Lawrence Charles Cumberbatch

Lieutenant Chinese Labour Corps and 17th Worcestershire Regiment

Lawrence Charles Cumberbatch was born 1st October 1864  at the Queens House, Lyndhurst, Hampshire, England. He was the youngest son of Lawrence Henry Cumberbatch, Deputy Surveyor of the New Forest and his wife Harriet Anne nee Bowden Smith. He was educated at Stubbington House School, Stubbington, Hampshire & Rugby School. He joined Rugby School aged 13 and whilst there he was educated under his uncle Philip Bowden Smith. He left Rugby in 1881.

Lawrence became a clerk to Messrs R & J Henderson of 7 Mincing Lane, London and then following the dissolution of this company then The Borneo Company Limited of  28 Fenchurch Street, London. He went to Bangkok, Thailand in 1885 and served there for four years in their rice and saw mills.  The Borneo Company opened a branch in Bangkok, Thailand in 1856 following introductions made to King Mongkuk by the Danish explorer Ludwig Verner Helms. The company's activity included rice milling and trading; the export of sugar, salt and tin and import of calico, metals, marine stores and opium; wharfage work; and agency business. The value of these miscellaneous trades was however small in comparison with the profit derived from the extraction of teak in the northern districts. Upcountry branches at Chiengmai and Raheng directed forest operations from the 1880s onwards under the terms of successive teak leases. By 1914, the company had its own sawmill in Bangkok, and was exporting steadily to Europe, India and the Far East. Trade in teak continued relatively undisturbed until the Second World War. [source: London Metropolitan Archives]. He served the two firms honourably for over 25 years and until he retired to North Wales.

Lawrence was engaged to be married in February 1901. He met a young 22 year old widow 14 years his junior and they quickly arranged for banns to be published in St Luke's Church, Liverpool. However, Lawrence claimed that he had discovered after their engagement that his bride to be was a lady of low moral character and broke off the engagement. She sued him for breach of promise but the jury found for Lawrence.
The Manchester Evening News reported:

The Defendant Pleads That He Was Deceived
At Liverpool Assizes, today, before Mr. Justice Wills, an action for breach of promise was heard in which the plaintiff was Emily Bennett, aged twenty-two years, and the defendant was Lawrence Cumberbatch. Both parties reside in Liverpool. The defendant did not deny the promise, but said that he had discovered that the plaintiff was a woman of ill repute. Mr Taylor, K.C., and Mr. Stewart Brown were counsel for the plaintiff, and Mr. Horridge, K.C., and Mr Leslie Scott for the defendant.
Mr. Horridge, addressing the jury on behalf of the defendant, said the true solution of this case was that which the defendant himself had told them. He took a fancy to this girl when he first saw her in the street, a fancy which in the first instance was not a pure one. But having found out after hearing her history that he really loved her he played a part which was not impure and was not unworthy. On the contrary, he played a worthy part, and it was only when he was forced to take up the position he did that he came to the conclusion he could no longer ask her to be the partner of his life. It had grieved him as much to know that the plaintiff was not a woman he could marry, as it had grieved the girl, who wrote that she was broken-hearted when the engagement was broken off.
Mr. Taylor, replying on behalf of the plaintiff, urged that the defendant was a man whose characteristics were a tendency to meanness and a tendency not to be careful about telling the exact truth. The true solution of the case was that he broke the engagement because it did not suit him to face the responsibilities and expense of a marriage with the plaintiff and a possible loss of social position. The allegations of improper conduct on the part of the plaintiff were simply monstrous, and there was nothing definite or tangible which could be proved against her character.
His Lordship, in summing up, said it was a fact that the plaintiff was a woman of immoral character and that defendant did not discover such to be the case until after the engagement, that was a perfect defence to the action. Having, however, made the promise and broken it, defendant was bound to show affirmatively that he had good grounds for breaking it.  He did not suppose they would get the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth from either side. There was a mass of contradictions, and probably exaggerated statements had been made on behalf of both parties.
The jury retired to consider their verdict.
After two hours’ consideration the jury returned a verdict for the defendant.
Manchester Evening News Publication date: Tuesday 03 December 1901

The Gloucester Citizen reported:

Met In A Tram Car.

LIVERPOOL BREACH OF PROMISE ACTION.

At Liverpool Assizes, on Tuesday, before Mr. Justice Wills, the hearing was concluded of an action in which a young woman named Emily Bennett claimed damages from Lawrence Cumberbatch for breach of promise of marriage. The promise was not denied, but the defendant pleaded that he was entitled to break it off, because after it was made he discovered that plaintiff was a woman of loose character. The defendant, a gentleman of thirty six years of age, occupying a good position in Liverpool, being a local company manager, first made the acquaintance of the plaintiff in a tramway car. According to the plaintiff she told him the story of her life, but notwithstanding this defendant professed great affection for her, and promised her marriage, going the length of authorising her to order her trousseau, which was said to have cost nearly £100. Defendant stated that it was not till after the promise that he learned the plaintiff’s real character. At first the jury could not agree, but eventually they returned a verdict for the defendant.

