Brigadier Andrews was born in New Plymouth on 11 January 1912. He was educated at Thames and New Plymouth Boys’ High School and Canterbury University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Engineering degree. A talented rugby player, Andrews represented Canterbury and had made the grade for selection as an All Black in 1934. However, as he was nearing the end of his studies, he made the difficult decision to forgo rugby and complete his studies.
Enlisted into the Permanent Force of the New Zealand Army as a cadet on 7 April 1936, Andrews was commissioned into the NZAOC as a Lieutenant on 17 June 1936. As Lieutenant S.B Wallace, the Officer in Charge of the Ordnance Workshops, was on course in England, Andrews was detached from the Main Ordnance Depot to take Charge of the Ordnance Workshops. From September 1937, Andrews was then appointed as the Temporary Ordnance Mechanical Engineer (OME) until Wallace’s return in June 1938. Returning to the Main Ordnance Depot as the Assistant Ordnance Officer, Andrews began work on updating equipment scales and developing plans to equip and support provide an expeditionary force.
On 11 December 1939. Andrews was seconded to the 2nd New Zealand Expeditionary Force (2NZEF) as the Senior OME (SOME), promoted to Captain, and embarked on active service the same day. He was promoted to Major and appointed Deputy Assistant Director Ordnance Services (DADOS) 2 NZEF on 1 August 1940. The appointment of Assistant Director Ordnance Services (ADOS) 2 NZ Division followed in January 1941.
Following the appointment of Colonel King, the ADOS 2 NZEF, as the Deputy Director Ordnance Services (DDOS) lines of Communication (L of C) for the 8th Army, Andrews assumed the responsibilities of ADOS 2 NZEF.
On the formation of the New Zealand Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (NZEME) as a unit of 2NZEF on 1 December 1942, Andrews was appointed to the position of Commander EME (CEME) 2 NZ Division.
Returning to New Zealand in July 1943, Andrews was appointed as the COME at MOD Trentham and promoted to Lieutenant Colonel. Based on his experience in the Middle East, he integrated All Arms Military training into the training schedule of the MOD Ordnance Workshops.
Andrews was soon overseas again, first undertaking a tour of duty with 3 NZ Division in the Pacific in early 1944 and in May was again posted back to 2NZEF (Middle East), where he served as CEME 2 NZ Division.
Early in the war, Andrews had been handpicked by General Freyberg to manage the 2nd NZEF Rugby Team on the cessation of hostilities. Under Andrew’s management, a team known as The Kiwis was selected from men completing active service in North Africa and Italy and included several men who had spent lengthy spells in prisoner of war camps in Italy, Austria and Germany.
Andrews completed his task as the manager of The Kiwis with much success, with the Kiwis becoming one of the most famous and successful Rugby teams produced by New Zealand who, in their tour of the United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany and France, played 33 matches for 29 wins, two draws and two losses. They scored 605 points and conceded just 185. They beat the full international sides of England, Wales and France and lost just one international to Scotland. The complete tour results were
- 07 October 1945 Swansea v New Zealand Army – NZEF Win 22-6
- 30 October 1945 Llanelli v New Zealand Army – NZEF Win 18-8
- 03 November 1945 Neath v New Zealand Army – NZEF Win 22 – 15
- 10 November 1945 Northern Services v New Zealand Army – NZEF Win 14-7
- 14 November 1945 Ulster v New Zealand Army – NZEF Win 10-9
- 17 November 1945 Leinster v New Zealand Army – Draw 10-10
- 24 November 1945 England v New Zealand Army – NZEF Win 18-3
- 01 December 1945 British Army v New Zealand Army – NZEF Win 25-5
- 08 December 1945 RAF v New Zealand Army – NZEF Win 11-0
- 15 December 1945 Royal Navy v New Zealand Army – NZEF Win 6-3
- 22 December 1945 London Clubs v New Zealand Army – NZEF Win 30-0
- 26 December 1945 Cardiff v New Zealand Army – NZEF Win 3-0
- 29 December 1945 Newport v New Zealand Army – Draw 3-3
- 05 January 1946 Wales v New Zealand Army – NZEF Win 11-3
- 12 January 1946 Combined Services v New Zealand Army – NZEF Win 31-0
- 19 January 1946 Scotland v New Zealand Army – NZEF Loss 11-6
- 24 January 1946 Scottish Universities v New Zealand Army – NZEF Win 57-3
- 26 January 1946 North Midlands v New Zealand Army – NZEF Win 24-9
- 31 January 1946 East Midlands v New Zealand Army – NZEF Win 14-0
- 02 February 1946 Northern Counties v New Zealand Army – NZEF Win 25-8
- 09 February 1946 Lancs, Cheshire & Yorks v New Zealand Army – NZEF Win 41-0
- 14 February 1946 Oxford University v New Zealand Army – NZEF Win 31-9
- 16 February 1946 Devon & Cornwall v New Zealand Army – NZEF Win 11-3
- 20 February 1946 Cambridge University v New Zealand Army – NZEF Win 15-7
- 23 February 1946 Gloucs & Somerset v New Zealand Army – NZEF Win 11-0
- 27 February 1946 Monmouthshire v New Zealand Army – NZEF Loss 0-15
- 02 March 1946 Aberavon v New Zealand Army – NZEF Win 17-4
- 10 March 1946 France v New Zealand Army – NZEF Win 14-9
- 13 March 1946 BAOR v New Zealand Army – NZEF Win 12-0
- 16 March 1946 Combined Services v New Zealand Army – NZEF Win 20-3
- 24 March 1946 France v New Zealand Army – NZEF Win 13-10
- 27 March 1946 France A v New Zealand Army – NZEF Win 38-9
- 31 March 1946 Ile De France v New Zealand Army – NZEF Win 24-13
Andrews returned to New Zealand in July 1946 to take up the Chief Ordnance Officer (COO) appointment at the MOD Trentham on completing the tour.
Appointed as the first post-war Director of Ordnance Services (DOS) on 1 October 1947. Relinquishing the appointment of DOS on 11 November 1949, Andrews then attended the Joint Services Command College (JSSC) in the United Kingdom.
On his return to New Zealand, he was appointed the Deputy Assistant Quartermaster General (DAQMG) at Army HQ. Promoted to Colonel, Andrews was then posted to Waiouru as the Camp Commandant in 1953.
In 1955, he was promoted to Brigadier as the Commander of the Central Military District.
Another overseas tour followed in late 1956 when he became Senior Army Liaison Officer at the New Zealand Embassy in London. Returning to New Zealand in 1960, Brigadier Andrews then took up the appointment of Commander Southern Military District.
In January 1963, he was again posted to Army HQ as the Adjutant General, an appointment he was to hold until his retirement in 1967.
Appointed as the Colonel Commandant of the RNZAOC on 1 April 1969, he served in that capacity until 30 September 1977.
Throughout his retirement, Andrews maintained a keen interest in all activities of the RNZAOC and published his autobiography, Allan Huia Andrews: a distinguished career, in 2002.
Brigadier Andrews passed away on 28 October 2002 and is buried at Okato Cemetery, New Plymouth, New Zealand.
Mentioned in Dispatches while serving with 2 NZ Division and further recognising his services, he was awarded the OBE in 1943. In the 1964 NewYears’ honours, Andrewes was awarded the CBE.