Noel Godfrey Chavasse VC & Bar
Name: Noel Godfrey Chavasse
Conflict: First World War
Gazetted: October 26, 1916 and September 14, 1917
Noel Godfrey Chavasse VC
Place/date of birth: St Peter le Bailey, Oxfordshire/November 9, 1884
Rank when awarded VCs (and later highest rank): Captain
Date of bravery: Original VC August 9/10, 1916, Bar to VC July 31 – August 2, 1917
London Gazette citations:
October 26, 1916:
Captain Noel Godfrey Chavasse, M.C., M.B., Royal Army Medical Corps.
For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty.
During an attack he tended the wounded in the open all day, under heavy fire, frequently in view of the enemy. During the ensuing night he searched for wounded on the ground in front of the enemy’s lines for four hours.
Next day he took one stretcher-bearer to the advanced trenches, and under heavy shell fire carried an urgent case for 500 yards into safety, being wounded in the side by a shell splinter during the journey. The same night he took up a party of twenty volunteers, rescued three wounded men from a shell hole twenty-five yards from the enemy’s trench, buried the bodies of two Officers, and collected many identity discs, although fired on by bombs and machine guns.
Altogether he saved the lives of some twenty badly wounded men, besides the ordinary cases which passed through his hands. His courage and self-sacrifice were beyond praise.
September 14, 1917:
His Majesty the KING has been graciously pleased to approve of the award of a Bar to the Victoria Cross to Capt. Noel Godfrey Chavasse, V.C., M.C., late R.A.M.C., attd. L’pool R.
For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty when in action.
Though severely wounded early in the action whilst carrying a wounded soldier to the Dressing Station, Capt. Chavasse refused to leave his post, and for two days not only continued to perform his duties, but in addition went out repeatedly under heavy fire to search for and attend to the wounded who were lying out.
During these searches, although practically without food during this period, worn with fatigue and faint with his wound, he assisted to carry in a number of badly wounded men, over heavy and difficult ground.
By his extraordinary energy and inspiring example, he was instrumental in rescuing many wounded who would have otherwise undoubtedly succumbed under the bad weather conditions.
This devoted and gallant officer subsequently died of his wounds.
Click here to see full Gazette entry.
Other decorations: MC
Place/date of death: Near Ypres, Belgium/August 4, 1917
Burial/memorials: Brandhoek New Military Cemetery, Ypres, Belgium; Liverpool Scottish Regiment HQ; Liverpool Cathedral; Chavasse Barracks, Liverpool; Liverpool Cricket Club; Chavasse Park, Liverpool; Chavasse House RAMC, Merseyside; Liverpool Town Hall; RAMC College, London; Trinity College, Oxford
Origin of VC to the Lord Ashcroft collection: Purchased privately, 2009.
Current location of VC: Displayed on rotation at The Lord Ashcroft Gallery: Extraordinary Heroes exhibition, Imperial War Museum