NZAOC July 1920 to June 1921


The strength of the NZAOC on the 30th of July 1921 was 174 consisting of:[1]

  • 9 Officers, and
  • 165 Other ranks

Director of Ordnance Services

  • Lieutenant Colonel H. E. Pilkington, RNZA

Chief Ordnance Officer

  • Captain T.J King, NZAOD

Assistant Chief Ordnance Officer

  • Lieutenant A. W. Baldwin, NZAOD

Ordnance Accounting Officer

  • lieutenant James M. Miller, NZAOD.[2]
  • Lieutenant C.I. Gossage, OBE, NZAOD[3]

Northern Command Ordnance Officer

  • Lieutenant M.J Lyons.[4]
  • Captain L.F McNair, NZAOD.[5]
  • Captain E.C Dovey, NZSC. [6]

Central Command Ordnance Officer

  • Captain F. E. Ford, NZAOD

Southern Command Ordnance Officer

  • Captain A.R.C White, NZAOD
  • Captain O.P McGuigan, NZAOD

Trentham Camp Ordnance Officer

  • Lieutenant H.H Whyte, NZAOD

Featherston CampOrdnance Officer

  • Lieutenant L.A Clements.

Ordnance Officers

  • Lieutenant Albert Austin, NZAOD.[7]

Inspecting Ordnance Officer and Acting Inspector of Ordnance Machinery

  • Captain William Ivory, RNZA. [8]

Inspector of Engineers, Electric Light and Defence Vessels Stores

  • Captain A.D Neilson.[9]

IOO and IOM Staff Ordnance Officers

  • Honorary Lieutenant Frederick W. Kibblewhite, NZAOD.[10]
  • Honorary Lieutenant William E. Luckman, NZAOD.[11]
NZAOC appropriations year ending 31 March 1921

NZAOC appropriations year ending 31 March 1921

Ordnance Activities July 20 – June 21

During this period the NZAOC had been considerably reduced but was still considered in excess of the strength required for its normal peace duties which consisted of the accounting, storage, issue, receipt, and care of all Ordnance stores for the N.Z. Military Forces. The following are some of the principal activities in excess of ordinary routine duties which the NZAOC had been engaged in during the 1920/21 period which had mitigated against further retrenchment being carried out;[12]

  • Receipt, accounting, and storage of large supplies of military equipment from the United Kingdom,
  • Ordnance issues and accounting in connection with military hospitals and sanatoria,
  • Sale of surplus stores
  • Marking of new rifles and equipment and reissuing to Territorial Force and Cadets. Nearly all of the new military equipment had arrived, and distributed as under;
    • Training equipment to units,
    • Mobilization equipment to depots in each command,
    • Reserve equipment at the main Ordnance depot.

The retention of military hospitals and sanatoria under the Defence Department entailed a considerable amount of work for the NZAOC, and until these institutions were handed over to the Department which was ultimately to be entirely responsible for the after-care of disabled soldiers the NZAOC could not be further reduced in number without impairing its efficiency.[13]

From the 20th of November 1920 NZAOC personnel employed in the maintenance sections at Trentham and Featherston Camps, were reorganised by transferring those that were required to the works section, New Zealand Engineers, The surplus personnel were demobilised.


The Auditor-General reported on the 4th of September that the NZAOC had been unable to allocate responsibility for losses of certain stores, clothing and equipment in military districts, and the following sums have been written off:[22]

  • Wellington Military District, £14,787
  • Auckland Military District, £9006
  • Canterbury Military District, £2532
  • The loss of stores and clothing to the value of £274 at the Trentham and Featherston military camps is attributed to the disorganisation brought about by the influenza epidemic.

