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Object: Portrait of Lance Bridge and an unidentified soldier

This image has No Known Copyright Restrictions.

Title Portrait of Lance Bridge and an unidentified soldier
Production Berry, William (copyist), 1915-1916, 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.044984

Lance Bridge, service number 8/2255

This copy photograph shows Private Lance Bridge, service number 8/2255.  Lance is the soldier wearing his service cap, showing  the badge of the 5th (Wellington Rifles) Regiment. The other soldier, wearing a tunic with collar badges of the New Zealand Rifle Brigade, may be Lance's brother Lionel Septimus Bridge (1885-1971), service  number 26/46, who joined the 3rd Battalion, New Zealand Rifle Brigade in September 1915. The photographs were copied by Berry & Company from original prints by other photographers.

Lance was 26 years old at the time he attested for service. Born in Wellington in 1888 he was working as a clerk for the Dunlop Rubber Co., in Courtenay Place, Wellington.  He was also a well-known local sportsman, taking part in athletics, football , boxing, swimming and rowing.   

Lance was a member of the ‘Samoan Advance Party’ which embarked from Wellington bound for Apia on 15 August 1914. On the 17 April 1915 he left Wellington again for Egypt with the 4th Reinforcements, Otago Infantry Battalion.

Lance died of wounds obtained  in action at Gallipoli. He was badly wounded trying to rescue a wounded comrades during the assault on Rhododendron Ridge  in August 1915. Evacuated to the beach, he subsequently refused to be taken onto the hospital ship until others worse off than him were cared for. 'He lay for two days in the hot sun, with only food or water given by passing soldiers' (Hutchinson, G., 'Pilgrimage - a Traveller's Guide to New Zealanders in Two World Wars, 2012,  p.55). Eventually he was taken on board the British hospital ship Dongola where he died on 13 August 1915.  Lance was buried at sea.  In late September, his parents  received Lance's  'personal effects' -  his wallet, cards, letters, a diary, Bible,pen, pouch, chain and keys. His name is recorded on the War Memorial outside St Barnabas' Church, Roseneath.  


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.