Gloucester Citizen, Publication date: Wednesday 04 December 1901

During World War 1 and aged 52 years old, Lawrence responded to an advertisement in the Liverpool Daily Post in July of 1917:


WANTED, GENTLEMEN WHO SPEAK CHINESE
The Secretary of the War Office forwards the following for publication:-
Gentlemen over military age who speak Chinese or have had experience with Chinese coolies are invited to apply, in writing, to the Secretary, War Office, London, S.W.1., with a view to being granted temporary commissions for the period of the war.

Penrhyd

Amlwch

Isle of Anglesey

9 Jul 1917

Dear Sir, Having seen the enclosed in the Liverpool Daily Post, I beg to offer my Services. I am 52 years of age & had almost 5 years experience with Chinese Coolies when in Bangkok Siam some 30 years ago working at our Rice & Saw Mills. I cannot speak Chinese but know their ‘Pigeon’ English very well.

I was educated at Stubbington & Rugby School under Dr J Blak & my Uncle the Reverend P Bowden-Smith. I am known to the Right Honble Ellis Jones Griffiths K.C. In P. for Anglesey & Major Sir Thomas near Bant Llipdillas [??] in Amlwch & others.

I remain, Yours faithfully, Lawrence Cumberbatch

[To] Secretary, War Office, London, S.W.1.

He was given a medical examination on enlistment and it read:

I CERTIFY that I have examined Lawrence Charles Cumberbatch in accordance with the instructions for the Physical and Medical Examination of Candidates for Commissions in the Regular Army and Special Reserve, and find that he is Fit for Military Service. 
Medical Category: B1 (B (one))
Height: 5’ 9¾” 
Weight: 9st 10lbs
Chest: Max. 36¼” Min. 34¾”
Vision right without glasses: 6/9, with glasses 6/6
Vision left without glasses: 6/6, with glasses 6/6
Location: Bangor, North Wales
Date: 30th July 1917

Lawrence was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Chinese Labour Corps on 1st August 1917 and was almost immediately dispatched to France.

1st August 1917.
Sir, I am directed to inform you that Mr L.C. Cumberbatch, has been appointed a temporary Second Lieutenant on the General List for employment with the Chinese Labour Corps, with effect from the date of this letter. He has been ordered to hold himself in readiness to proceed in about ten days time on receipt of instructions regarding passage.
I am, Sir, Your obedient Servant, (sd. W ELLIOTT) Colonel for Military Secretary.
[To] The Field Marshal, Commanding-in-Chief, British armies in FRANCE.

Lawrence was invalided from France back to England in December 1917:

ARRIVAL REPORT, WAR OFFICE, WHITEHALL, LONDON, S.W.1.
228613/2
Rank and Name: 2/Lieut Lawrence Charles Cumberbatch
Regiment: No. 62 Chinese Labour Corps
Address: Amlwch, Isle of Anglesey, N. Wales
Date of leaving unit (Abroad): 24th December 1917
Date of Embarkation for England: 28th December 1917
Port of Embarkation for England: Calais
Port of Disembarkation (England): Dover
Date of Arrival in England: 28th December 1917
Cause of return: Invalided
Authority: D.D.M.S. Etaples France

Lawrence Charles Cumberbatch's Teeth

Lawrence developed Pyorrhoea which would eventually result in all of his teeth being removed. He was privately treated by Sir Harry Baldwin who initially removed 12 teeth. His treatment continued, The War Office and various Medical Boards initially felt that Lawrence's condition was not caused by war but occurred during war. So they refused his initial claim. They eventually relented as the correspondence below shows:

25th October 1918
Sir, In reply to your letter of 12th October, I am directed to acquaint you that as your condition [pyorrhrea] is not the result of a wound or injury you are not eligible for the supply of artificial dentures at the public expense.
I am, Sir, Your obedient Servant, (Signed) J.G. Ashley for the Assistant Financial Secretary
[To] 2nd Lieut L.C. Cumberbatch
Chinese Labour Corps, Cass Hospital for Officers, 9 Heene Terrace, Worthing.

