Chadwick link gets Swanage special preview of top movie

Starring the actor Sir Anthony Hopkins, the film One Life about the rescue of children from the Nazis on the eve of World War Two, is to be released in January 2024 but Swanage in Dorset is to get an earlier premiere.

The film, to be shown at The Mowlem at 2.30 pm on Monday 18th December 2023, tells the true story of British humanitarian Sir Nicholas Winton who helped rescue 669 children from Prague in Czechoslovakia in 1939, along with Trevor Chadwick, a Swanage teacher and lifeboat volunteer.

Trevor Chadwick

Trevor Chadwick moved to Swanage in 1928 when his father set up Forres School in Northbrook Road

Bronze statue in Swanage

Trevor Chadwick stayed in Czechoslovakia from January 1939 until the summer of 1939 when he had to leave as the approaching war became too dangerous for him to continue helping the children.

The majority of those rescued were Jewish but others were the sons or daughters of Czech and Slovak anti-Nazis.

He returned to Swanage and resumed his role as a school teacher at the Forres School, which later became the Purbeck View school.

In August 2022, a bronze statue of Trevor Chadwick was unveiled on the Swanage Recreation Ground next to the Chadwick playground, following an impressive fundraising effort to honour the town’s hero.

It was the town’s links with the Chadwick family which persuaded the film’s distributors to allow the local community to be some of the first to watch One Life.

Unveiling of the Trevor Chadwick Statue

Trevor’s grandson Samuel Chadwick unveiled the statue at the ceremony in August 2022

“Got a reply from the film’s distributors!”

The Trevor Chadwick Memorial Trust was responsible for raising the money for the statue. It’s chair, John Corben said:

“When we heard about the film, I got in touch with the Chadwick family and they put me in touch with Warner Brothers. I sent an email – they must get loads of emails – but I got a reply from the film’s distributors!

“We then spoke to the manager at The Mowlem, Thomas Curtis, who was delighted to include the film in his programme schedule.

“It wasn’t well known at the time but the actor Alex Sharp, who is playing Trevor Chadwick in the film, came along to the unveiling of the statue as part of his research to find out more about the man and meet his relatives. He’s currently filming in California, so is unlikely to be able to come along to The Mowlem preview but we have sent him an invite!

“I’m really looking forward to seeing the film – other trustees will be there as well – and I’ll probably say a few words at the start.”

Alex Sharp
Linda Welsh

The actor Alex Sharp who plays Trevor Chadwick in the film came along to the unveiling of the statue

Features That’s Life with Ester Rantzen

Actor Alex Sharp from London, also appeared in the Oscar nominated film Living with Bill Nighy. Other top talent in the film is Helena Bonham Carter and Jonathan Pryce.

The plot of the film includes the emotional moment in 1988 when Ester Rantzen on the TV programme That’s Life surprises Sir Nicholas Winton by introducing him to many of the children that he rescued and brought back to the UK on what was called the Kindertransport.

John Corben at the unveiling of the Trevor Chadwick statue

Chair of the Trevor Chadwick Memorial Trust John Corben (right) addresses the invited audience

“Helped rescue so many young refugees from genocide”

Chair of trustees for The Mowlem, Paul Angel said:

“‘We’re thrilled to be showing this special preview screening of a really important film. I think we all need a reminder of the good people in the world, like Nicholas Winton and Trevor Chadwick who risked their lives to stand up for children in another country.

“I’d like to thank the Trevor Chadwick Memorial Trust for putting us in touch with the film’s distributors, and for the work they’ve done to highlight the efforts of a local man who helped rescue so many young refugees from genocide.”

Moira Purver abnd the Unveiling of the Trevor Chadwick statue

Sculptor Moira Purver captured Trevor Chadwick’s compassionate nature in the bronze statue

“He really did risk his life for others”

The Trevor Chadwick Memorial Trust was first formed back in 2018 when councillor Bill Trite mentioned that he’d been researching Trevor Chadwick’s heroic deeds. It was then suggested that Trevor should be honoured in Swanage and the idea of a statue came about.

Local sculptor Moira Purver was chosen to create the bronze statue of Trevor Chadwick with two children, which has been praised for the way it encapsulates his caring and compassionate nature.

John Corben added:

“Trevor was really at the sharp end of the rescue mission – he really did risk his life for others and it’s only right that he’s recognised for what he did. It’s taken a bit of work to get here but we’ve had a great team of trustees to help us get this far.”

Watch the movie trailer

Watch the actual That’s Life clip with Dame Ester Rantzen and Sir Nicholas Winton

Further information

  • Join John Corben and the Trevor Chadwick Memorial Trust trustees at the special preview showing at The Mowlem of One Life at 2.30 pm on Monday 18th December 2023
  • Book tickets at The Mowlem box office, open Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday between 11 am and 1.30 pm or via the website
  • More about Trevor Chadwick is on the trust’s Facebook page
  • One Life will go on general release in the UK from Monday 1st January 2024

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