Title / object name
Portrait of Annie Baigent and Ashley Heath Baigent
|Maker ||Role ||Date |
|Berry & Co ||photography studio ||Circa 1917 |
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 studio portrait shows a man in World War One military uniform with a bandolier over his left shoulder and riding spurs. His regimental badges indicate that he was in the 25th Reinforcements, New Zealand Field Artillery. The photo was taken at the Berry Co. photographers in Wellington, a well-known studio established in 1897 by William Berry. Many servicemen had their photos taken while on leave or before they left to fight in World War One.
The soldier in this image has been identified as Ashley Heath Baigent and the woman is thought to be his wife Annie (nee Packard). Ashley was a farmer from Takaka at the time he attested for service on 8 January 1917. He was assigned to the NZFA New Zealand Field Artillery's 25th Reinforcements but was found to have a goitre and therefore 'unfit for active service'.
After the war Ashley became the director of the Nelson Freezing Works and a 'fat stock buyer' for many years. He was also a County Councillor and a member of the Takaka Show Committee. An Inn at the Takaka Showgrounds was named after him after he donated the timber for it to be built. He took over his father's farm in the 1940s in partnership with his brother Phillip. (Information from the Baigent Family Reunion publication, 1992)
The identification of World War One soldiers and other people in photos taken at the Berry Co. studio is an ongoing project at Te Papa. If you can identify the sitters in these images or can add to their history please contact a history curator 04 381 7000.