Lost portrait of lifeboat hero presented to crew

Mark Shephard, grandson of the artist Camille Moore, holding the portrait of John Hodder with lifeboat operations manager Nick Marks in the background
Artist Camille Moore (second from left) in a family photo in the 1950s

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 The 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 the presentation, 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”.

John Hodder, pictured in 2015 at the lifeboat station
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