LIVERPOOL'S most courageous son has been immortalised in a new book written by a former army chief.
Noel Chavasse, one of only three soldiers to be awarded two Victoria Crosses, stands out among distinguished fellow VC recipients because of his extraordinary decency and valour in the bloody battlefields of World War I.
The heroic tales of 15 Victoria Cross winners are told by former SAS soldier and Gulf War commander General Sir Peter de la Billiere, whose book is published on September 23.
A member of the Royal Army Medical Corps, Chavasse served at the battle of the Somme in 1916 where he carried a badly injured soldier 500 yards to safety while suffering from wounds himself.
It was that act of bravery which earned Chavasse his first Victoria Cross.
He won his second VC - although he told no-one in his battalion that he had been awarded the first - at Passchendaele.
Despite being hit twice in the head by shrapnel, Chavasse remained at his post, going out at night aided by a captured German medic to search for the badly wounded.
At 3am on August 2, 1917, he was seriously injured when a shell destroyed the dugout in which he was sheltering.
The medic, whose father wasa Bishop of Liverpool and twin brother Christopher was Bishop of Rochester, managed to get to battalion headquarters and was operated on that morning.
But his condition worsened and one of his final acts was to dictate a letter to his fiancee Gladys telling her that "duty called, and duty must be obeyed".
He died aged 33. His family's grief and anguish was tinged with pride by the news he would be awarded a bar to his Victoria Cross posthumously.
General de la Billiere said: "Noel Chavasse never killed anyone, nor did he even firea shot in anger.
"Altogether, he saved the lives of some 20 badly-wounded men, besides the ordinary cases, which passed through his hands.
"His courage and self-sacrifice were beyond praise."
Supreme Courage: Heroic Stories From 150 Years of the Victoria Cross is published by Little, Brown at £20