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].

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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.

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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.
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