Ordnance Locations

From four Stores Depots in the main centres of New Zealand at the beginning of the 20th century, the Royal New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps (RNZAOC) expanded and shrank to meet the operational needs of the NZ Army, Ordnance units have been deployed worldwide and across the breadth and width of New Zealand.

Description of Ordnance Units

In general terms, Ordnance units can be described as:

  • Main/Base Depots– A battalion-sized unit, commanded by a lieutenant colonel. Usually a significant stock holding unit, responsible the distribution of stock to other ordnance installations.
  • Central Ordnance Depots/Supply Company– Company-sized units, commanded by a major. Depending on the role of the unit, the following subunits could be included in the organisation:
    • Provision, Control & Accounts
    • Stores sub-depot/platoon
      • Traffic Centre
      • Camp Equipment
      • Technical Stores
      • Expendables
      • Clothing
      • Returned Stores & Disposals
        • Textile Repair
        • Tailors
        • Boot Repair
      • Ammunition Sub-Depot/Platoon
      • Vehicles Sub-Depot/Platoon
      • Services Sub-Depot/Platoon
        • Bath and Shower
        • Laundry
      • Rations Sub-Depot/Platoon (after 1979)
      • Fresh Rations
      • Combat Rations
      • Butchers
      • Petroleum Platoon (after 1979)
      • Vehicle Depots
    • Workshops Stores Sections – In 1962, RNZAOC Stores Sections carrying specialised spares, assemblies and workshops materials to suit the particular requirement of its parent RNZEME workshops were approved and RNZEME Technical Stores personnel employed in these were transferred to the RNZAOC. [1] [2]
    • WorkshopsBefore 1947, Equipment repair workshops were part of the Ordnance organisation, types of workshop included:
      • Main Workshop
      • Field/Mobile Workshop
      • Light Aid Detachments

Unit naming conventions

The naming of Ordnance units within New Zealand was generally based upon the unit locations or function or unit.

Supply Depots were initially named based on the district they belonged to:

  • Upper North Island – Northern District Ordnance Depot
  • Lower North Island – Central Districts Ordnance Depot
  • South Island – Southern Districts Ordnance Depot

In 1968 a regionally based numbering system was adopted

  • 1 for Ngaruawahia
  • 2 for Linton
  • 3 for Burnham
  • 4 for Waiouru

Some exceptions were:

  • 1 Base Depot and 1st Base Supply Battalion, unique battalion-sized unit, the name was based on role, not the location
  • 1 Composite Ordnance Company, a unique company-sized unit, name was based on role, not location

When the Royal New Zealand Army Service Corps(RNZASC) became the Royal New Zealand Corps of Transport (RNZCT) in 1979, the supply functions were transferred to the RNZAOC with the 1st number signifying the location with the 2nd number been 4 for all Supply Platoons:

  • 14 Supply Platoon, Papakura
  • 24 Supply Platoon, Linton
  • 34 Supply Platoon, Burnham
  • 44 Supply platoon, Waiouru
  • 54 Supply Platoon, Trentham

Exceptions were:

  • 21 Supply Company – Retained its name as a historical link to the units long history in the RNZASC.
  • 47 Petroleum Platoon, Originally 7 Petroleum Platoon RNZASC, when Transferred to the RNZAOC, as it was based in Waiouru it added the Waiouru unit designation ‘4’ and became 47 Petroleum Platoon RNZAOC

Unit locations New Zealand, 1907–1996

Northen Districts

Ardmore

20 Magazines operational from 1943

Auckland

There has been an Ordnance presence in Auckland since the 1840s with the Colonial Storekeeper and Imperial forces. The Northern Districts Ordnance Depot was situated in Mount Eden in the early 1900s. In the 1940s the centre for Ordnance Support for the Northern Districts moved to Ngaruawahia, with a Sub depot remaining at Narrow Neck to provided immediate support.

RNZAOC units that have been accommodated at Auckland have been:

Stores Depot

  • Northern District Ordnance Depot, Goal Reserve, Mount Eden 1907 to 1929 [3]
  • Northern District Ordnance Depot, Narrow Neck, 1929 to ? [4]
  • 1 Supply Company, from 1989, Papakura
  • 12 Supply Company
  • 12 Field Supply Company
  • 15 Combat Supplies Platoon, 1 Logistic Regiment
  • 52 Supply Platoon, 5 Force Support Company

Vehicle Depot

  • Northern Districts Vehicle Depot, Sylvia Park
  • Vehicle Sub Depot, Sylvia Park

Ammunition Depot

  • Northern Districts Ammunition Depot, Ardmore

Other Units

  • Bulk Stores Mangere, the 1940s (Part of MOD Trentham)
  • DSS Fort Cautley

Workshops

  • No 12 Ordnance Workshop, Devonport, 1941–1946

Workshop Stores Section

  • 1 Infantry Workshop, Stores Section, Papakura 1962–1986
  • 1 Field Workshop Store Section, Papakura
  • 1 Transport Company Workshop, Stores Section, Fort Cautley

Kelms Road

55 Magazines Operational from 1943

Ngaruawahia

Ngaruawahia also was known as Hopu Hopu was established in 1927 [14] and allowed the closure of Featherston Ordnance Depot and the Auckland Ordnance Depot and was intended to service the northern regions. During construction Ngaruawahia was described by the Auckland Star as “Probably the greatest Ordnance Depot”  [15] Ngaruawahia closed down in 1989 and its Ordnance functions moved to Papakura and Mount Wellington.
RNZAOC units that have been accommodated at Ngaruawahia have been:

