IOW Photographers - Marfleet


Photographer Herbert Sidney Marfleet
Active Period 1920 - 1937
Lifespan Born:  1887  Brixton, London Died:  1950  IOW
Studio Addresses The Broadway, Totland Bay
Associates Hubert Kenneth (Ken) Merwood
Established c1920
Trade History 1921/22 Kelly's Directory (page 427)
Herbert S Marfleet, stationer, Broadway, Totland Bay

1923 Kelly's Directory (page 1206)
Herbert S Marfleet, stationer, Broadway, Totland Bay

1924 Kelly's Directory (page 486)
Herbert S Marfleet, photographic printer & publisher, Broadway, Totland Bay

1935 to 1939 Directories
Herbert S Marfleet, stationer, Broadway, Totland Bay

Evidence Found
Earliest postmarked postcard found dated 1920
Latest postmarked postcard found dated 1937
Examples of
Trade Cards,
Adverts, etc
Marfleet.jpg (27922 bytes)
Example of Herbert Marfleet's trade card

Marfleet2.jpg (7870 bytes)
The Broadway, Totland Bay estimated c1910
The shop on the right (Gubbins) is where Herbert S Marfleet later had his studio.
Herbert's father was manager of Jordan and Stanley's shop on the left (now the Broadway Inn)

Family History Herbert Sidney Marfleet was born in 1887 in Brixton, London, the son of Herbert and Rosina (nee Davies) Marfleet who had married in 1884 at Wandsworth, London. At the time of the 1891 census, the family was living at Bethnal Green, London, where Herbert senior was the general manager of the cooperative stores.

The family settled on the Island in 1893, and Herbert senior became manager of Jordan and Stanley's shop at the Broadway, Totland (see photo above). It is said he was going round the island in a rowing boat and came ashore at Totland and liked it so much - he stayed!

The 1901 census records the family living at The Supply Stores, Totland, where Herbert senior was employed as a grocer's assistant with his wife Rosina letting out rooms. At that time, 14 year old Herbert junior was still a scholar.

In time, son Herbert Sidney married an Elsie Smith and, after coming out of the army, he started a stationer's business c1920 in the Broadway, Totland Bay. He quickly diversified into printing, publishing and photography. Whether he was introduced to this latter venture by the early photographer Arthur H Kirk who also had a studio in the Broadway, or bought into Arthur's business, is pure speculation. However, Herbert soon gained a reputation for taking topographical photos (mainly around West Wight) and his business expanded.

In 1922, he took into his employ a young man who was keen on photography - Hubert Kenneth Merwood (known as Ken). Ken was reckoned to be a very skilful photographer with a good eye for composition, and he accompanied Herbert on photographic expeditions. In 1926 Herbert's niece, Margery Edmunds, started working for her uncle and a romance blossomed between Ken and Margery with the result that they were married in 1937. Ken then left Herbert to start his own photographic business in Freshwater. Herbert died in 1950 (his wife having pre-deceased him in 1934), but it is not known whether he continued taking photographs much beyond 1937 when Ken left.

The 1947 Electoral Register shows both Herbert senior and junior living at Granville House, Broadway, Totland, which was next door to the Supply Stores.

Apart from the topographical photos, Herbert was also one of the official photographers at the Voluntary Aid Detachment (VAD) camps held at Osborne between 1929 and 1933. These camps were organised for women members of Detachments from the Island and other counties and many examples of Herbert's photos have been published in books on the subject. To date, no evidence has been found to suggest that Herbert also took studio portrait photos. Although Herbert left a daughter, sadly, the whereabouts of his photographic records or plates has not been established.

My thanks to John Marfleet for supplying the above photos and information.

Further Notes For further information please visit John Marfleet's website at or e-mal him directly at Alternatively, to see examples of Herbert Marfleet's postcards, use the direct link


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