Lawrence Price DANIEL 1906 – 1966

Family Details

Lawrence Price Daniel [known as Price] was born 24 June 1906 at West Auckland, the son of James Price and Ada Emma Daniel.[1]  In 1911, the family lived at Copeland Road, West Auckland where 55 years old James worked as a coal miner [hewer].  By then, 42 years old Ada, had experienced 22 years of married life raising their children: [2]

  • Ada Thomasina born 17 October 1890 at Bishop Auckland
  • Agnes Cordelia bc. 1893 at Shildon
  • Annie Emma born 29 July 1894 at Shildon
  • Beatrice Florence 1896 who died in infancy, 1897
  • Winifred Nicola bc.1898 at Evenwood
  • Lawrence Price born 24 June 1906 at West Auckland

1931: Lawrence Price Daniel married Mary Williams, registered at South Shields, County Durham.[3]  There were 2 children:

  • Terence Price born 8 April 1932 registered at South Shields [4]
  • Heather W.  bc.1933 registered at South Shields [5]

In 1939, the family lived at Sutton Way, South Shields.[6] With the onset of war, they considered that Tyneside would be the target of air raids and a move to the countryside would be advisable.  Along with many other families they “upped sticks” and left South Shields.  A friend had identified an empty property at Fell Houses, Cockfield in south west County Durham.  Mary, Terence and Heather moved into their new home on Cockfield Fell.  Grandma Ada came along as well and they rented 2 properties in the terrace.  Neighbours were the Robson family, Charlie, Ria, Norman, Jennie and Jack.

1939/40: Cockfield: The Daniel Family

Terry, Grandma Ada, Peggy [maid] [7], Auntie Thom; Mary, Price and Heather

c.December 1939 Price at Cockfield

c.December 1939:  Mary at Cockfield Fell

Military Details

1939, at the outbreak of war, Price Daniel volunteered for war service, enlisting into the Northumberland Hussars.  He was given the regimental number 51993.  Although his service records have not been researched, it is believed that Gunner Price Daniel’s service career followed a similar path to the following:

February 1940:  The Northumberland Hussars was transferred to the Royal Artillery to become the 102nd Light Anti-Aircraft and Anti-Tank Regiment RA [Northumberland Hussars].  Two batteries were equipped with 2 pounder anti-tank guns, the other two were light anti-aircraft batteries.  Following conversion, the regiment joined the 2nd Armoured Division’s 2nd Support Group.  In April 1941, the Hussars and other elements from the 2nd Support Group joined the 1st Armoured Brigade for Operation Lustre, the move to Greece.  At this time, the regiment had a strength of 578 men, 168 vehicles and 48 x 2 pounders.[8]

Northumberland Hussars Cap Badge

Gunner L.P. Daniel

The German Invasions of Greece 6 – 30 April 1941 and Crete 20 May – 1 June 1941: A summary [9]

October 1940 – April 1941:  Italy successfully invaded Albania and then Greece but the Greek Army was able to force the Italians back into Albania.  Greece was Britain’s only effective ally in Europe.  It was considered politically expedient to support Greece in its battle against the Axis forces. The result was Operation Lustre which saw British and Commonwealth troops move from North Africa during March and April to support Greece. This prompted Nazi Germany to intervene and invade Greece through Yugoslavia.

7 March 1941: The British cabinet agreed to send a military force to assist Greece.

2 April: The British 1st Armoured Brigade, the New Zealand 2nd Division and the Australian 6th Division, about 58,000 men and equipment were deployed and positioned on the Aliakmon Line south west of Salonica in northern Greece. The Greek Army was expected to retire to this line from its positions on the Albanian and Yugoslavian borders but this did not materialise.

6 April 1941:  Germany invaded Yugoslavia and Greece  

11/12 April:  The Germans broke through the Allied forces, the NZ 2nd Division & 1st Armoured Brigade and the Greek 2nd Division positions in the Kleidi area.  The Germans moved south and south westwards as the Allied forces retreated. 

20 April:  Several Greek generals mutinied and surrendered to the Germans.

23 April: Commonwealth forces made a last stand at Thermopylae before a final retreat to the Peloponnese ports for evacuation to Crete or Egypt. 

27 April: German troops entered Athens.

30 April 1941: the fall of Kalamata in the Peloponnese ended the battle for the Greek mainland with complete victory for the Axis forces.  The British and Commonwealth troops evacuated to Crete, the large and strategically important island in the Mediterranean Sea.  Crete was to be held by a weak Allied garrison consisting of these units without its heavy equipment. 

20 May: A German airborne attack commenced targeting Maleme, Rethimnon and Heraklion.

21 May: The airfield at Maleme in western Crete was lost giving the Germans an important base to land reinforcements and launch air attacks.  The evacuation of Crete by British and Commonwealth troops began.

