Early enlister John Jessen (above) was the first of the soldiers photographed by Berry & Co to enlist for service. The 23-year-old signed up on 8 August 1914, just two days after the Defence Department invited single men between the ages of 20 and 35, weighing not more than 12Read more

New Zealand’s Governor, Lord Liverpool, announced the state of war with Germany under the central arch on the steps of Parliament (see above) on 5 August 1914. People assembled there to hear the news responded with ‘a cheer that displayed the tense emotions of the crowd…Hats and hands were raisedRead more

Copy of a portrait of two unidentified soldiers [inscribed Johnson]; 1914-1920; Berry & Co

At Te Papa, photos of 30 unidentified World War soldiers are on display in The Berry Boys: Naming the Kiwi faces of War. These men had their photographs taken at the Berry & Co studio sometime during the war, but we no longer know who they are. The soldier subjectsRead more

Portrait of an unidentified soldier and three unidentified women inscribed Brown, 1914-1919, Wellington. Berry & Co. Purchased 1998 with New Zealand Lottery Grants Board funds. Te Papa

Today, The Berry Boys: Naming the Kiwi faces of World War I opened at Te Papa on level 4. Part of this intimate exhibition explains how we have used uniform badges to help us identify some of the soldiers photographed by Berry & Co. But some of the portraits in theRead more

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and George left New Zealand this afternoon for Sydney, Australia. The Cambridge’s departure was less scenic than the Duke’s grandparents’ at the end of January 1954. On that occasion, just over 60 years ago, the royal yacht, the SS Gothic, made an unscheduled visit to MilfordRead more

Here is the perfect indoors game for a rainy day during a royal visit. Produced in the 1800s, its playing instructions are long gone. But you can still test yourself to see how many British sovereigns you can name, from William the Conqueror to Queen Victoria.    Read more

Stephanie Gibson, Te Papa’s Curator of Contemporary Life & Culture writes: It was with great sadness last week that I read about the demise of royal visit souvenirs (‘No royal knick-knacks thanks, we’re Kiwis’, The Dominion Post, 1 April 2014). According to the journalist ‘tacky royal collectibles are becoming relicsRead more

Sixty years ago, Queen Elizabeth II is crowned (2 June 1953) Only selected officials were invited into Westminster Abbey to witness the formal coronation ceremony, so thousands of people lined the route of the coronation porcession in order to see the Queen. Robert Buhler’s lithograph (above) depicts part of theRead more

Sixty years ago, Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay become the first people to reach the summit of Mount Everest, the world’s tallest mountain (29 May 1953) The two men’s mountaineering triumph came just a few days before Queen Elizabeth II was crowned. Their feat boosted the rejoicing that was already takingRead more

100 years ago HMS New Zealand arrives in New Zealand (12 April 1913) In March 1909, New Zealand’s Prime Minister, Sir Joseph Ward announced that ‘the Dominion’ (New Zealand) was offering ‘the Motherland’ (Britain) the ‘free gift of … a first-class battleship’. The Prime Minister thought that his offer toRead more