Lascelles, John Frederick


Youngest son of Lieutenant Colonel Henry Arthur Lascelles MVO and Caroline (daughter of the Hon. Charles Gore) of Woolbeding House, Midhurst, Sussex and and one of three Wykehamist brothers, the others being Francis William Lascelles (A1903-1908) and Edward Charles Ponsonby Lascelles (A1898-1902). He entered Chernocke House from Mr. G.T. Worsley’s school at Hillingdon, and played in Lords in 1913 and 1914.

On the outbreak of war he entered Sandhurst, and was gazetted to the Rifle Brigade, his father’s regiment, in December. Shortly afterwards he was attached as observer to the Royal Flying Corps and immediately went out to France. His first operation was on 4th February 1915 in a BE2a flying from St Omer on a two hour reconnaissance flight. In April 1915 he brought down a German aeroplane with a rifle and was awarded the M.C. and mentioned in Despatches. The control wheel of the German plane was presented to Lascelles as a souvenir, and kept at Woolbeding until being given away and used, it is believed, in the restoration of a vintage┬ácar. Its whereabouts are currently unknown.

4 Squadron’s records give a detailed account of Lascelles’ service and details of several near misses, both from engine failure and avoiding enemy fire. However his luck ran out on 31st July 1915 when Lascelles (acting as observer) and a new and inexperienced pilot took off in a BE2c to carry out a front line reconnaissance. They were close to Vert Galand, at Beauquesne, at around 80 feet when the plane suddenly slipped sideways and the inexperienced pilot could not control the plane which crashed. ┬áThe pilot, though injured, survived but Lascelles was killed. He was buried on 1st August 1915 in grave A1 of the Beauval Communal Cemetery.

An article by Nigel Wood appeared about Lascelles in Cross and Cockade Volume 28, Number 4 (1997): The Brief Life of 2/Lt JF Lascelles MC (4 Sqn RFC); most of the information in this account is taken, with thanks, from that article.

War: World War 1

  • Surname: Lascelles
  • Forenames or initials: John Frederick
  • House: A
  • Years in School: 1909-1914
  • Rank: Lieutenant
  • Regiment: Rifle Brigade attached to 4 Squadron RFC
  • Date of Birth: 13th November 1895
  • Date of Death: 31st July 1915
  • How Died: Killed in action
  • Location in War Cloister: Outer H5
  • Decoration: MC
  • Burial Site: BEAUVAL COMMUNAL CEMETERY: Grave A1