Celebrating 100 years

Live portrait on Guestbook & Illustrations for Funeral.


At the beginning of this strange year 2020, just before lockdown, I had the opportunity to attend as THE DROP-IN ARTIST the 100th birthday celebration of my friend’s grandmother, Mrs Yvonne Holmes.


The celebration was held in at the Heckfield Inn near her home. The reunion brought together many generations: for some, it proved to be an opportunity to meet their great-grandmother and for others a celebration to life, to be enjoyed between extended family and friends.


As Sketch artist, I was there to capture the guests’ portrait in a specially commissioned celebration book. They could then pen a few lines on their own portrait page to Yvonne so she could have this as a keepsake or her remarkable achievement.

The portrait page could then be digitized to be used as afterparty thank you card.


I did 31 portraits in total during the gathering. Quite a record! I also added decorations for the pages where photos and cards would later be added.





Like a scrapbook, the book has samples of the invitations, napkins and anything worth recording to mark this memorable day.


In England when you turn 100, Her Majesty the Queen sends you a birthday card! Unfortunately, Her Majesty declined to come to Yvonne’s party as she was engaged elsewhere. She missed a great party!


Yvonne was later invited to a veteran’s tea party at Buckingham Palace in the summer, but as you all know there is no certainty in 2020 and it was cancelled.


Sadly, Yvonne passed away in September and her family asked me to record her funeral with military honours to close the chapter on her remarkable life and this book.


Yvonne joined WAAF at the age of 21 during the Second World War. The chairman of the WAAF Association (Tracy Watson) was there to pay tribute, together with a Squadron Leader from the local RAF airbase and two standard bearers from the WAAF Association and RAF Association.





Her funeral kept the same spirit as her birthday: A celebration of her life.


I used this theme of paying tribute to help transform her book using the events from her funeral at Hook Church and the wake (at the same pub as her party) to illustrate her remarkable life and to show the love for her of those who are left behind.

May she rest in peace.



"The LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore"

Psalm 21



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