This September, Trevor Chadwick – dubbed the ‘Purbeck Schindler’ – was honoured with a bronze memorial created by artist Moira Purver and cast here at Talos Art Foundry.
The Trevor Chadwick Memorial Trust commissioned the sculpture after a successful fundraising campaign, and was installed in Trevor’s home town of Swanage, appropriately next to a children’s play area overlooking the sea.
Trevor, originally a Swanage teacher and lifeboat volunteer, was part of a team of volunteers led by Sir Nicholas Winton who rescued 669 children of Jewish and anti-Nazi parents from Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia.
Sir Nicholas’s work was brought to public attention in the prime time BBC TV show That’s Life in 1988, nine years after Trevor’s death, but the role played by the rest of the team remained unrecognised.
Of Trevor’s role, Sir Nicholas said, ““My associate Trevor Chadwick was in a much trickier situation. He did the more difficult and dangerous work after the Nazis invaded….he deserves all praise. He managed things at the Prague end, organising the children and the trains, and dealing with the SS and Gestapo.”
Moira’s sculpture is a life-sized depiction of Trevor, from his war-time days, with two young children. Moria created the memorial in clay and then, here at Talos, the clay was moulded and cast in bronze using the lost wax method.
Moira says, “The one year old asleep in the crook of his arm is based on Trevor’s own story of a baby who slept on his lap throughout the first flight. The boy is around 6 and is clutching a toy plane, this is to represent memories of home but also the first group of children that Trevor brought back travelled by plane. Trevor is shown relaxed and in casual clothes because contemporary information indicates this is how he was most comfortable. It would not have been right to have attired him in a formal suit. The children are also relaxed because there are many tales of how he put everyone at their ease even in these very stressful situations.”
The memorial was unveiled by one of Trevor’s grandchildren, Samuel, with the occasion attended by more than 200 people, including descendents of the Kindertransport refugees.
Talos Art Foundry is very pleased to have played a part in creating a fitting memorial to such an unsung hero.