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Object: Portrait of Gordon Grant Sutherland

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Title Portrait of Gordon Grant Sutherland
Production Berry & Co (photography studio), 1916, 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.047286

Gordon Grant Sutherland, service number 16180

This  portrait depicts Gordon Grant Sutherland, service number 16180, a Driver with the New Zealand Army Service Corps in World War 1.

When  he enlisted  for military service at Featherston on 10 March 1916, Gordon was 20 years old and had been working as a butcher in his home town, Duntroon, South Canterbury.  Gordon was posted the next day to the Army Service Corps as a Driver.  He embarked from Wellington for overseas service with the 14th Reinforcements on 26 June 1916,  bound for England.  He trained at Sling camp from 23 August till 2 September, then joined No. 1 Company of the Army Service Corps in France on 16 November.

His duties involved driving horse or mule-drawn  wagons carrying ammunition, food and other supplies, often under enemy shellfire and aerial bombardment. He would also have had to care for the animals  in his teams.  On 15 October 1917, possibly as a respite from this duty,  he was transferred to the Divisional Horse-Clipping Depot where he stayed till 11 December. Armies used many thousands of horses and mules on the Western Front  and their coats were clipped to control skin infections and parasites.

Gordon rejoined his Army Service Corps unit until 5 February 1918  when he went back to the Horse-Clipping Depot. On 24 February he joined the Headquarters Company of the Army Service Corps. He embarked from England for New Zealand on 17 May 1919 and was discharged from the NZEF on 21 July 1919. Gordon endured three European winters during his military service, which may account for his application only six weeks after his discharge for  medical treatment at the expense of the Defence Department.  He complained of pain in his ankle, knee and hip joints, and was diagnosed as  suffering from 'Chronic articular rheumatism'.  The examining Medical Officer recommended that Gordon be treated at the thermal baths at Rotorua, but his superior allocated Gordon to Oamaru Hospital as an out-patient instead. 

After the war Gordon married Bessie Jane Parker in 1927, they had one child Jean Isabell.  Gordon died at Oamaru on 21 April 1947, aged only 51.

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 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.

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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.