Object: Portrait of Frederick David Mason Smith.
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|Title||Portrait of Frederick David Mason Smith.|
Berry & Co (photography studio), 1919, 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|
|Format||half plate (1/2)|
|Credit line||Purchased 1998 with New Zealand Lottery Grants Board funds|
Portrait of Frederick David Mason Smith, New Zealand Field Artillery.
Head and shoulders portrait of a Gunner in the Royal New Zealand Artillery. He has been identified by his grandson as Frederick David Mason Smith, service number 50898.
Frederick was born in Wellington on 25 February 1896. He grew up in the Wellington suburb of Karori, and was almost 21 years old when he volunteered for the NZEF on 8 February 1917.
Frederick already had some military experience when he volunteered for overseas service , as he was employed by the Defence Department as a member of the Garrison Artillery and had previously served with the 5th Regiment in Wellington.
He trained as a Gunner with the Field Artillery, and embarked from Wellington with the 32nd Reinforcements on 21 November 1917. He marched into the Field Artillery's training depot at Ewshott in England on 8 January 1918 and was sent to France on 28 March.
Frederick was posted to No. 3 NZ Entrenching Battalion on 19 May, and served with them for nearly a month. On 15 June he was posted back to the Field Artillery and joined 103 Battery of the NZFA's First Brigade the same day. He received a
gun shot wound to his left hand on 8 October, and after treatment in France went to England. Frederick eventually sailed from Southampton for the return voyage home on 4 October 1919, disembarking at Auckland on 15 November.
He was discharged from the NZEF on 14 December.
Frederick married Constance Priscilla Luxton in 1926. He was involved with the Returned Services' Association, and in the early 1940s was Secretary of the Hutt Valley branch. Frederick died at Lower Hutt on 17 October 1971.
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The Berry Boys
During World War I, around 120 Kiwi soldiers had their photograph taken at Wellington’s Berry & Co photography studio before they left New Zealand to fight in the war. These portraits are now in Te Papa’s collection.
In the lead-up to the World War I centenary (2014-18), Te Papa is working to identify these soldiers and the loved ones they are pictured with. We want to make contact with their descendants, and to record their stories.
Some soldiers have already been identified. For others, we only have the surname etched on the glass negative.
If you have any information you can share about the Berry Boys - either a soldier or someone they are photographed with - please use the online form above. You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a phone message for us on 04 381 7129. You can also write to Berry Boys Project Team, Te Papa, PO Box 467, Wellington 6140.
To aid identification, please be sure to include the Te Papa registration number (B.044366, for example) for the photo in question.
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