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Thomas Collins and Beatrice Sophia Collins
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Item Details
Open Artstor
Available to everyone
New Zealander
Thomas Collins and Beatrice Sophia Collins
Work Type
studio portraits, portraits, black-and-white negatives, gelatin dry plate negatives
180, 163

Portrait of Private Thomas Collins and his wife Beatrice Sophia Collins

This portrait of a couple shows a man wearing the uniform of a Private in the New Zealand Medical Corps. The woman has a wedding ring on her left hand.

The negative is inscribed 'Collins', and the people depicted are likely to be Thomas Collins, service number 80745, and his wife Beatrice Sophia Collins.

Thomas and Beatrice married in Wellington in 1910. Thomas worked for the Wellington Gas Company and enlisted on 17 December 1917. His medical file notes that he was 5 feet 4 1/2 inches (1.64 metres) tall, with brown hair and eyes and a sallow complexion.

When Thomas enlisted, the couple were living at 174 Aro Street, not far from the Berry studio in Cuba Street. They had no children at that stage.

He was posted to 'C' Company of the 41st Reinforcements on 23 May 1918 and transferred to the Medical Corps for training at Awapuni and Featherston camps four days later. He was transferred to Trentham camp on 3 October. One of the 2 glass negatives of the Berry portraits is inscribed 'Oct 18', which dates the sitting to that month.

On 6 November Thomas was admitted to hospital at Trentham with influenza. He recovered, and was released on 20 November. He was demobilised on 30 January 1919.

I know who this is

The Berry Boys
During World War I, around 120 Kiwi soldiers had their photograph taken at Wellington’s Berry & Co photography studio before they left New Zealand to fight in the war . These portraits are now in Te Papa’s collection.

In the lead-up to the World War I centenary (2014-18), Te Papa is working to identify these soldiers and the loved ones they are pictured with. We want to make contact with their descendants, and to record their stories.

Some soldiers have already been identified. For others, we only have the surname etched on the glass negative.

Contact us
If you have any information you can share about the Berry Boys - either a soldier or someone they are photographed with - please use the online form above. You can also email or leave a phone message for us on 04 381 7129. You can also write to Berry Boys Project Team, Te Papa, PO Box 467, Wellington 6140.

To aid identification, please be sure to include the Te Papa registration number (B.044366, for example) for the photo in question.

Collection: Photography
Purchased 1998 with New Zealand Lottery Grants Board funds
Accession Number
Image and original data provided by Museum of New Zealand - Te Papa Tongarewa
Use of this image is in accordance with the applicable Terms & Conditions
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