Lt. Lawrence, Gordon Highlander

Portrait: Lt. Lawrence

‘The drawing of Lieutenant Lawrence, according to the Gordon Highlanders’ Museum, may be Lieutenant James Forbes Lawrence serving with the 2nd Battalion Gordon Highlanders in Singapore. He was posted to Singapore in November 1941 (just before the war in the Pacific started).

His home was in Hertfordshire in the south of England and he had a ‘War Emergency’ commission.

Lieutenant Lawrence was a POW in Changi in 1942 and he was subsequently sent to Thailand to work on the infamous Thai-Burma Railway in October 1942 or April 1943.

In September 1944 he was taken to Japan and en-route, survived the sinking of his ship by US planes.

Lieutenant Lawrence survived the war.’

‘Generally, the 2nd Battalion The Gordon Highlanders was captured after the Japanese took Singapore in February 1942. Despite this loss, the Gordons were well represented as British forces fought back against the Japanese in Burma. Two Battalions, the 8th and the 9th, saw action, but not as infantry. The 8th was converted to an Artillery Regiment, while the 9th became an Armoured Regiment.’

Source: The  Gordon Highlanders’ Museum, Viewfield Road, Aberdeen, Scotland, AB15 7XH

With a proud military history dating back to 1794, Winston Churchill stated ‘they are the finest regiment that ever was.’

In Singapore the home of the 2nd Battalion of the Gordon Highlanders was Selarang Barracks.

Source: The Forgotten Highlander, pg 29 & 52, by Alistair Urquhart.