RNZAOC June 1948 to May 1949

This article carries on from the post, RNZAOC June 1947 to 1948 and covers the activities of the RNZAOC from June 1948 to May 1949

Key Appointments

Army Headquarters

  • Director of Ordnance Services

    • Lieutenant Colonel A.H Andrews

  • Deputy Assistant Director of Ordnance Services

    • Major F Reid

  • Chief Inspecting Ordnance Officer

    • Major I.S Millar
  • Senior Inspecting Ordnance Officer

    • Captian J.G.R Morley
  • IOO Technical Assistant

    • Captian N.C Fisher

Main Ordnance Depot

  • Officer Commanding

    • Major A.D Leighton
  • Second in command MOD

    • Captain M.K Keeler

Northern Military District

  • District Inspecting Ordnance Office

    • Captain E.C Green
  • OC Northern District Ammunition Depot


Central Military District

  • District Inspecting Ordnance Office

    • Captain G.H Perry
  • OC Central District Ammunition Depot

    • Captain Robert Price Kennedy

Southern Military District

  • OC Southern District Ordnance Depot

    • Captain A.A Barwick
  • District Inspecting Ordnance Office

    • Captain E Hancock
  • OC Southern District Ammunition Depot

    • Captain William Cleaver Ancell

Territorial Force

  • Chief of Royal New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps (CRNZAOC)

    • Lieutenant Colonel Donald Edward Harper

Appointment of Colonel Commandant

Brigadier T J King, CBE, RNZAOC Regimental Colonel 1 Jan 1949 – 31 Mar 1961. RNZAOC School

1949 saw the adoption of Colonel Commandants for Corps and Regiments of the New Zealand Army. New Zealand Gazette No 4 of 21 Jan 1949 detailed the appointment of Brigadier (Retired) J.J King, CBE as the first Colonel Commandant of the RNZAOC.

The organisation of Ordnance Services in Districts

Under discussion since May 1947, it was agreed that Ordnance Services in the districts (Northern, Central and Southern) would be better served by the appointment of a Deputy Assistant Director of Ordnance Services (DADOS) om the staff of the District Headquarters.

The DADOS staff in the District Headquarters would consist of;

  • The DADOS – an RNZAOC Major, who was the Commanding Officer for all RNZAOC personnel in the district.
  • The District Inspection Ordnance Officer  – an RNZAOC Captain
  • DADOS Clerk – an RNZAOC Sergeant
  • DIOO Clerk – Civilian

The DADOS staff at the Headquarters would have the following responsibilities;

  • responsible to Army HQ through the DOS: for
    • Technical control of the District Ordnance Depot, IOO Section, Ammunition Depot and Vehicle Depot.
    • The storage of all Ordnance Stores, Ammunition and vehicles earmarked to be held by the districts for mobilisation,
    • The distribution of all stores declared to the War Asset Realisation Board (WARB) as being surplus to the requirements of the Army, (NMD and SMD Only)
  • The DADOS was  responsible to the OC of the district for:
    • Advice on all Ordnance matters,
    • The efficient functioning of all Ordnance Services in the District
    • Supply and storage of all Ordnance Stores required by the District,
    • Storage, maintenance and supply of all  ammunition in the district,
    • Supply of all MT requirements within the District from the Vehicle Depot,
    • Cooperating with DADME to ensure that maintenance of all vehicles in Vehicle Depots is adequately carried out.

Renaming of Ordnance Installations

Late in 1948 Ordnance Depots were renamed as follows;

Ordnance Depots

  • No 1 Ordnance Depot to Northern District Ordnance Depot
  • No 2 Ordnance Depot to Central District Ordnance Depot
  • No 3 Ordnance Depot to Southern District Ordnance Depot

Ammunition Sections

Ammunition sections became:

  • Northern District Ammunition Depot
  • Central District Ammunition Depot
  •  Southern District Ammunition Depot

MT Platoons

Vehicle Holding Platoons and Vehicle Reception Platoons became;

  • Northern District Vehicle Depot
  • Central District Vehicle Depot
  •  Southern District Vehicle Depot

IOO Group

Army Ammunition Repair Depot was  re-roled as Army Ammunition Stores Depot

Territorial Force Reorganisation

The following Territorial Force RNZAOC units were formed on 8 October 1948

  • Headquarters RNZAOC, New Zealand Division.
  • 1st Infantry Brigade Ordnance Field Park Platoon.
  • 2nd Infantry Brigade Ordnance Field Park Platoon.
  • 3rd Infantry Brigade Ordnance Field Park Platoon.

Ordnance Locations

The NZAOC Stores Depots were located at the following locations;


TRE 1948
  • Main Ordnance Depot, including
    • Bulk Stores Sub Depots, at
      • Mangaroa, Upper Hutt
  • Inspecting Ordnance Officers Group
  • Army Ammunition Repair Depot, Kuku Valley (to become Army Ammunition Stores Depot)
  • Ammunition Proof and Experimentation Center, Kuku Valley
  • Central Districts Vehicle Depot at Trentham.