Stores Credits

The NZAOC credits for the year ended 30th June 1921, for the sale of stores amounted to approximately £70,000.[23]

Inspecting Ordnance Officer and Acting Inspector of Ordnance Machinery

On 1 May 1921 Captain William Ivory, RNZA was appointed Inspection Ordnance Officer(IOO) and Acting Inspector of Ordnance Machinery(IOM). A 1916 Graduate of the Royal Military College, Duntroon, Ivory would spend a short time with the 2nd NZEF before been sent to the Woolwich Arsenal to undergo Ordnance training. Passing the Inspecting Ordnance Officers course, Ivory was then placed onto the 36th Advanced Ordnance course. On the successful completion of the Advanced Ordnance course, Ivory was granted a six-month attachment to the Woolwich Arsenal to gain practical experience in guns, carriages and explosives and to oversee the purchase of modern equipment for New Zealand’s Ordnance Workshops. Ivory would return to New Zealand in February 1921.[14]

The IOO was initially envisaged as part of the Ordnance Staff but unwilling to break with the military organisational conventions of the time the IOO would be attached to the Branch of the Director of Artillery, with the understanding that Ivory would also be responsible to the DOS for Ordnance matters as the acting IOM. Ivory’s duties would be;[15]

  • Technical inspection of Artillery material, Ammunition and Magazines, whether held on charge by RNZA or Ordnance.
  • Member of the SAA Committee.
  • The Inspection of Small Arms and Machine Guns as required by DOS
  • Questions re List of Changes in War Material and questions generally as to Artillery Material.
  • Questions re Calibration, Sound Ranging and Metrology as required by D of A.
  • Instructional Duties as may be arranged by D of A.
  • Regimental duty as a relieving Officer when available
  • Inspection of Telephones, Electrical Light Stores, Signalling Stores, Dynamos and Electrical Instruments as required by DOS

New personnel regulations

From 3 July 1920, all temporary appointments to the NZAOC would be made by the temporary employment board at General Headquarters on the recommendation of unit Officers Commanding. General Headquarters instruction laid down that should a unit OC be required to engage additional personnel for temporary employment, an application to the Temporary Employment Board (TEB) would have to be made. The TEB would then arrange the selection of suitable individuals from applicants on the waiting list, giving preference to returned soldiers. At the time the rank of NCO’s in the NZAOC was only temporary and would be relinquished as soon as the permanent establishments had been authorised. Permanent appointments of NCO’s would be filled only by men who qualified by examination and are in all respects the most suitable for the position, irrespective of whether they were serving in a temporary capacity as private or NCO. Where qualifications were equal, preference would be given to returned soldiers.[16]

Ordnance Depots

Northern Command

The current facilities at the Mount Eden Depot were and not fit for purpose with suitable storage accommodation was urgently needed. Until suitable storage accommodation was provided, mobilization stores for Auckland command were to be housed at Featherston Camp.

Central Command

Suitable requirements for mobilisation stores were also required for the Central Command. The NZAOC Palmerston North Detachment had closed during this period and had transferred its stores to Featherston and Trentham Camp.[17]

The NZAOC Stores located in Buckle Street in Wellington had been relocated to Trentham.[18]

The complete demolition of Featherston Camp was therefore delayed pending suitable accommodation being made available in the Auckland District.

Southern Command

Agreement between the Education and Defence Departments had been reached on 11 September 1920 for the handover of the Burnham Industrial School to the Defence Department for use as a Military training camp and Ordnance Depot. On 15 November 1920, the Defence Department formally took over the buildings for use as an Ordnance Depot. During November 1920 an expenditure of £500 was approved for the purchase and erection of shelving in various buildings as preparation for the new Ordnance Depot.[19]

As the necessary alterations and certain additions were gradually made and buildings became available, Ordnance stores located at King Edward Barracks and the Dunedin Ordnance Depot located in St Andrews Street Dunedin were relocated to Burnham Camp as the Southern Command Ordnance Depot began to take shape.[20] Burnham Camp would ultimately provide sufficient accommodation for all the necessary military stores for the South Island.[21]

Due to a reorganisation in 1921 both the Canterbury and Nelson Military District and the Otago and Southland Military Districts were combined into the Southern Military Command

Ordnance Corps Picnic

The annual picnic of the NZAOC was held at Day s Bay on 4 February 1921 in ideal weather. A most enjoyable time was spent. A large programme o£ children’s events were also put through. [24]

Corps Alliance

Approved by His Majesty the King at the end of 1920, General Order No 95 of 1 March 1921 granted formal approval of an alliance between the RAOC and the Ordnance Corps of;[25] [26]

  • Australia
  • Canada
  • New Zealand
  • South Africa


The RAOC motto ” SUA TELA TONANTI” formally adopted as the motto of the NZAOC.


