Major R. Lawrence Thornton, D.L., J.P., of High Cross, Framfield had an extensive life of public duty including being a barrister of the Inner Temple, High Sheriff of Sussex in 1900, Justice of the Peace in 1892, President of the Royal Sussex County Hospital and a member of the East Sussex County Council for forty years. He was Chairman of the Diocesan Finance Board and a member of the House of Layman as well as being churchwarden and choirmaster of Framfield Church for twenty years. In sport he was President of the Sussex County Cricket Club and secretary of the South Saxon Society for Lawn Tennis and Croquet. He was awarded the CBE as result of his activities in the defence of the country which stretched back to his war service from 1880 to 1901 with the 3rd Battalion Royal Sussex Regiment. In Freemasonry he was Provincial Grand Master for Sussex, Grand Superintendent of Sussex and many other distinctions.