Headquarters
Eastern Command
Reference CREC 6/69527 (M)e dated 24 Jan 1919
I beg to forward herewith report from Captain Tait, Senior Dental Officer, 2nd Eastern General Hospital in which he states he is unable to give a definite opinion as to whether the Pyorrhoea from which Lieut. Cumberbatch was suffering was caused by Service or not.
It will be noted however, that the Medical Board held on Lieut Cumberbatch on 29 Jan 1919 forwarded to you on 1 Feb 1919 under my No. 103/4933/18 attribute Lieut. Cumberbatch’s disease to Military Service.
Colonel A.D.M.S. Sussex Dist.
Hove 1 Feb 1919

From The Senior Dental Officer Sussex
To The A.D.M.S. Sussex
Sir, With reference to your office No 142/19 referring to my report on Lieut. Cumberbatch I have the honour to submit these further particulars.
As I was not aware of the condition of this Officer’s mouth previous to going on active service it is impossible for me to state whether the condition of Pyorrhea was caused by such service. However in my opinion it was most probably aggravated by active service conditions in that it is impossible to obtain the constant treatment and supervision that this particular disease requires.
I have the honour to be Sir, Your obedient Servant
(Signed) E.S. Tait, Captain A.D.S
[To] 2nd Eastern General Hospital 1 Feb 1919


11 April, 1919
Sir, In reply to your letter, I am directed to acquaint you that your case has again been carefully considered but the decision already notified to you in War Office letter of the 25th October that you are not entitled to the supply of dentures at the public expense cannot be altered.
I am, Sir, Your obedient Servant, (Sgd) G.W. Lambert for the Assistant Financial Secretary
[To] Lieutenant L.C. Cumberbatch, 
Chinese Labour Corps,
Amlwch, Isle of Anglesey

Lawrence took his case to the military press.

[26 April 1919]

“The EX-SERVICE MAN”
AN INDEPENDENT JOURNAL FOR THOSE WHO HAVE SERVED PUBLISHED EVERY THURSDAY
8 Regent Street, 
London, S.W.1.
The Director General of Medical Services, Adastral House, Embankment
Dear Sir, 
I am afraid I am going to trouble you again with the enclosed correspondence which has reach me, as the writer is very determined not to let the matter drop, and I cannot help thinking that there is a certain amount of right on his side.
As a matter of fact it all came into my hands when I was working for “The Morning Post” through Sir Frederick Milner, and I sent it at the time to the War Office for their ruling, but up to the present I have had no reply, though it is possible this may have been sent to “The Morning Post” after I had to give up my work on that paper owing to taking over THE EX-SERVICE MAN.
If you could very kindly give me your views relating to this, I would be very grateful.
Yours faithfully, Henry H C Baird, Capt. Editor
Lieut L C Cumberbatch age 55. Obtained Commission in Chinese Labour Corps in consequence of voluntary services if men over age but urgently required. A thorough examination was made. Medical and the question of teeth was not apparently entered into though as a matter of fact the applicant was noted for a fine rel: and certainly never suffered in any way on their account before service. He was passed as B1 went to France 1 Aug 1917 and was invalided Home 1 Jan 1918. Debility cardiac affection. Was 5 weeks in Peckham Hospital and in getting fit again to go out suffered slight indigestion but thought nothing of it and made no complaint. He went out again to France beginning of May 1918 this time in the Worcester. Was sent to Hospital 3 July 1918 Red Cross Devonshire Terrace where the Doctors in Charge chanced to be an old friend who after examining him for indigestion could not attribute it to his teeth as he had always looked on his as exceptionally good. However he was sent to Sir H Baldwin who specified 12 teeth to be extracted. On returning to Hospital the Doctor to make sure had Cumberbach (sic) ___ and again sent back to Sir H Baldwin who again prescribed loss of 12 teeth and signed a certificate for this and later came to the Hospital and extracted them. During one of the visits later to Sir H Baldwin the question of cost was discussed and Sir H Baldwin explained the basics on which Dental work for British Officers was done. Teeth extracted Gratis but such men as himself and others who did his work practice voluntarily and payment from the individual to supply the wherewithal to eat his food or food supplied to Officers still serving their county as Cumberbatch was kept on for.
Sir Harry did not explain that in many cases men like himself let off patients who they feel can ill afford it. Having taken advice from a private friend who ought to know Cumberbatch made a claim and interviewed The Dental Authority who asked to have the certificate for extraction sent him but not direct as it was to go through Sec. of W.O. On no attention being paid to claim it was found that the Dental Authority had not disclaimed or passed the certificate. A communication then was sent from the Financial Secty of W.O. disclaiming all liability and after a copy of the certificate from Sir Harry Baldwin proved of no avail I mooted the matter to the Morning Post as no result was apparently forthcoming wrote Sir Fred Milner who wrote to Morning Post. Meanwhile I understand that a special enquiry was started and matter brought up and that Lieut Cumberbatch met with no redress or reason other than what is stated in his letter sent herewith this which you have had before but way want again.
If Cumberbatch had been discharged from the Army the question might be difference but he is not even yet and suffers from farther troubles evidently due to his teeth and indigestion from hard service. 
So as I said before pay for half the hospital ^care or^ medication and let the patient pay for the rest ^without telling him even^ is neither equity not business. To trade on the Gentlemen of Officers and Dentists to keep quiet and not have a row is the business of others to set straight.

