CRITTALL, Walter Francis

1887 - 1956

Walter Francis Crittall, 'Mr Pink', was born at 27 Bank Street, Braintee, Essex on 2 July 1887, one of the four children of Francis Henry Crittall (1860-1935), a manager of the family firm of window manufacturers, and his wife Ellen Laura née Cooper, who married at Aston, Birmingham on 6 September 1883. In 1891, a 3 year old living at Braintree with his parents, 30 year old Francis and 27 year old Ellen, and his two siblings, 5 year old Miriam and Richard Valentine George Crittall (1884-1961), later the 1st and last Baron Braintree. Walter trained at St John's Wood School of Art. He married at Chelmsford, Essex in 1910, Chistine May Luckin (1882-1927) and in 1911, a 23 year old engineer's designer with the family firm, living at London Road, Braintree with his 25 year old wife, together with his brother, 14 year old Daniel Frederick Crittall. Following his first wife's death in 1927, Walter married secondly at Marylebone, London in 1928, Mary Duke Gordon (25 March 1893-1987). Walter befriended artist George Clausen [q.v.] during the late 1920's and Clausen painted Critall's portrait which he exhibited in the 1936 Royal Academy Summer Exhibition. Crittall, a competent artist and known as 'Mr Pink', lived at Great Easton, Essex and had a second home on the coast at Southwold, a favourite of early and mid-20th century artists, and he co-founded The Sole Bay Group [q.v.], and no doubt, attracted by the philanthropy of Crittall and the fame of Clausen, when many artists gathered around the two 'founders' including Arnesby Brown [q.v.], Hilda Carline [q.v.] and Richard Carline (1986-1980), Thomas Cantrell Dugdale [q.v.], Russell Flint (1880-1969), George Mostyn [q.v.]and Gilbert Spencer [q.v.]. The Group's summertime exhibition were held in both Southwold and Aldeburgh but disbanded about 1939. In 1939, a technical director living at New Farm Muscombs, Great Dunmow, Essex with his wife Mary and daughter Christine Elizabeth (25 March 1915-2005), a secretary. He died at New Farm, Great Easton, Great Dunmow, Essex on 11 May 1956, aged 68.