NZAOC July 1921 To June 1922


The strength of the NZAOC on 30 of June 1922 was 114, consisting of:[1]

  • 14 Officers, and
  • 100 Other ranks

Director of Ordnance Services

  • Lieutenant Colonel H. E. Pilkington, CBE, RNZA

Chief Ordnance Officer

  • Captain T.J King, NZAOD

Assistant Chief Ordnance Officer

  • Lieutenant A. W. Baldwin, NZAOD

Ordnance Accounting Officer

  • Lieutenant C.I. Gossage, OBE, NZAOD

Northern Command Ordnance Officer

  • Lieutenant M.J Lyons, NZAOD. [2]
  • Lieutenant A. W. Baldwin, NZAOD

Central Command Ordnance Officer

  • Captain F. E. Ford, NZAOD.[3] [4]

Southern Command Ordnance Officer

  • Captain A.R.C White, NZAOD,
  • Captain O.P McGuigan, NZAOD [5] [6]

Trentham Camp Ordnance Officer

  • Lieutenant H.H Whyte, NZAOD

Featherston Camp Ordnance Officer

  • Lieutenant L.A Clements.
  • Captain F. E. Ford, NZAOD.[7]

Inspecting Ordnance Officer and Acting Inspector of Ordnance Machinery

  • Captain William Ivory, RNZA.

Proof Officer, Small Arms Ammunition

  • Captain E.H Sawle.
NZAOC appropriations year ending 31 March 1922

NZAOC appropriations year ending 31 March 1922

Ordnance Activities July 1921 – June 22

The handing-over of the military hospitals to the Health Department, the closing of the Ordnance Depot at Dunedin, the merging of the Palmerston North Depot with the Main Ordnance Depot at Trentham, and the disposal of large stocks of surplus and obsolete stores made a considerable reduction in the NZAOC, the financial situation necessitated a far larger reduction than was warranted by the above economies. In addition to the routine duties connected with the stores, equipment, and clothing for the Territorial Force and Senior Cadets and the management of mobilization equipment, the NZAOC was also dealing with;

  • the examination of stores received from the United Kingdom,
  • the marking and issuing of new guns, stores, and rifles,
  • the disposal of surplus stores, and
  • the pricing of all issues and receipts in accordance with the implementation of a new system of cost accounting.

It was recognised that once these extra duties had been completed, and when proper accommodation was provided at each command depot, it would be possible to make a further reduction in personnel, but it was considered at the time that any reduction would lead to neglect and a consequent depreciation of stores. Against the possibility of reduction, it was recognised that the present system of stores audit would almost certainly necessitate an increase in the clerical stall.[8]

In 1919, the NZAOC 532, and by March 1922 had been reduced to 100. The civil staff of the NZAOC .which stood at 520 in 1919, had been reduced to 95. [9] On 4 May 1922, a further 25 N.C.O.’s and men of the NZAOC received notice of their dismissal.

Ordnance Depots

With Ordnance Depots established at Burnham for the Southern Command, and at Trentham for the Central Command. The site for the Northern Command Depot at Ngaruawahia had been obtained with the exchange with the Railway Department for land at Frankton Junction. [10]The mobilization stores for the Northern Command were held at Trentham and Featherston so it became a priority to incur some expenditure for the erection of buildings at Ngaruawahia. Plans were also on the table for the provision of suitable fireproof buildings to replace the present temporary accommodation at Trentham and Burnham. At Trentham all available buildings, including the gymnasium used by the School of Instruction, were utilised for storage; many of the older hutments were not suitable for storing the very valuable, equipment on charge, and the risk of fire is a very grave one.

