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Sir Thomas Chadwick

(1888-1969), Accountant

Sitter in 1 portrait

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Peter Chadwick

19 January 2021, 12:31

Sir Thomas Chadwick was a civil servant for the whole of his career, ending it as The Accountant, H M Treasury. They caption on your photograph describes him as ‘accountant’, but he was not an accountant in the modern sense of a person who has passed the exams of one of the professional accounting bodies. He left school in Lancashire at 15 in 1903, at a time when entry to the civil service was by passing their ‘boy clerks’ exam. He was allocated to the Post Office Savings Bank (then a government department, now National Savings & Investments). Passing another exam was necessary to become a long term civil servant which he did in 1907 and was selected for the Accounts Branch of the Treasury having achieved 100% in the arithmetic part of the exam. At that time the civil service was divided between the Administrative Division, comparable to officers in the military, and the Executive Division, the “other ranks”. The Accounts Branch was within the Executive Division, keeping the books and records of the country and supplying information to the Administrators. Sir Thomas remained in the Accounts Branch throughout his career, ending as its head, with the title The Accountant. In 1922 he was seconded to the Provisional Government of Ireland, which led the creation of independent Ireland, to create the Accounts Division for the new Treasury for Ireland. In the UK a key role of the Accounts Branch was to produce figures for the Budget, and Sir Thomas worked on 50 Budgets during his career, a record number of which he was proud. In the later years of his career the distinction between the administrative and executive divisions was breaking down, so he had a key role in setting the Budget. He retired in 1953, shortly after being knighted (KCVO) for his work on the Civil List (the expenditure of the Royal Household), and he also held the MBE (1919), OBE (1933), CVO (Commander of the Royal Victorian Order, 1942, for services to the Royal Household) & CBE (1947).

Jeremy Hayes

11 May 2020, 17:04

Sir Thomas Chadwick was Treasurer to the "General Conference of the New Church". On 22nd June 1963 he spoke at the opening of a New Church hall in Snodland, Kent. I don't know for how long he served as Treasurer.

Jeremy Hayes

02 May 2020, 10:52

Was Sir Thomas a New Churchman, otherwise known as a "Swedenborgian"? Baptised into this obscure & very rare church in the 1950's, I keep meaning to find out what it was about & "Lockdown" has enabled me to do this. I was born, baptised & still live in Snodland, Kent, one of only 40 places in the UK to have a "New Church" (although ours is now closed). I attended the church & its Sunday school from 1957 until 1963 & in that latter year we had a new Sunday School Hall built. It was officially opened on 22nd June 1963 & I've been fortunate enough to get hold of a programme for the event which lists the speakers that include, "Sir Thomas Chadwick, KCVO, CBE. The New Church is governed by "The General Conference of the New Church" which meets every year & in 1963, in Snodland. The new Sunday School Hall was opened at the same time which makes me think that Sir Thomas might have been quite "high up" in that church.

Nikki Marie Clarke

19 May 2019, 13:53

Sir Thomas Chadwick was my late mother's uncle, therefore my great uncle. My mother was Phyllis Margaret Wilshire, nee Grosvenor Smyth. I met Uncle Tom once, when he visited us in the 1950s, and I remember him as being very tall and "twinkly"! I would love to find out his relationship to Mum and what family he had. Thank you.

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