The Royal New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps (RNZAOC) concerned itself with the provisioning of troops with the means to fight; specifically uniforms, weapons and equipment. Ordnance functions go back hundreds of years; the first Ordnance Officer in the British military appeared in the year 1299. Designated “Keeper of the King’s Wardrobe”, his duties included the care and accounting of 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 1840’s, the British military set up ordnance stores in New Zealand, with full control passing to New Zealand authorities after 1870. In 1917 the New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps was formed, taking over duties performed formerly by the New Zealand Defence Stores Department. Creditable service in the Second World War led to the grant of the prefix “Royal” by King George VI on 12 July 1947.
The Territorial component of the Corps was not authorized until 1940 and combined with the New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps in 1946.
The RNZAOC 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