NZAOC June 1937 to May 1938


The strength of the NZAOC on the 31st May 1938 was 34 consisting of:

  • 6 Officers
  • 28 Permanent Other Ranks

Establishment Review

It was identified due to the recent and pending increases in armament, instruments, and equipment generally, and in the proposed further distribution of mobilization equipment to districts. then an increase in the NZAOC establishment would be required in the following areas;

  • armament and armourer sections,
  • clerical division,
  • General division with store-men and tradesmen.

Key Appointments

Director of Ordnance Services

  • Major Thomas Joseph King, NZAOC

Assistant Chief Ordnance Officer Trentham Camp

  • Captain W. R. Burge, M.C., NZSC

Ordnance Officers

  • Captain E.L.G Bown, NZSC

Ordnance Officer (Provision)

  • Captain  H. E. Erridge

Northern Command Ordnance Officer

  • Lieutenant D. L. Lewis

Central Command Ordnance Officer

  • Captain W. R. Burge, M.C, NZSC

Southern Command Ordnance Depot

  • Lieutenant D. Nicol

Inspecting Ordnance Officer and Ordnance Mechanical Engineer

  • Lieutenant I. R. Withell, RNZA

Assistant Inspecting Ordnance Officer and Assistant Ordnance Mechanical Engineer

  • Lieutenant S. B. Wallace

Officer In Charge, Ordnance Workshop, Trentham

  • Lieutenant A.H Andrews, BE

Proof Officer, Small Arms Ammunition, Auckland

  • Honorary Lieutenant J.W Fletcher, NZPS
NZAOC appropriations year ending 31 March 1938

NZAOC appropriations year ending 31 March 1938

New Ordnance Badges

By 1936, stocks of the 1917 pattern Cap badge had been exhausted, with only collar badges remaining in stock. The Director of Ordnance Services of the time proposed to the Quartermaster General that existing stocks of the NZEF NZAOC badge (180 Cap Badges, 319 Pairs of Collar Badges) be used as a replacement, and the current badge be made obsolete.  The Quartermaster General did not authorise the replacement of the 1917 Badge but did allow the use of the NZEF NZAOC Badge until the provision of new badges could be arranged from the UK.

The Director of Ordnance Services counted with a proposal in February 1937 with a design for a new NZAOC badge, which was a similar pattern to the current RAOC Badge which had been introduced in 1918. The New Zealand Badge differed from the RAOC version by having the Inscription “New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps” in the Annulus field, and the inscription “Sua Tela Tonanti” in the Riband. The new design was approved on the 31st of May 1937.

RNZAOC hat and collar 1937-1947

RNZAOC hat and collar 1937-1947. Robert McKie collection

Ordnance Services

The NZAOC was responsible for;

  • the provision, distribution, repair, examination, and maintenance of small arms, machine guns, vehicles, clothing, equipment, and general stores;
  • the inspection and repair of armament and inspection of gun ammunition ;
  • the receipt, testing, storage, and issue of small-arms ammunition;
  • the organization and control of ordnance workshops.

The constant changes in the organisation of units and in equipment generally,  as adopted in England, had very much complicated and increased the Ordnance work in New Zealand. Much remained to be done in the repair, maintenance, and modernization of arms and equipment, in the receipt, storage, and issue of stores and equipment from abroad, and in preparation for mobilisation.


The sum of £24,776 had been received as credits for the sale of rifles, ammunition, and cordite, cloth and trimmings to contractors, obsolete and unserviceable stores, waste products, etc.


Good progress had been made with the stripping, cleaning, and preservation of rifles S.M.L.E., Mark III. The stock of barrels brought in 1920 for sale to rifle clubs had now become exhausted. The question of the provision of a suitable barrel was referred to the National Rifle Association, and, as a result of the recommendation received, inquiries are being made from Australia regarding the provision of such a barrel.

Small-arms Ammunition

Proof of ammunition held in magazines throughout the Dominion manufactured between the years 1929-33 was carried out, all ammunition tested was passed as fit for rifle use.


The provision of a blue uniform for the Territorial Force had been approved. Four thousand uniforms were manufactured for issue this year.

Store Buildings and Workshops

The extension to the fitters’ shops at the Ordnance Workshops, Trentham, was completed, and the erection of the new carpenters’ shop planned for construction. A contract for the first section of the large Ordnance Store required at Trentham was let and it was proposed to accelerate the construction of the remainder of the buildings. Plans were prepared for the buildings required at the Ordnance Depots at Ngaruawahia and Burnham, and for the rebuilding of the Ordnance Workshop, Devonport.


Copyright © Robert McKie 2018

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