The Ordnance Officer, Northern Command Captain Ernest Charles Dovey, NZSC passed away at his residence on 11 July 1921. Captain Dovey was a popular staff officer and was well known throughout New Zealand military circles. An old Imperial Army man, he came to New Zealand in the early days of the defence movement and held positions as an instructor in the mounted service. He took a leading part in organising the Dominion military tournaments before the war, and on the reorganisation of the force in “Sir Alexander Godley’s, time entered the Staff Corps as a lieutenant. In the early days of the European war, he was engaged in preparing troops for the front and in 1916 was adjutant at Trentham Camp. He went to the front as captain of the Staff Corps, and for some, time was commandant at Etaples. On his return, he was appointed to the Ordnance staff, first as an Ordnance Officer in Palmerston North on a Probationary period then as the Ordnance Officer for the Auckland district.

Personnel Movements -July 1920 to June 1921


Articifer G Bridge
Articifer E.V Evans
Articifer F Howe
Articifer W Philips
Articifer M Scollard
Articifer F.J Sygrove
Private William Ernest Aston
Private W.S Barr
Private D Cameron
Private Phillip Frederick Deibert
Private Frederick Vaugha Evans
Private George Henry Gedson
Private Gray Gray
Private McKenzie Denis Horneman
Private Petersen Julius
Private Robert James Kennedy
Private Benjamin Edward Lambert
Private H Lander
Private William Alexander Larkin
Private W.H Launder
Private p McIlroy
Private Wilfred John Mitchinson
Private David Morgan
Private Charles Joseph Phillips
Private Arthur Pidduck
Private D.A Russell
Private John James Thomas
Private Henry Samuel Wilkie
Lance Corporal Edward Beardmore
Lance Corporal Joseph Fitzgerald
Lance Corporal Leonard Hancox
Lance Corporal Henry Edward Augustus Jones
Lance Corporal Edwin Mitchell
Lance Corporal John Wingate Nicholson
Lance Corporal William Kingston O’Connell
Lance Corporal G.E.D Robertson
Lance Corporal A.E Robinson
Lance Corporal Arthur Herbert Ross
Lance Corporal E Sharpe
Lance Corporal Robert George Smith
Corporal Theodore Anderson
Corporal Robert Brown
Corporal Arthur Thomas Burnette
Corporal Walter Bentham Clark
Corporal J Duffy
Corporal Frederick William Green
Corporal F.L McKenzie
corporal Edward McManus
Corporal H.A Rodgers
Corporal William Watt
Corporal Henry James Willis
Sergeant John Murray
Sergeant Francis Renshaw
Staff Sergeant J.R Hopkinson
Staff Sergeant J.W Kirby
Staff Sergeant J Nolan
Staff Sergeant G Quayle
Staff Quartermaster Sergeant John Leslie Jackson
Sergeant Major Artificer William Edward Moore
Armanmet Sergeant Major (WO) Thomas Edward Bryce
lieutenant Frederick W. Kibblcwhite
Captain Livingston Forsythe McNair
Honorary Lieutenant (NZAOD) Armourer Quartermaster Sergeant W.E Luckman, RAOC.[27]

Copyright © Robert McKie 2019


[1] “H-19 Defence Forces of New Zealand, Annual Report of the General Officer Commanding the Forces,” Appendix to the Journals of the House of Representatives  (1921).

