Newton Abbot Museum

Exploring the Museum Archive

 We have quite a few pictorial postcards as part of our photographic collection, preserved because the photos show the development of the town over time.

However, some of these cards have something even more interesting hidden on the back. This unassuming postcard has a short note on the back which links it to a much larger story. Written on 19 April 1918 by Mathilda Eeles and her mum, and addressed to Mr Eeles in Glasgow, it talks about “visiting Arnie in hospital.”

Arnie is Corporal Arthur Maynard Eeles, No. 202311 Rifle Brigade.  His WW1 war record shows he served in France and was severely wounded in the chest – (GSW severe = gunshot wound) and had complications.  He had been to several hospitals, but at the time of this card being posted he was in Newton Abbot VAD Hospital.  An entry for his arrival can be found in the Voluntary Aid Detachment Admissions Register held in the museum.

Arthur was discharged from active service. He married Belinda Cissie Newman in December 1920 in Exeter, and worked in London, becoming Mayor of the Municipal Borough of Enfield from 1960-1961.