Thursday, 10 April 2008

Claude Chavasse


...de la Galway Advertiser:

When I was a schoolboy at the Jes, an unusual man with an unusual name, Claude Chavasse, was occasionally brought from classroom to classroom, accompanied by an bemused teacher.

Chavasse spoke Irish with such a strange accident few of us understood him. But he remains in the psyche of people of my generation because of his ancient Celtic dress and saffron kilt. No one wore a kilt in those days so we always had a giggle at the man in a ‘skirt’.

He was a character at a time when there were many ‘characters’ around the town. But most of the ‘characters’ were, to use an insensititive phrase, ‘not the full shilling’. They were mostly poor people, living in poor circumstances.

But Chavasse was the exact opposite. One of his ancestors came from the south-east of France in the 17th century, to Burford in England. Claude claimed that one of his family fought with James I in Ireland. He was a fourth cousin of the Godfrey Noel Chavasse who won two Iron Crosses fighting for Germany in World War 1...

1 comment:

james said...

dear sirs
in saying that claude chavasse was 4th cousin to noel godfrey chavasse, you are correct. but to say that noel chavasse won 2 iron crosses is incorrect.
noel chavasse served as a medical officer with the 10th battalion, Liverpool Scottish, during th Great War, and was awarded the Military Cross and 2 Victoria Crosses, the second of which was gained posthumously.He was killed ministering to the wounded of both sides in 1917. he is one of only 3 men to have won 2 Victoria Crosses, and the only man to win 2 Victoria Crosses during the Great War. He is a great hero in Liverpool and Britain.