[2] Relinquished appointment on retirement on 12 July 1920. “Appointments, Promotions, Resignations and Transfer of Officers of the New Zealand Staff Corps, Royal Regiment of New Zealand Artillery and Territorial Force,” New Zealand Gazette 55  (1920): 1866.

[3] Previously DADOS NZEF, after demobilisation Gossage joined the NZAOD as a Lieutenant on 16 August 1920. “Gossage, Charles Ingram  “, Personal File, Archives New Zealand 1914.

[4]Ordnance Officer Auckland Mar 1920 to Sept 1920. “Lyons, Michael Joseph “, Personal File, Archives New Zealand  (1914-1931).

[5] “Mcnair, Livingston Forsyth,” Personal File, Archives New Zealand  (1914-1921).

[6] Ordnance Officer Auckland October 1920 to 11 July 1921. Passed away at his residence on 11 July 1921 “Personel Matter Dovey,” Evening Post, Volume CII, Issue 11, 13 July 1921.

[7] Relinquished position due to retirement on1 14 July 1921 “Appointments, Promotions, Resignations and Transfers of Officers of the Nzsc, Nzaod and Territorial Force,” New Zealand Gazette No 72  (1921): 2046.

[8] “Ivory, William “, Personal File, Archives New Zealand  (1916-1933).

[9] Held appointment from1 July 1919 to 14 June 1921 “Appointments, Promotions, Resignations and Transfer of Officers of the NZ Staff Corps, Nzaod and Territorial Force,” New Zealand Gazette No 16  (1922): 588.

[10] 19 October 1920, Relinquished position on retirement. “Appointments, Promotions, Resignations and Transfer of Officers of the New Zealand Staff Corps, Royal Regiment of New Zealand Artillery and Territorial Force,” New Zealand Gazette No 95  (1920).

[11] 13 September 1920, Relinquished position on retirement. “Appointments, Promotions, Resignations and Transfer of Officers of the New Zealand Staff Corps, Royal Regiment of New Zealand Artillery and Territorial Force,” New Zealand Gazette No 83  (1920).

[12] “H-19 Defence Forces of New Zealand, Annual Report of the General Officer Commanding the Forces.”

[13] Ibid.

[14] “Ivory, William “.

[15] Ibid.

[16] “The Defence Force,”

[17] “H-19 Defence Forces of New Zealand, Annual Report of the General Officer Commanding the Forces.”

[18] “Ordnance Srores,” Evening Post, Volume C, Issue 95, 19 October 1920.

[19] “Camp at Burnham,” Star, Issue 16298, 13 December 1920.

[20] “Territorials,” Evening Star, Issue 17600, 3 March 1921.

[21] “Military Training,” New Zealand Herald, Volume LVIII, Issue 17679, 14 January 1921.

[22] “H-19 Defence Forces of New Zealand, Annual Report of the General Officer Commanding the Forces.”

[23] Ibid.

[24] “Ordnance Corps Picnic,” Evening Post, Volume CI, Issue 32, 7 February 1921.

[25] Major J.S Bolton, A History of the Royal New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps (Trentham: RNZAOC, 1992), 37.

[26] “Territorials,” Evening Star, Issue 17619, 26 March 1921.

[27] After having served as the Chief Armourer for the New Zealand Forces from 3 July 1903 to 9 September 1920 returned to the United Kingdom “Personal Luckman,” Dominion, Volume 13, Issue 292, 3 September 1920.

3 thoughts on “NZAOC July 1920 to June 1921

  1. Pingback: NZAOC Between the wars – "To the Warrior his Arms"

  2. Kiwi Scribe

    Capt Ernest Charles Dovey is mentioned in his niece Elsie Grey’s diary held at the Turnbull and Imperial war Museum.


    • Thanks for pointing that out, will look up Elsie Grey’s diary next time I’m at the Turnbull Library and see if there is much to add to Dovey’s story. Dovey served in the Scots Greys for around seven years, then spent a year in Australia before becoming a mounted instructor in New Zealand. Following the Defence reforms of 1909, he contributed to building the new army and served in the NZEF.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.