Lawrence Military Asylum

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There were four Lawrence Military Asylums. These schools underwent several name changes, later being known variously as the Lawrence School, Lawrence Memorial School or Lawrence College.

The first Military Asylum at Sanawar was founded by Sir Henry Montgomery Lawrence to provide education for the orphan and other children of soldiers serving or having served in India. Children of "pure European parentage" took preference over those of mixed race parentage.

Lawrence School, Mount Abu

Also known as Abu Lawrence School it was located at Mount Abu, a hill station in Rajasthan. Established in 1856, it no longer exists.

The Catalogue shows the following India Office Records at the British Library:

  • File 21/54 Abu Lawrence School: reports IOR/R/20/A/1837 1904-1910
  • Report of the Abu Lawrence School for children of soldiers for the year 1933-34. Poona: Committee of Management, 1934. IOR/L/MIL/17/5/2296 1934

FIBIS resources

External links

Lawrence College, Ghora Gali

Near Murree.

The Catalogue shows the following India Office Records at the British Library:

  • Report on the Lawrence College, Chora {sic] Gali, for the year ending 31st March 1933 [to 31st March 1938]. Rawalpindi/Lahore: Punjab Govt, 1933-38. 5 issues. IOR/L/MIL/17/5/2297 1933-1938

The BACSA Archive at the British Library, shelfmark MSS Eur F370/1434, contains the following catalogue entry

  • Charlesworth, Michael, ‘Lawrence College, Ghora Galli, Pakistan’ (typescript, nd)

Lt. Col. Rev. William Thomas Wright CIE, VD was Principal of Laurence Royal Military School, Ghora Gali. He was Honorary Canon of Lahore; and a Commandant of the Punjab Rifles. In 1925 he was made a Companion of the Most Eminent Order of the Indian Empire. [1]

Cadets belonging to the Lawrence Military Asylum composed G Company, 1st Punjab Volunteer Rifles. (H Company, 1st Punjab Volunteer Rifles, also had its its headquarters at Murree.)[2]

External links:

Lawrence School, Lovedale

This school is in Ootacamund in the Nilgiri Hills of Tamil Nadu. In 1925 the name was changed from the Lawrence Memorial School, Lovedale, Ootacamund to the Lawrence Memorial Royal Military School.[3]


For the situation in 1856, before establishment, see Allen’s Indian Mail (1856) p552 [Google Books]. The Asylum was opened in 1858, with control passing to the Government in 1860.[4] First however, the Government insisted that the religious principles adopted at the Lawrence Military Asylum, Sanawar, must be adopted at Lovedale.[5]

Amalgamation of the Madras Military Male Orphan Asylum with the Lawrence Asylum was considered from 1860. In April 1864 the land at Lovedale was selected for the combined institutions and new buildings were constructed. 220 boys from the MMMOA moved in September 1871.[5] The girls from the Madras Military Female Orphan School, about 100, were transferred to the Lawrence Asylum, Lovedale in October 1904 as the Government required their premises in Madras.[6]

Conditions in the early 1930's are described in The Way We Are: An Anglo-Indian Mosaic page 3, chapter "Never Give In" by Moira Breen (2008).

After the formation of the Nilgiri Volunteer Rifles in 1878, a Cadet Corps was established at the Lawrence Asylum, increasing to two companies by 1905.


The British Library has the following IOR entries:

  • The Lawrence Memorial Royal Military School, Lovedale, Nilgiris, 73rd Report, 1st April 1932-31st March 1933 [and 74th-77th, 79th-80th & 85th Reports, 1933/4-1936/7, 1938/9-1939/40 & 1944/5]. Bangalore: Board of Governors, 1933-45. 8 issues. IOR/L/MIL/17/5/2299 1933-1945
  • The Lawrence School, Lovedale. Madras, 1925. 8 photographs IOR/L/MIL/17/5/2298

The British Library has the following two books in its catalogue:

  • Never give in : a history of the one hundred and twentyfive years of The Lawrence School, Lovedale by Hugh and Colleen Gantzer c 1984
  • Lovedale : the Lawrence Memorial Royal Military School, South India : a Personal Account by Max Cocker. C 1988

A researcher was able to obtain 1889 admission records from the School which indicated both parents of the boy admitted, the mother being Indian.