Lawrence was discharged from the army due to illhealth on 9th May 1919 but allowed to retain the rank of Lieutenant. He was awarded the British Victory and British War Medals.
Lawrence submitted his claim for dentures of £12 12s 0d on 16th November 1920.

Amlwch
Isle of Anglesey
16 Nov 1920

The Director General of Medical Services
War Office, London, S.W.1.
Dear Sir,
I have the honour to enclose papers in accompaniment with a claim for £12. 12/- for new teeth. I ask you to be good enough to go carefully with this matter & I will be most willing to answer any questions you may think fit to put to me in this matter. In the meantime I am of opinion that the enclosed papers speak for themselves & that my claim comes under ACI 284/1918.
I remain, Sir, Your obedient Servant, Lawrence Cumberbatch late Chinese Labour Corps & 17th Worcester

Lawrence finally received £12 12s 0d compensation for his dentures on 31st December of 1920:

31 December, 1920.
Sir,
With reference to your letter of 25th November, 1920, relating to your claim for payment for new teeth, I am directed to inform you that this department has decided to make you a payment of £12.12.0. as an ex gratia grant in final settlement of any claim you may have against this department and a draft for that amount is herewith enclosed. 
I am, Sir, You obedient Servant, G W Lambert for the Secretary (Finance)
[To] L. Cumberbatch Esq., Amlwch, Isle of Anglesey.


Amlwch

Isle of Anglesey
6 Jan 1921
The Secretary
Finance
Cornwall House
Stanford Street, SE1
Dear Sir,
I have to thank you for your letter dated 31st Dec 1920 enclosing Draft £12 12/- for which I am extremely obliged.
I am Sir, Your obedient servant, L. Cumberbatch Lieut.

Lawrence appealed to be made a Captain (retired) in 1929. His letter of 8th July 1929 to The Secretary at The War Office outlines his claim:

Amlwch

Isle of Anglesey

8 July 1929

The Secretary, War Office, Whitehall, London, S.W.1

Dear Sir, I beg to apply for a Captaincy (retired) & for I am to take the form of Exceptional promotion for services rendered.

I joined the Chinese Labour Corps in 1917 receiving my Commission as 2nd Lieut on 1st Aug & so great a hurry was the War Office for me to go to France, that they gave me only 4 days in which to fit my uniform &c &c & embark, which with almost Super human efforts I exceeded in doing after Labour Camp at Boulogne, was attached to No. 62 Company Chinese Labour Corps, quartered at Dannes Cimie 3, Munition Dumps, stopped a Mutiny in the Company & for some weeks did the work of 2 officers – one home on sick leave the other court marshalled, walked 20 miles a day over sand Dunes & end of December was returned home for a rest with heart trouble &c. In February 1918 was quartered at Peckham in a Labour Corps, ordered out in May to join the 17th Worcesters (annihilated at Cambrai) garrison Batt[alion]. Although Doctor knew me to be a Sick man, suffering from gastritis, but having no temperature, he could do nothing. Although doing my work at Clark W. Cummins the Doctor did all he could for me, until after a long march in arrived at Harghuch?, when he absolutely refused to let me go into the trenches & sent me down to C.C.S. [Casualty Clearing Station] near St Omer. Of course I should never have been placed in this garrison Batt[alion], as I only joined in work with the Chinese Labour, but found out at Boulogne that swething? could be down since I had arrived in France. Fancy having to do Physical Jinks at 53 years of age. I was in Hospital at 27 Berkeley Sq when Pyorrhoea was diagnosed  as well as gastritis by Sir Maurice Abbott Anderson & I had 15 teeth extracted & was soon sent to Miss? Cass Worthing when I was convalescing for 4 months or more.

I then went to Prees Heath & received my papers to rejoin the Chinese Labour, but the Doctors refused to let me go & was finally discharged & demobilized in May 1919.

I joined the Army at 52 years of age from an advertisement in to L’pool Post [Liverpool Post] - ___ in the War Office in the Chinese Labour Corps &c &c having been in Bangkok Siam for 4 years, when I had gained a great experience of dealing with Chinese Coolie Labour, but as the War Office made me make such a hurried departure, I had no time to see them to ask for a higher rank, which I think from my experience I deserved & which no doubt would have helped me to know my strengths at my age, although I passed in Bangor, N. Wales B.I. at my Medical Board before joining & would probably have prevented me from now suffering as I do & have done for the last 10 years from what Dr Thomas Jones my local Medical Practitioner now says he fears is Chronic Gastritis & _peted? Liver. 2 years ago I had the remainder of my teeth extracted – 14.

I was through the terrible Air Raid at Etaples 18th May 1918, the worst in the War, being on my way to join the 17th Worcesters & fortunately escaped with nothing more than terrible fright & people killed all round me. Really I think I should have preferred going over the “Top”.

