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Object: Portrait of Eric Richard Davies Graham

This image has No Known Copyright Restrictions.

Title Portrait of Eric Richard Davies Graham
Production Berry, William (photographer), 1918, 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.046456

Portrait of Gunner Eric Richard Davies Graham, service number 86321, Royal New Zealand Artillery.

Eric Graham volunteered to enlist on his twentieth birthday - 4 July 1918 - the age young men were allowed to enlist without parental permission. At the time, he was living with his mother, Emma Mary Graham, of Melrose, Wellington, and was working as a clerk for the Defence Department. Eric was Wellington-born, but both parents were Australian: his father was from Brisbane, and his mother from Adelaide.

At the time he attested for overseas service, Eric was already serving as a territorial (part-time) member of the New Zealand Garrison Artillery Volunteers (GAV). Eric would have received training through the GAV, and at his attestation he expressed a wish to join the Artillery.

Eric was posted as a private to the 45th Reinforcements on 14 August 1918, and entered Trentham Camp the following day. Four days later he was transferred to the 49th Reinforcements, New Zealand Field Artilery, and at some point he relocated to Featherston Camp. In this portrait, Eric wears the 'flaming shell' collar badges of the Artillery. He was promoted to temporary bombardier on 5 November, just days before the war's end. Demobilised from Featherston Camp on 29 November, he was discharged on 7 August 1919.

Eric died in Wellington on 17 May 1980, aged eighty-one.





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