A researcher advised in 2010 she had a copy of " Never Give In : Old Lawrencians' Directory 1988-89. Inside this book from pages 21-93 is a copy of "Historical Register of Admissions from 1858 to 1954” As the children were admitted into the school their names and date of admission were recorded chronologically in handwriting in a big Ledger which I understand is in the Archives located in the clock tower in the school. In 1988, these names were copied and typed into the above book, My brother visited the school in the 1990's and through his efforts I was able to obtain a copy of this Admission Directory.

If one is not familiar with English surnames, it may be difficult to decipher the Palmer script. Consequently, there are many inaccuracies in these recorded names, but if one knows the time frame. that the child was in school, and the first names it is possible to locate the name. For example the surname Lillywhite has been copied as Lilly, White or Dillywhite etc the surname Quinn is written as Ouinn, Luinn, Duinn etc; the name Hampstead has been copied as Ham, PStead

The size of the book is 5 inches by 8 inches and each page has 2 columns of names - each column has 50 names, which means that each 5 x 8 page has 100 names - so in total there are more than seven thousand names." [7]

External links

Also refer Orphans.

Lawrence School, Sanawar

Near Simla, but closest to Kasauli, this school was the first of the four Lawrence schools, established in 1847.

In 1923, the Reverend George Dunsford Barne O.B.E., Principal of Lawrence Royal Military School and 2nd in Command, Simla Rifles Auxiliary Force, was made a Companion of the Most Eminent Order of the Indian Empire.[9] He retired c 1932.

FIBIS Resources

Maureen Evers has written about the school in "Four Orphan Schools in Calcutta and the Lawrence Military Asylum Sanawar, Part 1: History," FIBIS Journal No 22 (Autumn 2009), pages 1-14. "Part II: parents, conditions, prospects" FIBIS Journal No 23 (Spring 2010), pages 5-14. For details of how to access these articles, see FIBIS Journals.


"Sanawar" pages 140-141 (scroll down) Punjab District Gazetteers Volume VII Part A Ambala District 1923-24. 1998 reprint of 1925 original.
  • William Hodson who became famous as the commander of Hodson's Horse was involved with the construction of the Lawrence Military Asylum in 1847. At the time he was stationed in Subathu with the 1st Bengal European Fusiliers. Page 39, Twelve Years of a Soldier's Life in India: being extracts from the letters of the late Major W. S. R. Hodson 2nd edition 1859 Google Books
  • "The Lawrence Royal Military School, Sanawar India" by W Jaques Steel. The Bulletin of the Military Historical Society, Issue 45, August 1961, pages 1-4. See also correspondence in Issue 47. Available at the British Library


The British Library holds a copy of Register of Marriages , Holy Trinity Church, Lawrence Asylum, Sanawar This covers a period from 1849-1948. Many girls are shown as orphans/wards of LMA and their fathers' names substituted with "Guardians and Principals , LMA" The book is on the open shelves under shelfmark OIR929.3

The British Library has Annual Reports from 1849-1873 (broken sequence) as follows: Shelfmarks Asia, Pacific & Africa ST 1257 Holdings: 1st (1849)-7th (1855), wanting: 6th (1854) UIN: BLL01008627380 and July 1858/Apr. 1859-1872/73, wanting: 1865/66; 1866/67 imperfect. BLL01008627381 (Details in the Main Catalogue). In addition, the British Library also holds two later editions IOR/L/MIL/17/5/2300 1934-1936, which are also available online, refer below.

The British Library also holds a publication School memorials. : Chapel-West Door published Sanawur : Lawrence Royal Military School, [195?] , shelfmark reference OIOC P/T 4814, catalogue entry from Copac Search

The Sanawar School website (refer below) has many Annual Reports availble online, some of which list names of the children at the School.

