General/ vegan history/ vegetarian history

Remembering Vegetarian Pioneers – L. A. Hayter


Update Sunday 21 September 2014 – information received from Judith Brown Hancock.

~ Lawrence Ambrose Hayter’s birth was registered in Islington in the second quarter of 1893.

The 1911 Census has him at “Sweet Briar”, Pixmore Way, Letchworth.

His occupation is given as draughtsman (printer’s engraving).

His father was Arthur William Hayter, his mother Edith Rose Hayter.

Mr Hayter Snr was an organ builder. ~



L. A. Hayter – born circa 1893 – died 30 December 1917


Below this we print a biographical piece about Lawrence Ambrose Hayter, written by his friend Gerald William Bullett. Both young men were 18 or 19 years old at the time.

The article was originally published in the March 1912 issue of The Children’s Realm magazine of the Vegetarian Federal Union / London Vegetarian Society.

appreciationL. A. Hayter – An Appreciation.

~ ARTISTS, like poets, are born not made, and Mr. Lawrence Hayter may be truly called a born artist. He began to draw as soon as he could hold a pencil. Pirates and warriors grew underneath his touch in amazing numbers; and at school, strange prehistoric creatures of terrible ferocity crept into the pages of Latin lexicons and French grammars, to startle the eyes of masters and boys. And when the query went round: ” Who hath done this thing?” it was at Lawrence Hayter that the long, lean finger of Suspicion pointed.

Anxious friends shook their heads sadly, and prepared for the worst. Where did he expect to go if he wasted his time in this way? The question left him unmoved. He had no time for wild speculation. He went on drawing. Examples of his art at this early knickerbocker stage are still extant, and are numbered amongst my most cherished possessions. Perhaps one day I will show you some of them, but at present…

No. It were better not. He hath a strong: arm…an-appreciation

Soon he found fame by the publication – of a “jelly-graphed” school magazine, of which he was literary editor, art editor, illustrator, and publisher. It and all its successors were notable principally for the sketches they contained. The sensations of our schooldays were Merit Holidays, Six Bad Marks, and Hayter’s Cartoons. Were you so unfortunate as to be caught stealing apples or fighting on the tennis-lawn, you would find the incident immortalised by a pen-and-ink sketch in the current magazine. And were you to ask: ”Who hath done this thing?” again the long, lean finger of Suspicion would have pointed–but perhaps you can guess at whom?

His first drawing for the Realm appeared in Christmas, 1908, since when his work has been looked forward to with almost painful expectancy by “all children who believe in fairies.” For in the realm of fantasy he is a king. Goblins, elves, and things unknown and unamed, teem from his magic pen in. bewildering variety; and his work is enlivened by flashes of whimsical humour that are quite irresistible. He is as yet only on the threshold of his career, but already he has produced work that more experienced artists would do well to emulate. And it is not genius alone that has helped him to reach this state of efficiency. Hard work is the only Sesame which will fling open the Magic Doors of Art’s Treasure House and reveal the wonders that are within. Mr. Hayter has shown how well he realizes this. He has no sympathy with those who despise the teaching of art schools. A knowledge of his tools is essential to every craftsman, from the painter of fences to the painter of sunsets and Madonnas. Even Tennyson had to learn his alphabet.

But perhaps the most outstanding characteristic of Mr. Hayter is his desire for improvement. He will produce something in the morning which in a moment of candour he may pronounce good; but in the afternoon he will eye that same drawing with cold dissatisfaction and will proceed to demonstrate with merciless severity that it is wholly without virtue. He pines to do better work; and better work he invariably does. During his association with the Realm he has contributed a vast mass of stories, articles, and drawings, each one of which has been better than the last. Here, surely, lies the secret of his success — of his past success and of the greater success that we know he is going to achieve.

He has taken The Children’s Realm by storm. But there is a larger realm beyond, waiting to be conquered. Let us drink to his jolly good health, and if you don’t like wine, drink it in cabbage-water, or Frunut-Bananalade. ~



Together, Lawrence Hayter and Gerald Bullett were prolific contributors to The Children’s Realm – contributing jointly written articles & short stories – Lawrence Hayter providing many of the illustrations & cartoons. We will share several of them in a future post which is now in the process of being written.

The Children’s Realm was financed by Arnold Frank Hills & edited firstly by Miss Florence Nicholson & later by Miss A. M. Cole – both ladies were also successively the Secretaries of both the Vegetarian Federal Union and of the London Vegetarian Society.

In the article Gerald Bullett foresees in Lawrence’s future –

‘……the greater success that we know he is going to achieve.’

This was not to be. Lawrence Hayter joined the army in WW1 & died in France in 1917.

~ Lawrence Ambrose Hayter, Private 32129, 6th Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment. Killed in action 30th December 1917 in France & Flanders. Born Upper Holloway, Middlesex, enlisted Bedford, resident Letchworth. Buried in KLEIN-VIERSTRAAT BRITISH CEMETERY, Heuvelland, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. Plot I. Row H. Grave 8. ~

Lawrence Hayter has been largely forgotten. He is absent from directories of artists & illustrators. He has also been forgotten by the vegetarian community.

He lived in Letchworth, Herts – we suspect that his father, or his grandfather was – A.W.Hayter of ‘A. W. Hayter & Son, 105A Pixmore Way, Letchworth, Herts.’ – builders of church organs. More notes about Lawrence will be added as we do more research.



Gerald Bullett

Gerald Bullett also joined the army, but survived the war and carried on writing & publishing numerous books.

From Wikipedia – …Bullett described himself as a “liberal socialist” and claimed to detest “prudery, Prohibition, “blood sports, central heating, and literary tea parties”. Bullett was also an anti-fascist, describing fascism as “gangsterism on a national scale”; he publicly backed the Republican side during the Spanish Civil War.

More about Gerald William Bullett here –


The Children’s Realm

In our Ernest Bell Memorial Library we have a complete run of The Children’s Realm magazines from January 1906 to December 1912 – bound as volumes 1-7 .

Copac lists only one other set, in The British Library, bound as Volumes 1-9 – to December 1914.

Very few, if any, other copies seem to have survived!







Related HappyCow blog article –


In the weeks to come we will write more about the animal friendly activities of : –
The Ernest Bell Memorial Library
The Childrens’ Realm magazine.
George Bedborough
Lawrence A. Hayter
Gerald William Bullett
The Vegetarian Federal Union
Miss Florence Nicholson
Miss A. M. Cole
Arnold Frank Hills
….and other vegetarians & animal rights pioneers.

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