Noel Chavasse VC & Bar

Discussion in 'Prewar' started by soren1941, Jan 12, 2009.

  1. soren1941

    soren1941 Living in Ypres

    Hi Guys,

    I have been doodling today trying to cope with a hangover:huh:, this drawing happened! somehow




    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 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 trusty 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.

    London Gazette on 14 September, 1917:
    Though severely wounded early in the action whilst carrying a wounded soldier to the dressing station, he 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 an number of badly wounded men over heavy and difficult ground. By his extraordinary energy and inspiring example was instrumental in rescuing many wounded who would have otherwise undoubtably succumbed under the bad weather conditions. This devoted and gallant officer subsequently died of his wounds.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Ann Clayton came to visit our WFA branch to give a talk about him.
    It was brilliant.
     
  3. soren1941

    soren1941 Living in Ypres

    His grave is just down the road, a couple rows up from him is his batman
     
  4. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Great stuff matey :)
     
  5. Donnie

    Donnie Remembering HHWH

    Hi mate,

    Nice sketch.....Have you ever thought of drawing E. Paul Bennett VC MC? he has one of the most interesting VC awards i think....He was awarded his VC for charging the enemy trenches with a spade.....i have a small connection with this man so find him even more interesting (I own an engraved snuff box which belonged to him and am freinds with his god son).

    VC Account:

    Precisely at 11 a.m. the British artillery suddenly opened an intense fire. Thirteen minutes later the word was given to advance. The four companies of the 2nd Worcestershire scrambled to their feet and pushed forward to the attack. “D” Company, the leading “wave” had already lost all their officers. Lieutenant Bennett, commanding “C” Company, went forward to them, started them off, led by their N.C.O’s. and then returned to lead his own Company.

    The attack was met by a storm of fire. A barrage of heavy shells crashed down along the sunken lane, and through the shell-bursts could be heard the stammer of machine-guns.
    Led by a few brave N.C.O’s., “D” Company advanced through the barrage across the sunken road and up the slope. Close behind followed the other three companies. As he reached the sunken road, Lieut. E. P. Bennett, commanding “C” Company was struck down by a shell-burst. He collapsed half-stunned into the lane, where his wounds were bandaged by a kindly Frenchman. Dazed by the shock, he watched the two rear companies pass forward through the fire. Beside him in the sunken lane he found other wounded men ; among them a Sergeant (whose name, unfortunately, is now unknown) and a little 2nd Lieutenant, believed to have been 2/Lieut. J. O. Couldridge. Together they peered forward through the smoke of the German barrage. For a moment the smoke drifted aside, and they could see the situation in front. The attack had stopped. The last few N.C.O’s. of “D” Company had been hit, two German machine-guns from the right flank had raked the line, and the young soldiers, brave enough but utterly bewildered, had halted and lain down. The other companies had closed up to them and had likewise stopped. All four companies were crowded in the open under a fierce fire.


    The little group in the trench were horror-struck. “God! ” cried the little 2nd Lieutenant Are we going to fail again?” The wounded Sergeant grasped the situation and tore at the steep bank to make a step. “The boys will go on all right if there’s someone to lead them” he said: he clambered up and dashed forward into the fire. Twenty yards from the trench he was struck and fell. Close on his heels followed the little 2nd Lieutenant. Lieutenant Bennett found a spade and cut himself a step in the embankment. Then he too ran forward through the bursting shells. As he ran, he passed the little 2nd Lieutenant struck dead. Still grasping the spade, he reached the troops, dashed through them and signalled them to advance. The whole Battalion rose behind him and flooded forward in one wave over the crest-line and down on to the flank of the German trenches.

    From the front and from the right flank came a hail of bullets from the German machine-guns; but the ground was so broken that the platoons afforded no constant target as they struggled down into and up out of the countless shell-holes . . . . “we were like a swarm of rats in a ploughed field” (E. P. Bennett). Before that onslaught the German garrisons of “Mirage” and “Boritzka” trenches gave way. Such as survived of the enemy fell back across the broken ground, and Lieutenant Bennett led the attack forward along the whole length of the objective. Then, in pursuance of their orders, the 2nd Worcestershire faced to their right and pushed forward down the slope for some five hundred yards. Orders were given to dig in, and the remnant of the Battalion consolidated a new line beyond the captured ground.

    The enemy actively disputed the advance, and the new line was entrenched under a hot fire of musketry from close range. Lieut. E. M. Holland, who had shown great gallantry throughout the attack, was shot and killed during the work of entrenchment. At first the new position was dangerously isolated, but presently an officer of the 16th King’s Royal Rifles made his way forward to the line. His battalion had captured “Hazy Trench” and had made good their ground. The left flank of the Worcestershire was thereby secured.

    The survivors of the Battalion held their ground all the rest of that day, answering shot by shot and digging themselves into cover, great gallantry was shown by 2/Lieut. R. W. A. Watts, who reorganised his men and carried out a dangerous patrol to the front, in which he was wounded (2/Lieut. Watts was awarded the M.C.). They were exposed to a fierce fire all the afternoon and there were many casualties. After dark came relief. The 5th Scottish Rifles took over the captured line and the Worcestershire moved back. Very few were left of the four companies. Lieutenant Bennett could muster not more than about 60 all told, with one young subaltern besides himself. The little force marched back through the French lines, where they were heartily congratulated, to Battalion Headquarters at Les Boeufs.

