CHADWICK, Albert Paxton

1903 - 1961

Paxton Chadwick

Born at Fallowfield, Manchester on 4 September 1903, son of George Harry Chadwick, an assistant manager for a shipping merchant, and his wife Helen Wrigley née Renton, who married at Chorlton, Lancashire in 1898. In 1911, living with his parents at Berwyn Terrace, Church Lane, Romily, Stockport and as a child showed great talent and after his education at Manchester Grammar School studied at Manchester School of Art in the 1920s. After leaving art college, he set up as a commercial artist in a studio first in Manchester. He married his first wife, Rhoday May Reynolds, at Rusholme, Manchester in 1927, and in 1931 moved to Chelsea and from London to Welwyn Garden City. Chadwick was then offered a part time post as art teacher at the pioneering and controversial Summerhill School at Leiston, Suffolk where he came into to contact with a number of teachers in the Communist Party, notably Vivien Jackson, daughter of prominent communist writer and printer, Max Morton, Richard Goodman and Cyril Eyre, who had joined the Communist Party at Oxford University in 1933 and by 1935 Chadwick had joined the Party. In 1934 a contingent of hunger marchers passed through Leiston, the reception organised primarily by this group led to a crowd of over 1,000 welcoming the marchers into Leiston; this in a town with effectively no history of radicalism or trade unionism. During the war Chadwick was called up into the anti-aircraft arm of the Royal Artillery where he continued to carry out council work and produce a wall newspaper for his unit and ended the war with the rank of Captain. As chairman of Leiston council, and gave support to the annual Co-operative fete, Leiston thereafter could always be relied upon to secure a sizable Communist and left Labour vote and it was not uncommon to see Chadwick's red and white Communist posters in house windows throughout the town. He married his second wife Doreen Lee Bosence née Hindley at Winchester, Hampshire in 1941 and their son was Peter Chadwick [q.v.]. A Communist councillor and Chadwick himself stood for election last in 1960 missing out on being elected. Paxton Chadwick was a first class artist and produced numerous nature drawings for Penguin books from 1949 until his death and illustrated a large number of books on plants, birds and animals for leading publishers, and exhibited in London, Manchester and in France and North America. He died in Whitworth hospital, London on 6 September 1961 and his funeral address was given by Communist Party General Secretary, John Gollan.

Works by This Painter