Stores Depot

  • Area Ngaruwahia Ordnance Department 1927 to 1940
  • Northern District Ordnance Depot, 1940 to 1968
  • 1 Central Ordnance Depot (1 COD)[8], 1968 to 1979
  • 1 Supply Company, 1979 to 1989
  • 1 Field Supply Company[15], 1984, from 1989, Papakura [16]

Ordnance Field Parks

  • 1 Infantry Brigade Group, Ordnance Field Park(OFP), 1968 to 1979, support to Combat Brigade Group

Workshop Stores Section

  • 1 Infantry Brigade Group LAD, Stores Section

Other Ordnance Units

  • Northern Districts Ammunition Depot, Kelms Road

Central Districts

Belmont

Operational from 1943

  • MOD Trentham, Ammunition Group, Ammunition Section

Featherston

Featherston Camp was New Zealand’s largest training camp during the First World War, where around 60,000 young men trained for overseas service between 1916 – 1918. An Ordnance Detachment was maintained in Featherston until 1927 when it functions were transferred to Northern Districts Ordnance Depot, Ngaruawahia. [9]

Linton Camp

RNZAOC units that have been accommodated at Linton have been;
Stores Depot

  • Central Districts Ordnance Depot, 1946 to 1968
  • 2 Central Ordnance Depot (2 COD), 1968 to 1979[10]
  • 2 Supply Company, 1979 to 1985
  • 5 Composite Supply Company, 1985 to 1990
  • 21 Field Supply Company 1990 to 1996

Vehicle Depot

Ammunition Depot

Ordnance Field Parks

  • 2nd Infantry Brigade Ordnance Field Park Platoon 1948-48
  • 22 Ordnance Field Park

Workshop Stores Section

  • 1 General Troops Workshop, Stores Section
  • Linton Area Workshop, Stores Section
  • 5 Engineer Workshop, Store Section

Other Ordnance Units

  • 24 Supply Platoon
  • 23 Combat Supplies Platoon
  • 47 Petroleum Platoon 1984 to 1996
  • Ready Reaction Force Ordnance Support Group (RRF OSG), from Burnham in 1992 absorbed into 21 Field Supply Company. [11]

Mangaroa

First used as a tented camp during the First World War and in the Second World War Mangaroa was the site of an RNZAF Stores Depot from 1943. The depot with a storage capacity of 25,000 sq ft in 8 ‘Adams type’ Buildings was Handed over to the NZ Army by 1949.[12] The units that have been accommodated at Mangaroa have been:

Supply Depot

  • Main Ordnance Depot,1949–1968
  • 1 Base Ordnance Depot, 1968–1979
  • 1st Base Supply Battachedalion, 1979–1985
    • ACE(Artillery and Camp Equipment) Group

Ordnance Field Parks

  • 4(NZ) Division Ordnance Field Park(OFP), 1950–1963
  • 1 Infantry Brigade Group, OFP, 1963–1968,
  • 1st Composite Ordnance Company (1 Comp Ord Coy), 1964–1977
    1 Comp Ord Coy was the Ordnance Bulk Holding unit for the field force units supporting the Combat Brigade Group and the Logistic Support Group and held 60–90 days war reserve stock. 1 Comp Ord Coy was made up of the following subunits: [13]

    • Coy HQ
    • 1 Platoon, General Stores
    • 2 Platoon, Technical Stores
    • 3 Platoon, Vehicles
    • 4 Platoon, Ammo (located at Moko Moko)
    • 5 Platoon, Laundry
    • 6 Platoon, Bath

Mako Mako

39 magazines operational from 1943

  • MOD Trentham, Ammunition Group, Ammunition Section
  • 2 COD Ammunition Section 

Palmerston North

  • Palmerston North Detachment, NZAOC, Awapuni Racecourse, 1914 to 1921.[17] [18] [19] Depot Closed and stocks moved to Trentham.
  • Ordnance Store, 327 Main Street Circa 1917-1921. [20]
  • No 2 Ordnance Sub Depot, Palmerston North showgrounds, 1942 to 1946 when depot moved to Linton.

Trentham

Stores Depot

  • Main Ordnance Depot (MOD), 1920 to 1968
  • Base Ordnance Depot (BOD)[8], 1968 to 1979
  • 1st Base Supply Battachedalion (1BSB), 1979 to 1993
  • 5 Logistic Regiment (5LR), 1993 to 8 December 1996 when Transferred to the RNZALR.

Ordnance School

  • RNZAOC School, 1958 to 1994
  • Supply/Quartermaster Wing and Ammunition Wing, Trade Training School 1994 to 1996. [21]

Workshops

  • Main Ordnance Workshop, 1917 to 1946. [22]

Workshop Stores Section

  • 1 Base Workshop, Stores Section

Ordnance Field Parks

  • 4(NZ) Division Ordnance Field Park(OFP), 1950–1963

Other Ordnance Units

  • HQ Ammunition Group, sections at Belmont, Moko Moko, Kuku Valley, Waiouru
  • Ammunition Proof and Experimental Centre, Kuku Valley
  • Central Military District Ammunition Repair Depot, Kuku Valley

Waiouru

Ordnance Sub Depots were established at Waiouru in 1940 eventually growing into a stand-alone Supply Company.[23]

RNZAOC units that have supported Waiouru have been;

