Friday, August 4 2017, was the centenary of the death of Captain Noel Chavasse VC & Bar MC, one of the bravest soldiers who has ever lived.
Captain Chavasse, a doctor who served with the Royal Army Medical Corps (RAMC), was the only man to be awarded the VC and Bar – the equivalent of two VCs – during the Great War.
To mark the centenary of his death, Lord Ashcroft has written an article on Captain Chavasse’s life for The Sunday Times Magazine and this was published on Sunday, August 6.
Lord Ashcroft has also presented a short video on Captain’s Chavasse’s life that was filmed during a recent visit to Belgium and France. The video was filmed and edited by Julian Simmonds, an award-winning photographer.
Lord Ashcroft is the custodian of the Chavasse medal group, having purchased the gallantry and service medals privately in 2009. Only three VC and Bars have been awarded since the VC was created in 1856.
Having already been awarded the Military Cross (MC), Captain Chavasse was awarded his first VC for bravery at the Battle of the Somme in 1916 and the Bar to his VC for gallantry at the Battle of Passchendaele a year later. He died, from horrendous injuries received during the opening days of that battle, on August 4 1917, aged 32.
Captain Chavasse’s second VC was a posthumous award announced more than a month after his death. During his wartime exploits, Captain Chavasse saved the lives of dozens of men, often going out to rescue them just yards from enemy trenches.