Miscellaneous Letters to Christopher Chavasse, 1917

Miscellaneous letters to Christopher Chavasse, 1917


These letters are from a file of correspondence recieved by Christopher Chavasse in 1917. They mostly concern the death of Christopher's twin brother Noel, the disappearance of Aidan Chavasse and Christopher's Military Cross.

The letters are presented in the order assigned to them by Bodleian Special Collections - some may be out of chronological order. Questions, corrections and enquiries about the use of images should be directed to archives@spc.ox.ac.uk.

Letter from Marjorie Chavasse to Christopher Chavasse                      9 Jul 1917

Marjorie writes that Aidan is reported wounded and missing. Bernard, now home on leave, says that Aidan was almost certainly taken prisoner. She describes how Aidan was shot and wounded, and how Bernard later tried to find him. She also describes how Captain Peters led a search party but was shot and killed. Bernard went out again the next two nights, but couldn’t find him. She describes how Francis James and Edith Chavasse are coping. Sent from The Palace, Liverpool.

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Letter from Jessie Braithwaite to Christopher Chavasse                    10 Jul [1917]

Jessie Braithwaite (1868/9–1950) has heard from her husband [General Walter Braithwaite (1865-1945)] that Christopher has won the Military Cross. She thanks him for conducting a service. Sent from 12 Milner Street, S.W.3.

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Letter from May Chavasse to Christopher Chavasse                           22 Jul [1917]

May congratulates Christopher on winning the Military Cross. They currently have a patient from Christopher’s division at the hospital, known as ‘Grampa Stoddart” - he wishes to congratulate Christopher also. She asks how Mr Podmore is doing. She has heard that Howard Whickhouse will be coming to the hospital to be Chaplain. She has heard no more news about Aidan, and continues to hope that he was taken prisoner. She has met a Padre called Bob Howard [(1887–1960), Master of St Peter’s (1945–1955)] who knows Christopher from the public school camps, and who wishes to meet him. Another Padre called T.A. Lee wishes to meet Christopher also. Colonel Wetherall [possibly Harry Edward de Robillard Wetherall (1889-1979)] sends his congratulations. She asks which Colonel Christopher told Marjorie about, as she can’t think of anyone with two D.S.O.s. Sent from Liverpool Hospital, A.P.O, SXI, B.E.F.

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Letter from May Chavasse to Christopher Chavasse                          13 Aug 1917

May sends her condolences to Christopher. She tried to discover where Noel was but was unable to find out before he died. She is glad that he probably didn’t suffer much. She suggests that they both use their leave to go home on 20 Aug. Sent from Liverpool Hospital, France.

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Letter from Williams Gibbons to Christopher Chavasse                      28 Aug 1917

Williams Gibbons congratulates Christopher on his Military Cross, but also send his condolences for the death of Noel and the disappearance of Aidan. He assures Christopher that his friends at Portland Place have been following the Chavasse family news. He reflects on the difficulty that he and others experience in being in England while the war is going on, and how they feel that they ought to be doing more. Sent from 9, Linnet Lane, Sefton Park, Liverpool.

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Letter from Edith E. Lea to Christopher Chavasse                              30 Aug 1917

Edith Lea says that she and Harold have been thinking about Christopher and the loss of Noel. They have experienced similar loss in their own family. Harold has just left. She will ask more people to send Christopher papers and magazines while he is in France. She would like Christopher to come and visit her if possible.

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Letter from [?] Charles to Christopher Chavasse                                30 Aug [1917]

Charles apologises for not sending condolences sooner. She and her husband both send their sympathies for Noel’s death – they have been away from home and have not been reading newspapers, and so only recently found out. She congratulates Christopher on his Military Cross. Will injured his knee and was in bed for a month. She hears that Major Lea is back home again. Sent from Lymington.

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Letter from Cosmo Lang to Christopher Chavasse                             31 Aug 1917

Cosmo Lang [(1864-1945), then Archbishop of York] sends the Confirmation cards for the men of the 62nd Division that he confirmed at Bapaume on 29 July. He also sends his condolences for the death of Noel Chavasse. He reflects upon the contribution of the Chavasse family to the war. Sent from Ballure, Tayinloan, Argyllshire.

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Letter from Cicely Evadne Maude to Christopher Chavasse              6 Sep 1917

Cicely Maude expresses her sympathy. She and the rest of the family congratulate Christopher on his Military Cross. Sent from Pendyffryn, Overton-on-Dee, Ellesmore.

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Letter from Aunt Lisa [Louise Fuller?] to Christopher Chavasse         6 Sep 1917

Aunt Lisa sends her condolences for the death of Noel. She congratulates Christopher on his Military Cross. Sent from Pendyffryn, Overton-on-Dee, Ellesmore.

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Letter from Winsome Montgomery to Christopher Chavasse            5 Sep 1917

Winsome Montgomery apologises for not writing sooner, and sends condolences for the death of Noel Chavasse. She congratulates Christopher on his Military Cross. She is sorry that the family missed him when he was home last month. The family have just got back from Ireland and are finding it hard to settle. Donald is now with the 1st Canadian Brigade, and Bernard with the IX Corps [Bernard Montgomery - Christopher Chavasse’s son, Noel, served under him in North Africa]. She went to visit her mother in Woolwich yesterday. Sent from Bishopsbourne, Bolton Road, Chiswick, W.

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Letter from A. P. Thorne to Christopher Chavasse                             20 Sep 1917

Thorne writes that he and the congregation at St Mark’s, Newton, have been thinking about Christopher and Noel. He includes a story about a correspondent of Noel’s, a choirboy named Harry Newton. They are all pleased that Christopher received the Military Cross. Sent from Newton Vicarage, Wigan.

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Letter from W. Alfred Robertson to Christopher Chavasse         26 Sep 1916 [sic]

Robertson expresses his condolences for the death of Noel Chavasse. He says that he sometimes thinks of their schooldays together. He hopes that Aidan has been taken as a prisoner of war, and is still alive. His cousin Hibbie is in Salonica.

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Letter from R.W. Thornhill to Christopher Chavasse                           16 Oct 1917

Thornhill offers his condolences to the Chavasse family. He has a twin brother himself, and reflects no what the loss of Noel must mean to Christopher. He congratulates Christopher on his Military Cross, and considers the impressive war record of the Chavasse family as a whole. Sent from C.M.E. Loco Woille [?], A.P.O 2, B.E.F.

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Letter from John Bennett Lancelot to Christopher Chavasse             22 Oct 1917

Lancelot [Francis James Chavasse's biographer] offers his condolences to Christopher for the death of Noel. The eldest son of his organist died on what was probably his first day at the front. He has feared a war with Germany for years, and believes that the war should continue in order to avoid future generations having to experience the same fate. He will soon be losing his curate, and wishes that Christopher were able to replace him. Sent from St James’s Vicarage, Birkdale.

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