Stores Depot

  • Waiouru Sub-Depot of the Main Ordnance Depot (1940–1946) Initially managed as a Sub-Depot of the Main Ordnance Depot in Trentham, Ordnance units in Waiouru consisted of:
    • Artillery Sub Depot
    • Bulk Stores Depot
    • Ammunition Section
  • Waiouru Sub-Depot of the Central Districts Ordnance Depot, (1946–1968). [24] In 1946 Waiouru became a Sub-Depot of the Central Districts Ordnance Depot in Linton, consisting of:
    • Ammo Group
    • Vehicle Group
    • Camp Equipment Group.
  • 4 Central Ordnance Deport, (1968–1979) In 1968 became a stand-alone depot in its own right, made up of the following subunits:[25]
  • 4 Supply Company, (1979–1989)
    when the RNZASC was disbanded in 1979 and its supply functions transferred to the RNZAOC, 4 Supply gained the following RNZASC units:[26]

    • HQ 21 Supply Company,(TF element)(1979–1984)
      21 Supply Company was retained as a Territorial unit for training and exercise purposes and was capable of providing a Supply Company Headquarter capable of commanding up to five subunits.
    • 47 Petroleum Platoon (1979–1984)
    • 44 Supply Platoon
  • Central Q, (1989–1993)
  • 4 Field Supply Company, (1993–1994)
  • Distribution Company, 4 Logistic Regiment, (1994–1996)

Workshop Stores Section

  • Waiouru Workshop, Stores Section
  • 4 ATG Workshop, Stores Section
  • 1 Armoured Workshop, Store Section
  • QAMR Workshop, Store Section

Wellington

The Board of Ordnance originally had a warehouse in Manners Street, but after the 1850 earthquake severely damaged this building, 13 acres of Mount Cook was granted to the Board of Ordnance, starting a long Ordnance association with the Wellington area.

Stores Depot

  • Central Districts Ordnance Depot, Alexandra Military Depot, Mount Cook, 1907 to 1920.[27]
  • New Zealand Ordnance Section, Fort Ballance, Wellington, 1915 to 1917.[28]

 Workshops

  • Armament Workshop, Alexandra Military Depot.[29]

Southern Districts

Alexandra

9 Magazines Operational from 1943, closed late 1950’s

Burnham

Stores Depot

1921 saw the establishment of a single Command Ordnance Depot to service all military units in the newly organised Southern Military Command. Before this, Ordnance stores had operated from Christchurch and Dunedin. The new Depot (later renamed the Third Central Ordnance Depot) was established in the buildings of the former Industrial School at Burnham. Re-structuring in 1979 brought a change of name to 3 Supply Company.[5] [6] [7]

  • Stores Depot titles 1921–1996
    • Area Ordnance Department Burnham, 1920 to 1939
    • Southern Districts Ordnance Depot, 1939 to 1942
    • No 3 Sub Depot, 1942 – 1948
    • Southern Districts Ordnance Depot, 1948 – 1968
    • 3 Central Ordnance Depot (3 COD), 1968 to 1979 [8]
    • 3 Supply Company, 1979 to 1993
    • Burnham Supply Center,1993 to 1994
    • 3 Field Supply Company, 1994 to 1996

Vehicle Depot

Ammunition Depot

Other Ordnance Units

  • Combat Supplies Platoon. 1979 to 19??
  • Ready Reaction Force Ordnance Support Group (RRF OSG), 19?? To 1992, moved to Linton
  • 32 Field Supply Company (Territorial Force Unit)

Ordnance Field Parks

  • 3 Infantry Brigade Group OFP

Workshops

  • No 14 Ordnance Workshop, until 1946

Workshop Stores Section

  • Southern Districts Workshop, Stores Section
  • 3 Field Workshop, Store Section

Christchurch

Stores Depot

  • Canterbury and Nelson Military District Stores Depot, King Edwards Barracks, Christchurch, 1907 to 1921

Workshop Stores Section

  • Southern Districts Workshop, Stores Section, Addington
  • 3 Infantry Brigade Workshop, Stores Section, Addington
  • 3 Transport Company Workshop, Stores Section, Addington

 Dunedin

Stores Depot

  • Otago and Southland Military Districts Stores Depot, 1907 to 1921

Fairlie

Nine magazines Operational 1943.

Glen Tunnel

16 magazines Operational from 1943

Mount Somers

10 Magazines operational from 1943

Unit locations overseas, 1914–1919

Few records trace with any accuracy New Zealand Ordnance units that served overseas in the First World War. Although the NZAOC was not officially created until 1917. [30] The New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps was constituted as part of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force (NZEF) in 1914 for overseas service only and in 1919 its members demobilised, returned to their parent units or mustered into the New Zealand Army Ordnance Department (Officers) or New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps(other Ranks)on their return to New Zealand.

Egypt

  • 12 Rue de la, Porte Rosette, Alexandria. [31]
  • New Zealand Ordnance Store, Shed 43, Alexandria Docks.[32]

Germany

  • Ordnance Depot, Mulheim, Cologne

Samoa

  • 1 Base Depot

United Kingdom

  • New Zealand Ordnance Base Depot Farringdon Street, London
  • Ordnance Depot, Cosford Camp

