Lacey, Arthur Darrell Shemwell, Police Constable.

Lance Corporal14311788, 42nd, Royal Tank Regiment, Royal Armoured Corps

Paul Watts with thanks to Mick Hall

Remembrance Poppy
Paul Watts

Early Life.

Arthur Darrell Shemwell Lacey was born on the 23rd March 1922 at 16, Heaton Street, Chesterfield. His father was Arthur Darrell Lacey, who was born on the 23rd February 1895 also at Chesterfield, was recorded as being a Publican of that address.

In the 1911 census his father was shown as being a Blacksmith. He enlisted in the Royal Navy on the 25th June 1917 where his occupation was recorded as a Boilermaker.

Arthur married Ellen Elizabeth Shemwell, who was born on the 14th March 1896, in 1917 in Chesterfield. They had just the one child, Arthur. Ellen died on the 2nd December 1944 at Watford.

In the 1939 register Arthur and Ellen were living at the Superintendents House of the Public Baths, Hempstead Road, Watford. Arthur was recorded as being the Baths Superintendent and Engineer and also the Superintendent of the Mortuary for the Watford Corporation.

Arthur Darrell Shemwell Lacey’s Police Service.

Arthur’s Police Service Record has not survived and his exact date of appointment to the Hertfordshire Constabulary is not known. In fact, the only records are a reference in a Pension book that a pension was granted on the 23rd June 1944 and in the Minutes of the Police Standing Joint Committee.

Arthur Darrell Shemwell Lacey’s Army Service.

Arthur’s Army Service Record is held by the Ministry of Defence, but we know from documents that are publicly available that he enlisted as Trooper 14311788 in the 42nd, Royal Tank Regiment, Royal Armoured Corps and was promoted to Lance Corporal.


In the 1939 register Phyllis Margaret Bugg, who was born on the 10th December 1919, was living with her parents at home at Church End, Great Waltham, Essex and working as an Assistant in a Hardware shop. On the 25th August 1943 Arthur married Phyllis in the Parish Church at Great Waltham. Arthur was shown as a serving Soldier of Watford.

Arthur and Phyllis had a daughter Margaret A. Lacey who was born in 1944.

The death certificate for Arthur Darrel Sherwell Lacey’s shows that he died on the 22nd June 1944 at Crosswell cross road, Eglwyswrw, Meline in Pembrokeshire. He was aged 22 years of 40, Luton Road, Harpenden, Hertfordshire and was Lance Corporal 14311788 Royal Tank Regiment. His cause of death was recorded as injuries to the brain and fracture of the skull, following colliding (on motorcycle) with a lorry at Crosswell Square (near) Eglwyswrw, County of Pembroke on 22nd June 1944. Accidental Death. Certificate received from Walter L. Williams, Coroner for County of Pembroke, Inquest held 28th June 1944.

Published in the Western Mail on Saturday 1st July 1944 under the headline Driver not to Blame: A verdict of Accidental Death was recorded by the North Pembrokeshire Coroner (Mr. W. L. Williams) on Lance Corporal Arthur Lacey, of Harpenden (Herts.), who was killed near Eglwyswrw (Pembroke) on June 22 when his motorcycle came into collision with a lorry driven by William Emlyn Morris, of Coedmore, Cardigan, who was exonerated from blame.

Published in the Derbyshire Times and Chesterfield Herald on the 7th July 1944

Lacey (Chesterfield) In loving memory of my dear grandson and out loving nephew, Tpr. Anthony Darrell Lacey of Watford, killed in England, June 22nd, 1944, “Resting where no shadows fall”, Grandad and family.

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission record shows: “In Memory of Lance Corporal Arthur D. S. Lacey 14311788, 42nd, Royal Tank Regiment, R.A.C. who died on 22 June 1944 Age 24. Son of Arthur Darrell Lacey and Ellen Elizabeth Lacey, of Watford; husband of Phyllis Lacey. Remembered with Honour Watford North Cemetery.” He is buried in Section A, Cons. Grave number 163. The family requested the following inscription to be placed on his headstone: “Into The Mosaic Of History Was Laid This Precious Piece.”

This page was added on 19/08/2020.

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