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Object: Portrait of George Gordon Campbell Hornig

This image has No Known Copyright Restrictions.

Title Portrait of George Gordon Campbell Hornig
Production Berry, William (photography studio), 1912, Wellington
Medium summary black and white glass negative
Materials photographic gelatin, sheet glass, silver, photographic plates
Classification studio portraits, portraits, black-and-white negatives, gelatin dry plate negatives
Technique black-and-white photography
Format half plate (1/2)
Credit line Purchased 1998 with New Zealand Lottery Grants Board funds
Registration number B.043511

Lieutenant George Gordon Campbell Hornig, No. 30 Company (Wellington Technical School) Senior Cadets.

This image of George Hornig, standing proudly in his brand-new uniform, is one of the earliest surviving soldier portraits taken by the Berry studio. A postcard version of the portrait, held in a private collection, is inscribed by George  'Yours sincerely / Geo. Hornig / Lieut. / Taken Xmas 1912'.

On 1 October 1912,  twenty-year-old George was appointed a Lieutenant in No. 30 Company (Wellington Technical School) Senior Cadets.  The unit had been formed in 1911, after the introduction of the Territorial Training Scheme.  All the boys at the school from fourteeen to eighteen years of age drilled on Monday evenings and wore their uniforms at school classes. The company's officers were a little older and had left the school - George was working as a draper in his brother William's shop on Cuba Street, almost opposite the Berry studio. George was apparently an enthusiastic a popular officer in the Cadets.

George volunteered for active service on 13 August 1914, as a Sapper (the lowest rank in the Royal New Zealand Engineers, equivalent to a Private) with the Field Engineers. He sailed from Wellington with the Main Body on 13 October and was in action on Gallipoli with the Signalling Troop. On 27 August 1915, while laying a telephone line during an attack on a Turkish trench, he was wounded in the left arm by shrapnel. He was evacuated to Egypt, but was back on the peninsula by the end of October.

Evacuated again to Egypt in December, George appears to have seen out the war there at the New Zealand Base, serving with the Signalling Troop and the Base Kit Stores, and also as a 'motor artificer' (mechanic) between spells in hospital. In December 1918, he sailed for England, where he was discharged from the NZEF on 24 April 1919. On July 28, at Wimbledon, he married Queenie Peel.

Returning to Wellington, the Hornigs set up home in Lyall Bay.  George returned to work in his brother's drapery shop and later as a salesman. In his spare time he was an active member of the Legion of Frontiersmen, and from 1942 to 1946 he was back in the army on Home Service.  George died at Upper Hutt on 2 April 1983.

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