Unit locations overseas, 1939–1946

Egypt

  • New Zealand Base Ordnance Depot, Maadi, sub depots at:
    • Wadi Sarar
    • El Burg
    • Acre
  • 2 NZ Divisional Ordnance Field Park
  • NZ Mobile Bath
  • NZ Mobile Laundry & Decontamination Unit
  • NZ Salvage Unit
  • NZ Base Ordnance Workshop
  • 9 NZ Light Aid Detachment (attached 4 Fd Regt)
  • 10 NZ LAD (attached 5 Fd Pk Coy)
  • 11 NZ LAD (attached HQ 4 NZ Inf Bde)
  • 12 NZ LAD (attached 27 NZ (MG) Bn)
  • 13 NZ LAD (attached 2 NZ Div Cav)
  • 14 NZ LAD (attached 2 NZ Div Sigs)
  • 15 NZ LAD (attached 7 NZ A Tk Regt)
  • 16 NZ LAD (attached HQ 5 Fd Regt)
  • 17 NZ LAD (attached HQ 5 NZ Inf Bde)
  • 18 NZ LAD (attached 6 NZ Fd Regt)
  • 19 NZ LAD (attached HQ 6 NZ Inf Bde)
  • 2 NZ Divisional Ordnance Workshops
  • 1 NZ Field Workshop
  • 2 NZ Field Workshop
  • 3 NZ Field Workshop
  • 14 NZ Anti-Aircraft Workshop Section
  • Training Depot

Greece

  • 2 Independent (NZ) Brigade Group Workshop.[33]
  • 5 Independent (NZ) Brigade Group Workshop.[34]
  • Light Aid Detachments x 11
  • I Ordnance Field Park (British OFP attached to NZ Division).[35]

Italy

  • No 2 New Zealand Base Ordnance Depot, Bari.[36]
  • 2 Base Ordnance Depot Advance, Senegallia
  • 2 NZ Division Ordnance Field Park OFP sections attached to Brigades
  • NZ Mobile Laundry and Bath Unit.
  • Vehicle Depot, Assisi – 1945 – Jan 1946.[37]
  • Stores Depot, Perugia – 1945 – Feb 1946.[38]

Fiji

  • Divisional Ordnance Headquarters
  • Base Ordnance Depot
  • Division Ordnance Workshop
  • ‘A’ Workshop Section
  • ‘B Workshop Section
  • 20th Light Aid Detachment
  • 36th Light Aid Detachment
  • 37th Light Aid Detachment

New Caledonia

  • Base Ordnance Depot
  • Division Ordnance Workshop

Solomon Islands

  • Advanced Ordnance Depot, Guadalcanal. Officer Commanding and Chief Ordnance Officer, Captain Noel McCarthy.

Tonga

  • 16 Brigade Group Ordnance Field Park
  • 16 Brigade Group Workshop

Unit locations overseas, 1945–1996

Japan

  • Base Ordnance Depot, Kure (RAOC unit, NZAOC personnel attached)
  • 4 Forward Ordnance Depot, supporting NZ 9 Inf Brigade Group, later renamed 4 Advanced Ordnance Depot

Korea

No Standalone units but individual RNZAOC personnel served in 4 Ordnance Composite Depot (4 OCD) RAOC.

Malaya

No standalone RNZAOC units, but individual RNZAOC personnel may have served in the following British and Commonwealth Ordnance units:

  • 3 Base Ordnance Depot, RAOC, Singapore
  • 28 Commonwealth Brigade Ordnance Field Park, Terendak, Malaysia.

Singapore

Stores Depot

  • 5 Advanced Ordnance Depot, 1970–1971
    5 Advanced Ordnance Depot (5 AOD) was a short-lived Royal Australian Army Ordnance Corps and Royal New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps Ordnance Depot in Singapore, 1970 to 1971.
  • ANZUK Ordnance Depot, 1971–1974
    ANZUK Ordnance Depot was the Ordnance component, manned by service personnel from the RAOC, RAAOC and RNZAOC with locally Employed Civilians (LEC) performing the basic clerical, warehousing and driving tasks. it was part of the ANZUK Support Group supporting the short-lived ANZUK Force in Singapore 1971 to 1974. ANZUK Ordnance Depot was formed from the Australian/NZ 5 AOD and UK 3BOD and consisted of:

    • Stores Sub Depot
    • Vehicle Sub Depot
    • Ammunition Sub Depot
    • Barrack Services Unit
    • Forward Ordnance Depot(FOD)
  • New Zealand Advanced Ordnance Depot, 1974–1989
    From 1974 to 1989 the RNZAOC maintained the New Zealand Advanced Ordnance Depot(NZAOD) in Singapore as part of New Zealand Force South East Asia (NZFORSEA).

Workshops Stores Section

  • New Zealand Workshops, RNZAOC Stores Section
  • 1RNZIR, Light Aid Detachment Stores Section

 Somalia

The RNZAOC (with RNZCT, RNZEME, RNZSig, RNZMC specialist attachments) contributed to the New Zealand Governments commitment to the International and United Nations Operation in Somalia(UNOSOM) efforts in Somalia with:

  • Supply Detachment, Dec 1992 to June 1993
  • Supply Platoon x 2 rotations, July 1993 to July 1994 (reinforced with RNZIR Infantry Section)
  • RNZAOC officers to UNOSOM headquarters, 1992 to 1995.[39]

South Vietnam

During New Zealand’s commitment to the war in South Vietnam (29 June 1964 – 21 December 1972). The Royal New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps did not contribute a standalone unit but provided individuals to serve in New Zealand Headquarters units, Composite Logistic units or as part of Australian Ordnance Units including:

  • Headquarters Vietnam Force (HQ V Force)
  • 1st Australian Task Force (1 ATF)
  • 1st Australian Logistic Support Group (1 ALSG)
  • 161 Battachedery Attachedachments (161 Bty Attached)
  • New Zealand Rifle Companies
  • 161st (Independent) Reconnaissance Flight

 

 

Notes

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

[2] A.J. Polaschek and Medals Research Christchurch, The Complete New Zealand Distinguished Conduct Medal: Being an Account of the New Zealand Recipients of the Distinguished Conduct Medal from the Earliest Times of the South African War to the Present Time, Together with Brief Biographical Notes and Details of Their Entitlement to Other Medals, Orders and Decorations (Medals Research Christchurch, 1983).

