Laurence Grant Robertson was born in London on 5th May 1877 to William and Mary Robertson. He had two elder brothers — William Alexander and Norman Cairns — who both attended Westminster school before him.
When Laurence arrived at the school in May 1891 he, like his brothers, was assigned to Homeboarders, the house for non-boarding pupils.
After leaving the school in April 1895, Laurence trained as a chartered accountant and worked for the Local Government Board as a member of the District Audit Staff.
In February 1915, he obtained a commission as 2nd Lieutenant in the Army Ordinance Department, which had responsibility for equipment, ammunition and clothing. However, the Elizabethan notes that “he did not consider that he was doing sufficiently active work” and so requested to be transferred to the King’s Own Scottish Borderers in July 1915. He landed with them at Boulogne-sur-Mer in July 1915 and fought at the Battle of Loos the following September.
He was killed in action at Delville Wood in the Battle of the Somme, France, on 30th July 1916 at the age of 36.
This chalk drawing by William Roberts shows British infantry men armed with rifles attacking the remains of Delville Wood. It was commissioned in 1918 by the Ministry of Information.