Object: Portrait of Harold Pilkington and an unidentified woman
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|Title||Portrait of Harold Pilkington and an unidentified woman|
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|
Harold Pilkington, service number 61767
This studio portrait shows Private Harold Pilkington of the 30th Reinforcements, NZEF, with an unidentified young woman.
Harold was born in Bolton, Lancashire on 22 July 1897 and came to New Zealand with his widower father, James in 1910. Harold had just turned 20 and was working as a labourer for the Gear Meat Company at Petone when he volunteered for service with the 34th Reinforcements on 23 July 1917. He commenced his training at Trentham Camp on 25 July 1917 and embarked for overseas service on 13 October, 1917 with B Company of the 30th Reinforcements. Harold was promoted to Lance-Corporal on 10 October 1917, so this photograph must have been taken some time prior to that date. The young woman with him is as yet unidentified.
Harold disembarked at Liverpool on 8 December 1917 entered Sling Camp the next day. As was routine with new arrivals at Sling, he lost his New Zealand promotion and reverted to the rank of Private for his advanced training. He left England for France on 15 April 1918 and joined the 2nd Battalion of the Wellington Infantry Regiment for active service on 17 April 1918. On 20 May Harold was admitted to No. 1 NZ Field Ambulance with gas poisoning and burns to his neck. He was transferred next day to No. 56 Casualty Clearing Station and on the 22nd to No. 10 General Hospital at Rouen. He was sent to England on 25 May, where he was admited next day to No. 1 NZ General Hospital at Brockenhurst. He was at No. 3 NZ General Hospital at Codord from 10 June, and at the Convalescent Depot, Codford from 2 July.
Harold left England for the voyage home on 21 November 1919 and arrived in New Zealand on 13 January 1920. He was discharged from the NZEF on 2 February 1920.
Harold married Naomi Lankshear in 1923, and they lived in Lower Hutt until his death in 1979.
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.
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 email@example.com 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.
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.