Arthur Moore Lascelles VC MC (12 October 1880 – 7 November 1918) was an English recipient of the Victoria Cross.
The family lived at "Wilby Lodge", Nightingale Lane, Balham in the Historic Parish of Streatham.
The following is from Durham at war
Victoria Cross hero killed in action just four days before the Armistice.
Arthur Lascelles was born in Streatham, London in October 1880. After Uppingham School, he went to Edinburgh University but abandoned his medical studies in 1902 and emigrated to South Africa. There he enlisted in the Cape Mounted Rifles and fought as a trooper in the early months of the First World War in South West Africa against Boer rebels and German forces. In October 1915, Quartermaster Sergeant Lascelles left South Africa for home with his wife, Sophie, and only son, Reginald George.
In December 1915, Arthur Lascelles, then aged 35, was commissioned in the 3rd Battalion DLI. He possibly chose the DLI as his younger brother, Reginald George, had been a DLI officer, before he had died in an accident in India in 1904. After training, Second Lieutenant Lascelles was attached to the 14th (Service) Battalion DLI and joined this battalion in France in July 1916, and was wounded for the first time on the Somme that September. On 15 June 1917, Second Lieutenant Lascelles led a successful daylight trench raid near Loos, and was awarded the Military Cross for his “great courage, endurance and initiative”.
On 3 December 1917, during the Battle of Cambria, 14 DLI was holding trenches on the canal at Masnieres under intense German shelf fire. Then German soldiers attacked.
Victoria Cross Citation for 2nd Lieutenant (Acting Captain) Arthur Moore Lascelles, Durham Light Infantry, London Gazette, on Gazette, 11 January 1918: “For most conspicuous bravery, initiative and devotion to duty when in command of his company in a very exposed position. After a very heavy bombardment, during which Captain Lascelles was wounded, the enemy attacked in strong force, but was driven off, success being due in a great degree to the fine example set by this officer, who, refusing to allow his wound to be dressed, continued to encourage his men and organise the defence. Shortly afterwards the enemy again attacked and captured the trench, taking several of his men prisoners. Captain Lascelles at once jumped on to the parapet, and, followed by the remainder of his company – twelve men only – rushed across under very heavy machine gun fire, and drove over sixty of the enemy back, thereby saving a most critical situation. He was untiring in reorganising the position, but shortly afterwards the enemy again attacked and captured the trench and Captain Lascelles, who escaped later. The remarkable determination and gallantry of this officer in the course of operations, during which he received two further wounds, afforded an inspiring example to all”.
On 23 March 1918, King George V presented Captain Arthur Lascelles with his Victoria Cross at Buckingham Palace. After the presentation, Arthur went home to his family, who were living in Warwickshire. Whilst Sophie worked in a munitions’ factory canteen, Arthur recovered from his wounds, though little could be done for his damaged right arm.
In October 1918, he volunteered once again for active service and joined the 15th (Service) Battalion DLI on the Western Front. The war, however, was almost over, with the German Army on the verge of defeat. On 7 November, 15 DLI crossed the River Sambre and advanced east. At Limont-Fontaine, some Germans stood and fought but the village was quickly taken after a bayonet charge. This, the last battle fought by 15 DLI, cost the battalion over 100 men killed or wounded. Amongst the dead was Captain Arthur Lascelles VC MC. He was buried in Dourlers Communal Cemetery, south of Limont-Fontaine. Four days later, on 11 November 1918, the First World War ended.