My feeling is that it would be very nice to have, even now, some recognition in the form of a Captaincy for Services I have rendered & done my “bit” at 52 years of age, but which services could not be recognised by my actual rank, due to the bad state of my health, which is always imprecise, but the Spirit was willing & further it would allow me to know, when I have this word, that you were willing to recognise my endeavours at my age, to serve me dear Old Country, which at that time was in terrible distress.

In conclusion, I am the youngest Son of Lawrence Henry Cumberbatch late Deputy Surveyor of the New Forest for over 30 years & was born at the Queen’s House Lyndhurst on 1st Oct 1865. I have five sisters, who nearly all live at Brockenhurst Hants & one brother alive who has been all his life farming in South America & one of my Uncles was Admiral Sir Nathaniel Bowden-Smith now deceased.

In 1881 I was clerk to Messrs R & J Henderson 7 Mincing Lane (the same having now dissolved) then The Borneo Co. Limd 28 Fenchurch Street for whom I went to Bangkok Siam in 1885, served the two firms honourably for over 25 years and retired 20 years ago & have lived here quietly ever since.

I am, Sir, Your obedient Servant, Lawrence Charles Cumberbatch Lieut

The War Office replied:

25th July 1929
Sir, With reference to your letters of the 8th and 22nd July 1929, I am directed to inform you that you are not eligible for the grant of the rank of Captain in respect of your services during the war, and that it is regretted that the grant of such rank cannot be approved as a special case.
I am, Sir, Your obedient Servant, (Sd.) A EVANS-GWYNNE Lt. Col. For Major-General, Military Secretary
[To] Lieut. L.C. Cumberbatch, Amlwch, Anglesey.

Lawrence died at his home Penhrhyd Lastra in Amlwch, Anglesey on 25th March 1937 leaving  £32 13s to Elizabeth Mary JONES spinster. He was not married. He was buried 30th March 1937 at Llanwenllwyfo, Anglesey, Wales.

MEDICAL BOARD REPORTS

Lawrence attended a Medical Board for debility following nueritis on 1st February 1918 at Caxton Hall:

PROCEEDINGS OF A MEDICAL BOARD

STATEMENT OF CASE
Disability: Debility following ? Neutritis
Date of origin of disability: Dec 1917
Place of origin of disability: Hardelot (extension) [France]
Essential facts of history: He began with pains in back early in December. Pain got worse, and he had a fainting fit and went sick on December 24th 1917. He had some numbness down outer side of thigh and could not feel pinching – Pain moved from lumbar region to thigh. Has had previous attacks of lumbago – but never any so severe. He has recovered very well – Now has only occasional pain in his back.
Describe present condition: Much improved. Now fit for Home Service. Recommended 3 weeks leave – To join Labour Centre London District ( 22 Feb 1918).
OPINION OF THE MEDICAL BOARD
Was the disability contracted before entering the service: Yes. In the Service? No

DISEASE
Was the disability attributable to Military Service? No
Aggravated by Military service? Yes
Military conditions: Exposure on Active Service. E.F.
Attributable to Officer’s own negligence: No
Degree of disability: [blank]
Will such degree be permanent: No
Re-examination recommended in two months. By same Board? No.
Treatment being received: Hospital. Royal Free Hospital. 
Will officer need further medical treatment: No
Does officer require constant attendance of another person: No
The Board will place the officer...in one of the undermentioned categories:
A - Fit for general service: No. 2 months
B - Fit for service in a garrison or labour unit abroad: [blank]
C - Fit for home service:
xvii. Active duty with troops: Yes
xviii. Sedentary employment only: [blank]
D Requiring indoor hospital treatment
xvii. In an officers’ military or auxiliary convalescent hospital: [blank]
xviii. In an officers’ hospital: [blank]
E Permanently unfit for any further military service: [blank]

Lawrence attended a Medical Board for debility following nueritis on 19th April 1918 at Caxton Hall:

PROCEEDINGS OF A MEDICAL BOARD
STATEMENT OF CASE
Disability: Debility following ? Neuritis
Date of origin of disability: Dec 1917
Place of origin of disability: Hardelot [France]
Essential facts of history: Now has had no pain since last Board (Feb 1st 1918). Is much better in himself.
Describe present condition: Now fit for Cat. B and C.1. To rejoin Labour Centre London District.
OPINION OF THE MEDICAL BOARD
Was the disability contracted before entering the service: Yes. In the Service? No

