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Object: Portrait of George Mackay Scott

This image has No Known Copyright Restrictions.

Title Portrait of George Mackay Scott
Production Berry & Co (photography studio), 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.045594

George Mackay Scott, 1918.

This portrait shows  a young man in the uniform of a Rifleman in the New Zealand Rifle Brigade. On his right sleeve are three inverted chevrons, signifying that he has served overseas for three years.

The man depicted has been identified from information on his service record as George Mackay Scott, service number 24/273. George was born in Wellington in 1896. His father, also George, was a Scotsman from Fife, and his mother, Thirza, was English. Theirs was a large  family; George had four brothers and four sisters. He enlisted on 5 May 1915, giving his  address as care of his mother at 24 Constable Street, Wellington, and his occupation as 'hardware assistant' at the firm of Duthie & Co.

He served in the NZ Rifle Brigade,  embarking from Wellington with the 2nd Battalion on 9 October 1915 and serving with the Brigade in Egypt and France in 1916 and 1917.  On 18 June 1916 he was admitted to a Casualty Clearing Station near the front line and from  24 July 1917  George was at the New Zealand Convalescent  Depot at Torquay, England.    On 1 February 1918 he embarked for New Zealand  classified as 'Permanently  Unfit'  and was discharged from the NZEF on 15 April 1918 as 'No longer fit for War Service''. The reason given was  Goitre, 'aggravated by Active Service conditions'.

He would have visited the Berry studio for this portrait to be taken shortly after his return.

George married Emma Kate Gapper in 1920, and they had a daughter, Norine, born in Elthma in October that year.  He enlisted again in 1940, early in the Second World War, and on his military record Emma is given as his next of kin.  At the time, they were living in Karori, and he was working as a sales manager at the Vacuum Oil Company. 

George Scott died at Levin in 1975, and Emma outlived him by eight years.

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