Berry Boys

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A surprise discovery in the 1990s unearthed the remarkable photographs of Berry & Co, a Wellington photography studio of the early 20th century. Among the thousands of images are more than a hundred of ordinary World War One servicemen in uniforms, many posing with family. Often taken directly before the men left to fight, they offer a potent snapshot of the New Zealand of the time—and the changing face of the war itself. But who were they? What happened to them in the war? Te Papa wanted to make contact with their descendants and learn more about their lives. In September 2013, TVNZ’s Sunday program spread the word, and a heartfelt public response helped reunite many soldiers with their identities. Published to coincide with a new TVNZ documentary, Berry Boys features the full collection of beautifully reproduced portraits, accompanied by the unique stories of the soldiers and their loved ones.


Michael Fitzgerald is a curator of colonial New Zealand at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, the national museum and art gallery of New Zealand. Claire Regnault is a senior curator of history (creative industries) at Te Papa, and has formerly held curatorial positions at several museums and galleries in New Zealand. She is a coauthor of The Dress Circle: New Zealand Fashion Design Since 1940, which was a finalist in the NZ Post Book Awards, author of The New Zealand Gown of the Year, and has contributed essays to a number of publications.