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Object: Portrait of James Hall Boyd

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Title Portrait of James Hall Boyd
Production Berry, William (photography studio), 1918, 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.044401

Portrait of Private James Hall Boyd, service number 89364, New Zealand Medical Corps.

 James Hall Boyd was born in Glasgow, Scotland on 23 April 1886, and emigrated to New Zealand around 1912.  He maried Mary, eldest daughter of Mr & Mrs T.O. Stokes of Wellington, on 8 January 1913, and their son Robert was born on 9 January 1914.

A devout churchman, James was working as a 'home missionary' for the Presbyterian Church in Napier. When he was called up for war service in 1918, the Presbyterian Church initially lodged an appeal on his behalf with the Military Service Board. But the Evening Post newspaper reported on 21 June that the Reverend Dr James Gibb withdrew the appeal, stating thaty 'it was the policy of the Presbyterian Church to let every man go who could possibly be spared', and as the church at which James officiated was within a reasonable distance of Napier, the reverend felt that 'arrangements could be made to carry on the work there'. 

On 12 September 1918, James entered camp and spent time at both Trentham near Wellington and Awapuni in Palmerston North, where he trained for the Medical Corps - such work would have suited James well, given his background.

James did not see active service.  He was demobilised on 10 January 1919 and he  resumed his work for the Church.  Tragically, Mary died in childbirth on 6 October, 1919 when James was working in Whangamomona parish.  He married Edna Turner in 1922, and they had two sons, Ian Osborne and Donald Hamilton. James worked  in parishes in Inglewood,  Gisborne, Woodville and  Auckland until he retired in 1951.  He died in 1967, aged 80.                                                   

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