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Unique silhouette artist remembered

Unique silhouette artist remembered

Francis Batt

Unique silhouette artist remembered

A unique artist who used nail scissors to create his portraits has had his story told in a new book.


H L Oakley is the subject of a book written by his great nephew, retired civil servant Jerry Rendell OBE, 75, who lives in York Road, Windsor.

Jerry will be talking about his illustrious ancestor on Wednesday, November 6, when he is one of the speakers at the Thames Valley History Festival.

He said: “He did not draw, which people find difficult to take in. His portraits are cut from paper, which is black on one side, white on the other. He used nail scissors and you would end up with two portraits, left and right facing.”

‘Lawrence’ Oakley was a firm patriot who used his time in the army during the First World War to create unique silhouetted images of the front line. He served with the Green Howards and was a platoon commander.

Jerry has titled his book Profiles of the First World War – one of Oakley’s memorable war silhouettes creates a poignant front cover.

Oakley  survived the war and died in 1960 aged 77. Jerry said: “My mother’s mother was his sister. Sadly I never met him but he left a lot of silhouettes and when he died a lot came my way.”

Jerry has donated 23 portraits to the National Portrait Gallery.

He will be giving his talk in the Christopher Hotel Bar and Grill, Eton at 7.30pm. It is his first book.

Jerry earned his OBE in the civil service and has lived in Windsor 45 years. He is married to Anne and the couple have two children and five grandchildren.

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