Disposal Depots

The Ordnance Depot in each command was to hold the stores and equipment required by the Territorial units in that command; additionally, Trentham will hold, the general reserve of stores and equipment. All stores surplus to mobilization requirements were in the process of being disposed of. Disposal-depots were continued in the four centres, after which a series of country sales were held in various towns. Owing to reduced staff it was eventually found necessary to restrict activities to a central depot in Wellington, which commenced operation on February 1922. The Wellington Disposal Depot conducted over the counter sales which were restricted to one day weekly, with postal orders being dealt with on other days. The total sales of clothing and miscellaneous stores during the period 1st April 1921 to 31st March 1922, amounted to £177,346.[11]


Civil Court

The Magistrates Court hear a case on 24 November 1921 resulting from the theft of items from Trentham Camp. Civilian labourer Phillip Frederick Deihert pleaded guilty to the theft of Military stores a portion of which included; two tents, an anvil, a forge and eight military overcoats. Deihert was committed to the Supreme Court for sentencing at a later date.[12]

Corporal John Wilson Robertson, Head packer in the Receipt and Issue store, was also charged with the theft of one of the tents, but the case against him was dismissed, as the evidence that he was knowingly involved was not sufficient to warrant prosecution.[13] Despite the dismissal of the case against Robertson, his character and suitability for further employment in the NZAOC was under question and he was demobilised as part of the compulsory reductions that the NZAOC was forced to carry out. [14]


Personnel Movements -July 1921 to June 1922


Private Charles Edward Barry
Private Daniel Clarke
Private Joseph Graydon Crawford
Private Clarke Daniel
Private James Nathaniel Grindrod
Private John Edward Hedderwick
Private Arthur Hollings
Private James King
Private Hector Finch McKay
Private John Miller Miller
Private Hugh Lawton Owen
Private William Perigan Potter
Private Albert George Richardson
Private Alfred Searle
Private Henry Steele
Private Richard Teehan
Private William Thornton
Private Edwin Percy Chappel
Corporal John Wilson Robertson
Staff Sergeant Bernard Terence Leydon
Staff Quartermaster Sergeant William James Frost
Staff Quartermaster Sergeant Thomas Reid Inch
Sergeant Major Artificer James Edward Nesbitt
Staff Quartermaster-Sergeant W.J.F Ross

Copyright © Robert McKie 2019


[1] “H-19 Defence Forces of New Zealand, Annual Report of the General Officer Commanding the Forces from 1 July 1921 to 30 June 1922,” Appendix to the Journals of the House of Representatives  (1922): 2.

[2] 1 April 1922 Relinquished the rank of lieutenant and appointed rank of Conductor, WO Class with the honorary rank of Lieutenant. 1  “Appointments, Promotions, Resignations Amd Transfers,” new Zealand Gazette 29  (1922): 1046.

[3] “Untitled – Ford,” Evening Post, Volume CII, Issue 81 1921.

[4] Captain F. E. Ford, who was in command of the Ordnance section attached to the Central Command in Palmerston North, proceeded to Featherston Military Camp on the 1st of December to take charge of the Featherston Ordnance Depot. “Untitled – Ford,” Manawatu Standard, Volume XLIII, Issue 386, 2 December 1921.

[5] “Personal – Mcguigan,” Manawatu Standard, Volume XLIII, Issue 351,, 20 March 1922.

[6] Posted to the retired list 15 October 1922 “Appointments, Promotions, Resignations and Transfer of Officers of the New Zealand Military Forces,” New Zealand Gazette 71  (1922): 2667.

[7] “Untitled – Ford.”

[8] “H-19 Defence Forces of New Zealand, Annual Report of the General Officer Commanding the Forces from 1 July 1921 to 30 June 1922,”  3.

[9] “Defence Reductions,” Press, Volume LVIII, Issue 17402, 13 March 1922.

[10] “Trentham of the North,” Waikato Times, Volume 94, Issue 14754, 19 September 1921.

[11] “H-19 Defence Forces of New Zealand, Annual Report of the General Officer Commanding the Forces from 1 July 1921 to 30 June 1922.”

[12] “Missing Ordnance Stores,” Evening Post, Volume CII, Issue 126, 24 November 1921.

[13] Ibid.

[14] “Robertson, John Wilson,” Personal File, Archives New Zealand  (1914-21).

One thought on “NZAOC July 1921 To June 1922

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

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