External links

  • Lawrence School, Sanawar, official site including
    • Historical Foundation (under the category About Sanawar)
      • Three books have been written by teachers at Sanawar,The Lawrence School, Sanawar : A Historical Reference by Dr V K Sharma 1992 , Sanawar : A Legacy by Mrs Manju Khan and Mr K J Parel, 1997, and Sanawar : the Lawrence School sesquicentenary, 1847-1997, text by Harish Dhillon, drawings by Rathin Mitra. The latter two books were written to celebrate the sesquicentenary of the School and are available in the Library of Oxford University.
    • Parker Hall (under the category Life in Sanawar)-now the school Library and Museum. Named after Miss Ada Parker, who headed the girls school from May 1880 to February 1923
    • Digital Library (tab in top right hand corner of Home page). Consists of six categories including
      • "Admission Records" from 1904-1905. These appear to be application forms completed for admission to the school. They include date of birth, whether parents are alive, whether of European or of mixed parentage etc
      • "Handwritten documents", many of which are printed Annual Reports each containing much information, including
        • Item 24. Twelve Annual Reports for the period 1873-1885 were previously available in a 599 page pdf document which contains lists of children in the school from the year 1875-1876. Note Although a link currently appears, the file did not open (2019/07).
          • Annual Report for the Year 1873-1874 page 1
          • Annual Report for the Year 1874-1875 page 40
          • Annual Report for the Year 1875-1876 page 69. Revised Rules page 100 List of Boys in the school pages 110-122 with father’s regiment. List of Girls in the school pages 123-131
          • Annual Report for the Year 1876-1877 page 132. Boys pages 171-176, with a page missing (page 43 of report which appears to contain the end of the boys names and beginning of the girls names). Girls pages 177-180
          • Annual Report for the Year 1877-1878 page 182. Boys pages 219-223. Girls pages 224-228
          • Annual Report for the Year 1878-1879 page 229. Boys pages 264-272. Girls pages 273-281
          • Annual Report for the Year 1879-1880 page 282. Revised Rules page 321. Boys pages 328-333. Girls pages 329-336
          • Annual Report for the Year 1880-1881 page 327. Revised rules page 360. Boys page 369-376. Girls pages 377-379 but some data missing prior to page 377
          • Annual Report for the Year 1881-1882 page 380. Boys pages 422-436. Girls pages 426-430
          • Annual Report for the Year 1882-1883 page 431. Boys pages 477-482. Girls pages 482-486. Money in trust for Soldiers children from 1860-1883 pages 487-489
          • Annual Report for the Year 1883-1884 page 490. Boys pages 533-537. Girls pages 538-543.
          • Annual Report for the Year 1884-1885 page 550. Boys pages 584-592. Girls pages 593-598 . In this report Rev AH Hildesley became Principal in place of Rev J Cole
        • Item 30. Five Annual Reports, for the period 1893-1898 are available in this 200 page pdf document which contains lists of children in the school until the year 1895-1896.
          • Annual Report for the Year 1893-1894 page 1. List of Children at the school Boys pages 26-34. Girls pages 35-42.
          • Annual Report for the Year 1894-1895 page 53. Boys pages 78-86. Girls pages 87-94.
          • Annual Report for the Year 1895-1896 page 105. Boys pages 127 -131. Girls pages 132-135
          • Annual Report for the Year 1896-1897 page 148.
          • Annual Report for the Year 1897-1898 page 173.
        • Annual Reports for the years 1921-23, 1928, 1930, 1931, 1935-1937, 1947 are also available
        • There are items called 'Register Books'



  1. Bruce and Dorothy Brown Collection, University of Victoria Library, British Columbia, Canada. Scroll to the Medals section. Drawer 4, #37a
  2. Page 228, Punjab District Gazetteers, Volume XXVIIIA, Rawalpindi District 1907, published 1909,, mirror from Digital Library of India
  3. British Library IOR/L/MIL/7/12528 1925
  4. Francis, W. Gazetteer of South India, Volume 2 p314 (1988). Probably a reprint of an earlier book, perhaps 1905.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Francis, W. Madras District Gazetteers: The Nilgiris, page 262 1908
  6. Francis, Nilgiris p263
  7. Advised by email to User:Maureene, 29 March 2010.
  8. Payne, Hilda Lovedale Rootsweb India Mailing List 10 December 2004, now archived.
  9. Supplement to the London Gazette, 2 June 1923