Henry Merrick Lawson

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Sir Henry Merrick Lawson
LAWSON HM portrait 23021933 1qaa1.jpg
A photograph of Sir Henry Merrick Lawson taken sometime in February 1933
Born 30 January 1859
Died 2 November 1933 (aged 74)
Allegiance United Kingdom United Kingdom
Service/branch Flag of the British Army.svg British Army
Rank Lieutenant General
Unit Second Boer War
World War I
Commands held 13th Infantry Brigade
2nd Division
Guernsey and Alderney
Northern Command
Awards Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath

Lieutenant General Sir Henry Merrick Lawson KCB (30 January 1859 – 2 November 1933) was a British Army General during World War I.

Military career[edit]

Educated at Cheltenham College and the Royal Military Academy Woolwich, Lawson was commissioned into the Royal Engineers in 1877.[1]

He took part in the Suakin Expedition and Nile Expedition in 1884 and served in the Egyptian Army during the Sudan Campaign in 1898.[1] He served in the Second Boer War between 1899 and 1902 and then became Director of Movements and Quarterings at the War Office in 1904.[1] He was appointed Commander of 13th Infantry Brigade in Dublin in 1906 and Major-General in charge of Administration for Aldershot Command in 1907.[1]

Sir Henry Lawson

He became General Officer Commanding 2nd Division in 1910 and Lieutenant Governor of Guernsey and Alderney in 1914.[1] He went on to be Deputy Chief of the Imperial General Staff in November 1914,[2] General Officer Commanding-in-Chief for Northern Command in 1915 and then went into "Special Service" at the front in 1916.[1] He was critical that too many men were doing "soft jobs" in the War and thereby encouraged the formation of the Women's Auxiliary Army Corps.[3] Finally he was Inspector General of Communications for the Italian Expeditionary Force from 1917 to 1918; he retired in 1921.[1]

Political career[edit]

Lawson was twice a Parliamentary candidate for the Liberal Party. At the 1922 general election he stood in the constituency of Portsmouth South in a straight fight losing against sitting Conservative MP Herbert Cayzer. Soon after, Cayzer resigned through ill-health and when the new Tory MP Leslie Orme Wilson also resigned on his appointment as Governor of Bombay, Lawson was pressed back into service by the local Liberal Association. His opponent in the by-election, which took place on 13 August 1923, was none other than Herbert Kayser, health clearly recovered.[4] Lawson's campaign, while not returning him to Parliament, reduced the Conservative majority from 5,867 to 2,121.[5]


In 1912 he married Lady Wilma, daughter of the 5th Earl of Radnor, and widow of 2nd Earl of Lathom.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Great War Forum
  2. ^ Army Commands
  3. ^ Spartacus
  4. ^ The Times, 6 August 1923 p10
  5. ^ F W S Craig, British Parliamentary Election Results 1918-1949; Political Reference Publications, Glasgow, 1969 p219

External links[edit]

Military offices
Preceded by
Theodore Stephenson
General Officer Commanding the 2nd Division
February 1910– August 1914
Succeeded by
Charles Monro
Government offices
Preceded by
Sir Edward Hamilton
Lieutenant Governor of Guernsey
Succeeded by
Sir Reginald Hart
Military offices
Preceded by
New Post
Deputy Chief of the Imperial General Staff
November 1914 – January 1915
Succeeded by
Sir Archibald Murray
Preceded by
Sir Herbert Plumer
GOC-in-C Northern Command
Succeeded by
Sir John Maxwell