing the decision of the magistrates, the Mayor said it was obvious from the evidence that Evans was a menace to society. He has shown great skill and ingenuity in making alterations from one machine to another and he would be set tohard labor for six months. He had had two chances before and had thrown them aside.
Turning to Lawrence, the Mayor said he would have served himself and his country better if he had remained the Army. Taking all the circumstances into consideration, the magistrates had decided to bind him overly for two years in three sureties.
The Chief Constable asked that it might be a condition of the probation that Lawrence was not to associate with Evans when he came out and the Mayor agreed that the condition should be made.
The Mayor concluded by saying that a word of commendation should said for the two London policemen who had apprehended Evans and so made it possible for the whole story to be related.
The Chief Constable promised to see that the commendations were passed on to the proper quarter.
1939 UK register information missing
Location for the event on 1926 is empty
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