DISEASE
Was the disability attributable to Military Service? No
Aggravated by Military service? Yes
Military conditions: Exposure on Active Service.
Attributable to Officer’s own negligence: No
Degree of disability: Under 20%
Will such degree be permanent: No
Re-examination recommended in six months. By same Board? No.
Treatment being received: None
Will officer need further medical treatment: No
Does officer require constant attendance of another person: No
The Board will place the officer...in one of the undermentioned categories:
A - Fit for general service: No. six months
B - Fit for service in a garrison or labour unit abroad: Yes
C - Fit for home service:
xv. Active duty with troops: Yes
xvi. Sedentary employment only: [blank]
D Requiring indoor hospital treatment
xv. In an officers’ military or auxiliary convalescent hospital: [blank]
xvi. In an officers’ hospital: [blank]
E Permanently unfit for any further military service: [blank]

Lawrence attended a Medical Board for his Pyorrhea on 26th September 1918 at the 5th London General St Thomas’ Hospital, London S.E.:

PROCEEDINGS OF A MEDICAL BOARD

STATEMENT OF CASE
Disability: Pyorrhea and Debility
Date of origin of disability: 21 June 1918
Place of origin of disability: Clerc [France]
Essential facts of history: After ailing for several weeks with malaise ? and occasional pains after food he went into hospital, Pyorrhea was found and ten teeth extracted. X-Ray investigation of digestive tract showed no abnormality. (He was previously sent home in December last year for general debility).
Describe present condition: He has much improved and artificial teeth are being fitted. Recommended for Officers’ Auxiliary Convalescent Hospital.
OPINION OF THE MEDICAL BOARD
Was the disability contracted before entering the service: No. In the Service? yes

DISEASE
Was the disability attributable to Military Service? Yes
Military conditions: Specific infection on Active Service.
Attributable to Officer’s own negligence: No
Degree of disability: Under 20%
Will such degree be permanent: No
Re-examination recommended in two months. By same Board? No.
Treatment being received: Medicinal and Dental, Officers’ Hospital, 27 Berkeley Square.
Will officer need further medical treatment: No
Does officer require constant attendance of another person: No
The Board will place the officer...in one of the undermentioned categories:
A - Fit for general service: Not fit for 3 months
B - Fit for service in a garrison or labour unit abroad: [blank]
C - Fit for home service:
xiii. Active duty with troops: Not fit for 2 months
xiv. Sedentary employment only: [blank]
D Requiring indoor hospital treatment
Admission to a Command Depot? No
xiii. In an officers’ military or auxiliary convalescent hospital: Yes
xiv. In an officers’ hospital: No
E Permanently unfit for any further military service: No

Lawrence attended a Medical Board for his Pyorrhea on 29th January 1919 at Central Military Hospital for Officers, Chesham Place, Brighton:

PROCEEDINGS OF A MEDICAL BOARD
STATEMENT OF CASE
Disability: Pyorrhea. Debility
Date of origin of disability: 21 June 1918
Place of origin of disability: Clerc [France]
Essential facts of history: He has improved.
Describe present condition: The pyorrhea is much better but is not quite cured. The gums look fairly healthy. His digestion is much improved, but he still has it occasionally. His general health is good. He is fit for home service. Three weeks leave terminating 20 Feb 1919 is recommended. He has been instructed to proceed in anticipation and to report to London District Labour Centre on expiration of leave. No of Grant E/680194.
OPINION OF THE MEDICAL BOARD
Was the disability contracted before entering the service: No. In the service? yes

DISEASE
Was the disability attributable to Military Service? Yes
Military conditions: Specific infection on Active Service.
Attributable to Officer’s own negligence: No
Degree of disability: Under 20%
Will such degree be permanent: No
Re-examination recommended in three months
Treatment being received: None
Will officer need further medical treatment: No
Does officer require constant attendance of another person: No
The Board will place the officer...in one of the undermentioned categories:
A - Fit for general service: No. Permanently
B - Fit for service in a garrison or labour unit abroad: No. Permanently
C - Fit for home service:
xi. Active duty with troops: Yes
xii. Sedentary employment only: Not applicable
D Requiring indoor hospital treatment
xi. In an officers’ military or auxiliary convalescent hospital: [blank]
xii. In an officers’ hospital: [blank]
E Permanently unfit for any further military service: [blank]

Lawrence attended a Medical Board for his Pyorrhea on 22nd March 1919 at Prees Heath, Shropshire:

PROCEEDINGS OF A MEDICAL BOARD

STATEMENT OF CASE
Disability: Pyorrhea
Date of origin of disability: July 1918
Place of origin of disability: France
Essential facts of history: Developed Pyorrhea while in France in July 1918. Was invalided to the U.K. for this. Has had all the infected teeth removed, and has had dentures provided. Can take a full ordinary diet.
Describe present condition: Is not losing weight. He looks in good health. His mucous membranes however are very pale. The tongue is coated. Teeth still slightly affected. Heart normal, but pulse is soft. No tachycardia.

