General Correspondence of Bishop Francis Chavasse 1906-27

General correspondence of Bishop Francis Chavasse, 1916-1927


These letters are a more general collection of Bishop Chavasse's correspondence relating to WWI.

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

Letter from the Earl of Derby to Francis James Chavasse                         4 Oct 1916

Edward George Villiers Stanley, 17th Earl of Derby, confidentially informs Francis James Chavasse that his son, Noel, will be awarded the Victoria Cross. He also asks for a suitable candidate to replace Canon Penrhyn. Sent from Derby House, Stratford Place, W.

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Letter from Robert Day[?] to Francis James Chavasse                Not dated (c.1916)

Day[?] congratulates Francis James Chavasse on the honour awarded to his son Noel. He has heard nothing but good reports of Noel since the war started. He will be going to France soon to visit base hospitals and clearing stations – he hopes to see Noel then. Sent from 11, Belvidere Road, Princes Park, Liverpool.

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Letter from Francis James Chavasse to William Streatfeild                   6 Mar 1918

Francis James Chavasse discusses the strain that he has felt over the past few months. He explains that Aidan Chavasse is now officially presumed to be dead. He is glad that Jerusalem has been captured. He thinks that the new Bishop of Hereford [Herbert Hensley Henson (1863-1947)] is not as bad as his public image suggests. Sent from The Palace, 19 Abercromby Square, Liverpool.

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Letter from Francis James Chavasse to William Streatfeild                   9 Jan 1919

Francis James Chavasse thanks Streatfeild (1865-1929) for sending him his article on St. Cyprian. The Bishop of Warrington [Martin Linton Smith (1869-1950)] has been helping him a lot with his work recently. He has heard no further news of Aidan Chavasse, and now accepts that he has died. He reports that Christopher Chavasse is now attached to an Army Corps in Germany, and that he expects to marry after demobilisation in the summer. Francis Bernard Chavasse is now a Major and attached to a Field Ambulance. May Chavasse has returned home after the disbanding of the Liverpool Merchants Hospital in France. His wife Edith is feeling better and is now able to do some work. Sent from The Palace, 19 Abercrombie Square, Liverpool.

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Letter from Dorothy Chavasse to Francis James Chavasse                          [1927]

Dorothy Chavasse consoles her father on the death of her mother Edith, which occurred around the anniversary of Aidan Chavasse going missing. Sent from 4 Wellington Road, Oxton, Birkenhead.

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Letter from Francis Bernard Chavasse to Francis James Chavasse       3 Aug 1916

Francis Bernard apologises for not writing sooner, explaining that he has been in the thick of things recently. He has tried to contact Louis Edward Maude (1891-1916), without success. He describes the fighting and suggests that Louis may well have been taken prisoner by the Germans. He is worried about the effect of Louis’ disappearance on his aunt Louisa and uncle Joseph Maude (1852-1927). He reflects on his work and describes being bombarded by artillery. He suggests that the danger posed by artillery is overstated, and that sympathy should be reserved for infantrymen going over the top. He reports that losses in his division have been greater than expected, in the most part due to an action at Trones Wood. Noel Chavasse’s Division will be taking their place – he hoped to see Noel, but was unable to. Sent from 96th Field Ambulance, B.E.F.

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Letter from Francis Bernard Chavasse to Francis James Chavasse      24 Aug 1916

Bernard  has heard no further news about Noel. He discusses German air raids on a local town. He describes the court martial of an Officer for being drunk on duty. He has been told that his Sergeant Major and a Sergeant of the Army Signals Corp have been arrested for being drunk. He describes his recent attempts at field dentistry. Sent from the 96th Field Ambulance, B.E.F., France.

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