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Object: Portrait of Ernest Walter Reeve

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Title Portrait of Ernest Walter Reeve
Production Berry & Co (photography studio), 1917, Wellington
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
Registration number B.044835

Ernest Walter Reeve, service number 63934

This is a studio portrait of Ernest Walter Reeve who was born in Martinborough in July 1892 to parents William and Mary.

Prior to enlistment, Ernest was working as an Engine Driver in Wellington for N.Z. Railway Workshops. Ernest stated in his attestation that he served with the 7th Australian Light Horse in 1915, the NZ 16th Reinforcements in 1916, and was also a member of the Territorials on 6 August 1917. However, his attestation also states that he contracted Lumbago after falling from a horse whilst on duty. This means that he was off work for 18 months due to an injured back and ribs. It is then stated that "This man is most willing and I think the training would improve him."

Reeve embarked with the 32nd Reinforcements from Wellington aboard the Tahiti destined for Liverpool on 16 November 1917. Unfortunately, it appears that this injury was recurring during his time overseas, and he embarked for New Zealand from Plymouth abord the Ionic on 24 August 1918. He was treated for Neuritis at King George V hospital in Rotorua in 1919, and was not recommended for soldier pension due to not having actively served, and having been injured prior to war service.

Ernest Reeve died in Auckland on 28 May 1948.

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.

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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.