PVT Arnold Thomas “Tobe” Neal

PVT Arnold Thomas “Tobe” Neal

Blenheim, Marlborough District, Marlborough, New Zealand
Death 14 Aug 2000 (aged 86)
Spring Creek, Marlborough District, Marlborough, New Zealand
Burial Blenheim, Marlborough District, Marlborough, New Zealand
Plot RSA Lawn; Block 2, Row 16, Plot 24
Memorial ID 190399405 · View Source
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Arnold Thomas (Tobe) Neal was bought up on the family property in Marshlands by his parents Ivy and Ted alongside his older three brothers.He farmed flax with his family and worked the property right up until his death.

As a boy he remembered his family being told of the news that his uncle Norm had died in battle at Messines. Tobe remembered being so proud of his uncle being a 'war hero' and vowed that if he got the chance he'd do the same and fight. At the outbreak of war Tobe enlisted, as did his brothers although his eldest was not fit for service due to illness. Tobe was a private in the 20th Infantry Battalion of the 2nd New Zealand Expeditionary Force, 1st Echelon. He was captured early on in the war and put aboard the M.V. Jason, bound for occupied Europe however, on the 9th of December, 1941 the M.V. Jason was struck by a torpedo from the H.M.S Porpoise, mistaking the P.O.W. ship for a cruiser. The hold in which Tobe was quickly flooded. Tobe could remember a violent blast and everything going black with the smell of cordite in his nose and mouth. He emerged 'mongst a sea of bodies and limbs'. He helped aid a south African who had his clothes completely blown off by the blast. He gave him his coat and aided him as much as he could. Tobe survived the sinking and so did his friend however, he found his coat sometime later in a prisoners ward draped over a bed.

After the war Tobe returned home to Marlborough not long before his parents passed away. Tobe took up the famil property and resided there for the remainder of his life. He married Barbara Webster in the 1950's and had two daughters; Barbara and Lynnette, and one son Kelvin. Tobe passed away at the age of 86. He is remembered as a kind and affectionate man who experienced great difficulty in life but through out was positive and pleased with the hands he was dealt. He loved his family especially the younger generations and was much loved by all who knew him.

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  • Created by: tlf2003
  • Added: 6 Jun 2018
  • Find a Grave Memorial 190399405
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for PVT Arnold Thomas “Tobe” Neal (18 Dec 1913–14 Aug 2000), Find a Grave Memorial no. 190399405, citing Fairhall Cemetery, Blenheim, Marlborough District, Marlborough, New Zealand ; Maintained by tlf2003 (contributor 49582701) .