OPINION OF THE MEDICAL BOARD
Was the disability contracted before entering the service: No

DISEASE
Was the disability attributable to Military Service? Yes
Military conditions: Infection of Gums.
Attributable to Officer’s own negligence: No
Degree of disability: 20%
Will such degree be permanent: No
Re-examination recommended in twelve months
Treatment being received: Internal Medication from M.O. i/c W.C.L.C., Prees Heath, Salop
Will officer need further medical treatment: Yes-Internal treatment for some months (3).
Does officer require constant attendance of another person: No
The Board will place the officer...in one of the undermentioned categories:
A - Fit for general service: No. Permanently
B - Fit for service in a garrison or labour unit abroad: No. Three months.
C - Fit for home service:
ix. Active duty with troops: Yes
x. Sedentary employment only: --
D Requiring indoor hospital treatment
ix. In an officers’ military or auxiliary convalescent hospital: --
x. In an officers’ hospital: --
E Permanently unfit for any further military service: --

Lawrence attended a Medical Board for his Pyorrhea on 7th May 1919 at Berrington:

PROCEEDINGS OF A MEDICAL BOARD

STATEMENT OF CASE
Disability: Pyorrhea
Date of origin of disability: 20 June 1918
Place of origin of disability: Robecy, France
Essential facts of history: Was taken ill with pain in his stomach about two hours after food followed by vomiting and was admitted to 27 Berkeley Square Hospital, where he was diagnosed as Pyorrhea and had fifteen teeth extracted.
Describe present condition: On upper jaw there are five teeth 3 incesors [sic] one canine and one molar. In lower jaw fifteen teeth present. Gums bleed readily and are retracted.

OPINION OF THE MEDICAL BOARD
Was the disability contracted before entering the service: No

DISEASE
Was the disability attributable to Military Service? Yes
Military conditions: Active Service Conditions.
Attributable to Officer’s own negligence: No
Degree of disability: Thirty per cent (30%)
Will such degree be permanent: No
Re-examination recommended in twelve months
Treatment being received: Medical by M.O. at Prees Heath Camp.
Will officer need further medical treatment: yes, Dental.
Does officer require constant attendance of another person: No
The Board will place the officer...in one of the undermentioned categories:
A - Fit for general service: No. 
B - Fit for service in a garrison or labour unit abroad: No. 
C - Fit for home service:
vii. Active duty with troops: No
viii. Sedentary employment only: Yes
D Requiring indoor hospital treatment
vii. In an officers’ military or auxiliary convalescent hospital: [blank]
viii. In an officers’ hospital: [blank]
E Permanently unfit for any further military service: No

Lawrence attended a Medical Board for his Pyorrhea and gastritis on 2nd September 1919 at Bangor, North Wales:

PROCEEDINGS OF A MEDICAL BOARD
STATEMENT OF CASE
Disability: Pyorrhea and Gastritis
Date of origin of disability: 20 June 1918
Place of origin of disability: France
Essential facts of history: Has not been well since last Board. 
His stomach has troubled him a good deal and he has lost much weight: Has had to diet himself very carefully.
This officer was demobilised at Prees Heath on May 8th 1919. He has protection certificate, and pay stopped same day.
Describe present condition: Complains: Loss of appetite – severe sharp pains in region of stomach: much flatulence. Shortness of breath; palpitation. Not sleeping well.
Exam: Looks ill and debilitated, and anaemic (very).
Heart. Sounds very impure: systolic murmer over apex: action 100 p.m.
Stomach. Tenderness on palpation. Much “splashing”.
Teeth. All upper molars and bicupeds have been removed, and most of lower molars pyorrhea has improved: the gums bleed occasionally in the morning. 
Tongue dirty.

OPINION OF THE MEDICAL BOARD
Was the disability contracted before entering the service: No

DISEASE
Was the disability attributable to Military Service? Yes
Military conditions: Active Service Conditions.
Attributable to Officer’s own negligence: No
Degree of disability: 60%
Will such degree be permanent: Doubtful
Re-examination recommended in six months
Treatment being received: Own Dr Thomas Jones, Amlwch: Special.
Will officer need further medical treatment: yes, as 21. [Dr Thomas Jones] Time?
Does officer require constant attendance of another person: No
The Board will place the officer...in one of the undermentioned categories:
A - Fit for general service: No. 
B - Fit for service in a garrison or labour unit abroad: No. 
C - Fit for home service:
v. Active duty with troops: No
vi. Sedentary employment only: No
D Requiring indoor hospital treatment
v. In an officers’ military or auxiliary convalescent hospital: No
vi. In an officers’ hospital: No
E Permanently unfit for any further military service: Yes

Lawrence attended a Medical Board for his debility and gastritis on 19th February 1920 at Bangor, North Wales:

