NZAOC June 1938 to May 1939


The strength of the NZAOC on the 31st May 1939 was 151 consisting of:

  • 6 Officers
  • 28 Permanent Other Ranks
  • 113 Civilian Staff

Key Appointments

Director of Ordnance Services

Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Joseph King, NZAOC

Assistant Chief Ordnance Officer

  • Captain W. R. Burge, M.C., NZSC

Ordnance Officer

  • Captain E. L. G. Bown, NZSC
  • Captain H. E. Erridge

Ordnance Officer (Provision)

  • Lieutenant A. H. Andrews, BE

Northern Command Ordnance Officer

  • Captain D. L. Lewis

Central Command Ordnance Officer

  • Captain W. R. Burge, M.C., NZSC

Southern Command Ordnance Depot

  • Lieutenant D. Nicol

Inspecting Ordnance Officer

  • Lieutenant I. R. Withell, RNZA

Ordnance Mechanical Engineer, Trentham

  • Captain S. B. Wallace, B.E. NZAOC

Proof Officer, Small Arms Ammunition, Auckland

  • Honorary Lieutenant J.W Fletcher, NZPS


NZAOC appropriations year ending 31 March 1939

NZAOC appropriations year ending 31 March 1939

Consequent upon the increase in the establishment of the Territorial Force and the continuous work that would have to be done in the future in connection with preparations for mobilization, a considerable increase in staff was identified as necessary.

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.

There had been a considerable increase in Ordnance work during the last eight months. Equipment tables for all Territorial units except Artillery had been prepared, and the issue of equipment was proceeding. Camp-equipment stocks have been completely revised in the light of the altered establishments, and considerable purchases have been effected.

Ordnance Store Buildings and Workshops

The new carpenters’ workshop at Trentham, Main Ordnance Depot was under construction. The first section of the large Ordnance store building at Trentham was nearing completion, and a contract had been let for the second section. The completion of this store will alleviate the serious shortage of storage space at Trentham, and will at the same time make available additional barrack-rooms for the accommodation of troops attending the Schools of Instruction. A contract had also been let for the first section of a similar Ordnance store at Burnham and clearing operations on the site commenced.


The sum of £41,705 19s. 10d. has been received for the sale of rifles, ammunition, cordite, cloth, trimmings, waste products, etc


A supply of short M.L.E. Mark 111 heavy Lithgow barrels and of M.L.E. converted Lithgow barrels was received from the Australian Government for sale to members of Defence rifle clubs. The first consignment of Bren guns was received from England with an armourers’ course on this particular type of gun was held in February 1939.

Clothing and Equipment

Much difficulty had been experienced in purchasing certain items necessary for mobilization, and if the NZAOC was to be in a position to function efficiently immediately on mobilization it was identified to Government that ordering of additional stocks would have to procured and held in peace. This was recognized in principle, and the clothing and equipment situation for mobilization improved, but much remained to be done. Considerable progress had been made with the manufacture of blue uniforms, and to date over 3,400 had been issued. The uniform had received the most favourable reception.

Quartermasters’ Course

The Southern Ordnance Depot assisted the Southern Military School at Burnham. The school conducted a  special course for quartermasters, drawn from the various Territorial units of the Southern Military District. The Southern Ordnance Depot provided instruction on the are and preservation of clothing and ordnance equipment.

Personnel Movements -June 1938 to May 1939


  • Major King to Lieutenant Colonel, 1 June 1938


  • Armourer Staff Sergeant Andrew Archibald Young, MSM
  • Lieutenant Alfred William Baldwin


Copyright © Robert McKie 2018





One thought on “NZAOC June 1938 to May 1939

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

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