Wigan and Leigh Archives Online

Arthur Turtle Collection

Arthur Turtle, originally from Tyldesley but for many years a resident of Leigh, was a grocer and owner of a health food shop on Lord Street, Leigh. He was a Quaker and well known in Leigh for his work with charities and the Quaker movement.

Arthur Turtle was also a conscientious objector during the First World War, having refused to take up arms after receiving his enlistment papers. He was subsequently imprisoned at Wormwood Scrubs and then Strangeways, from where he corresponded as best as was allowed with his wife and other men and women in the Quaker movement opposed to the war. He kept diaries, notes of reading material and interacted with other conscientious objectors imprisoned for their beliefs.

Much of this material survived the war and his release from prison and was kept by Arthur and his wife, Louie. The records in this collection describe Arthur's time in prison and life after, when he returned to Leigh to run his business and was well thought of in the town.

The full catalogue of the collection can be viewed on the Archives & Local Studies website.