WWI Lords: How the Lord Brothers Fought in the Great War and Went Home Alive

The Lord brothers beat incalculable odds when all eight of them fought in the Great War and returned home alive in what could be WWI’s literal band of brothers.

The Lord family lived in HighWycombe, Buckinghamshire when WWI broke out. Eager to serve their country, all the eight Lord brothers enlisted in the army — from the eldest down to the youngest. Miraculously, all of them lived throughout the war to tell their tale.

Sidney, the eldest of the Lord brothers, was the first to enlist followed by Gilbert, Len, Will, Arthur, Frank and Jim. The youngest of the Lord brothers, Ted, was only 14 at that time. However, he was so desperate to follow in his big brothers’ footsteps that he borrowed one of his older brother’s birth certificate then used it to sign up for the army.

Remarkably, each of the Lord brothers went through the Great War almost unscathed. Some of them had received minor wounds and the others survived gas poisoning, but other than that, they were able to go home alive.

Jansen Lord, the son of Frank Lord, who was the third eldest among the eight Lord brothers, surmised that the survival of the eight siblings could be attributed to sheer luck.

He further recounted that one of the eight Lord brothers was wounded in the leg while another was gassed. The latter really did die because of the gas poisoning he experienced in the war, but it happened years after the war.

According to Mr. Lord, no one from the eight Lord brothers spoke openly about their wartime experiences. Nevertheless, they let out snippets from time to time. He recalled one time when his father, Frank Lord, opened up about having, what he called,a ‘close call’ to death.

In his story, he [Frank] was in the trenches close to another soldier from Wycombe when the latter was shot and got blinded.

Lords of WWI: The Lord brothers went out to fight in the First World War and all came back home well and alive.
Lords of WWI: The Lord brothers went out to fight in the First World War and all came back home well and alive.

Among the eight Lord brothers, the oldest, Sidney Lord, had the most dangerous role. He worked as a special reconnaissance officer in the Royal Naval Air Service. Jansen, speaking about his uncle’s accounts in the Great War, said that he [Sidney] was sent up in the air via a balloon to see the areas where the enemy were based and whether or not they were in the assault.

92-year-old Jansen further went on to say that when his uncle was sent up in the air, the enemies would start shooting at him he had to shout out loud to the people below to pull him down for God’s sake.

Jansen, for his part, believes that not everyone who fought off the Great war knew what they were fighting for. Nonetheless, he still finds it great that the 100th anniversary of the Great War is commemorated wonderfully.

As for the eight Lord brothers, all of them may have survived the war alive and well, but there was one family member who died while it raged on — their father. Sergeant Arthur Lord had been too old to fight in the war, though years before, he signed up in the army. As a matter of fact, the sergeant was the last individual who had gotten a full military funeral with a parade in the Lord’s hometown.

The funeral parade of Sergeant Arthur Lord
The funeral parade of Sergeant Arthur Lord

After the death of the senior Lord, the family got a letter from King George himself. It contained the royalty’s gratitude for the Lord brothers and their father’s service in the army.

Heziel Pitogo

Heziel Pitogo is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE