FINCH, William Robert

1905 - 2003

William Robert Finch was born at Oulton Broad, Lowestoft, Suffolk on 6 April 1905, one of three sons and five daughters of William Henry Austin Finch (22 March 1880-1956), master mariner, and his wife Alice Jane Wilmott née Macey (23 February 1875-1952), who married at Carlton Colville, Suffolk on 8 January 1902. In 1911, William was living at 8 Norfolk Terrace, Victoria Road, Oulton Broad, as a pupil of Lovewell School at Kirkley, before attending Lowestoft Grammar School then spending a year as a pupil teacher and two as an uncertificated teacher. In 1923, William won a place at one of the oldest teacher training colleges, St John's in Battersea and whilst there, it amalgamated with St Mark's College, Chelsea, to become the College of St Mark & St John. A self-taught artist in oils, watercolour, pencil, tempera, pastel, gouache, etcher, journalist, and teacher. Head of the art department at Beal Grammar School, Ilford and at Chigwell School, developing a sideline as a lecturer to adult groups and writing on rural architecture for Essex and Kent newspapers. William exhibited at the Royal Academy; East End Academy; Reading Art Guild; Ilford Art Society and elsewhere. The author of 'Country Buildings-how to appreciate them and how to sketch them' (1951) and an account of the East Anglian fishing industry 'The Sea in my Blood' (1992). In 1939, a schoolmaster art specialist, living at 11 Wroxham Road, Ipswich with the Stafford family. He married at Henley, Oxfordshire in 1942, Adela Catherine Mee (20 April 1922-29 May 2008) and they had two sons, the marriage was dissolved in 1955 and in 1969 he married secondly, Peggy Doreen Hill (died 21 September 2013). William Robert Finch latterly lived at Waveney Cottage, Weybread, Suffolk where he died on 15 April 2003. In his nineties he fulfilled a lifetime ambition by donating to Lowestoft Library over 100 of his paintings, drawings, and etchings for its permanent collection. William signed his pictures W. R. Finch or Finch, but he is sometimes conflated with Alfred William Finch (1854-1930).

Works by This Artist