Noel Godfrey Chavasse VC & Bar, MC was one of the most highly decorated British soldiers of the Great War, and the only man during the war to be awarded the Victoria Cross and Bar - and only one of three in the history of the award to achieve this distinction. Chavasse was the son of the Bishop of Liverpool, and after graduating as a doctor became the medical officer of the 10th Bn King's Liverpool Regiment before WW1. He went overseas with them in 1914, and was awarded the Military Cross for bravery at Hooge in June 1915. His first VC was for bravery on the Somme, close to Guillemont, in August 1916:

"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 ensuring 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." (The London Gazette 26th October 1916)

The bar was awarded for bravery in the opening stage of Third Ypres, for the fighting near Wieltje:

"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." (The London Gazette 14th September 1917)

Wounded in this action, Chavasse died of wounds in 32nd Casualty Clearing Station at Brandhoek on 4th August 1917, age 32.

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The Chavasse VC Memorial

The Chavasse VC Memorial is located just outside the church in the village of Brandhoek, on the N308 Ypres-Poperinghe road. It is made of  local brick, and has a Union flag on the adjacent flag staff (see photo top). Built by the local members of the Flambertus History Society of Vlamertinghe, it was unveiled in 1998 by Captain Edgar Chavasse, a relative.


Victoria Cross Reference -

Memorials to Chavasse -

Liverpool College Page for Chavasse -

Chavasse Biography -



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