PROCEEDINGS OF A MEDICAL BOARD
STATEMENT OF CASE
Disability: Debility and Gastritis
Date of origin of disability: December 1917
Place of origin of disability: Hardelot, France
Essential facts of history: Pain in back in December, 1917 followed by numbness down outer side of thigh with some anaesthesia. Pyorrhea is Sept, 1918. After demobilization suffered from flatulence, and dil[atio]n of stomach with severe anaemia and debility.
Describe present condition: Complains of pain after food. No vomiting. Loss of weight. Has to carefully diet himself mostly milk diet. Pyorrhea much better. Tongue coated. Weight 10 st. 5 lbs. (states that on joining he weighed 11st. 9 lbs). Constipated. Wears upper and lower dentures. Heart sounds weak. P.90 Regular but feeble. No tenderness on pressure over abdomen. Nothing to be felt. Some gurgling bubuo splashing over stomach.
Weight 9 st. 2 lbs. Tongue coated. Nothing found on examination of abdomen except some gurgling over stomach. No pyorrhoea. Hear sounds feeble. P.90, occasional intermission.
He has lost weight since last Board, and is constantly debilitated, and appears to have frequent attacks of gastric trouble.

OPINION OF THE MEDICAL BOARD
Was the disability contracted before entering the service: No

DISEASE
Was the disability attributable to Military Service? Yes
Military conditions: Active Service.
Attributable to Officer’s own negligence: No
Degree of disability: Twenty per cent (20%)
Will such degree be permanent: No
Re-examination recommended in six months
Treatment being received: Dr Thomas Jones, Bynhyfyd, Amlwch.
Will officer need further medical treatment: No
Does officer require constant attendance of another person: No
The Board will place the officer...in one of the undermentioned categories:
A - Fit for general service: No. 
B - Fit for service in a garrison or labour unit abroad: [blank]
C - Fit for home service:
iii. Active duty with troops: No
iv. Sedentary employment only: No
D Requiring indoor hospital treatment
iii. In an officers’ military or auxiliary convalescent hospital: No
iv. In an officers’ hospital: No
E Permanently unfit for any further military service: Yes

Lawrence attended a Medical Board for his debility and gastritis on 29th July 1920 at Bangor North Wales:

PROCEEDINGS OF A MEDICAL BOARD
STATEMENT OF CASE
Disability: Debility and Gastritis
Date of origin of disability: December 1917
Place of origin of disability: France
Essential facts of history: Since last board has had three violent attacks of stomach trouble (pain and vomiting), which last on average 10 days.
Describe present condition: Complains of vomiting. States that he has not been able to take any food for last 10 days as he vomits everything, even hot water.
Weight 9st. 2 lbs. Tongue coated. Nothing found on examination of abdomen except some gurgling over stomach. No pyorrhoea. Hear sounds feeble. P.90, occasional intermission.
He has lost weight since last Board, and is constantly debilitated, and appears to have frequent attacks of gastric trouble.

OPINION OF THE MEDICAL BOARD
Was the disability contracted before entering the service: No
DISEASE
Was the disability attributable to Military Service? Yes
Military conditions: Pyorrhoea infection on active service.
Attributable to Officer’s own negligence: No
Degree of disability: Thirty per cent (30%)
Will such degree be permanent: No
Re-examination recommended in twelve months
Treatment being received: Dr Thomas Jones, Bynhyfyd, Amlwch.
Will officer need further medical treatment: No
Does officer require constant attendance of another person: No
The Board will place the officer...in one of the undermentioned categories:
A - Fit for general service: [blank]
B - Fit for service in a garrison or labour unit abroad: 
C - Fit for home service:
i. Active duty with troops:
ii. Sedentary employment only:
D Requiring indoor hospital treatment
i. In an officers’ military or auxiliary convalescent hospital: No
ii. In an officers’ hospital:
E Permanently unfit for any further military service: Yes
Permanently unfit for any further military service: Yes

Medal Card

Name.

Corps.

Rank.

Regtl No.

CUMBERBATCH

Chinese Labour Corps

2/Lieutenant

 

Worcestershire Regiment

Lieutenant

 

 

 

 

Lawrence Charles

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Medal.

Roll.

Page.

Remarks.

VICTORY

Off 225

114E

IVX9318 d 21 Mar 1923 NW/5/29663

BRITISH

d[itt]o

d[itt]o

STAR

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Silver War Badge Eligible

24 September 1919

London Gazette

29 Sep 1919

Theatre of War first served in

France

Date of entry therein

6 Sep 1917

28 Feb 1923

 

 

K1380

NW/6/29663 228613/2

 

EF9 Returned Completed 23 Feb 1923

Correspondence

Address

Amlwch, Anglesey, North Wales

 


Bibliography:

The National Archives: WO 374/17160; WO 374 - War Office: Officers' Services, First World War, personal files (alphabetical); WO 374/17160 - Lieutenant Lawrence Charles CUMBERBATCH. Labour Corps.

The Borneo Company: London Metropolitan Archives, Reference Code:  CLC/B/123-11