[3] “Dismantling of Buildings at Mt Eden and Reassembling at Narrow Neck,” New Zealand Herald, vol. LXVI, p. 5, 2 February 1929.

[4] “The Narrow Neck Camp,” New Zealand Herald, vol. LVIII, no. 17815, p. 6, 23 June 1921.

[5] John J. Storey and J. Halket Millar, March Past: A Review of the First Fifty Years of Burnham Camp (Christchurch, N.Z.: Pegasus Press, 1973, 1974 printing, 1973), Non-fiction.

[6] “Camp at Burnham,” Star, no. 16298, p. 8, 13 December 1920.

[7] “RNZAOC Triennial Conference,” in Handbook – Rnzaoc Triennial Conference, Wellington,”  (1981).

[8] “NZ P106 Dos Procedure Instructions, Part 1 Static Support Force. Annex F to Chapter 1, Rnzaoc Director of Ordnance Services,”  (1978).

[9] ” Featherston Military Training Camp and the First World War, 1915–27,”  https://nzhistory.govt.nz/war/featherston-camp.

[10] “NZ P106 Dos Procedure Instructions, Part 1 Static Support Force. Annex F to Chapter 1, Rnzaoc Director of Ordnance Services.”

[11] “Stockholding for Operationally Deployable Stockholding Units,” NZ Army General Staff, Wellington  (1993.).

[12] L Clifton, Aerodrome Services, ed. Aerodrome Services Branch of the Public Works Department War History (Wellington1947).

[13] “1 Comp Ord Coy,” Pataka Magazine, February 1979.

[14] “D-01 Public Works Statement by the Hon. J. G. Coates, Minister of Public Works,” Appendix to the Journals of the House of Representatives, 1 January,”  (1925).

[15] “Great Military Camp,” The Auckland Star, vol. LVI, no. 83, p. 5, 8 April 1925.

[16] “1st Field Supply Company Standing Operating Procedures, 1st Supply Company Training Wing, Dec “,  (1984).

[17] W.H. Cunningham and C.A.L. Treadwell, Wellington Regiment: N. Z. E. F 1914-1918 (Naval & Military Press, 2003).

[18] “Defence Re-Organisation,” Manawatu Times, vol. XLII, no. 1808, p. 5, 5 May  1921.

[19] “” “H-19 Defence Forces of New Zealand. Report of the General Officer Commanding the Forces from 25th June 1914 to 26th June 1915,” Appendix to the Journals of the House of Representatives, P. 10, “H-19 Defence Forces of New Zealand. Report of the General Officer Commanding the 1 January 1915.”

[20] “NZ Army Ordnance Stores, Palmerston North Libraries and Community Services, [Online],”  https://manawatuheritage.pncc.govt.nz/item/c7681d2d-c440-4d58-81ad-227fc31efebf.

[21] “Pataka Magazine. RNZAOC, P. 52, 1994.”

[22] “”H-19 Defence Forces of New Zealand. Report of the General Officer Commanding the Forces, from 1st June 1916, to 31st May, 1917.,” 1 January 1917.”

[23] “Waiouru Camp  “, Ellesmere Guardian, vol. LXI, no. 90, p. 2, 12 November 1940

[24] Bolton, A History of the Royal New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps.

[25] Ibid.

[26] Ibid.

[27] “Ordnance Stores,” Evening Post, vol. c, no. 95, p. 8, 19 October 1920.

[28] “” “H-19 Defence Forces of New Zealand. Report of the General Officer Commanding the Forces from 25th June 1914 to 26th June 1915,” Appendix to the Journals of the House of Representatives, P. 10, “H-19 Defence Forces of New Zealand. Report of the General Officer Commanding the 1 January 1915.”

[29] “”H-19 Defence Forces of New Zealand. Report of the General Officer Commanding the Forces, from 1st June 1916, to 31st May, 1917.,” 1 January 1917.”

[30] “Colonel Rhodes,” Dominion, vol. 9, no. 2718, p. 9, 13 March 1916.

[31] Ibid.

[32] Ibid.

[33] A.H. Fernyhough, History of the Royal Army Ordnance Corps 1920-1945 (Royal Army Ordnance Corps, 1958), 141.

[34] Ibid.

[35] Ibid.

[36] New Zealand War Histories – Italy Volume Ii : From Cassino to Trieste,  (Victoria University of Wellington).

[37] Ibid.

[38] Ibid.

[39] “Somalia: 1992 – 1995,” NZ Army,” http://www.army.mil.nz/about-us/what-we-do/deployments/previous-deployments/somalia/default.htm.

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New Zealand Ordnance Shoulder Titles

Brass Shoulder Titles

Authorised in Army Dress Regulations for 1912 [1], shoulder titles were to be affixed to the shoulder strap (Epaulette) of the Service jacket. Shoulder titles were to be metal denoting the Corps or Regiment of the wearer. With the establishment of the NZEF, New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps(NZAOC) in 1916 and the Home Service NZAOC and New Zealand Army Ordnance Department in 1917, the introduction of brass NZAOC and NZAOD shoulder titles soon followed.

