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Object: Portrait of Walter George, George and Ida Scambary

This image has No Known Copyright Restrictions.

Title Portrait of Walter George, George and Ida Scambary
Production Berry, William (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.046400

Walter George Scambary, Ida Elizabeth Scambary and George Eric Scambary

This portrait shows Gunner Walter George Scambary, service number 50897 of the New Zealand Field Artillery, his wife Ida Emily and their son George.

Walter Scambary was born in Barraba, New South Wales, and came to New Zealand with his mother and siblings around the turn of the century (his father, James, was by then deceased). He had two sisters, Rose and Maud, and five brothers - Norman, Tom, John, Francis (Frank) and Arthur - all of whom enlisted in the New Zealand Army. Walter's name was drawn in the fourth ballot in February 1917. At the time, he was aged 24, living in Kilbirnie, Wellington, and working as a salesman; he was also a member of the Garrison Artillery.

Walter embarked from Wellington on 21 November 1917 on the troopship Maunganui, bound for Liverpool, with the 32nd Reinforcements, New Zealand Field Artillery.

Stationed initially at the Artillery's training camp at Ewshot in Hampshire, Walter was sent to France in February 1918. During his active service with the Field Artillery, he specialised in the use of heavy trench mortar, a tube like weapon designed to fire a bomb  at a steep angle so that it falls straight down on the enemy. The mortar was ideally suited for trench warfare.

Walter eventually returned to New Zealand on the Tahiti in May 1919. He went home to Ida and George in Kilbirne where he had grown up and where he lived for the rest of his life until his death on 12 September 1968, aged 76. He continued his interest in weaponry as an active and highly acclaimed member of the Aotea and Petone Rifle Clubs.

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