1 June 1941: Crete was under German occupation.

The Actions of the 102nd Light Anti-Aircraft and Anti-Tank Regiment RA [Northumberland Hussars]

The following notes were compiled by Fred Mason who served with the Northumberland Hussars and the 102nd Light Anti-Tank and Anti-Aircraft Regiment [Northumberland Hussars] RA: [10]

  • 1940 May and June: M.T. Instruction, Bofor gun and anti-tank training. Moved to Alford, Northamptonshire. 
  • September: Extra reinforcements drafted into regiment in preparation for overseas.

At Training Camp: Price Daniel sat cleaning the sabre

  • November: embarked from Liverpool on S.S. Strathallon, called at Freetown and then Durban, South Africa where shore leave was granted.
  • December:  Arrived at Port Said, Egypt, train to El. Tahag which was 70 miles from Cairo near Sweet Water Canal. Equipped for Greece as part of the 1st Armoured Brigade. Further training.

In Egypt: Gunner L.P. Daniel far right mounted ready for action

  • 1941, 1 April: Boarded SS Cameronia for Piraeus, Athens. Left for Northern Greece – Kozani. Complete change of weather – now wet, slush and snow. Tried to hold the Metamorphos Pass with allies including Greek Horse Artillery but to no avail.
  • April 22-23: Dive bombing and heavy tank attacks continued. It was now a rear-guard action for the Northumberland Hussars and the New Zealand allies.
  • 25 April: Athens was reached after a 12-hour battle and a march through the night of 160 miles.
  • 26 April: On Rafina Beach, near Athens waiting to be evacuated. All guns and equipment were destroyed.  
  • 27 April: Taken off beach by the destroyer, HMS Havoc and landed at Suda on the island of Crete.
  • 2 May: Regiment was equipped with rifles to fight as infantry on the Akrotiri Peninsula between Canea and Suda.
  • 15 May:  Air attacks were heavy.
  • 26 May:  The peninsula was under the Allies control but were gradually losing ground on other parts of the island.
  • May 27: Evacuation of Crete. Withdrew across the mountains from Suda to Sphakia, a distance of 50 miles, for embarkation to Egypt. A lot of troops did get away but owing to heavy shipping losses, embarkation was stopped.  Those who were left behind received orders to capitulate to advancing German forces.
  • 31 May:  Prisoners of War were taken from Crete on Italian ships to Salonika, then transported by rail on cattle wagons to Germany.  It took 7 days.

51993 Gunner Lawrence Price Daniel, Royal Artillery was captured in Crete and ultimately held Prisoner of War in Germany.[11]  His POW number was 11469 and he was interned at Stalag IV G, Oschatz, Saxony, Germany.[12]

Stalag IV-G was a series of work camps [Arbeitslager] located throughout the state of Saxony with the administrational centre being at Oschatz, a small town situated between Leipzig and Dresden.  The camp operated from February 1941 and was one of the last to be liberated at the end of the Second World War in Europe, May 1945.  In March 1945, there were 5233 POWs comprising 4457 British and 776 American held at the various camps.  There were 76 separate Arbeitskommando working in agriculture, forestry and industry.[13]  It is known that during his imprisonment Gunner L.P. Daniel suffered from “berri-berri”, a disease caused by a deficiency of thiamine [vitamin B1] that affects many systems of the body including the muscles, heart, nerves and digestive system.[14]

Stalag IV-G: Gunner L.P. Daniel front row, far right

Post War

The family lived at Burn Terrace, Wardley, County Durham. 

24 August 1966: Newquay, Cornwall:  Aged 60, Price Daniel died, suffering a heart attack after swimming.[15]


[1] England, Select Births and Christenings 1538-1975 He was baptised 26 July 1906 on the Bishop Auckland Circuit [presumably his family were Methodists] & 1911 census.

[2] 1901 & 1911 census & Ancestry family tree

[3] England & Wales Marriage Index 1916-2005 Vol.10a p.1559 South Shields 1931 Q3

[4] England & Wales Birth Index 1916-2007 Vol.10a p.1263 South Shields 1932 Q2 & 1939 England & Wales Register

[5] England & Wales Birth Index 1916-2007 Vol.10a p.1113 South Shields 1933 Q3

[6] 1939 England & Wales Register

[7] Peggy [Margaret O’Connor] was Auntie Thom’s maid. Mrs. Thomasina Alder [nee Daniel] was employed as the County Midwife for Hebburn and was required to work all hours hence she needed a maid to undertake her own domestic duties.


[9] & 

[10] Article by Mr. Fred Mason for BBC The People’s War ID A5761181 Posted 15 September 2005

[11] UK Allied Prisoners of War 1939-1945

[12] WO392 POW Lists 1943-1945 Imperial POWs held in Germany or German Occupied Territory: British Army & RA [Field] Record Office, Foots Cray, Sidcup, Kent.

[13] &


[15] England & Wales Death Index 1916-2007 Vol.7a p.168 St. Austell Cornwall 1966 Q3 and England & Wales National Probate Calendar [Index of Wills and Administrations] 1858-1995