Michelle Keegan

Pencil Portrait by Antonio Bosano.

Michelle Keegan Pencil Portrait
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The quality of the prints are at a much higher level compared to the image shown on the left.


A3 Pencil Print-Price £60.00-Purchase

A4 Pencil Print-Price £45.00-Purchase

*Limited edition run of 250 prints only*

All Pencil Prints are printed on the finest Bockingford Somerset Velvet 255 gsm paper.

P&P is not included in the above prices.


Last update: 14/0618

She’s back on our screens every week in the new series of Our Girl,” and very good in it she is, but for me the real interest in Michelle Keegan was her recent appearance on “Who Do You Think You Are?” and the discovery about her great grandmother on her mother’s side Leonor Orfila, who was born in Gibraltar and lived there throughout her childhood. Shunned by her parents after marrying Wiltshire man Charles Stuart for love, rather than following family tradition and picking a Roman Catholic lad, Charles and Leonor would build a happy family life together, having three children. But in 1940, a year after war broke out, Gibraltar became a military base, meaning all 16,000 women, children and elderly people who lived there were evacuated by boat to locations such as Madeira, Jamaica and London. Leonor would be separated from her husband for four years during World War II.

Hitler had aided the fascists throughout the Spanish Civil War. When hostilities erupted, he immediately sent in powerful air and armored units to assist General Francisco Franco and his Nationalist forces. Once Franco had seized power in 1939, Spain opted for neutrality, but the omnipresent British fear remained that he would cut a deal with Germany allowing its forces unhindered access into the Rock.

My own late father was among the civilian population evacuated en masse from the Rock in 1940 in order to increase the strength of this military fortress with more British Armed Forces personnel. His tortuous Journey to Tottenham Court Road in London was via Tangier and Southern Ireland. He would not return to Gib until 1945.

Within weeks of his arrival in London, the trauma of his domestic upheaval would be magnified tenfold when the Luftwaffe began daily bombing raids. Since the capital’s children had been moved to the South-east counties and the North of England in the interest of safety, many Gibralterians could be forgiven for developing a persecution complex. My late uncle was one of a number of essential dockyard personnel who stayed on the Rock refurbishing damaged British destroyers and battleships; a traumatic daily experience which involved emptying dismembered body parts from the hull and cabins before maintenance work could begin. Separated from his wife and family, his five year old son would die of meningitis. My father, then fourteen and halfway through his “exile,” never got over the death of his little nephew. I saw the tears for years. In 1944, he was very nearly killed himself by a V1 rocket.

Michelle Keegan’s programme was a fascinating reminder of a period in my father’s life which he would recall with horror, affection, sadness and great humour. He knew the capital like the back of his hand. Sat navs didn’t exist, and he would never have needed one.