The Dress Regulations of 1923 further clarified their use in that “The shoulder titles of the unit or corps, in brass letters will be worn by Officers, Warrant Officers, Non-Commissioned Officers and men on the shoulder straps of jackets (service and blue) and great coats. The will not be worn on mess-jackets”. The approved Ordnance shoulder-titles were [2]:

    • New Zealand Army Ordnance Department – NZAOD

20171004_194754-65594957.jpg

 

 

  • New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps – NZAOC.
NZAOC STAB

NZAOC Shoulder Titles. Robert McKie Collection

With the disestablishment of the NZAOD on the 27th of June 1924 [3], and official use of the NZAOD shoulder title was discontinued, and the NZAOC shoulder title remained in use for all ranks,  its use confirmed in the 1927 Dress regulations [4].

Eary in World War Two saw the establishment of the NZEF and Territorial Army ‘New Zealand Ordnance Corps’, again as in the case of the NZAOC 24 years earlier, shoulder titles were soon provided[5].

20171004_194706-740050609.jpg

 

Worn early in the war, the adoption of new uniforms and universal “New Zealand” flashes, saw that existing stocks of brass shoulder titles, including the NZAOC and NZOC shoulder titles, were wasted out until stocks were exhausted [6].

Cloth Titles

The adoption of cloth shoulder titles was first proposed in 1948. Screen printed samples like the current British pattern were proposed in 1949.

RAOC Shoulder

RAOC 1940’s screen printed shoulder titles. Robert McKie Collection

Desiring something more durable and presentable it was decided that embroidered shoulder titles would be the way ahead. After much deliberation, the Army Board approved the introduction of shoulder titles in 1954. After much bureaucratic discussion over costings and developing requirements, it was not until 1961 that the first samples were approved. The shoulder titles for the Royal New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps were to have a Post Office red background with purple navy lettering in “Serif” Font. Over time there would be variations in colour and size of lettering due to manufacture variations, with the final versions featuring lettering in a “Sans Serif” font and an overlocked edge [2].

RNZAOC 2RNZAOC 3RNZAOCRNZAOC 4RNZAOC 1

RNZAOC 5

As part of a significant overhaul of New Zealand Army Service Dress in the mid-1990’s, Corps shoulder patches including the RNZAOC pattern, were replaced with a universal “NEW ZEALAND” shoulder title.

20171004_104151-65594957.jpg

References

 

[1] Dress Regulations 1912, GHQ Circular No 5, Wellington: General Headquarters, 1912.
[2] M. Thomas and C. Lord, NZ Army Distinguishing Patches 1911-1991, Wellington: Malcolm Thomas and Cliff Lord, 1995.
[3] “NZAOD and NZAOC,” New Zealand Gazette, p. 1605, 3 July 1924.
[4] “Shoulder Titles,” New Zealand Gazette, p. 1599, 19 May 1927.
[5] G. Oldham, Badges and Insignia of the New Zealand Army, 2 ed., Auckland: Milimen Books, 2011.
[6] B. O’Sullivan and M. O’Sullivan, New Zealand Army Uniforms and Clothing 1910-1945, Christchurch: Wilson Scott, 2009.

1st NZ Army Tank Brigade Ordnance

20171003_200341-65594957.jpg

Formation Sign 1 NZ Tank Brigade

Formed at Waiouru in October 1941 with the intention of being deployed to the Middle East after Training in New Zealand for six months. The 1st NZ Army Tank Brigade was to provide armoured support for the 2nd NZ Division. The 1st NZ Army Tank Brigade consisted of three Tank Battalions with ancillary units including Medical Corps, ASC, Signals and Ordnance. The Ordnance units included:

  • A Second Line Workshop.
  • A Third Line Workshop.
  • Two Ordnance Field Parks supporting each workshop.
  • Three Light Aid Detachments (one for each Tank Battalion).
TANK BDE ORD

Ordnance within the 1st NZ Tank Brigade

The leadership of the Brigades Ordnance units was drawn from the 2nd NZ Division and arrived back in New Zealand in Late 1941. As the New Zealand Ordnance Corps was a new unit, most of the new recruits had to be found in Civilian Garages, workshops and industry with some additional specialists drawn from NZAOC workshops and returned from the Middle East. Most of the specialist personnel were trained at the Main Ordnance Workshop in Trentham with the remainder prepared at the new AFV school in Waiouru [1].

New Zealand is ready

With the entry of the Japanese into the war in December 1941 and their advance and conquering of much of South East Asia and the Pacific, home defence became the priority. Plans to deploy the 1st NZ Army Tank Brigade to the Middle East were put on hold and the unit rerolled for the immediate defence needs of New Zealand [2]. After a period of reorganisations, the Brigade was ordered to be deployed in April 1942, with elements dispersed to:

  • Brigade HQ renamed Independent Squadron – deployed to the South Island.
  • 1 Tank Battalion – deployed to Northland.
  • 2 Tank Battalion – deployed to the Manawatu.
  • 3 Tank Battalion – deployed to Pukekohe.

This dispersion this caused some issues for the Ordnance organisation. Designed to support the Brigade as a single entry in the flat North African desert within a 70mile radius. Ordnance would struggle to support the dispersed brigade that was now dispersed throughout the length and breadth of rural New Zealand, with few suitable roads and limited railway capability able to handle the ancillary equipment such as the specialist workshop binned and machinery trucks.

To Provide optimal support for the Brigade units the Ordnance organisation had been reorganised by July 1942 with the Army Tank Ordnance Workshop and 32, 33 and 34 LAD’s organised into what could be described as “Super-LADs” providing both 1st and 2nd line A and B Vehicle and Armaments and specialist spares support. 3rd line support was provided by the Tank Brigade Ordnance Workshop at Trentham and the Railway Workshops at Otahuhu [1].

