The Berry Boys: Hot off the press (well almost)

The Berry Boys: Hot off the press (well almost)

This coming August marks a climax of Te Papa’s Berry Boys soldier identification project, with the screening of a documentary on seven of the soldiers on TVNZ in early August (details to come), and the launch of Berry Boys: Portraits of First World War Soldiers and Families by Te Papa Press.

The latter brings all of the soldier portraits from the Berry Collection together in a beautiful hard-bound book, sensitively designed by Spencer Levine. It features full page images of all of the identified soldiers alongside their fascinating biographies which have been patiently compiled by Te Papa historian Michael Fitzgerald, and a series of group spreads of those whose identities still remain a mystery. I’ve contributed an introductory essay on the Berry & Co studio itself.

While we impatiently wait to get our hands on a copy – to feel its weight, and sniff the new ink and freshly cut paper – our editor Hannah Newport-Watson, has been out to the printers and took these shots of pages fresh off the press and ready for the binders, so here is a sneak peak.

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Gunner Eric Richard Davies Graham in multiple.

Berry Boys has been printed locally with duotone technology, which will allow for a rich tonal reproduction of each photograph, while the introduction features a splash of colour.

Waiting to be cut and bound. The ‘Hero of Our Home’ frame is one of my favourite images from the introduction. Photo: Hannah Newport-Watson.

The cover features the Gower brothers, Gerald and Alfred, who had a range of portraits taken by Berry & Co. in 1917. This image of them standing, hands behind their backs, proved to be the perfect match with the title and swiftly ended the hotly debated argument about which image should be ‘the’ cover image as we each lobbied for our favourites.

Berry Boys - available from all good books stores come August.
Berry Boys – available from all good books stores come August.

In the meantime the Berry Boys: naming the Kiwi faces of war exhibition is still on at Te Papa until late Octover – just head up to Level 4. Perhaps you could help us name our final group of unknowns…

For any media enquiries about the Berry Boys book please contact Angela Radford, Te Papa Press publicist – Phone:027 540 1104 or 09 266 4471     Email:



  1. Actually – I think I should do more research – seems that four Berry boys went to WW!

  2. Interesting fact – My grandfather George Bertram Berry served in WW1 – so did his five brothers – Thomas, Wallace, Maurice, Wilfred and Graham. I have verified the records of all but Graham. I wonder how many families had 6 brothers fighting? They all came home.

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