Laurence enlisted on 18th September 1915. He was 19 years and 5 months old; was a Farm Labourer by trade, and was living at 24 East Parade, Newcastle on Tyne at the time. After his training, he embarked at Southampton on 15th March 1916 as a reinforcement, then disembarking at Rouen the next day, entered the war in France on 16th March 1916. On the 23rd he was posted to serve with the 7th Field Ambulance, in the field, but was wounded 5 days later on the 28th, receiving a gun shot wound (shrapnel) to his spine and became paralyzed from the waist downwards. He was admitted into No 19 Casualty Clearing Station the following day, and was taken to No 10 Stationary Hospital via No 5 Ambulance Train. He remained there until the 11th April when he was evacuated back to the UK via the Hospital Ship "Newhaven". He was discharged from the army “being no longer physically fit for war service” on 16th June 1916.