These are a series of photos from an album I was surprised to discover in a Wellington second-hand shop. The collection spans from 1971 to 1979 and provides a photographic history of the ANZUK Supply Depot (1971-74) and the New Zealand Supply Platoon (1974-89).
My Connection with this album
I was surprised to find that I have several connections to these photos. The first link is evident as I served in Singapore from 1987 to 1989 and the Supply Platoon was part of my unit, the New Zealand Advanced Ordnance Depot (NZAOD). I spent a lot of time in the cool-store and the old POL Store which by then was our vehicle section, and sadly one of my last duties was clearing these buildings out for handover to the Singapore Authorities ending around 54 years of commonwealth occupancy.
The second connection is from one of the photos of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) Tideflow been provisioned. In 1971 a Royal Navy Task-force headed by the carrier HMS Eagle visited Wellington, New Zealand. With My brother home from Cadets, my father took my brothers and me to visit the ships. Finding long ques for all the fighting ships, we wandered around, and somehow we ended up on the RFA Tideflow. Which according to family legend, 5ish year old me got separated from the party and found my way to the wardroom (a habit that has stuck with me for a lifetime) and my brother getting incredibly drunk. As a vicar, my father offered the crew ( who were mainly Maltese) some pastoral care and arranged some onshore activities, including a football match and a home cooked meal at the vicarage. The bonus for us kids was what seemed to be a mountain of crisps, chocolates and canned soft drinks, canned soft drinks been somewhat of a novelty that was unavailable in New Zealand at the time. On departure, my father was given a Plaque as a thank you, and to this day that plaque takes pride of place in his living room, Oh there was also several cases of Courage CSB.
ANZUK Supply Platoon
The ANZUK Supply Platoon was the ANZUK unit responsible for the provision of foodstuffs and POL (petrol oil lubricants) to the ANZUK Force (1971-1974). Under the command of the Commander Royal Australian Army Service Corp (CRAASC), it was a tri-nation unit, with members drawn from Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.
It was formed at a time when the three different armies were rationalising their Supply functions from an Army Service Corp Responsibility to an Ordnance Corp responsibility, and as a result, the unit was a mix of Royal Army Ordnance Corp and Australian and New Zealand Army Service Corp personnel. The United Kingdom had made the change in 1965, Australia would follow in 1973 and New Zealand in 1979.
With the withdrawal of the British and Australians form Singapore, the ANZUK Supply Depot would change ownership and become the NZ Supply depot In 1974, continuing under RNZASC control until 1979 and then RNZAOC control until 1989 when the New Zealand withdrew its forces from Singapore.
Located in the northeastern section of the former HM Naval Dockyard, Sembawang, Singapore, the ANZUK Supply Depot occupied the cluster of buildings that were the former Royal Navy Victualling and Storing Office and Victualling Depot (SVSO and Vict Depot).
Originally announced in 1923, construction of the Naval Dockyard was completed in 1939, at a staggering cost of £60 million – equivalent to £2½ billion in 2006 paid for by the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand. The base covered 21 square miles (54 km2) and had the most significant dry dock in the world, the third-largest floating dock, fuel tanks to support the entire British Navy for six months and a host of workshops, warehouses and accommodation. With the withdrawal of British forces from Singapore starting in 1968, most of the Naval Base was handed over to the Singapore government, with the area adjacent to the Stores basin retained for use by the residual Commonwealth, then New Zealand Forces
ANZUK Supply Depot 1972
Standing L to R: Cpl Parker, RAASC. Cpl Olderman, RAASC, Cpl Mcintyre, RAOC. Sgt Frank, RAOC. Cpl Rangi, RNZASC. Sgt Locke, RNZASC. Sgt Bust, RAOC. Pte Mag, RAASC. Cpl David, RAASC.
Sitting L to R: Sgt Kietelgen, RAASC. WO2 West, RAOC. Capt Mcnice, RAOC. Maj Hunt, RAASC. Lt Fynn, RAASC. WO2 Cole, RAASC. WO2 Clapton. RAASC
Checking ‘Live’ consignment of produce to issue to Gurkha Regt at Nee Soon,