Object: Portrait of Pryce Roberts
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|Title||Portrait of Pryce Roberts|
Berry, William (photography studio), 1916, 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|
Sapper Pryce Roberts, service number 23728
The man depicted in this portrait is Sapper Pryce Roberts, service number 23728, of the Corps of New Zealand Engineers.
Pryce Roberts was born in North Wales on 12th December 1875. At the time of his enlistment in the NZEF on 16 February 1916 he was a single man, working as a carpenter at Manaia, Taranaki. He joined the Corps of New Zealand Engineers as a Sapper and it was in that uniform that he sat for his portrait prior to embarking for overseas service on 21 May 1916.
Sapper Roberts was not to see active service on the Western Front. He remained in England due to a knee injury, serving as a cook at the Engineers' headquarters and as a tradesman at Brockenhurst hospital. On 21 March 1917 he married Annie Vaughan Lloyd. Sapper Roberts was finally declared medically unfit on 10 October 1918 and returned to New Zealand. He and his wife returned to Britain some time after the war, as in 1950 he applied from an English address to the Defence Department in Wellington for his service medals. As he had not been on 'active service in a theatre of war' the Department told him that he was eligible only for the British War Medal and not the Victory Medal.
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