During WWI, monthly conscription ballots were drawn between November 1916 and October 1918 to make up for a shortfall in numbers volunteering for the army. History curator Kirstie Ross shares the stories of two Wellingtonians whose names were selected in the fourth ballot. On 13 February 1917, 100 years ago, marblesRead more

History curator Kirstie Ross explores the stories of four ‘Berry Boys’ who were conscripted in the first and second conscription ballots 100 years ago. In 1916, after two years of fighting, it was clear that New Zealanders’ loyalty to ‘King and Country’ was competing with other concerns – and fewerRead more

Guest blogger and long-serving, recently retired Te Papa history curator Michael Fitzgerald introduces the Battle of the Somme, and one man who survived the ferocious fighting that occurred there 100 years ago and another – one of Te Papa’s ‘Berry Boys’ – who lost his life. As visitors leave Gallipoli:Read more

 Gerald Gower (left) and Alfred Featherston Gower (right) are the two brothers who grace rather strikingly the cover of Berry Boys: Portraits of First World War Soldiers and Families by Michael Fitzgerald and Claire Regnault. The studio paraphernalia you see in the image above would have been cropped out inRead 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

Thanks to an article in the Dominion Post and also a piece on TV One news in response to our blog, we have had a flurry of correspondence regarding our Berry Girl mystery. While we have received a number of possible identifications for ‘O’Brien’, and will soon be able to reveal her identity,Read more

The ‘Berry Boys’ began as an internal nickname for the men depicted in Te Papa’s collection of soldier portraits by the Wellington photography studio Berry & Co. Amongst the soldiers, however, are some anomalies.  Flicking through the collection on mass, something about a couple of soldier portraits demanded a closer inspection. The bodyRead more

For me the new year is an opportunity to stop for a moment and reflect on the achievements of the past year.  Today my focus has been on Te Papa’s Kiwi Faces of World War I project where we have been identifying soldiers in a collection of negatives taken atRead more

One of the fascinating aspects of the Berry & Co photographs of World War I soldiers is that they were often photographed with family and friends. These family photographs bring to the fore the fact that women and children were affected by the war. Life on the home front wasRead more