Title / object name
Portrait of Ida, George and Walter George Scambary
|Maker ||Date |
|Berry & Co ||circa 1917 |
photographic gelatin, sheet glass, silver, photographic plates
|180 (Height) x 163 (Length)|
half plate (1/2)Classification
studio portraits, portraits, black-and-white negatives, gelatin dry plate negatives
Purchased 1998 with New Zealand Lottery Grants Board funds
This studio portrait shows Gunner Walter George Scambary, his wife Ida Emily and son George. The photo was taken at the Berry Co. photographers in Wellington, a well-known studio established in 1897 by William Berry. Many servicemen had their photos taken while on leave or before they left to fight in World War One.
Walter was 24 years old when he commenced service on 15 March 2017. At this time he lived in Kilbirne, Wellington and worked as a salesman. He embarked on the Maunganui from Wellington, 21 November 1917 as part of the 32nd Reinforcements, New Zealand Field Artillery.
Walter was based at the Ewshott Camp in Surrey, then his military record shows that he marched into Etaples, France in February 1918. He specialised in the use of heavy trench mortar, a tube like weapon designed to fire a projectile at a steep angle so that it falls straight down on the enemy. The mortar was ideally suited for trench warfare which is what Walter was engaged in.
Walter eventually returned to New Zealand on the Tahiti in May 1919. He went home to Ida and George in Kilbirne where he had grown up and where he lived for the rest of his life until the age of 76. He continued his interest in weaponry as an active and highly acclaimed member of the Aotea and Petone Rifle Clubs.
Walter had five brothers and two sisters, one of whom also served overseas – Norman William Scambary.
The identification of people in the Berry Co. photos is an ongoing project. If you have any information about the soldiers or other people in this collection we would like to hear from you. Please contact a history curator through our enquiry centre 04 381 7000 or firstname.lastname@example.org