Julia Chadwick

Julia Chadwick born Galt who, when she died in 1991 at the age of 105, was classed as the oldest bridge player in Britain, if not the world.
Her daughter June has been a highly successful actress.
She was introduced to bridge when she joined the Dulwich Tennis Club and in the early 1930s was invited to play in the Gold Cup.
In 1936 her husband took a curacy in Wiltshire and she virtually gave up her bridge to help him until his death in 1950. Ten years later she met her friend and bridge partner Margaret Lancaster and together they were regular partners at various bridge congresses.
In 1985 they won two cups - the mixed pairs at Harrogate and the Torquay Bridge Club pairs championship.
They were also runners-up in the Devon Ladies teams at Torquay and Club championship teams.
Mrs Chadwick was a life member of the English Bridge Union. She finally gave up attending bridge congresses just before her 103rd birthday but continued to play several times a week

Unknown source


Julia Chadwick, the doyen of Devon and English bridge, died in November in her 106th year.

Julia, who was born before the introduction of the car or before Queen Victoria celebrated her golden jubilee, had many achievements as a bridge player and as a sportswoman.

She was a championship tennis player. She was capable of dealing with opponents of all ages at the bridge table.

I shall never forget the twinkle in her eye which conveyed the message, "that is how to do it", when, well into her 90s, she brought off a 3NT contract in which most declarers had failed.

It has been a privilege to have known her for the last 25 years and I hope that her modesty and kindness will remain an example to us all.

It is a fitting tribute that the Devon pairs championships trophy cdonated by the EBU and DCCBA is named after her. Our sympathy is extended to Margaret, her constant companion over many years.

John Woolcottm chairman of Devon CBA, English Bridge, February 1992


Julia Galt was born in April 1886 in London of a Scottish father and English mother. She was christened at St George's, Hanover Square. Her education was at Streatham and Malvern College for Girls.

In approximately 1920, Miss Galt attended Henley Royal Regatta, where she met her future husband (a fine oarsman and winner of the Thames Cup; and a talented artist). They married in 1914, two months before war broke out. The Reverend Perceval Chadwick was sent as a Church of England curate to Radlet in Hertfordshire with his new bride. They had 14 years in Draycot Cerne, Wiltshire and subsequently at Sutton Benger.

Mrs Chadwick was a keen tennis player and twice won the Women's Singles in Bristol between1928 and 1936. She also played whist and belonged to a card club. Mrs Chadwick says: "Of course, in those days it was not proper for any lady, in particular a vicar's wife, to play cards at a club."

Contract bridge was invented in 1925, but did not reach a wide following in Britain until 1930. Mrs Chadwick took up the new game that year and was immediately attracted to it. She became a keen and skilful player. In about 1935, she reached the quarter-final of the Gold Cup, the British Open Teams Championship, an event which is still going strong today. The referee at the match was Sir Guy Domville and the captain of the opposing team was Colonel Beasley, two famous names in the history of British bridge.

Mrs Chadwick joined the Torquay Bridge Club, after retiring to Devon in 1950, where she initially played rubber bridge, and then, subsequently, duplicate bridge, the competition game. In about 1958, she met Miss Margaret Lancaster at the club and, in 1959, they formed a regular bridge partnership, which has endured to the end.

In the following 25 years Mrs Chadwick and Miss Lancaster became familiar figures at bridge congresses throughout Britain. They won the Women's Pairs Championship at the Welsh National Congress in Porthcawl, which they visit each year, and competed in the Scottish National congress at Peebles. (Miss Lancaster drove the partnership to events all over Britain.) Mrs Chadwick won several minor congress events in her 90s and still shows great enthusiasm for the game. A few years ago, when most competitors withdrew from the Stratford Congress because of heavy snow, Mrs Chadwick and Miss Lancaster made the journey from Devon.

Bridge competitions require a high degree of concentration for long periods of time. As a partner of Mrs Chadwick in the Welsh Mixed Pairs Championship at Porthcawl in 1985, I can vouch for Mrs Chadwick's high standard of play in her hundredth year. To tune up for the event she went for a mile walk in the morning. Her concentration during the four-hour competition would be the envy of many bridge players in their prime.

Patrick Jourdain, Bridge magazine, January 1992