My father has a small collection of family portraits. One is a miniature of his father Richard Geoffrey “Geoff” Champion de Crespigny (1908 – 1966) as a child.

Geoff miniature

The portrait is signed  ‘O. A. Chatfield’. This was Olive Amy Chatfield (1880 – 1945).

Olive Chatfield was born in New Zealand, the fourth of eight children of an architect named William Charles Chatfield (1852 – 1930). Olive’s mother Mary Chatfield nee Hoggard (1853 – 1896) died when Olive was 15.

In November 1910 Olive Chatfield ‘of New Zealand’ was one of the artists in the 13th annual Federal Art Exhibition in Adelaide, a showing organised by the South Australian Society of Arts. I am not sure when Olive Chatfield came to Adelaide or why she was living there.

In March 1912 Miss Olive Chatfield donated a miniature portrait of Lady Bosanquet, wife of the South Australian Governor, to the Art Gallery of South Australia. Described as ‘gouache on ivory, 7.6 x 6.3 cm’, it remains in the Gallery’s collection,

In 1914 and 1915 Olive Chatfield is mentioned several times in Adelaide newspapers, usually under ‘social notes’.

On 3 April 1916 Olive Chatfield married Vyvyan Hughes (1888 – 1916), Geoff’s maternal uncle. Vyvyan Hughes died a few weeks later in a military hospital in Ceylon.


Vyvyan Hughes with Olive 1916

Olive Hughes did not re-marry, and in November 1916 returned to New Zealand, where under the name of Mrs Westbury Hughes she practiced as a professional artist specialising in miniature portraits. Some of her work was exhibited by the New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts.

Hughes Olive 1923

Photo of Olive Hughes accompanying an article in the Sydney Sun of 16 December 1923

Hughes Olive 1923 article

ART AND HEREDITY (1923, December 16). The Sun (Sydney, NSW : 1910 – 1954), p. 1 (Women’s Supplement). Retrieved December 6, 2018, from

Olive Hughes died in Wellington, New Zealand on 10 July 1945.

There is a family resemblance down the generations between Geoff and his descendants.

Geoff, his son, grandson, and great grandsons


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