Early glimpse of the life-size sculpture to grace Swanage seafront

Great progress is being made on the statue to remember the Swanage man, who rescued 669 children from Prague in 1939 from German occupation, and the fundraising to pay for it, is well underway.

Trevor Chadwick moved to the town in 1928, when his father set up Forres School in Northbrook Road, now Purbeck View school. He worked there as a Latin teacher and was also a volunteer member of the Swanage Lifeboat crew.

The Trevor Chadwick statue starts to take shape in clay
Moira Purver

The full size version is beginning to take shape in clay but the detail has yet to be added

Rescued children most threatened by an impending German occupation

In early 1939, Trevor Chadwick became one of a handful of mainly British volunteers who rescued children in Prague most threatened by an impending German occupation. The majority were Jewish but others were the sons or daughters of Czech and Slovak anti-Nazis.

Most of the volunteers who risked their lives, have gone virtually unacknowledged other than Nicholas Winton, who was knighted in 2003.

Now a bronze statue of Trevor Chadwick has been commissioned and Langton Matravers’ sculptor, Moira Purver has been working on it throughout lockdown.

Trevor Chadwick memorial sculpture in progress
Moira Purver

The mini version of the sculpture called a marquette has been created to give everyone an idea of what the full-size statue will look like when finished

Swanage’s Recreation Ground near the playground

The plan is to position it on Swanage’s Recreation Ground near the newly refurbished playground to ensure that the local man who saved the lives of so many children is never forgotten.

A mini version of the sculpture called a marquette has been finished to give everyone a good idea of what it will look like but since October 2020 Moira has been working on the full size version.

The first stage is to sculpt it in clay and now most of the sculpture has taken shape. It is five percent larger than the final bronze version to allow for the shrinkage of the clay.

Moira Purver said:

“I’m working in clay at the moment and I’m expecting it to take between now and the end of April to add in all the detail. The family of Trevor Chadwick have said that they’d like to see it when I get to create his facial expression, so I can get the correct emotion in the face, which is really good.

“Once the clay version is complete, a mould will be made of the shape and then the foundry will cast a hollow wax and then this wax is used to create the ceramic mould, which is in turn used to receive the molten bronze, but that’s a fair few months away yet.”

Prize for the Trevor Chadwick memorial raffle

The Christmas Hamper prize

Fundraising to support the project

In the meantime, the Trevor Chadwick Memorial Trust, chaired by local resident John Corben is fundraising to support the project, including a Christmas raffle. Prizes include £50, £25 and a Christmas hamper.

Tickets are on sale from Studland Village Stores, Corben & Sons, Costcutters and Trevor Chadwick Memorial Trust members. To buy tickets over the phone, call Caroline Finch on 0796 6462974 and she can take card payments.

The draw takes place on Friday 18th December 2020 at Corben’s at 3 pm.

The marquette of the statue is also expected to go on display at Corben’s in Station Road so everyone can see what the finished sculpture will look like.

The Trevor Chadwick statue starts to take shape in clay
Moira Purver

Detail like facial expressions have yet to be added but the form of the people is starting to take shape

“He really was an incredibly amazing man”

Moira Purver added:

“One of the most interesting things about this project was in the early days and reading about the man. He had an amazing personality and a natural ability to make all the children and parents laugh and be comfortable in the most terrible circumstances.

“In the sculpture, I’ve included Trevor Chadwick holding a sleeping baby and that’s because on one occasion he brought a group of children to England on a plane and a baby slept all the way on his lap, so that’s why I thought it important to include that image.

“He really was an incredibly amazing man – creating this statue is not just about the technicalities but I’ve really got involved in the whole story.”

More information

The Trevor Chadwick Memorial Trust has more about Trevor Chadwick’s remarkable story on its website

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