Lawrence School was started in tented accommodation,
with a group of 14 boys and girls on the 15th April 1847.
By 1853, the students numbered 195 and the school was
presented the King's Colour, thus, making a member of
the 6 elite institution, to be honoured by the British
Empire, the others being Eton, Shrewsbury, Cheltenham,
the Duke of York's Royal Military School and the Royal
Military College, Sandhurst. Till 1857, Sir Henry, bore
the financial expenses of the school, after his death,
the British government to the responsibility.
The control of the school then passed to the crown, which
was very unusual and never repeated for any British public
school. Today, The Lawrence School, Sanawar, is a co-educational
boarding school with students from different backgrounds.
Red roof, paved paths, trees, flowers, exotic birds, view
of snow clad peaks, rolling hills, valley view are the
main characters of the school's surrounding. The buildings
are naturally colonial and mostly century old.
The School Chapel is 149 years old and is the oldest among
all the buildings. This Chapel has very exquisite stained
Though the school does not have any specific religious
affiliation, the Chapel is the spiritual centre of the
community, regular assemblies are held, where all students
and staff take part. A silent march past the War Memorials
besides the Chapel is a daily routine.
This connects the pupils of today with those of the past
who played a vital part when the nation needed. Central
Dining Hall offering 3000 meals a day, indoor sports complex
which has solar heated swimming pool and squash courts.
A Library, Learning Resource Centre, Computer & Internet
facility are all part of the Parker Hall (in the name
of the first principal of the school, Rev. W.J. Parker,
1848-1863). This hall also has the privilege of getting
the first ISDN line of Himachal Pradesh. The Birdwood,
is the main teaching block and also contains the Barne
Hall (in the name of the fourth principal, Rev. G.D. Barne,
1912-1932) , where plays, shows, films and lectures are
regularly held. There are various playing fields, old
cricket and football ground - Barne Field. Newly constructed
Basketball court is one of the latest additions.
The Lawrence School - Sanawar is a self-sufficient institution
with its own hospital, press, kitchens, laundry & shops.
All daily requirements are supplied from Chandigarh, which
is just an hour & a half drive from Kasauli. Chandigarh
is also the nearest hub for other entertainment & educational
activities. Sanawarians - as the school
students call themselves for ages, enjoy the magical quiet
spaces, where they sit and think. Sanawar has had a strong
tradition for a very high standard military training and
many contingents of boys were enlisted from the school
straight on to the battlefields of the Great War. Thus,
the school was redesignated in 1920 as the "Lawrence Royal
Military School" and in 1922, the Prince of Wales personally
presented the School with new colours. This Colour is
still paraded every year at the Founders Celebration in
Sanawarians still continue making a major contribution
to the Indian Defence Forces by joining in good numbers.
Sanawar's Centenary year (1947) was crucial to the development
of the School. With Independence, the bulk of the staff
and children at Sanawar returned to the UK. However, the
then Governor General, Lord Louis Mountbatten, presided
at the School's Centenary celebrations and read out a
special message from George VI. Thereafter, control of
the School passed from the Crown to the Government of
India, Ministry of Defence. A further transfer in 1949
brought the School under the control of the Ministry of
Education and subsequently, in 1953, to the autonomous
Lawrence School (Sanawar) Society. However, Sanawar retains
strong links with its past. The Chairman of the Society
is the Secretary for Education, Government of India and,
at the recent sesquicentenary celebrations in 1997, a
message of congratulation was received from the current
Prince of Wales, Prince Charles.
Principals as per the dates were: Rev. W.J. Parker (1848-1863),
Rev. J. Cole (1864-1886), Rev A. Hilldersley (1886-1912),
Rev. G.D. Barne (1912-1932), Mr. E. G. Carter (till 1956),
Maj. R. Som Dutt (1956-1970), Mr. S. R. Das (1974-1988).