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November 23rd, 2011:

I stood in my front room and wept…

“I stood in my front room and wept.” From Sharron Davies MBE, that’s something: she is more a doer than a weeper. But the former Olympic swimmer, and now BBC sports personality, has not even moved into her new house, a Grade II listed pile in Wiltshire, yet the dream is in danger of turning sour.

And why pray tell?

In her mind’s eye, the view from the early Victorian French windows is already blocked by the walls of a care home for the elderly that is arising on the other side of her garden fence. And that fence is only a few yards away. I could throw a javelin or put a shot further than that myself. It’s not the care home per se that upsets her. She knew that one had received planning permission when she exchanged contracts. But the original plans were to have created a stripling of 42 bedrooms: its profile lower, its bulk less.

Because the developers have decided to build 63 bedrooms, not 42 and (the vile things) this is a mere modification of the initial planning application not a complete new application. Seems fair enough to me. I mean it’s not like they decided to modify their proposal in terms of “there will be a care home with a bit of an airport too!”

Now the reason I posted this, the reason I clicked through was the Telegraph headline was, “Toughest challenge yet for Olympic hero Sharron Davies”. So I clicked because I thought she had cancer or something and not a planning issue.

This is Ms Davies and her house…

Looks OK to me. Looks bloody brilliant. Yeah I can see myself having a BBQ there. I can see Timmy (the cat) having a rare old time in those gardens. Indeed 99+% of the entire population doesn’t have a gaff that nice. I don’t and I bet neither do you. So why does Ms Davies have a face like a slapped arse? Might I suggest because she’s being a moo about it. She is doing the archetypical home-ownerist bullshit act of claiming her right to the property (which is all well and good – she paid for it) whilst depriving others the enjoyment of their own property which they bought as fair and square as Ms Davies. The fact that the thing in question is an old folks home just puts mustard on the sandwich. I mean really Ms Davies! You paid good money for that pile and the folks next door presumably didn’t get that land by trading beads with the natives so they have rights too you know. I guess if you really wanted to exert your BBC salary and “Olympic Hero” status – sorry Sharron but heroes are folks like Sailor Malan or Noel Chavasse .

Captain Noel Godfrey Chavasse, M.C., M.B., Royal Army Medical Corps.

For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty.

During an attack he tended the wounded in the open all day, under heavy fire, frequently in view of the enemy. During the ensuing night he searched for wounded on the ground in front of the enemy’s lines for four hours.
Next day he took one stretcher-bearer to the advanced trenches, and under heavy shell fire carried an urgent case for 500 yards into safety, being wounded in the side by a shell splinter during the journey. The same night he took up a party of twenty volunteers, rescued three wounded men from a shell hole twenty-five yards from the enemy’s trench, buried the bodies of two Officers, and collected many identity discs, although fired on by bombs and machine guns.

Altogether he saved the lives of some twenty badly wounded men, besides the ordinary cases which passed through his hands. His courage and self-sacrifice, were beyond praise.

And that is merely the citation for his first Victoria Cross. He won two. He won his second VC at Passchendaele. Only three men have won a bar to a VC.

His Majesty the KING has been graciously pleased to approve of the award of a Bar to the Victoria Cross to Capt. Noel Godfrey Chavasse, V.C., M.C., late K.A.M.C., attd. L’pool R.

For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty when in action.
Though severely wounded early in the action whilst carrying a wounded soldier to the Dressing Station, Capt. Chavasse refused to leave his post, and for two days not only continued to perform his duties, but in addition went out repeatedly under heavy fire to search for and attend to the wounded who were lying out.

During these searches, although practically without food during this period, worn with fatigue and faint with his wound, he assisted to carry in a number of badly wounded men, over heavy and difficult ground.

By his extraordinary energy and inspiring example, he was instrumental in rescuing many wounded who would have otherwise undoubtedly succumbed under the bad weather conditions.

This devoted and gallant officer subsequently died of his wounds.

That’s the full deal Sharron. You were merely very good at swimming. Captain Chavasse was a hero. I can’t imagine (and neither can you) the hell he went through. It certainly wasn’t the hell of buying a very nice house (due to the unique way the BBC is extorted) and discovering a somewhat larger old-folks home will be at the end of your garden. No, Captain Chavasse carried wounded soldiers through a mud-pit under a heavy metal tirade from the Wehrmacht that you or me Sharron could not believe or even understand. And he died doing it. He didn’t have his view (arguably) spoilt. Captain Chavasse’s view was of horror I can’t begin to imagine and not of “luxury homes and healthcare developments of character and distinction”. Now I know that’s developer nonsense but still it ain’t the Western Front in 1917 is it?

But there is something else. I feel odd saying it for it nauseated me at the time. But it is relevant. During her swimming career Ms Davies admitted to urinating in the pool to deter competitors. I do not mention this merely because it is vile (though it is) but because there is not only the Dame Judy of urine (bad though that might be) but hypocrisy here. She pissed in her competitor’s swimming lanes and now she wants our sympathy because an old-folks home is being built next to her new gaff! I mean if you’re prepared to piss over somebody else’s fence then don’t come crying to me because they return the favour. Especially not if it is merely building a 50% larger care-home. I mean you knew something was going to be built. Get over yourself Sharon!

This is the property Captain Noel Chavasse now occupies.

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