The Royal New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps concerned itself with providing the New Zealand Army with the means to fight, specifically uniforms, weapons, rations and equipment.
Ordnance functions go back hundreds of years; the first Ordnance Officer in the British military appeared in 1299. Designated “Keeper of the King’s Wardrobe”, his duties included caring for and accounting for heavy equipment such as battering rams and catapults. The title of “Master of Ordnance” can be traced to 1414; this individual cared for the King’s military stores, particularly his artillery pieces. He retained control over engineer and artillery personnel until 1716.
In the New Zealand context, the provision of Ordnance services can be traced to the 1840s, with the British establishing ordnance stores in New Zealand to support the Imperial Forces stationed in New Zealand. As the Imperial presence began to draw down in the 1860s, New Zealand military storekeepers assumed a more significant role, with complete control of New Zealand’s Military storekeeping passing to the Defence Stores Department in 1869. In 1917 the New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps was formed as a permanent unit of the New Zealand Military Forces, taking over duties performed formerly by the Defence Stores Department.
The New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps maintained the Army throughout the difficult years of the interbellum and, at the onset of the Second World War, rapidly expanded. The Territorial component of the Corps was in 1940 and combined with the New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps in 1946.
Creditable service in the Second World War led to the grant of the prefix “Royal” by King George VI on 12 July 1947.
The Royal New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps was amalgamated in 1996 with the Royal New Zealand Corps of Transport and the Royal New Zealand Electrical and Mechanical Engineers to form the Royal New Zealand Army Logistic Regiment.
Copyright © Robert McKie 2017
2 thoughts on “The RNZAOC”