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Object: Portrait of Pryce Roberts

This image has No Known Copyright Restrictions.

Title Portrait of Pryce Roberts
Production Berry & Co (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
Technique black-and-white photography
Format half plate (1/2)
Credit line Purchased 1998 with New Zealand Lottery Grants Board funds
Registration number B.043871

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.

I know who this is

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.

Contact us
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 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.

Related information

Disclaimer: This information was created from historic documentation, and may not necessarily reflect the best available knowledge about the item. Some collection images are created for identification purposes only and may not be of reproduction quality. Some images are not available due to copyright restrictions. If you have information or questions about objects in the collection, contact us using our enquiry form. You can also find out more about Collections Online.