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Object: Portrait of Harry Spire Powell

This image is No known copyright restriction.

Title Portrait of Harry Spire Powell
Production Berry & Co (photography studio), 1917, Wellington
Medium summary black and white glass negative
Materials photographic gelatin, sheet glass, silver, photographic plates
Classification portraits, black-and-white negatives, gelatin dry plate negatives
Technique black-and-white photography
Format half plate (1/2)
Credit line Purchased 1998 with New Zealand Lottery Grants Board funds
Registration number B.047083

Harry Spire Powell, service number 50519

This is a portrait of  Lance-Bombardier Harry Spire Powell of the New Zealand Field Artillery.

Harry was 36 years old, and  farming at Reikorangi near Waikanae when he enlisted. He had been born in Wiltshire, England but migrated to New Zealand with his parents at the age of three.  

He embarked from Wellington on 13 August 1917 on the troopship 'Mokoia' with the 29th Reinforcements,  New Zealand Field Artillery.  Only four days into the voyage  Harry was admitted to the ship's hospital with an injury to his left knee. He had been on parade on the ship's deck when he slipped and twisted the knee inwards. He spent three days in hospital and was left with an injury that meant he was unable to walk without pain.   On 10 May 1918 Harry went before a Medical Board at the Artillery's camp at Ewshot, England.  The Board noted that Harry was still suffering pain on his knee, and was unfit for marching or guard duty. He was declared Permanently Unfit for active service, but classified as 'C2', fit for Home Service.  He was sent to the NZEF's Discharge Depot at Torquay on 2 September and back to New Zealand where he was discharged from military service on 6 March 1919.

On 11 September 1919, at Wellington, Harry married Myrtle Irene McLaughlin.  He died in Levin on 12 February 1955, aged 74.

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 berryboys@tepapa.govt.nz 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.