1932 - 2022

Peter Padfield

Peter Lawrence Notton Padfield was born in Kolkata, India on 3 April 1932, son of William Lawrence Notton Padfield (30 January 1905-6 March 1939), a captain in the Royal Engineers attached to the Indian Army, and his wife Annice Edna Abbott (14 September 1906-18 August 1998), daughter of William Herbert Greenland Abbott, Colonel of Engineers in Bombay (Mumbai), who married at Bombay on 5 February 1930. Peter's father died in 1939 when his mother, with Peter and younger brother Timothy, returned to England, with the children boarding at Northcliffe House preparatory school in Sussex, which was evacuated to Cornwall during the second world war. He then attended Christ's Hospital School in West Sussex and finally the Thames Nautical Training College, H.M.S. Worcester. After service as a navigating officer on P & O liners to India and Australia, in 1957 he gained a berth as mariner, rated Master Gunner in the ship's books, aboard the replica seventeenth century barque Mayflower II on her re-creation of the Pilgrim Fathers' voyage from Plymouth, England to Plymouth, Massachusetts under Commander Alan Villiers. Peter married St Mary's Church, Dodleston, Cheshire on 23 April 1960, Dorothy Jane Yarwood (1931-2018), only daughter of Ernest Sydney Yarwood (1899-1975) of Weybridge, Surrey. Working in London in nautical journalism until the international success of his 'The Titanic and the Californian' (1965) which encouraged him to become a full-time writer. After leaving the sea, with his wife Jane they moved to East Anglia, settling eventually in Suffolk, where they raised two daughters and a son. Finding that his early writing success was not easily repeatable he supplemented his income by forming a company to sell sketches of East Anglian scenes but went on to publish over thirty books. With the growth of his reputation as a naval historian he was able to buy a gaff-rigged 1900 Norfolk shrimper replica which, together with his family, he sailed on the river Deben. His son, Guy, settled in Switzerland and began creating the butterfly website for which he is now known internationally; the girls found their vocations in respectively art photography and play writing. Peter was a well-known naval historian and biographer who lived at Clare in Suffolk in the 1960s while writing two of his earliest books and working in nautical journalism, was also an extremely accomplished artist. Peter Padfield died at Westmorland Cottage, Drybridge Hill, Woodbridge, Suffolk on 14 March 2022, his wife had died in March 2018. They were survived by their children, Deborah, Guy, and Fiona.

Works by This Artist