10 LAD, Water Supply – Operation Compass, December 1940 – January 1941

Accounts of New Zealand Ordnance Units’ wartime activities are rare, with one of the few accounts from the Second World War found in the wartime publication Prelude to War.

Prelude To Battle was the first of ten surveys on the 2nd New Zealand Expeditionary Forces (2 NZEF) produced by the New Zealand Army Board during the Second World War to provide short articles on the activities of 2 NZEF.

Prelude To Battle was published by Whitcombe & Tombs, in 1942 and covers the first Libyan Campaign of June -December 1940. Prelude To Battle includes chapters on

  • the LRDG,
  • Divisional Signals,
  • NZASC, 4th NZ Mechanical Transport Company (4RMT), and
  • New Zealand Ordnance Corps (NZOC), 10 Light Aid Detachment (10 LAD) attached to New Zealand Engineers (NZE), 5 Field Park Company

The chapter Water Supplies covers explicitly the activities 10 LAD during  Operation Compass, which was the first significant British military operation of the Western Desert Campaign (1940–1943), during which British, Empire and Commonwealth forces attacked Italian forces in western Egypt and Cyrenaica, the eastern province of Libya, from December 1940 to February 1941.

10 LAD was one of 11 LADs, numbered 9 to 19, raised as part of the NZOC in late 1939 to render assistance and repair mechanic transport and the anti-tank units of 2 NZEF. Raised at Hopuhopu Camp, 10 LAD was commanded by Second Lieutenant George D Pollock, and attached to 5 Field Park Company, NZE. 10 LAD sailed as part of the Main Body of 2 NZEF in January 1940, Disembarking in Egypt in February 1940.

In late 1940 New Zealand units, including the Fifth Field Park Company, with 10 LAD attached, Divisional Signals, 4 RMT and other specialist troops, had been seconded to General Archibald Wavell for Operation Compass. The official War History New Zealand Engineers, Middle East states, “but beyond guarding the water pipeline and establishing water points and forward dumps at Charing Cross, the Company was not much affected. The British Army seemed to do very well without its assistance”. However, as this Prelude To Battle chapter describes, 10 LAD played a critical role in ensuring water supply to the advancing allied units.

A Light Aid Detachment, Water Colour by Captain Peter McIntyre

The Prelude to Battle chapter, Water Supplies, reads:

Concerned with the maintenance of water plants to supply the troops advancing into Cyrenaica and the servicing of Royal Engineers’ equipment, the 10th Light Aid Detachment of the New Zealand Ordnance Corps entered each town almost immediately after its capture to attend to the water installations and pumping appliances.

Before the British assumed the offensive, the 10th LAD has succeeded in drawing water from about ten feet below the surface at Burbeita and in the sandhills at Baggush. When Fort Nibeiwa was attacked on 8 December, the 10th LAD were in caves in the escarpment at Charing Cross, several miles inland from Mersa Matruh. As soon as the last of the Sisi Barrano forts was captured, Major G. D. Pollock, who commanded the 10th LAD went to Sidi Barrani to attend to the water works there. He found in perfect order a Fiat diesel pumping engine capable of 250 litres an hour and a plant for distilling salt water. The remainder of the 10th LAD entered Sidi Barrani two days later. The Italians also left a large pumping station almost at Buqbuq, half way between Sidi Barrani and Sollum .

As the Australians concentrated for the Battle of Bardia, the 10th LAD were filling and working water wagons for Sollim. At this stage they began to operate closely with the 5th Field Park Company and on 10 January they moved with them to the harbour at Bardia. A fortnight later they were in Tobruk at work on the large distilling plant. After the Battle of Derna and the subsequent Italian withdrawal towards Benghazi, the 10th LAD were given a special job. The British command had made the decision to cut across the plateau south of Benghazi: the success of this plan depended on getting a supply of water quickly to Msus, some 500 miles south-west of Derna. it was the responsibility of the 1Oth LAD to have ninety-five tons of water at this point for the armoured division. This was accomplished. The operation succeeded, Benghazi fell, and the whole of Cyrenaica was subsequently occupied. In northern Cyrenaica, the water problem ceased. West of Derna lies a region of small streams, trees and green countryside decorated with fresh white buildings. When the British consolidated in this area in February 1941 the work of the 10th LAD ended and they followed the New Zealand signallers. Transport driver and engineers back to Helwan, where the New Zealand Division had taken up its station preparatory to its departure for Greece.

