CHADWICK, Albert Paxton

1903 - 1961

Paxton Chadwick

Albert Paxton Chadwick was born at Fallowfield, Manchester on 4 September 1903, son of George Harry Chadwick (1868-10 May 1914), an assistant manager for a shipping merchant, and his wife Helen Wrigley Renton (1867-9 August 1939), eldest daughter of John Renton of Windsor House, Greenhayes, who married at Oxford Street Chapel, Chorlton, Lancashire on 27 April 1898. In 1911, Albert was a 7-year-old, living at Berwyn Terrace, Church Lane, Romiley, Stockport with his parents, 43-year-old George and 44-year-old Helen, with his sibling brother Harry Renton 11. As a child Chadwick showed great artistic talent and after his education at Manchester Grammar School, he studied at Manchester School of Art in the 1920s. After leaving art college, he set up as a commercial artist in a studio in Manchester. He married at St Paul's Withington, Manchester on 9 April 1927, his first wife, Rhoda May Reynolds (1904-1939), only daughter of the late Dr Ernest Septimus Reynold, F.R.C.P., and in 1931 they moved to Chelsea and from London to Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire. Chadwick then took a part-time post as art teacher at the pioneering and controversial Neill's Summerhill School at Leiston, Suffolk where he came into to contact with a number of teachers who were members of 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 also 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. After being cited in the 1940 divorce of Mrs Doreen Phyllis Bosence née Hindley (29 March 1909-22 March 2003), also a teacher at the Summerhill School, they married at Winchester, Hampshire in 1941, and their son was Peter Chadwick. During the Second World 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, he 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 common to see Chadwick's red and white Communist posters in house windows throughout the town. A Communist councillor, Chadwick last stood for election in 1960 but missed being elected. Paxton Chadwick was a first-class artist and produced numerous nature drawings for 'Penguin' books from 1949 until his death and illustrated many books on plants, birds, and animals for leading publishers. He exhibited his work in London, Manchester and in France and North America. Albert Paxton Chadwick was of Sandy Lane, The Common, Leiston when he died in Whittington Hospital, Islington, London on 6 September 1961 and his funeral address was given by Communist Party General Secretary, John Gollan.

Works by This Artist