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Object: Portrait of Arthur Dudley Cornes and Dorothy Bertha Cornes

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Title Portrait of Arthur Dudley Cornes and Dorothy Bertha Cornes
Production Berry, William (photography studio), 1917, Wellington
Materials photographic gelatin, sheet glass, silver, photographic plates
Classification studio portraits, portraits, black-and-white negatives, gelatin dry plate negatives
Format half plate (1/2)
Credit line Purchased 1998 with New Zealand Lottery Grants Board funds
Registration number B.046148

Portrait of Arthur Dudley Cornes and Dorothy Bertha Cornes.

Arthur Cornes was a self-employed baker living in Grey Lynn,  Auckland when he enlisted  on 14 November 1916.  He and Dorothy had been married for only three-and-a-half months.  Arthur was posted immediately to the 23rd Reinforcements for training and embarked with them from Wellington on 14 March 1917.  He and Dorothy would most likely have visited the Berry studio for their sitting shortly before Arthur's departure, when Dorothy would have come to Wellington for his farewell.

The Army made good use of Arthur's civilian skills.  After his arrival at Sling Camp in England on 21 May 1917 he  was posted to the Army Service Corps to undergo a course of instruction in military baking.  He joined the 1st New Zealand Field Bakery at Rouen, France on 8 March 1918 and next day was formally appointed a Baker.  Arthur served with the Field Bakery unti 14 December. He returned to Sling Camp where he joined the 3rd Reserve Battalion of the Auckland Regiment.

Arthur returned to New Zealand on 25 April 1919 and was discharged from the NZEF on 23 May.  He was classified as 'No longer fit for War Service'  on account of 'debility due to the strain of Active Service.'  A Medical Board at Codford Camp in England had examined him on 30 January 1919 and reported that Arthur was suffering from 'Debility' after 10 months of continuous Active Service.   Working in the Field Bakery had been no sinecure - as the historian of the New Zealand Army Service Corps records  "Field bakers and cooks sometimes worked in knee-deep mud, at the same time trying to maintain adequate hygiene standards.'  Arthur's service in these conditions had taken its toll on his health. The Codford Board reported that he had suffered from myalgia (muscle pain), that he  'looks anaemic', and that 'cold weather makes him feel weak.'  He felt occasional pain in his left shoulder and his lumbar region  in cold weather, and his left shoulder 'creaks a little', although the Board thought at that stage  he had 'no definite arthritis.'   The result was that Arthur's 'degree of disablement' for pension purposes  was assessed at 'less than 20%'. 

Arthur returned to his trade as a baker, and despite his health issues was to live a long life.  In the local body elections of 1941 and again in 1944 he was a successful candidate for the Mt Eden Borough Council.  As the 50th Anniversary of the Armistice approached, in October 1968, Arthur applied to the Defence Department for the medals for which he was entitled for his service - the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.

Arthur  died in 1971, predeceased by Dorothy in 1958.   


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