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Object: Portrait of Harold Pilkington and an unidentified woman

This image has No Known Copyright Restrictions.

Title Portrait of Harold Pilkington and an unidentified woman
Production Berry, William (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.047213

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. He continued working for the Gear Meat Company as a manager, living in Lower Hutt until his death in 1979.


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