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Object: Portrait of Richard Weir Battersby

This image has No Known Copyright Restrictions.

Title Portrait of Richard Weir Battersby
Production Berry, William (photography studio), 1917-1918, 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.044939

Richard Weir Battersby, service number 63539

This studio portrait shows Corporal Richard Weir Battersby, service number 63539. He is wearing his Army uniform with Corporal's chevrons on his sleeves and is holding his 'lemon-squeezer' hat and a 'swagger stick', or cane. 

 Richard's name was drawn in the Fourth Ballot for compulsory military service on 13 February 1917 and he entered the training camp at Trentham in late August as part of the 'local quota' for the 33rd Reinforcements. 

Richard Battersby transferred to the 37th Reinforcements and promoted to Probationary Corporal on 26 September. He reverted to Private at his own request on 15 March 1918, but was promoted Temporary Corporal on 13 May. These periods enable us to date the portrait sitting to either late September 1917 to mid -March 1918, or to some time between mid-May and his embarkation from Wellington on 2 October 1918.

Born on 27 June 1893, Richard was almost 24 years old when he attested for service. He married to Gladys Frances Maud Williamson on 31 Augsut 1915. The couple was living in Pitt Street, Wadestown, and Richard was employed as a clerk in the Railways Department. He embarked from Wellington with the 43rd Reinforcements on 2 October 1918 on the troopship 'Matatua', arriving in England three weeks after the Armistice, on 5 December 1918.

Richard remained in England until September 1919, when he left  for New Zealand with  'Returning Draft No. 288' on the troopship Ionic, and disembarked at Wellington on 25 October.  

Richard lived for most of his life in Wadestown, with many of his immediate family living nearby. He was involved in the Wadestown Chess Club and the Wadestown & Highland Park Mens' Club. The family was also involved in the Wadestown Horticultural Society - earlier named the Wadestown Cottage Garden and Beautifying Society. Richard and Gladys lived a long life together, until their deaths in 1980. Richard was 86 years old when he died.

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