Jean Reddaway, née Brett, died peacefully on 23 July 2018, aged 94. For 55 years she was the beloved wife of the late Norman Reddaway and the mother of five children.
In 1939 when Jean was a schoolgirl in North Wales, the school was transferred to Chatsworth in the Peak District where it remained until 1946. Edward Halliday, a St Johns Wood artist painted “Chatsworth in Wartime”, showing the State Drawing Room being used as a girls’ dormitory, with Jean portrayed brushing her hair in the front left hand corner of the painting.
Jean then studied at the Slade School of Art and after qualification taught art at Impington Village School, Cambridge.
After marrying Norman, a career diplomat, she travelled the world with him in his various postings. In the 1970s she spent several years in Poland where Norman served as British Ambassador inWarsaw. In her 1978 interview for Polish Radio’s English Service she talked about her painting exhibitions in Poland, her travels around the country and the Polish cultural scene. She was awarded the OBE and the Polish Order of Merit for her contribution to Anglo-Polish relations and for her paintings of Polish subjects.
In their retirement, the Reddaways lived in a house in Carlton Hill and after Norman’s death in 1999, Jean moved into a flat in the same street.
Until a few years before her death , Jean was an active member of the Ad Lib Club, a local painting group in St John’s Wood by whose members she will be sorely missed.