Arthur Kingsley Pink


Kitchener's Hospital, Elm Gove, Brighton (now Brighton General Hospital)

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29 Dover Road, Brighton. Pink was born on September 3, 1885 at his parents' home at Carlton Villa, Devonshire Place in Exeter. His father was Edward Arthur Pink, a draper's traveller, and his mother was Emma Sophia Pink, formerly Walden. As yet no entries have been found for him in the 1891 and 1901 censuses, despite much searching. However, on his 25th birthday in 1910 (when he still claimed to be 24!) he married Alice Louisa Garratt, daughter of James Garratt, a carpenter, at the Registry Office in Halifax, west Yorkshire. Arthur, who was a year older than Alice, was working as a tobacconist in Halifax. Both bride and groom gave their address as 89 Rhodes Street.

Brighton Directories establish that Arthur moved with Alice to Dover Road in 1912, and was still living there in the late 1930s.

Brighton Directories do not list Pink as a tobacconist (or stationer, newsagent or confectioner) and it is not known what trade he pursued. During the First World War, however, he published a range of real photographic cards of the Kitchener Hospital at the top of Elm Grove. Previously the Brighton Poor Law Institution (or Workhouse), the hospital opened in January 1915 to tend wounded soldiers. It is now Brighton General Hospital. Pink seems to have been given special facilities by the hospital authorities to take photographs and issue postcards. Perhaps he worked at the hospital as a member of staff.

Pink photographed not only the rather dreary exterior of the hospital, but also soldiers recuperating in bed in the wards and parading in the hospital grounds. He seems to have been very undecided about how best to design his cards. The photographs on some cards have a glossy finish, but on others are a dull mat. Although a few cards have prominent borders round the photographs, others have only narrow borders or are borderless. Pink handwrote the majority of the captions directly on his negatives, but a few of his cards have machine printed captions.

Pink is not known to have produced any view cards of Brighton other than those showing the Kitchener Hospital, but he did sometimes print group photographs in postcard form (for example, a picture of some Boys Brigade leaders and another of a Scout troop). He is not recorded as a photographer in inter-war Directories.

Arthur Pink died of subacute bacterial endocarditis at the Royal Sussex County Hospital at Brighton on February 20, 1939, aged only 53. His son, D. Kingsley Pink, registered his death, describing his father on the death certificate as a retired master photographer. Alice Pink was still living at 29 Dover Road after the Second World War (see Kelly's 1949 Brighton Directory).

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