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Object: Portrait of William and Marion Anderson

This image has No Known Copyright Restrictions.

Title Portrait of William and Marion Anderson
Production Berry, William (photography studio), 1918, Wellington
Medium summary black and white glass negative
Materials photographic gelatin, silver, sheet glass, photographic plates
Classification black-and-white negatives, gelatin dry plate negatives, portraits
Technique black-and-white photography
Format half plate (1/2)
Credit line Purchased 1998 with New Zealand Lottery Grants Board funds
Registration number B.046696

William Anderson and Marion Anderson.

This portrait of William Anderson with a woman standing behind him  is one of the saddest in the Berry collection.  The woman's anxious look and her protective arm around the young man help us identify her as his mother, Marion Anderson, who was only 20 years older than William.  

William was born in Glasgow, Scotland on 18 December 1897. He was 20 years old when he attested for service in January 1918. At this time he lived in Westport and worked as a purser for the Union Steam Ship Company. His mother, Marion and his father John Anderson  lived at 2 Yale Road, Wellington. He had a brother George and sister Janet.

Although William attested for military service on 25 January 1918 he was granted four month's unpaid leave and did not actually enter training camp until 22 May. He had stated on his attestation form that he would have preferred to join the Artillery, but the Army posted him to C Company of the 41st Reinforcements to train as a Rifleman.

He embarked  from Wellington on 1 August 1918 and marched into the Rifle' Brigade's camp at Brocton, England on 4 October.  William joined the Brigade's 3rd Reserve Battalion for further training, but on 28 October he was admitted to Cannock Chase Military Hospital suffering from Influenza.  William died three days later, the cause of death being recorded  as 'Pneumonia', and he was buried at the Cannock Chase War Cemetery.  For many years following, William's  mother ( his father, John, died in 1921 ) and siblings placed 'In Memoriam' notices in the Wellington newspapers on the anniversary of his death.   Marion died in 1953, aged 76.


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