Northern Military District

NMD 1948


  • Northern Districts Vehicle Depot, Sylvia Park
  • Small Arms Ammunition Proof Office, Mount Eden


  • Northern Districts Ordnance Depot
  • Northern Districts Ammunition Depot, Magazines at Ngaruawahia, Kelms Road and Ardmore

Central Military District

CMD 1948

Linton and Waiouru Camps 

  • Central Districts Ordnance Depot at Linton Camp, with
    • Sub Depot at Waiouru.
  • Central Districts Ammunition Depot, with sections at
    • Belmont
    • Moko Moko
    • Kuku Valley
    • Waiouru.

Southern Military District

SMD 1948


  • Southern Districts Ordnance Depot
  • Southern Districts Vehicle Depot
  • Southern Districts  Ammunition Depot, Ammunition magazines at
    • Alexandra,
    • Fairlie,
    • Glen Tunnel,
    • Mount Somers.

All RNZAOC units remained occupied by consolidating and maintaining stocks. The redistribution of equipment to ensure that balanced inventories required both for training and mobilisation was held in all districts had not progressed as well as anticipated. Lack of storage accommodation at ordnance depots and the difficulty experienced in moving heavy equipment either by rail or sea had caused delays.  The storage problem had been aggravated by the relinquishment of 86,000 square feet of storage space at Gracefield to assist the urgent requirements of other Government Departments.

Details of stores received and value of requisitions and orders placed overseas and in New Zealand during the year are as under :

  • Value of requisitions on;
    • United Kingdom – £79,088
    • Australia – £2,924
  • Value of receipts;
    • ex-United Kingdom – £22,239
    • Australia  – £2,785 8.
    • B.C.0.F – £133,307
  • Value of Orders in New Zealand;
    • Clothing;
      • Placed – £56733
      • Received – £35481
      •  Outstanding – £57031
    • General stores;
      • Placed – £75609
      • Received – £74303
      • Outstanding – £33359

At all depots shortage of staff has curtailed a full programme of maintenance and preservation of much valuable equipment.

During the period 730 vehicles, including 356 carriers, were disposed of through the War Assets Realization Board. The main items of other stores disposed of through the War Assets Realization Board consisted of large quantities of clothing and truck tires.

The Inspecting Ordnance Officers’ Group conducted frequent inspections to ascertain the extent to which stored ammunition had deteriorated. Consequent upon these examinations all ammo that had depreciated and thereby became dangerous was surveyed and finally destroyed. Under the surveys conducted by the group during the year, many tons of ammunition and explosives had been surveyed, and any which was unfit for use was disposed of by the standard method of dumping at sea. A quantity requiring repair was made serviceable. During the year the Chief Inspecting Ordnance Officer paid a visit to Australia to examine methods of organisation, inspection, repair, small-arms-ammunition production, and proofing. The experience gained as a result of this visit was applied with advantage to this organisation in New Zealand.


Withdrawn from widespread use during the  war, the tradition peaked felt cap of the New Zealand soldier the “Lemon Squeezer” was reauthorized by the Minister of Defence on 15 Feb 1949 as the an official peacetime form of headdress. Lemon Squeezers were to be issued to all personnel except the armoured corps and the women’s services.  Lemon Squeezers would continue to be worn with the appropriate corps or regimental pugaree (Red/Blue/Red for Ordnance)  and replaced the variety of different headdress that had been introduced during and shortly after the war, the current item been then khaki beret. No distinction in head dress was to be made in headdress between the regular force and the territorial force.  Members of the New Zealand  Women’s Army Corps and the New Zealand Army Nursing Service would continue to wear the khaki beret. The headgear for secondary school cadets would be  field service cap, more generally known as the “fore and aft.”  In announcing the change, the Minister of Defence said general service caps would be retained as working head-dress by drivers, mechanics and others similarly employed.  The black beret would continue to be the head-dress of the Royal New Zealand Armoured Corps. By reverting to the Lemon Squeezer the Army considered the views of serving soldiers as expressed in a “hat poll” inaugurated in J Force in October, 1947, and an RSA poll, which were in favor of the Lemon Squeezer.

Revilement of the Conductor Rank

Although in abeyance since the mass redundancies of March 1931, the rank of Warrant Officer Class 1 (Conductor) had remained in the precedence of ranks of the New Zealand Army Regulations, 1927 as an official rank. Amendment 62 to the NZ Army Regulations of 1927 revoked the appointment of Conductor.

Personnel Movements -June 1948 to May 1949


  • Lieutenant (on Probation) J.F Finn, to Captain  30 June 1948
  • Lieutenant (Temporary Captain) O.H Burn, to Captain  1 June 1948
  • Lieutenant and Quartermaster E.D Gerard to be Captain and Quartermaster, 28 May 1948
  • Lieutenant and Quartermaster K.A Bailey to be Captain and Quartermaster, 2 May 1948


  • Major P. H M Galbraith relinquished commission 30 June 1948.

Discharged 31 March 1949

  • Warrant Officer Class One J.P Thomson (Ammunition Examiner IOO Branch)
  • Sergeant D.L Dowman (Ammunition Examiner IOO Branch)

Copyright © Robert McKie 2017

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