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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 & Co (photography studio), circa 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, service number 50897

This studio portrait shows Gunner Walter George Scambary, his wife Ida Emily and son George.

Walter was 24 years old when he commenced service on 15 March 1917. At this time he lived in Kilbirne, Wellington and worked as a salesman. He embarked on the troopship 'Maunganui ' from Wellington on  21 November 1917 as part of the 32nd Reinforcements, New Zealand Field Artillery.

Walter was based at Ewshott Camp in Surrey, then his military record shows that he marched into Etaples, France in February 1918. He specialised in the use of the 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 the trench warfare which Walter was engaged in.

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 the age of 76. He continued his interest in weaponry as an active and highly acclaimed member of the Aotea and Petone Rifle Clubs.

Walter had five brothers and two sisters, one of whom also served overseas – Norman William Scambary.

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.