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The Memoirs of the Reverend Evelyn Chavasse

Reference Code: GBR/0014/CVSS

Scope and Contents

"Business in Great Waters: War Memories of a Semi-Sailor". Unpublished naval memoirs written in 1980. These memoirs cover the period in which Chavasse played a particularly active role in World War II. The memoirs begin with his command of HMS Broadway (formerly the USS Hunt), the early engineering problems and escorting convoys across the North Atlantic from Londonderry to Newfoundland [later part of Canada]. They also cover the period when Chavasse served under Admiral Sir Max Horton, encounters with U-boats, and the later command of HMS Bentinck.


  • Creation: 1942 - 1945

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for consultation by researchers using Churchill Archives Centre, Churchill College, Cambridge.

Conditions Governing Use

Researchers wishing to publish excerpts from the papers must obtain prior permission from the copyright holders and should seek advice from Archives Centre staff.

Biographical / Historical

Chavasse was the third of four brothers who all served in the armed forces and played active roles in the church. He married and had two sons. He joined the Royal Navy in 1920. He served on the staff of the Commander-in-Chief of the East Indies, Jan 1938 - Dec 1941, and post-war. Spring 1942-May 1943 he was in command of HMS Broadway as Escort Commander in Western Approaches (North Atlantic). He was Staff Officer (Operations) at Derby House in Liverpool, 1944 - 1945. He served in the Naval Intelligence Department after WWII. He was invalided out of the navy with recurring TB and joined the church in 1952. He retired from his last parish, in Jersey, to Cyprus in 1973. He was periodically Acting Honorary Chaplain in Kyrenia, Cyprus 1973 - 1980 during the Turkish invasion. He died on 9 August 1991.


1 volume(s) (1 volume (180 folios))

Language of Materials


Other Finding Aids

The finding aid to the collection is available in the reading room at Churchill Archives Centre, at the National Register of Archives in London and on the Janus website:

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Chavasse sent this copy of his memoirs to Stephen Roskill (Keeper of the Archives) in Mar 1982.

Existence and Location of Copies

Another copy is held by the Imperial War Museum.


This collection (fonds) level description was prepared by Louise King of Churchill Archives Centre in April 2003. Additional information was obtained from the collection itself.

Date information

DateText: These are the dates of the events covered by the memoirs.


Chavasse, Evelyn Henry, 1906-1991, vicar

2003-04-22 10:27:50+00:00
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Churchill Archives Centre Repository

Churchill Archives Centre
Churchill College
Cambridge Cambridgeshire CB3 0DS United Kingdom
+44 (0)1223 336087