November 1942 saw further changes which would start the gradual disestablishment of the 1st NZ Tank Brigade [3].

  • No 1 Tank Battalion and 32 LAD remained in the Home defence roll in the Auckland/Northland area.
  • No 2 Tank Battalion, the Army Tank Ordnance Workshop and Ordnance Field Park were dissolved and became part of 3 NZ Division Independent Tank Battalion Group for service in the Pacific.
  • No 3 Tank Battalion and 33 LAD were deployed to the Middle East for service with the 2nd NZ Division, where it was dissolved, forming the nucleus of the 4th NZ Armoured brigade.
  • 34 LAD was stationed with the Independent Tank Squadron at Harewood in the South Island.
  • The Tank Brigade Ordnance Workshop and Ordnance Field Park would remain at Trentham, eventually being fully integrated into the Base Ordnance Workshops.
tank

A Valentine Mk V of the Brigade HQ Squadron, Dunedin,1943. http://kiwisinarmour.hobbyvista.com

By June 1943, the final units of the 1st NZ Army Tank Brigade; the 1 Tank Battalion Group and 32 LAD, now based at Pukekohe and the Independent Tank Squadron and 34 LAD based at Harewood were disbanded. The Ordnance personnel of those units were either sent to the 2nd or 3rd Divisions in Italy and the Pacific as reinforcements or absorbed into other ordnance units in New Zealand for the duration of the war.

The only unit authorised to wear the 2NZEF ‘Onward” badge, members of the 1st NZ Army Tank Brigade also wore on both arms a one-inch square coloured patch in the arm of service colours (purple Navy and Post Office Blue for Ordnance), with a miniature RTR ‘Tank” superimposed onto it [4] [3].

 

References

[1] P. Cooke, Warrior Craftsmen, Wellington: Defence of NZ Study Group, 2016.
[2] P. Henley, “The Tanks An Unofficial History of the Activities of the Third New Zealand Division Tank Squadron In the Pacific,” in TANKS, MMGS & ORDNANCE, Wellington, Reed Publishing (NZ) Ltd, 1947.
[3] J. Plowman and M. Thomas, New Zealand Armour in the Pacific 1939-45, Christchurch: Jeffrey Plowman, 2001.
[4] Documents Relating to New Zealand’s Participation in the Second World War, Wellington, New Zealand: R. E. Owen, Government Printer, 1951.
[5] G. Oldham, Badges and insignia of the New Zealand Army, Auckland: Milimem Books, 2011.
[6] M. Thomas and C. Lord, NZ Army Distinguishing Patches 1911-1991, Wellington: Malcolm Thomas and Cliff Lord, 1995.
[7] J. Bolton, A History Of the Royal New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps., Wellington: RNZAOC, 1992.

Copyright © Robert McKie 2017


New Zealand Ordnance Corps 1940-1946

New Zealand Army Ordnance existed between 1939 and 1946 in four distinct iterations;

  • The NZAOC, which provided base support functions for the duration of the war,
  • The New Zealand Ordnance Corps of the NZEF in the Middle East/Italy,
  • The New Zealand Ordnance Corps of the NZEF in the Pacific, and
  • The New Zealand Ordnance Corps as the Ordnance component of the Territorial Army from 1940 to 1946.

NZAOC

At the start of the war, the NZAOC was part of the New Zealand Permanent Army. Still recovering from the black day of 14 July 1930, when as an economy measure all the uniformed staff less; Officers, Armaments Artificers and Armourers had been transferred to the civil service [1]. With the NZAOC’s uniformed manpower in a very depleted state, the NZAOC was slowly rebuilding with new enlistments and temporary staff with the bulk of the Corps personnel being civilian distributed across the country at;

  • The Main Ordnance Depot and Workshops at Trentham,
  • Ordnance Depot and Workshop at Burnham,
  • Ordnance Depot at Ngawahawia,
  • Ordnance Workshops at Devonport.

Providing a firm base for the provision of Ordnance support for the mobilisation and ongoing support of the NZEF and home defence units, the NZAOC never deployed any units directly for overseas service but did provide personnel for many of the critical leadership positions in the NZOC. By the wars end the distribution of NZAOC within NZ was [1] [2];

  • Trentham
    • Main Ordnance Depot
    • Main Ordnance Workshop
  • Northern Military District
    • 11 Ordnance Workshop, Whangarei
    • 12 Ordnance Workshop, Devonport
    • No1 Ordnance Sub Depot, Ngawahawia
    • Ammunition Depots at
      • Ardmore
      • Kelms Road, Ngawahawia
    • Rented and requisitioned storage accommodation throughout the northern region
  • Central Military District
    • No2 Ordnance Sub Depot, Palmerston North
    • Ordnance stores detachments at Waiouru
    • Ammunition Depots at
      • Waiouru
      • Makomako
      • Belmont
      • Kuku Valley
    • Rented and requisitioned storage accommodation throughout the Wellington and Central region
  • Southern Military District
    • No3 Ordnance Sub Depot, Burnham
    • 13 Ordnance Workshop, Blenheim
    • 14 Ordnance Workshop, Burnham
    • 15 Ordnance Workshop, Dunedin
    • Ammunition Depots at
      • Alexandra
      • Burnham
      • Glen Tunnel
      • Fairlie
      • Mt Sommers
    • Rented and requisitioned storage accommodation throughout the South Island

2NZEF (Middle East/Italy)

Created as part of the newly constituted 2NZEF in 1939, the 2NZEF New Zealand Ordnance Corps (NZOC) was described in the Evening post newspaper as consisting of “11 Light Aid Detachments of the New Zealand Ordnance Corps. These are numbered 9 to 19, and their part is to render assistance and effect repairs to mechanic transport and the anti-tank units” [3]. From these original 11 units, the NZOC contribution to the NZ Division would grow to cover all the traditional ordnance responsibilities, participating in all the Divisions campaigns.