    Casualties for the 2nd Worcestershire on the 5th November 1916, were given officially as follows :—Killed 3 officers 15 other ranks. Wounded 2 officers, 66 other ranks. Missing one officer (believed killed) and 21 other ranks; but those figures are certainly understated. Besides the two Captains named above, 2/Lieuts. J. O. Couldridge and E. M. Holland were killed. Lieut. E. P. Bennett and 2/Lt. R. W. A. Watts were wounded, among others. The actual loss was over 200. The Battalion War Diaries at this period are very defective.

    The 2nd Battalion now moved back up the communication trenches to Guillemont, which was reached at dawn of November 6th. There all slept soundly until roused in the afternoon by the arrival of a relieving battalion; which proved to be none other than the 1st Worcestershire. After hearty mutual greetings, the 2nd Worcestershire fell in and tramped back westward past Montauban to a camp “in a very muddy field” near Fricourt. For two days the Battalion rested and cleaned up. On November 9th the Brigadier inspected the Battalion and read a message of congratulation from the Regimental Commander of the French 66th Regiment. Next day the Battalion marched by Meaulte to Buire station and entrained for the back areas to rest and train. Their part in the battle was over; and Lieutenant Bennett’s bravery and fine leadership were fitly rewarded with the Victoria Cross.

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    Donnie
     
  6. 51highland

    51highland Very Senior Member

    Noel Chavasse, M.C. 1st LIverpool Scottish won his first VC on 9th August 1916 during the attack on Guillemont.
    The 2nd or bar was awarded posthumously as described above.
     

    Attached Files:

  7. Capt Bill

    Capt Bill wanderin off at a tangent

    I used to work on Chavasse ward, MDHU Frimley Park a few years back.

    there is a good book, covering his life, female author - she also wrote about martin-Leake

    Captain Noel Godfrey Chavasse, VC and Bar, MC, RAMC

    There is a very tenuous link between all three double VC winners

    Chavasse and Upham were both one of twins, Chavasse was cared for in his dying days in the Field Hosp commanded by Martin-Leake
     
  8. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

    Soren,
    I am currently reading 'Only the enemy in Front'.
    Noels Chavasse's Cousin, Lieutenant Colonel Kendal G.F. Chavasse, commanded 56th Recce in Tunisia and was personally sent a letter by Lord Louis Mountbatten when he learned that Chavasse had acted quickly to support No 6 Commando who were in danger of being over-run.
    A chip off the old block.

    Have today received the portrait and sketches you produced of my late father, all magnificent!
    I cannot thank you enough for your efforts.

    Regards
    Tom
     
  9. soren1941

    soren1941 Living in Ypres

    I used to work on Chavasse ward, MDHU Frimley Park a few years back.

    there is a good book, covering his life, female author - she also wrote about martin-Leake

    Captain Noel Godfrey Chavasse, VC and Bar, MC, RAMC

    There is a very tenuous link between all three double VC winners

    Chavasse and Upham were both one of twins, Chavasse was cared for in his dying days in the Field Hosp commanded by Martin-Leake


    I also understand that a cousin/niece of Chavasse married Upham
     
  10. soren1941

    soren1941 Living in Ypres

    Soren,
    I am currently reading 'Only the enemy in Front'.
    Noels Chavasse's Cousin, Lieutenant Colonel Kendal G.F. Chavasse, commanded 56th Recce in Tunisia and was personally sent a letter by Lord Louis Mountbatten when he learned that Chavasse had acted quickly to support No 6 Commando who were in danger of being over-run.
    A chip off the old block.

    Have today received the portrait and sketches you produced of my late father, all magnificent!
    I cannot thank you enough for your efforts.

    Regards
    Tom

    Thank you Tom,

    Your custom is very much appreciated! I'm glad that you liked them.

    Soren
     
  11. Richard Harrison

    Richard Harrison Senior Member

    on a tangent i went to chavasse's resting place, what a guy double VC winner and truely a man that best describes the word "hero"
     
  12. militarycross

    militarycross Very Senior Member

  13. andalucia

    andalucia Senior Member

    Noel's house in Liverpool

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    His statue close to his house

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  14. geoff501

    geoff501 Achtung Feind hört mit

    On the family memorial at Bromsgrove.

    http://www.********.co.uk/WW2talk/chavasse0476.jpg
     
  15. andalucia

    andalucia Senior Member

    Bust of Noel in Liverpool's Anglican Cathedral.
     

    Attached Files:

  16. Peter Clare

    Peter Clare Very Senior Member

    A new monument honouring the most highly-decorated hero of World War I has been unveiled in Liverpool on the 94th anniversary of his death.

    Capt Noel Chavasse, of the 10th Liverpool Scottish Battalion, was the only man to twice be awarded the VC for bravery in the 1914-18 war.

    A Medical Officer, he was credited with saving the lives of more than twenty wounded soldiers, rescuing them under heavy fire, to win his first Victoria Cross in August 1916.

    Then over three days in 1917 he again displayed amazing courage in rescuing wounded men and tending to their injuries after being wounded himself and died on 4th August 1917.

    The memorial, in the stark form of a sheet of steel that will rust, is incised with a citation conveying the valour and achiements of Capt Chavasse, who was the son of the then Bishop of Liverpool.

    Read more

    New tribute to Liverpool's double VC hero Noel Chavasse > Local News > News | Click Liverpool
     
  17. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

  18. Mike L

    Mike L Very Senior Member

    Chavasse's CWGC entry:

    CWGC :: Casualty Details

    The only VC and Bar headstone I have ever seen.

    Pictures in those articles seem a bit odd - can't see any real detail of the memorial.
     
  19. Jonathan Ball

    Jonathan Ball It's a way of life.

  20. Buteman

    Buteman 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA

    His headstone from Findagrave

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    PS - Snap.
     

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