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Object: Portrait of Creighton Chesnutt

This image has No Known Copyright Restrictions.

Title Portrait of Creighton Chesnutt
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.046173

Portrait of Private Creighton Chesnutt, service number 53473.

Creighton Chesnutt was born in Kilclair,  Donegal, Ireland on 20 January 1890 and  came out to New Zealand as a single man in 1914 to join the New Zealand Police Force. Prior to his enlistment in 1917, he was a constable based at the Mt Cook Barracks, Buckle Street, Wellington.

On 12 April  1917, Creighton  entered camp to join the  28th Reinforcements but 28  April  he was transferred to the 27th Reinforcements;  it was as a member  of this unit that he was photographed at the Berry Studios, as shown by his collar badges.

He was further transferred to the 33rd Reinforcements and promoted to Corporal on 19 June and  embarked from Wellington with them on 31 December.  

At Sling Camp in England he reverted to Lance Corporal and was attached to the ‘Composite Reserve   Battalion’ of the 4th New Zealand Infantry Brigade before  prior to being sent to France to join the  1st Battalion Otago Infantry Regiment on 16 September  1918.

At the end of the war Creighton returned to New Zealand and following demobilisation, rejoined the New Zealand Police Force in Wellington.

In 1921 Creighton Chesnutt married Nellie Messenger, the couple moved with the police force to Taranaki and then to Taihape where Creighton is listed as serving from 1938 to 1955.

Creighton was 101 years old  when he died  at Tauranga on 2 June 1991.  

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.