Trench art bracelet : Sergeant C Lawrence, 1 Division Engineers, AIF

Accession Number REL30301
Collection type Heraldry
Object type Trench Art
Physical description Brass
Location Main Bld: First World War Gallery: Western Front 1916: Behind the Lines
Maker Lawrence, Cyril Oscar
Place made France
Date made 1916; 1919
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918

Brass trench art bracelet made from a German shell. The bracelet takes the form of an outline of Australia and two circling bands with a hooked fastening. Engraved on the reverse of the outline is 'FRANCE 1916 SGT. C.LAWRENCE 1/A.I.F. BRASS FROM GERMAN SHELL'.

History / Summary

Made by Sergeant Cyril Lawrence for his sister Clarice. The engraving on the reverse was added after he returned to Australia. Lawrence was born in New Zealand in 1889 and emigrated to Australia with his family around 1909. Lawrence worked as an engineer and enlisted in 1914 as a sapper with 5 Field Company Engineers. He served on Gallipoli with 2 Field Coy Engineers and was promoted to Sergeant. After the evacuation, Lawrence was sent to the Western Front and served with 1 Division Engineers. By 1917 he had been promoted to Lieutenant and was serving with 1 Field Company Engineers. He received the Military Cross for his participation in operations along the Menin Road near Ypres in September of that year. He was also recommended for the Military Cross for an operation in October 1917. Lawrence embarked for return to Australia on 24 January 1919 and continued to serve with the Australian Military Forces while pursuing his engineering career. He served first with the 2/3 Pioneer Battalion and was then transferred to the Royal Australian Engineers. In March 1937 he was promoted to lieutenant colonel commanding 4 Division Engineers. He was called to full time duty in 1941 and appointed Chief Engineer, 3 Australian Corps and temporary colonel in April 1942. He volunteered for the AIF in July 1942 and was promoted to temporary brigadier. He remained at that rank as Chief Engineer Headquarters, 3 Australian Corps until he retired in June 1944. From 1945 to 1950 he was the Chief Administration Officer for the Department of Post War Reconstruction and from 1950 until his retirement in 1956 he worked for the Snowy Mountains Authority. He moved to South Africa to be with his family in the 1970s and died in 1981.