A rare Dispatch Rider’s 1914 Ypres DCM with later Military Cross and Belgian Croix-de-Guerre
Medal group to Arthur Lazzell, a pre-war motorcyclist who raced cars and bikes at Brooklands “and won many prizes”; when war broke out, he volunteered as a disptach rider and took his own motorcylce with him! – immediately granted rank of Corporal.
Awarded an early DCM for his gallantry in taking/delivering dispatches near Ypres under fire, he was commissioned into the Royal Engineers and went on to win the Military Cross and the Belgian Croix-de-Guerre avec Palme.
He later ran a bus company into Horsham!
Military Cross, Geo. V – unnamed as issued.
Distinguished Conduct Medal – 28174 A. Sjt. A. Lazzell, M.C. Sec. R.E. [Motor Cycle Section]
1914 Star and Bar – 28174 Cpl. A. Lazzell, R.E.
British War and Victory Medals (with modern MID emblem) – Lieut. A. Lazell
Belgian Croix-de-Guerre avec Palme – unnamed.
Arthur Lazzell (or more fully Francis Arthur Thomas Lazzell – a full name not often used!) was born in Barnet in 1890; address given as Chelsea in 1914. His mother, worried about not hearing from him for a few weeks in 1914, wrote to the War Office from Horstead Hall, Norwich.
Entered theatre on 26th October 1914 as a motorcyclist with his own “machine” and served in the Motor Cycle Section of the RE as a Dispatch Rider – a very elite group! His motorbike, for those who like this sort of thing, was a 1914 Douglas 2-speed, 2.75 h.p., which cost him £50.
Awarded DCM per London Gazette 1st April 1915 :
“For gallant conduct on many occasions in circumstances of great risk, particularly on 14th November 1914 near Ypres, when he conveyed operation orders for the 2nd Division over heavily shelled ground and delivered them in good time”.
Commissioned into RE as of 12th March 1916.
Awarded the Military Cross per L.G. 1st Feb. 1919 –
“For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty as brigade signalling officer in the operations near Gonnelieu on 27th Sept. 1918. He laid a line within 300 yards of the front line under heavy shelling and machine gun fire. Through this means direct reports were able to be sent in by the C.O.s which kept the battalion commanders well-informed of the situation.” [Presented by the King at Buckingham Palace 4th April 1919]
Awarded Belgian Croix-de-Guerre avec Palme, L.G. 15th April 1918. [Temp. Lt., DCM, RE]
Mentioned in Dispatches (Sir John French – 14th Jan. 1915; LG 17.2.15)
Mentioned in Dispatches (Haig – L.G. 23rd Dec. 1918 – 21st Divisional Signal Coy.)
After the war, recorded as a motor mechanic, he ran the garage at Ewhurst, Surrey, for over 30 yrs and ran a bus and excursion company (“Ewhurst and District Bus Services”) around and into Horsham. [group sold with a copy of “Independent Bus Operators out of Horsham” by Lawrence James; 96pp, with a section on Lazzell’s company. Please do not get too excited about this.]
“Captain” Lazzell, who founded the Ewhurst British Legion, died there in April 1955 and received a funeral with British Legion standard bearers.
With a very good set of copied pre-Commission service papers (from WO.339), offering great detail on his promotions etc.; copies of gazettes and other work.
Court mounted for display on modern ribbons; the medals in GVF+/NEF condition.
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