Blue plaques unveiled in Felpham pay tribute to the famous painter and Olympic fencing coach who worked on Star Wars
Two blue plaques, commemorating Olympic fencing coach Bob Anderson and engraver Charles George Lewis, were unveiled by Felpham Parish Council over the weekend.
The plaques are part of Council’s ongoing efforts to recognize and commemorate the village’s history. A blue plaque revealed last summer celebrated the courage of Antarctic explorer Ernest Joyce, who went on expeditions alongside Captain Scott and Ernest Shackleton. Other plaques celebrate figures like the Romantic poet William Blake – famous for writing ‘Jerusalem’ while in Felpham – and artist George Morland.
The first of two plaques was unveiled outside Bob Anderson’s former home on Outram Road.
An Olympic fencing coach, Mr Anderson was a former Royal Navy who served in World War II and went on to an illustrious career in the film industry. Working with everyone from Errol Flynn to Antonio Banderas, Mr. Anderson has applied his knowledge of fencing to fight scenes in hundreds of films over a decades-long career. He designed duels for blockbusters like Pirates of the Caribbean, The Princess Bride and the Lord of the Rings trilogy, famous dub of Darth Vader in The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi.
“Who knew that the stuntman of some of Darth Vader’s lightsaber battles lived in Felpham?” said Felpham parish councilor Kevin Watson in a speech written for the occasion.
Mr Anderson died in a hospital in West Sussex on New Years Day, aged 89.
The second plaque commemorates the artist and engraver Charles George Lewis. Highly regarded in its day, many of its most famous plaques were after the work of Sir Edwin Landseer, an English painter famous for works like The Monarch of The Glen. Examples of his engravings were published in ‘Landscapes British and Foreign, engraved by Charles G Lewis after EW Cooke R.A’, which was published in 1874.
Buried in Felpham Cemetery, the artist died in 1880 of a sudden stroke.
The plaques join two plaques already unveiled and three being researched to create Felpham’s Blue Plaque Platinum Heritage Trail. The seven entries will each represent a decade of Queen Elizabeth II’s historic reign.
The parish council is delighted to be able to showcase the heritage, history and unique nature of Felpham in this way,” Councilor Watson said.