Lost portrait of a ‘hero’ presented to Lyme Regis RNLI lifeboat crew
A 50 year old pencil portrait of a much-decorated Lyme Regis lifeboat crew member has been presented to the town’s RNLI volunteers by the artist’s grandson.
Mark Shephard’s grandmother, Camille Moore, lived in Yawl, Uplyme, when she is believed to have drawn the portrait of John Hodder during an art class at Woodroffe School in the 1970s.
Mr. Shephard kept the portrait in the loft of his home in Godalming, Surrey, but when he saw the name John Hodder on the back, and the obvious signs that the subject was a lifeboat crew member, he decided to contact the RNLI.
Mr. Shephard said: ‘My grandmother was a very keen artist, and I have other examples of her work. It seemed only right that the portrait should come home to the RNLI in Lyme Regis.’
Mr Hodder, 76, was unable to attend, but said: ‘I am very grateful to Mr Shephard for his donation of the portrait and would like it to remain at the lifeboat station as a reminder of my years of service with so many superb colleagues.’
Mr. Hodder served with the RNLI in Lyme Regis for 20 years and was recognised for several acts of courage during rescues at sea. Crew members who served with Mr Hodder were known as ‘Hodder’s heroes.’
Key facts about the RNLI
The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and, in a normal year, more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.