Search our collections

Advanced Search

Object: Portrait of Richard Weir Battersby

This image has No Known Copyright Restrictions.

Title Portrait of Richard Weir Battersby
Production Berry & Co (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.045960

Richard Weir Battersby, service number 63539

This  portrait shows Corporal Richard Weir Battersby, service number 63539. He is wearing his World War One military uniform, a 'lemon-squeezer' hat with the badge of  the First New Zealand Expeditionary Force and a woollen greatcoat with Corporal's chevrons on the left sleeve. 

The portrait  was taken at the Cuba Street studio of  Berry & Co.  in Wellington, a well-known photographic firm established in 1897 by William Berry. Many servicemen had their portraits taken there while on leave or before they left for the war.

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 wasalmost 24 years old when he attested for service. Married to Gladys Frances Maud Williamson, he was living in Pitt Street, Wadestown and was employed as a clerk in Wellington. He embarked from Wellington with the 43rd Reinforcements on 2 October 1918 on the troopship 'Matatua', arriving in London 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. They both lived until 1980. Richard was 86 years old when he died.

Related information

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.