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Object: Portrait of Thomas Fleming Stewart

This image is No known copyright restriction.

Title Portrait of Thomas Fleming Stewart
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.046405

Thomas Fleming Stewart, service number 39909

This studio portrait shows Private Thomas Fleming Stewart, service number 39909.

Thomas was 28 years old when he enlisted for service in November 1916. At the time of attestation he was working as a farm hand for a Mr Holmes at Tiraumea, near  Eketahuna. Thomas had moved to New Zealand from Scotland six years previously with his parents, James and Robina Stewart, following a year later. James and Robina lived in Lepperton, a small town in the Taranaki region, and James was listed as Thomas' next-of-kin.

Thomas trained with the 23rd Reinforcements and embarked with them from Wellington on 14  March 1917  bound for England.

When he marched into Sling Camp on 21 May for further training he was posted to the 4th Reserve Battalion of the Auckland-Wellington Regiment. Exactly one month later he was sent to France on active service.  He was at the Base Depot at Etaples from 23 June till 9 July, when he went to to the front to join the 9th Company of the 3rd Battalion, Wellington Regiment.

Thomas' time in the front line was extremely brief. He was killed in action the following day, and was buried at the 'Motor Car Corner' Military Cemetery, Belgium.  Thomas in one of 84 New Zealand soldiers buried in that small cemetery.

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.