1942 saw the separation of maintenance and repair functions from the Royal Army Ordnance Corps (RAOC) with the formation of the Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (EME) in the Brutish Army[4]. The New Zealand Division followed suit and formed the New Zealand Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (NZEME) on 1 December 1942 [1] separating the repair, maintenance and ordnance stores an services functions of the NZOC.

The NZEF NZOC was disestablished along with the NZEF in 1946.

2NZEF (Pacific)

As with the Main NZEF, NZOC units were formed for service with the NZEF in the Pacific (NZEFIP). Initially providing a Base Ordnance Depot, Two Workshop Sections and a LAD for service with the 8 Infantry Brigade Group in Fiji from November 1940. As the war progressed, the NZOC grew into a Divisional sized organisation of 23 units and detachments supporting the NZEFIP with the full range of Ordnance Services in all its operations in Fiji, New Caledonia, The Solomon Islands and Tonga [5]. The formation of the Electrical and Mechanical Engineers 1942 was not followed thru in New Zealand and the Pacific, with repair and Maintenance functions remaining part of Ordnance for the duration of the war.

20171001_205837-65594957.jpg

On conclusion of successful campaigns in the Solomon Islands 3 NZ Division and its equipment was returned to New Zealand and disestablished. On return to New Zealand, many NZOC members were graded unfit due to rigours of the tropical campaign and returned to their civilian occupations, some were redeployed as reinforcement to 2NZEF in Italy. Some remained at the division’s Mangere base near Auckland, or at Wellington, checking, sorting and reconditioning stores and vehicles of every description before handing the division’s entire stocks of equipment and clothing over to the Main Ordnance Depot a task that would carry on until September 1945 [5].

Territorial Army Ordnance

With the NZAOC and the New Zealand Permanent Army Service Corps (NZPASC) existing as part of the Permanent Army, only the NZPASC had a Territorial Army component, known as the New Zealand Army Service Corps (NZASC). From the 1930’s Light Aid Detachments (LADs) and workshop sections had been included on the establishments of ASC unit for activation on mobilisation. With the onset of war in 1939 and the mobilisation of the Territorial Army in 1940 the Quartermaster General, Col H.E Avery made the decision that the LADs were an Ordnance responsibility and the NZOC was established as the Ordnance Component of Territorial Army in December 1940 [6].

NMD JUNE 1942

Territorial Force Ordnance Units, Northern Military District June 1942

CMD JUNE 1942

Territorial Force Ordnance Units, Central Military District June 1942

SMD JUNE 1942

Territorial Force Ordnance Units, Southern Military District June 1942

By late 1943 the mobilisation of the Territorial Forces had ceased to be necessary, and most units had been stood down and placed on care and maintenance status with a small RF Cadre, and by 1 April 1944, all wartime home defence units had been disbanded [6]. Although not part of the pre-war Territorial Army the NZOC remained on establishments. In 1946 a Reorganization of New Zealand Military Forces removed the distinction between Regular and non-Regular soldiers, and the NZOC ceased to be a separate Corps, becoming part of the NZAOC [7].

Dress Distinctions

As with all the other units of 2 NZEF, units and corps badges were dispensed with and the NZEF “Onward” badge was worn by all.

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nzoc 40-47

New Zealand Ordnance Corps Badge 1940-44 (Copyright © Robert McKie 2017)

In the Pacific and New Zealand, the NZOC did not adopt the NZAOC badge but instead adopted the WW1 NZEF Ordnance badge which can be seen on the cover of the unofficial history of the NZEFIP NZOC and Territorial Army Unit Pennants.

WH2IP-TankTit-2(h280)

Copyright © Robert McKie 2018

Notes

[1] J. Bolton, A History of the RNZAOC, Wellington: Royal New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps, 1992.
[2] P. Cooke, Warrior Craftsmen, Wellington: Defence of NZ Study Group, 2016.
[3] “2nd NZ Division,” EVENING POST, vol. CXXVIII, no. 102, 27 OCTOBER 1939.
[4] A. Fernyhough, A short history of the RAOC, London: C B Printers Ltd, 1965.
[5] P. Henley, “ORDNANCE, The Unofficial History of the New Zealand Ordnance Corps in the Pacific from 1940 until 3rd Division was disbanded in 1944,” in Tanks, MMGs & Ordnance, Wellington, Reed Publishing (NZ) Ltd, 1947, pp. 137-227.
[6] P. Cooke and J. Crawford, The Territorials, Wellington: Random House New Zealand Ltd, 2011, p. 258.
[7] “MILITARY FORCES OF NEW ZEALAND ANNUAL REPORT OF THE CHIEF OF THE GENERAL STAFF,” Journals of the House of Representatives, vol. H19, no. 1947 Session, 1 January 1947.
[8] G. Oldham, Badges and insignia of the New Zealand Army, Auckland: Milimem Books, 2011.
[9] R. KAY, “FROM CASSINO TO TRIESTE,” in Official History of New Zealand in the Second World War 1939–45, WELLINGTON, HISTORICAL PUBLICATIONS BRANCH DEPARTMENT OF INTERNAL AFFAIRS, 1967.