xxCity poised to unveil double VC hero statue
Aug 7 2008 by Vicky Anderson, Liverpool Daily Post
A STATUE commemorating Noel Chavasse, only British winner of the VC and bar, and all of Liverpool’s Victoria Cross recipients, is about to be unveiled.
After three years of fundraising, the statue, by city sculptor Tom Murphy, will be situated in Abercromby Square where the Chavasse family once lived.
The memorial, which depicts Captain Chavasse and a Liverpool Scottish stretcher bearer attending a wounded soldier, will be unveiled in the course of a drumhead service on Sunday, August 17.
The organisation behind the fundraising says it is still a few thousand pounds short of its £120,000 target, but hopes when people see the finished product the statue will speak for itself and the final sum will soon be found.
Bill Sergent, chairman of the Noel Chavasse Victoria Cross Memorial Association, said: “We couldn’t go on for ever, so the idea is that once it’s up people will appreciate it and we can finish the little way we still have to go.
“But we’re almost there and I’ll be pleased to see it up. It’s been a long time coming.
“Thanks to the support of a small number of local businesses, donations from regimental and other associations and, most importantly from numerous ordinary people, we are at long last in a position to afford these brave men the recognition and gratitude they so richly deserve.”
Sculptor Tom Murphy said it was “brilliant” that the project will be seeing the light of day.
The statue had been waiting so long for the money to cast it in bronze there was worry the mould would deteriorate and all work would be lost.
“Noel Chavasse is extremely highly regarded in the city, and it’s amazing how many people out there are interested in the sacrifices these people made all that time ago. There’s been a fantastic job fundraising and I’m lucky to be asked to do these jobs.”
The site is temporary and the hunt is still on for a permanent home.
Chavasse, and two of the city’s other VC recipients, were graduates of the institution.
The service, conducted jointly by the Rev John Williams, chaplain to the Forces, and the Very Rev Paul Chavasse, a descendant of Noel Chavasse, will be attended by a number of civic and military dignitaries and members of the families of several of the VC winners whose names will appear on the memorial.
There will be a military band and also the Pipes and Drums of the Liverpool Scottish Association, while the actual unveiling is scheduled to be performed by Lt Commander Ian Fraser VC and Lance Corporal Johnson Beharry VC.
Anybody wishing to attend is advised to arrive before 1pm for the 1.30pm service.