Search our collections

Advanced Search

Object: Portrait of Harold John Batten

This image has No Known Copyright Restrictions.

Title Portrait of Harold John Batten
Production Berry & Co (photography studio), 1917, 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.045970

Harold John Batten, service number 44182

This studio portrait shows  Rifleman Harold John Batten of the New Zealand Rifle Brigade..

Harold was 24 years old when he commenced service on 5 January 1917. At this time he lived in Otaki and was a horse trainer and jockey.

He trained with the New Zealand Rifle Brigade and embarked on the troopship 'Pakeha' from Wellington on 26 April 1917 as part of 'G' Company, 24th Reinforcements. At Sling Camp in England he re-joined the New Zealand Rifle Brigade. Harold’s unit endured the terrible fighting at Passchendaele in October 1917 where he was wounded in his lower left forearm  by an  (High explosiding  shell on 12 October.  This was the worst day of the entire war for New Zealand when 845 men died and over 2700 were wounded.  Batten was lucky - he was hospitalised with the wound  andreturned to New Zealand in February. He was  discharged from military service on  13 August 1918 due to his injury.

Harold married Bessie Olive Taylor in 1918 and had two children, Patricia and Ernest. He lived in Hamilton until the age of 61 and died on 1 April 1955.

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.

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.