Title / object name
Portrait of John Jessen
|Maker ||Role ||Date |
|Berry & Co ||photography studio ||1914-1920 |
black and white glass negativeMaterials
photographic gelatin, sheet glass, silver, photographic plates
half plate (1/2)Classification
studio portraits, portraits, black-and-white negatives, gelatin dry plate negatives
Purchased 1998 with New Zealand Lottery Grants Board funds
This is a copy of photograph of John Jessen.
John Jessen was born in Mauriceville to parents William August and Christine Jessen in the same year as their marriage, 1890. The family had moved to Wellington by 1908, when john joined the D Battery of the New Zealand Field Artillery Volunteers. In 1914 he joined the New Zealand Expeditionary Force who departed for Samoa on the 8th August. Returning from Samoa on the 22nd March 1915 he was discharged on his own request and went to work as a clerk in the New Zealand Government Thorndon Railway Station. On discharge he held the rank of Battery Sergeant Major.
At the end of 1915 John Jessen was among a number of non-commissioned officers called up to join the 14th reinforcements for the Western Front. He was killed in action in France on the 24th August 1918, aged 28. By this point he held the rank of Bombardier and was part of the 9th Battery. He is buried in Achiet-le-Grand Communal Cemetery Extension in grave IV.P.3.
His brother Donald Jessen also served as a gunner in the New Zealand Field Artillery and died of illness the following year. Both soldiers were commemorated by their parents in adverts placed in the Evening Post (see Papers Past links).
John's service number was 2/1.