The great great niece of First World War hero, Captain Noel Chavasse, paid a visit to his former family home at 19 Abercromby Square this week, as part of a radio documentary being made to commemorate the centenary of his death.
Captain Chavasse is the only person to be awarded a Victoria Cross twice for his bravery attending to wounded soldiers during the First World War.
Anna Sinfield is the great grandaughter of Christopher Chavasse, Noel’s identical twin brother, and came to the city to visit 19 Abercromby Square and Liverpool College, where Noel and Christopher had gone to school.
Vocalist and radio producer Anna, who is based in London, is making a radio documentary about Noel Chavasse to mark the 100th anniversary of his death in August this year.
Noel and Christopher Chavasse moved to Liverpool in 1900 when their father was appointed Bishop of Liverpool and they became residents of the Bishop’s Palace, which was at 19 Abercromby Square.
After attending Liverpool College, Noel studied medicine at the University of Oxford. He returned to Liverpool to continue his medical studies here at the University and took his first placement at the Royal Southern Hospital in Liverpool.
During the First World War, Christopher served as a Chaplain whilst Noel served as a surgeon lieutenant in the Royal Army Medical. Noel was awarded his first VC on 9 August 1916 at Guillemont, France where under heavy fire he rescued about 20 wounded soldiers from the battlefield, including three men who were 25 yards from enemy trenches.
His second VC was awarded posthumously for braving heavy fire to attend to wounded soldiers during the Battle of Passchendaele, despite being badly injured himself. He died of his injuries on 4 August 1917 and was buried at the Brandhoek New Military Cemetery in Belgium.
A statue to Noel Chavasse and fifteen other Liverpool-born Victoria Cross recipients is located in Abercromby Square. Designed by local sculptor, Tom Murphy, the bronze statue depicts Captain Chavasse and a Liverpool Scottish stretcher bearer attending a wounded soldier.
Bill Sergeant from the Noel Chavasse VC Memorial Association accompanied Anna on her visit to Liverpool.
Anna said: “This is my second visit to Liverpool, having attended the unveiling of the Chavasse statue on Abercromby Square in 2012. It is amazing to visit 19 Abercromby square which had been the family home of my great grandfather, his twin brother Noel and there other siblings when they were growing up. Walking around the building has really brought to life some of the stories which have been told to me about Noel and Christopher and their childhood here and before they went off to war.”
You can find out more about Anna’s radio documentary by following @annasinfield on twitter.