Object: Portrait of an unidentified soldier, inscribed ’Briggs 12/12/10’
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|Title||Portrait of an unidentified soldier, inscribed ’Briggs 12/12/10’|
Berry, William (photography studio), 1916-1918, 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|
The Briggs who commissioned this photograph placed an expensive order for twelve large prints (12 inches by 10inches). While his 'Lemon squeezer' hat indicates that the photograph was taken in 1916 or later, the sitter’s uniform does not offer any further clues to his rank or unit. As such he could be one of a number of men surnamed named Briggs who enlisted between 1916 and 1918.
The iconic 'Lemon Squeeze' hat was originally designed by Lieutenant Colonel William Malone in 1911 for the Taranaki Rifles Regiment. While it’s shape echoes that of Mount Taranaki, its design was practically motivated - the pinched crown allowed for ‘run off’ during rain.
In 1914, while most of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force left New Zealand wearing a single dented slouch hat, Malone and his men from the Ruahine units, donned the 'Lemon Squeezer.' In 1916, the 'Lemon Squeezer' was formally adopted by the rest of the New Zealand Infantry Division. It is still worn today for special ceremonial occasions.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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.