Object: Portrait of Leslie John Hawker
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|Title||Portrait of Leslie John Hawker|
Berry, William (photography studio), 1918, 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|
Portrait of a Leslie John Hawker
This portrait shows a young man in the uniform of a Private in the New Zealand Army, wearing a 'lemon-squeezer' hat. No rank badges are visible, but under high magnification the letter 'B' and number '40' can just be made out on the epaulette on the right-hand side of his tunic.
The Berry studio's register number 16605 tells us that the photograph was taken after 1917, and the inscription 'June' will refer to the month it was taken. The name 'Hawker' is faintly inscribed on the negative.
The appearance of the young man matches the physical description on the attestation form of Leslie John Hawker, service number 79146.
Leslie Hawker was 19 years and 2 months old when he enlisted on 18 February 1918. He was single, employed as a hardware assistant by C & A Odlin Ltd., and living with his mother at 6 College Street in central Wellington.
Leslie was recorded at his medical inspection as being 5 feet 10 inches (1.78 metres) tall, with brown hair, hazel eyes and a fresh complexion. He entered training camp on 1 May 1918 and embarked from Wellington with 'B' Company of the 40th Reinforcements on 10 July. It is highly likely than that he visited the Berry studio some time in June, prior to embarkation.
Leslie marched into Larkhill training camp in England on 11 September. He joined the New Zealand Infantry Brigade's 4th Reserve Battalion and trained with them until 3 October when he was posted as a Rifleman to the Rifle Brigade's camp at Brocton.
The Armistice meant that Leslie did not take part in combat operations, and he left England on 5 August 1919 on the return voyage to New Zealand.
He married Shelagh Isabel Coghlan in Wellington on 17 January 1923 and died in Auckland on 10 December 1982.
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