Second Lieutenant Frank Henry Reginald LAWSON
Royal Buckinghamshire Hussars
Date of birth: 1892
Date of death: 18 November 1916
Took his own life aged 24
Buried Kensal Green ‘All Souls’ Cemetery.
Frank Henry was born in Paddington, the son of Frank and Mary Comber Lawson.
His mother who was born Mary Comber Fortey in Madras in 1857, came to London to study the piano. She married, as his second wife, the renowned composer and conductor, Sir Julius Benedict who was 53 years older than her and died in 1885. [There is a Blue Plaque to him in Manchester Square, London.]
Frank and Mary Lawson married in February 1886. They had three sons; Lionel died in a fire at Eton College on 1 June 1903 when he was 14, Reginald owned Saltwood Castle in Kent and died before 1934, and Frank. She died in July 1911.
Frank’s grandfather was Lionel Lawson born Levy, who was printer for the Daily Telegraph in the 1860’s. He made a fortune, was part owner of The Star & Garter at Richmond, and built the Gaiety Theatre in 1864. He died in 1879, leaving “under £900,000”. Lionel’s nephew became the 1st Lord Burnham.
In 1901, Frank was at school at 4 Sussex Square, Brighton. In 1911, he was living with his mother at 8 Cromwell Place, London, described as an army student. Also at home was his half brother, Albert E J.W.S Benedict, ten years older, and several servants.
On 27 October 1914, Frank was gazetted as Temporary Second Lieutenant in the Royal Buckinghamshire Hussars, his half brother Albert was in the same regiment. Frank died in Norfolk in 1915, shot “accidentally” by his own hand.
From the place and time of death it is understood that Lt Lawson was in the 2/1st Royal Bucks Hussars. There is a very full record of the services of the 2/1st RBH officers and men in the Centre for Bucks Studies under reference D206 (AR 138/1994). He may have initially joined the 3/1st RBH for which there is also a full record of service details among TA 3/38-56 (AR 69/1987).
His death is registered at Fakenham on 18 November 1914. He took his own life by his own revolver. In the Probate Records his address is shown as 104a Park Street, Grosvenor Square. His Effects amounted to £94 5s 5d, Probate was granted to his father.