Veteran cartoonist’s work published due to blind ambition

Fred Jefferies with friend Maria Billina and wife Nora
Fred Jefferies with friend Maria Billina and wife Nora

A veteran artist has created a cartoon book 13 years after being registered blind.

Fred Jefferies,85, had been a cartoonist since 1962, but had been unable to draw for 10 years.

Fred Jefferies' book Love Bites

Fred Jefferies' book Love Bites

Since then, thanks to a special magnifying glass provided by Blind Veterans UK, Fred has been able to draw again.

Over the past three years, the veteran who recently moved to Tring from Dudley House, Bovingdon, has been creating new cartoons for his book, Love Bites.

During Fred’s introduction week at the charity he was encouraged back into drawing.

The talented artist said: “I found I could suddenly do many things that I was not able to do before.

“Without Blind Veterans UK I would not have even tried to get back to drawing again and I would have never created this cartoon book.”

Fred, who served in the Army as part of National Service from 1947 to 1949, trained to be a mechanic and became part of the Royal Artillery – has had a passion for drawing all his life.

He had drawing lessons after the owner of the farm to which he was evacuated during the Second World War recognised his love for art.

His dedication to art continued while in the Army as he attended lessons at night school near his base.

Fred gains inspiration for some of his cartoons from his wife, Nora, to whom he has been married for more than 60 years.

After being a freelance artist for 50 years creating cards and posters, Fred has now channelled his rekindled love for art into his new book, which will be available from January 29.