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Object: Portrait of Sapper Francis Harold Morgan and Private Edmund Guthrie Morgan

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Title Portrait of Sapper Francis Harold Morgan and Private Edmund Guthrie Morgan
Production Berry, William (photography studio), 1915, 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.045487

Portrait of Sapper Francis Harold Morgan, service number 4/44, Royal New Zealand Engineers (seated) and his brother Private Edmund Guthrie Morgan, service number 10/1927, Wellington Infantry Batallion.

Francis Harold Morgan, a sapper in the Royal New Zealand Engineers, and his younger brother Edmund Guthrie Morgan of the 4th Reinforcements were from a large Wellington family. Irish-born John and Scottish-born Christina Morgan had eleven children - six boys and five girls - and three of the boys served in the war. Francis, who enlisted in 1914, was part of the Samoa Advance Party. He re-enlisted in 1915, along with Edmund, and both sailed from Wellington on 17 April, destined for Egypt and Gallipoli. This portrait was probably taken shortly before they left.

Francis, who before re-enlisting worked as a clerk at the New Zealand Express Company, was the first of the brothers to land at Anzac Cove in June 1915. Edmund follwed in July, but his stay was short: after suffering a severe hernia on 27 July, he was invalided back to New Zealand. Edmund was discharged in August 1916 as 'no longer physically fit for active service.' He would die of tuberculosis in Wellington in 1930, aged forty-five.

Francis was also evacuated from Gallipoli, on 10 August 1915. In September, he was hospitalised in Malta with dysentery, an extremely common illness at the front. Francis served a full four years and 184 days. When the Second World War broke out, he enlisted for a third time.  By then he was forty-eight years old, married and working as a salesman; on accoint of his age he was placed in the reserves and not mobilised. Francis died on 1 June 1957.


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