Click to enlarge.
One wet day, 2004 or 2005, I was on a site on St Judes Street in Avondale. An old house there was being cleared out by the owner, and I took the opportunity of looking in the rooms with permission, taking photographs. Out the back, on a driveway, I spotted what looked like an old picture frame, soaked. I turned it over -- and found the above.
This is a Great War Certificate of Service, another example to be found at the link. Not for someone connected with Avondale, though. Reginald William Fitt had a mother living in Campbell Terrace here in Auckland (now called Logan Terrace), but enlisted at Gisborne, and served with Otago Mounted Rifles from 1915 to 1920 when he was discharged.
This large certificate had to be scanned in two pieces, hence the join you can see. The frame was soaked. Water had got in between the certificate and the glass of the frame, and when I got it back inside (the owner said I could keep it for the historical society), it seemed touch and go if I was going to be able to save anything.Wet frame, backing, certificate nibbled at on the edges by silverfish. But it's a tough piece of paper, this. Not even much in the way of foxing mold, after all these years. It's dry now, stored in our collection for the moment.