Photo of Carrie Symonds’ dapper grandpa – Joseph Lawrence – solves the last riddle of the name of her and Boris Johnson’s baby Wilfred LAWRIE Nicholas
- Prime Minister and Carrie Symonds’ son is named after their grandfathers and doctors
- Middle name Lawrie inspired by Carrie’s maternal grandfather Joseph Lawrence
- For the first time, the public has been able to see a photo of the gynecological surgeon
- Lawrence served in the RAF Medical Brigade during World War II
- He married an Austrian cook and housekeeper and they had three children
The clothing is suitable for a young man who emerged in the 1930s. But a closer look at this photo reveals something more distinctive – perhaps a recognizable jawline and a familiar wide smile.
It is the first time that the public has seen a photo of Joseph Lawrence, the grandfather of Boris Johnson’s fiancée Carrie Symonds.
And while Joseph could never have imagined it at the time, this handsome 20-year-old, descended from domestic workers and impoverished Welsh mining stocks, gave his name – or at least a variation of it – to the Prime Minister and Mrs. Symonds’ new son.
Boris Johnson and Carrie Symonds’s son Wilfred Lawrie Nicholas is named after her grandfather Joseph Lawrence (right)
Known as Lewis, Joseph was a squadron leader with the RAF Medical Brigade during World War II and became a gynecological surgeon. He died before Carrie was born in 1988.
But his legacy is now secured after Ms. Symonds and Mr. Johnson chose his name for their first child, Wilfred Lawrie Nicholas, who was born last month.
The stories behind two of the names are known. The couple said that Wilfred was looking for the heroic grandfather of the Prime Minister’s RAF pilot, and that Nicholas was a tribute to the NHS doctors who saved the Prime Minister’s life during his coronavirus battle.
But until now, there was little information about Lawrie’s choice. Joseph Lawrence’s grandfather was a transporter in Monmouthshire, but two generations later Lewis graduated as a surgeon in 1940.
The following year, he married Mrs. Symonds’ grandmother, Berta Treichl, a 27-year-old Austrian cook and housekeeper at Battramsley House, a 19th-century estate owned by the Baring banking family in Hampshire’s New Forest.
Because Berta was born in Austria, which was annexed by the Germans at the beginning of the Second World War, she was registered as ‘Alien Internee at Liberty’ between 1939 and 1945.
The couple’s son was born last month and is named after their grandfathers and NHS doctors who saved the Prime Minister’s life
The boy’s first name is a tribute to father Johnson’s grandfather, Osman Wilfred Kemal (photo)
At the outbreak of war, some 80,000 potential ‘hostile’ foreigners were registered in Britain who feared to be spies or willing to help the Germans.
A special tribunal would have determined whether Berta was a risk or could remain free. Fortunately, that was the latter.
She and Lewis, who worked at Redhill County Hospital in Edgware, North London after the war, had three children, including Mrs. Symonds’ mother, Josephine.
If it was unusual to marry a German during the war, Lewis’s sister Marian ignored the convention by living with a much older married man and giving birth to two illegitimate children.
This of course resonates in Downing Street, where the Prime Minister and Ms Symonds are yet to get married.
Marian’s granddaughter, Anna Grigg, told The Mail on Sunday: “It’s as if history is repeating itself. The parallels are uncanny. I only found out after my death that my mother was illegal. I like nowadays that there is not the same stigma attached to it. The relationship between Boris and Carrie strongly reflects history. ‘
Lewis died of cancer in 1975 at the age of 59. But now, thanks to his granddaughter and the prime minister, his name lives on.