Prelude to Battle Page 32-34

Following this brief excursion into Libya, 10 LAD continued to be attached to 5 Field Park, NZE for the remainder of the war. In November 1942, the New Zealand Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (NZEME) was formed as part of 2 NZEF and 10 LAD transferred from the NZOC to the NZEME. 10 LAD was disestablished in late 1945.

“Arte et Marte”
By Skill and By Fighting


The identity of Ngāti Tumatauenga

Met by a combination of mutual mistrust on the one hand and a sense of opportunity on the other, the earliest contacts between Māori and Europeans would grow into a mutually beneficial economic relationship by the 1840s and 1850s. The Treaty of Waitangi sealed the relationship, with a vital element of the relationship becoming amalgamation. Māori was granted the rights and privileges of British subjects under a universal system under the treaty’s terms and early colonial laws. Unfortunately, the relationship was often one-sided, favouring the Crown and settlers who would set the terms of the amalgamation process into one of assimilation, intending to absorb Māori into the white settler world. This path led to conflict, followed by erecting barriers between Māori and Settlers that would endure for generations. One Hundred and Seventy-Nine years after the treaty’s signing, the relationship between Māori and Europeans has matured, with many colonial-era grievances reconciled or on the path of reconciliation. A sign of how far the nation’s relationship between Māori and Europeans has matured is found in one of the institutions of the state, the Army, now recognised as the standalone iwi; Ngāti Tumatauenga – ‘Tribe of the God of War’.

Ngāti Tumatauenga is the youngest iwi of New Zealand, as it was only established in1994 as the result of an initiative by the Chief of General Staff (CGS), Major General Anthony Leonard Birks, CB, OBE. The CGS intended to regenerate the Army’s culture into a “uniquely New Zealand Military culture by combining appropriate aspects of European and Māori heritage to enhance further the cohesion, morale and esprit de corps of the Army”.[1] Established with the blessing of the veterans of the 28th Maoi Battalion, the Māori Queen and iwi surrounding Waiouru; Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Maniapoto and Ngāti Tuhoe. [2] Ngāti Tumatauenga blends the customs and warrior traditions of Māori and European into a fusion of both, laying the basis of the New Zealand Army’s ethos and values.[3] Although Ngāti Tumatauenga is a modern conception, it has a strong whakapapa drawn from its Māori and European ancestry, reflecting its position as the guardian of all the peoples of New Zealand regardless of race, religion or creed.[4]

The path towards Ngāti Tumatauenga has been long as, for most of its existence, the New Zealand Army, like those of Canada, South Africa and Australia, embraced British military traditions. Regardless of the British Military influence, there has always been a desire to identify New Zealand as a unique military entity. In both World Wars, Canada, South Africa, and Australia would send expeditionary forces filled with units bearing English, Scottish and Irish names, motifs and identities to battlefields worldwide; New Zealand would be the exception. Although there were Territorial units in New Zealand with Scottish identities, the New Zealand Military authorities felt that New Zealand was too small to allow these identities to be embodied as separate units within the Expeditionary Forces. New Zealand Forces would march in one khaki uniform and wore distinctive New Zealand badges up to the Second World War, which often included Māori phrases and symbology.[5]

The sole and logical exception was Māori, who participated as a subunit, representing a subset of New Zealand in a way that the Scots or Irish did not.[6] Unknowingly in their desire to make New Zealand Forces identifiable as a national entity, New Zeland Military authorities had set the path and framework towards establishing Ngāti Tumatauenga in later years.

