Berry & Co, established in 1897 by William Berry, was a Wellington photographic studio producing commissioned portraits for the first decades of the twentieth century. In the 1990s, a tenant of 147 Cuba Street, Wellington, discovered around 3,000 glass plate negatives in a cupboard. This transpired to be the remarkable Berry & Co Collection. Amongst the studio portraits in the collection are around 130 showing ordinary World War One servicemen in uniforms, sometimes posing with families and friends. Many of these would have been taken before the men left to fight, or while on leave from the European theatres of war. Together, 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? Do they have any descendants still alive? If so, Te Papa wanted to make contact to learn more about their lives. On 29 September 2013, TVNZ's Sunday programme spread the word, and a remarkable public response helped reunite many soldiers with their identities. A new TVNZ documentary, Berry Boys: The Speakers for the Dead, about the Berry soldiers' stories will screen later in 2014. Published to coincide with the national screening of the documentary, Berry Boys: Portraits of World War One Soldiers and Families features the full collection of beautifully reproduced portraits, accompanied by the unique and carefully researched stories of the soldiers and their loved ones, including many that have only recently come to light. Though these soldiers represent only a tiny fraction of the thousands of men who departed to join the fighting overseas, through their poignant stories we are granted a remarkable lens on New Zealanders' experiences - their hope, anxiety, fear, pride and love - over the span of the Frist World War.
Introduction; 115 plates, with facing text telling the story of the soldiers and their families; Appendix of notes for readers on how to help identify the 'mystery' portraits; Acknowledgements; Bibliography; Image credits; Index