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Object: Copy of a portrait of Donald Jessen

This image has No Known Copyright Restrictions.

Title Copy of a portrait of Donald Jessen
Production Berry & Co (copyist), 1915-1919, Wellington
Medium summary black and white glass negative
Materials photographic gelatin, sheet glass, silver, photographic plates
Classification gelatin dry plate negatives, black-and-white negatives, studio portraits, portraits
Technique black-and-white photography
Format half plate (1/2)
Credit line Purchased 1998 with New Zealand Lottery Grants Board funds
Registration number B.044321

Donald Jessen, service number 2/2848

This is a copy by the Berry studio from an original photograph of Gunner Donald Jessen, of the New Zealand Field Artillery.

Donald Jessen was the younger brother of John Jessen who was also a member of the  Field Artillery and who was killed in action in France in 1918. Their parents, William August Jessen and Christine Jessen (nee Johansen) lived in Mauriceville when their sons were born but had moved to Wellington by 1908 where they lived at 40 Kent Terrace.

Donald worked as a warehouseman in Wellington and served in  'D'  Battery of the Wellington Artillery Volunteers until 1915 when he joined the New Zealand Field Artillery as part of the 10th Reinforcements. He went into Trentham Camp on the 16th November 1915 and embarked from Wellington bound for Egypt on 4th March 1916. His unit on embarkation was the No. 5 Field Battery (2nd Field Artillery Brigade).

Although he survived the war,shortly after the Armistice  Donald contracted  influenza which became pneumonia, and he died at Endell Street Military Hospital in London on the 23rd February 1919. He is buried at Brookwood Military Cemetery.

For many years afterwards, his parents and sisters placed  memorial notices in the 'Evening Post' newspaper on the anniversaries of  his death.  William and Christine Jessen returned to live in Mauriceville in 1921.

 

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 berryboys@tepapa.govt.nz 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.