John Lawrence


John Lawrence's Story

Having just looked at the Great Holland web site and the wonderful photographs etc., I thought I would share my family connections with the village.



My family originate from Great Holland as far back as 1851.  Great, Great, Grandfather  James Lawrence born 1805 Wix, North East Essex, a farm laborer,  took his family to Great Holland some time between 1841 and 1851 and lived on Clacton Road.

His son James Lawrence born 1835, a carpenter, lived next door to his father when he married Selina Gould, later they lived on The Green, then The Street. When he died they were living in Plantation Cottage Pork Lane.

His son, my grandfather Sidney Ernest Lawrence born 1892, married Anna Maria Easey and they lived at, 6 The Crescent, of which I was pleased to see the photograph of the newly built houses on your web site.  They look very different now!


Life at 'The Crescent'

 There were many of my family connections living in the Crescent and indeed surrounding close area, Bareham, Barton, Easey, Jackson, Lubbock,  the latter family kept the village Post Office which was opposite the Crescent,  the same side where the cottages  that have since been demolished and where my grandfathers brothers lived, think it was named, Main Road - they lived at number 4.  

There were four, I  seem to recall. It is a long time ago now.  I lived in the village from 1940 to 1950 and at this address.


Harvest Time

Joan Hammonds recollections of harvest time with the steam engines brings back memories and indeed Rabbits and recall my first Rabbit stew, from such an occasion.  

Steam engines did in fact attract us boys only to be told to "clear off" and keep away from the "belt " which was fascinating but now on reflection, very dangerous! This was I suppose about the mid 1940's. 


Jackson family & Other Relations

I only lived in the village for ten years but have happy memories of the place the people & family who lived there. My aunt Betty, (Philipina Lubbock) 2nd cousin really,  who married Stanley Jackson, died this year  and with her passing, another link to the village.

I have been researching our family history for the past six years in which time I have made contact with others related to our family. One being Susan Jackson, who is married to Graham Jackson, brother of Martin (who I have just discovered lives in Great Holland).

I have never met these people but we did get down to visit Betty Jackson (nee Lubbock) two years ago, when visiting my uncle James (Jim) Lawrence and his wife Dimple (Dorothy) and their son Mark, who live in Little Clacton. 

As I mentioned before, I left the village in 1950 age ten, so my recollection of things and especially people and family is a bit vague. It is only since making contact last November with  Joan Burgoyne, nee Morris, via the Essex FHS web site that I learnt a lot more about the village and the people living there. She has been researching for thirty years  and her mother, being Julia Adelaide Bareham b 1906 (married Fred Morris), is a connection to the Lawrence family and of course many others who at my time there, I did not know who they were.

Joan was also able to put me in contact with Hugh Bareham a long lost cousin and playmate. His parents were Hubert and Doris Bareham, both are buried in All Saints. Doris was my godmother. She was our Sunday school teacher and organist.  


Missing Headstone

Many years ago,  when I was in the village I found Hubert and Doris Bareham's grave with a Prayer Book headstone. A visit some time later, it could not be found and certainly on our visit  in 2006 it could not be found then either.

We were told that some had been moved or removed the latter for health and safety.   However, I learnt from Geoffrey Gray via genesreunited (as the Grays have a family connection) that he had been clearing up the church yard as your web site states. I am sure he told me the headstone had been moved and where it had been placed and sure that Hugh mentioned that he had seen it, the last time he was there.


Lost Images & Fond Memories

Sadly we are unable to trace our family Photograph album. It was passed to my aunt Jessie when Grandfather Sydney Lawrence died in 1976. When Jessie died, it disappeared. Our family Bible was given away about the same time to a charity shop which I have been trying to trace. 

Thankfully Joan Burgoyne had some interesting photos of my aunts and other children on the village green, they are not of good quality as they appear to have been copied from a newspaper or such.

Also one of the village band with my grandfather and his brother Bertie Lawrence and some other family members. Joan told me of a book that contained photographs of the village and people, Walton and Frinton a Pictorial History. The village band taken earlier than the newspaper copy, appears with a younger grandfather and brother. 

It was also interesting to see a photograph of the village heroes, one person shown being Herbert Digby, son of my great, great aunt Elizabeth Digby (nee Lawrence)  


Aunt Betty was living in the end house next door to the old Post Office when I left the village. During the war her husband Stan, kept a pig in the back garden! Something I have never forgotten. is a very interesting web site, which I will look at often for future updates.  I Hope to get down that way later this year to visit Uncle in Little Clacton, when no doubt we will take a tour round Great Holland and All Saints church.

If anyone can add colour to these memories (and perhaps even has a photo or two) I would be delighted to hear from you.


John Lawrence


Contact John at :


Post Script :

Sixty-Two years before the current ‘Millennium seat’ was placed on the Village Green – this wooden seat was in place for the residents to enjoy.


John Lawrence has discovered a Newspaper clipping from 1938 showing his youthful Aunts : Jessie and Winnie.


The Names at the top of the Photo Read :

Winnie Lawrence, Raymond Walton, Stella Wheeler, Dennis (Tubby) North, Jessie Lawrence

Bottom : Hubert (Jumbo) Bareham, Dennis Wildney



John Says  “Whilst I’m sure the bench is no longer there, this is a photograph from a newspaper cutting taken about 1938 of my aunts Winnie and Jessie Lawrence on the seat Gt Holland Green) passed to me by courtesy of Joan Burgoyne. 



2012 Post Post Script : Re Steller Wheeler (photograph above.)


Charles Hickling spotted John's phortograph and emailed the website to add this additional information :


"The Stella Wheeler in the photograph, showing a number of children at Great Holland Essex in 1938, is my mother, now in her 83rd year and living in Mansfield Notts.


I can recall visiting Uncle Stan and Aunty Betty ( my mum's cousin) and their sons Graham and Martin at Great Holland as a child.

My grandmother, Gladys Wheeler (nee Bareham) was widowed in 1940 and never remarried, she died in 1992 aged 89 years.

I recall her talking about her brother Hubert and sisters, Florence and Mabel."





John Lawrence also supplied a Photograph of the Gt Holland Brass Band (below - also courtesy of Joan Burgoyne) taken about 1908.


The known names of  band members from left to right from back row.”


1. Unknown. 2. Unknown. 3. Unknown. 4. Unknown. 5. Frederick Bareham (married my great aunt Philipina Lawrence)  6. Unknown. 7. Unknown.8. Unknown. 9. Sidney Ernest Lawrence (my grandfather) 10. Thought to be Harry Lawrence (John) brother of Sidney Lawrence. 11. Fred Oxley. 12. George Cuthbert. 13. Tom Chaplin. 14. Son of 13, Albert Chaplin. 15. Unknown. 16. Unknown. 17. Unknown. 18.Unknown. 19.James Digby (son of my great, great aunt Elizabeth Lawrence  and James Digby) 20. Unknown. 21 Bertie Lawrence (Bert) brother of my grandfather Sidney Lawrence. 22. Unknown. 23. Mr Manning, Band Master. 24. Nat Barton, not come across him to date but maybe related Florence Barton, who married my great Uncle Arththur Lawrence, brother of my grandfather Sidney Lawrence. 25. Will (Sunny) Sadler. 26. Hubert Bareham, son of Frederick Bareham, back row  fifth from left.




If you can fill in any of the missing names – we’d love to hear from you.


John is still keen to hear from anyone who may have known his family or have stories to share.