First World War hero's medals return home for centenary

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30 August 2017
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p7-pic-Chavasse--IWM-82648.jpg Captain Noel Chavasse
The medals of the only serviceman to be awarded the Victoria Cross twice during WW1 have gone on display in his adopted home city, 100 years after his death following the Battle of Passchendaele

The medals of Captain Noel Chavasse, the only serviceman to be awarded the Victoria Cross (VC) twice during the First World War, have gone on display at the Museum of Liverpool, 100 years after his death.

 

Timed to coincide with the centenary on 31 July of the Third Battle of Ypres (Passchendaele), it is the first time this important medal group has gone on public display in Liverpool, the family’s home from 1900, after they moved from Oxford. Chavasse was awarded his first VC in October 1916 for bravery at the Somme and his second VC posthumously in September 1917 for gallantry at Passchendaele, where he was fatally wounded and died on 4 August 1917. His medals went on display in the city 100 years to the day that he died.

 

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Janet Dugdale, Director of the Museum of Liverpool, said: ‘The name “Chavasse” is forever associated with heroism and courage thanks to the actions of Noel, and other members of the family, during the First World War. In unimaginably appalling conditions, Captain Chavasse saved the lives of many of his men, losing his own as a consequence in 1917. This group of medals tells a powerful story of the extremes of human sacrifice. We’re extremely proud to be bringing them to Liverpool on the centenary of his death.’

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The medals, part of the Lord Ashcroft Gallery at IWM London, are a highlight in a city-wide programme of events, which include the unveiling of a commemorative paving stone to Chavasse in Liverpool’s Abercromby Square, followed by a recreation of his memorial service at Liverpool Parish Church.

 

View the display until 5 January 2018; for more information, see here.

 

Images: Medals courtesy of the Lord Ashcroft Collection at IWM, Captain Noel Chavasse © IWM.