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Object: Portrait of James Gillham

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Title Portrait of James Gillham
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.044839

James Gillham, service number 54131

This studio portrait shows Private James Gillham, service number 54131.

James was 23 when he attested for service in 1917.  James embarked on the Waitemata on the 14 July 1917 as part of the 28th Reinforcements, F Company.

He was based at Sling training camp in September 1917 and went to France on 26 October 1917. It appears he was the victim of an unusual accident on the 17 January 1918 where he was run off the road by truck. In a statement to a Lieutenant Colonel at the London General Hospital he said ‘one foot slipped into a ditch, and the lorry passed over the other.’  He rejoined his unit in February but by the 15 February he was unwell after being gassed in the field and returned to England on the 29 March 1918 and then classified unfit. He returned to New Zealand on the 24 August 1918.  Some time after his discharge from the NZEF on 19 December 1918, James left New Zealand to live in England.

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.