Noel Chavasse, double VC – an extraordinary reply

Thank you to everyone who has taken the trouble to email in reply to my posts about Noel Chavasse; we’ve had scores of messages and some fascinating stories and connections. I’ve reproduced, with their permission, one of these brief but extraordinary email dialogues below. In case you missed the posts, Noel was a doctor and the only man to be awarded the Victoria Cross twice in WW1, for saving the wounded. He was my first cousin (twice removed).

“Dear Gavin,

OMG what a small world we live in.

Noel Chavasse was the very man who pulled my Grandfather from the trenches having been left there for dead at the bottom of a pile of bodies after taking a mortar hit. He lived well into his 60s.

So without him I would not be buying your wine!

So big thanks to him and all those others!

Cheers
Nick”

“Dear Nick

Brilliant. Thanks.
Do you know where and/or when that took place?
I have a pretty good record of Noel’s movements.
And what was your Grandfather’s name?
Best regards
Gavin”

 

“Hi Gavin,

My Grandfathers name was Eddie Beardwood, he grew up in Liverpool and he was in the Kings Liverpool Regiment (aka Liverpool Scottish).

He fought at the Somme and I spoke with my Aunt (his daughter – now 89) last night who confirmed that he was wrapped awaiting burial or collection when Noel Chavasse came along to give the fallen some words.

Apparently my Grandfather’s fingers were twitching which Noel Chavasse spotted and said “This man is not dead”!

Now as as an amazing goosebumps addendum to this, which is why we are speaking, is this:

My Grandfather’s son, my Father, Peter Beardwood, went into education (Maths teacher and Lecturer) and became interested in wine and joined `The Winetasters’ which was basically a collection of educationalists who loved wine and wine tasting.

He became secretary and they toured Europe, mainly France over the years.

Their advisor and ‘leader` was Freddie Price… They visited Bauduc and your white became my Mothers ‘go to’ wine in the Summer; one of her affordable favourites.

My parents introduced us to it and when my parents passed away we inherited some bottles which is why I am now one of your customers!

Small world eh?

Best wishes,
Nick Beardwood”

“Thanks very much, Nick
What an incredible story.

Made all the more ‘small world’ because Toby Price, Freddie’s son, came to Bauduc yesterday with his son Sam.

We had a good tour and tasting and they bought a few cases of wine.

Thank you very much again,
Gavin”