Malvern College First World War Casualty

Flight Lieutenant Lawrence William McArthur MC

Photo of Lawrence William McArthur
House and time at Malvern: No 5, 1904 - 1907.

Regiment: 12 Sq. R. F. C.
Died: 27 May 1917 aged 27 in Belgium. Killed in action.
Cemetery: Harlebeke New Brit XVII B 12

Son of William and Constance McArthur, of The Meadow, Chislehurst, Kent. b. 1890.
Middle Shell Lower V. XL Cricket.
In business; H.A.C.
Great War, mobilised 1914, Lieutenant; Captain 12th Sqdn. Royal Flying Corps and Honourable Artillery Company .
Killed in action May 27, 1917; M.C., Despatches (2).

'A member of the H.A.C. before the war, he left for the front with the first contingent in September 1914, and in June, 1915, was awarded the Military Cross for conspicuous bravery in an action, in which he was severely wounded (on June 16th near Hooge, Ypres). On recovery he entered the R.F.C. and since October, 1916, has been engaged at the front. He was mentioned in despatches twice and was gazetted Flight Commander last January. His School career was not marked by any striking performances owing perhaps to his leaving when only 17. His chief interest was in amateur carpentering—especially in the form of building models of boats, at which he showed special ability.' (Malvernian, Jul 1917).

He won the MC with the following citation:
'For conspicuous gallantry on June 16, 1915, at Hooge. When our troops were forced to retire from the third line of German trenches he rallied part of the retiring troops and reoccupied and held the vacated trench under heavy fire until he was himself forced later to withdraw owing to retirements on his flanks. He was severely wounded on this occasion.'

On the 9th May 1917, Captain Lawrence William McArthur MC & Lieutenant Joseph Senior were in a Sopwith Strutter A8226 and were attacked. During the fight they appeared to have driven down one of their attackers, but Senior was badly wounded in the stomach and had his hand partially severed. McArthur put the Strutter into a spin and returned to Baillieu aerodrome. Senior later died of his wounds. The victory was claimed by Vitzfeldwebel Witterkind from Jasta 28 but this was not confirmed.Airwar19141918

Brass plaque memorial at St Nicholas Church, Chislehurst.IWM

Service record:WO 374/43517