Alongside the British Military traditions, it is Māori Tikanga which is the glue that binds Ngāti Tumatauenga together and provides the distinct and unique cultural practices and traditions which enhance the loyalty, cohesion and tribal identity of the Modern New Zealand Warrior.[7] Contrary to popular belief, Māori warfare was not an established feature of Māori culture and life but rather something that Māori would apply themselves to depending on the circumstances to acquire land, counter threats or defend Mana. Māori would refine their warfighting traditions as participants on both sides of the conflicts of the nineteenth-century New Zealand land wars. In the twentieth century, Māori leaders such as Sir Apirana Ngata would see military service for the Crown as an extension of their warrior heritage and a pathway to equality. In his 1943′ price of citizenship’ pamphlet, Ngatai would assert, “We are of one house, and if our Pākehā brothers fall, we fall with them. How can we even hold our heads when the struggle is over to the question, “Where were you when New Zealand was at war?”.[8] Excellent and honourable service in the Second World War would cement the place of Māori in the post-war Army, with a 1977 survey establishing that the Regular Force consisted of 34 per cent Māori and the Territorial Force 16 per cent, a higher proportion than Māori employment in the general civilian workforce.[9] With the Māori cultural resurgence of the late twentieth century, the Army was well placed to embrace change as this resurgence impacted change in the Army.

The regeneration of the culture of the New Zealand Army initiated by the CGS in 1994 was swift in its implementation, the Army badge would retain its traditional British design but was modified to include a taiaha in place of a sword and a scroll embossed with “Ngāti Tumatauenga.” on its base. [10]

The Army Marae Te Whare Tū Taua a Tūmatauenga, the home of Ngāti Tumatauenga, was dedicated during labour weekend in 1995. The Army Marae is the single point in the New Zealand Army through which all members, regardless of race, gender or creed and where they originate from, pass through on their military journey. Unique amongst Maraes, Whare Tū Taua a Tūmatauenga faces west and the setting sun, sending a message that Ngāti Tumatauenga protects the country by night and day.

The regeneration of the army culture was not without its challenges, and by its nature, the Army Marae is less formal than traditional Maraes, with one recruit commenting, “The Māori it’s so cabbage here! ‘Cause I come from a place where it’s really rich. I was telling my dad, we went to the Marae and they spoke English!” [11] Despite this lower-level critique, another soldier with Māori ancestry explained that “Ngāti Tumatauenga represents the amalgamation of the Imperial soldier’s spirit with the Mana of the Māori warrior. This is a positive reflection of the Treaty of Waitangi partnership principle, giving many much pride in using Ngāti Tumatauenga in their pepeha.”[12] The introduction of Ngāti Tumatauenga also faced detractors and sceptics. The speedy introduction caught many members of the Army off guard and unprepared for such a sudden and, at times, aggressive cultural shift. The passage of time and the ensuring benefits of the adoption of Ngāti Tumatauenga has modified the attitude of many of the original detractors and sceptics.[13]

As Ngāti Tumatauenga approaches its twenty-fifth year, its acceptance in the community as an iwi is further enhanced by the use of Māori performing arts to promote and sustain the Army’s cultural ethos. Ngāti Tumatauenga hosts and participates in Kapa Haka competitions at the national level,[14] with, at times, non-Māori leading performances.[15] The use of Māori performing arts by Ngāti Tumatauenga extends past competitions in New Zealand. Kapa Haka is used by Ngāti Tumatauenga as a military and diplomatic tool on the international stage, reflecting how the shared Māori and European military heritage works to uphold the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi and the interests of the New Zealand people. [16]

In conclusion, the transformation of the New Zealand Army into Ngāti Tumatauenga – “Tribe of the God of War” echos the aspirations of the early Māori and European residents of New Zealand and their perception of amalgamation under the terms of the treaty of Waitangi. From 1840 to 1994, to road towards Ngāti Tumatauenga was complicated by the conflict between Māori and the Crown defining the Māori and Pākehā relationship into one acknowledging the martial ability of each other. The World Wars of the early Twentieth Century would see the New Zealand Expeditionary Forces and their respective Māori Battalions earning the respect of friend and foe, leading to Māori finding themselves a place in the post-war New Zealand Army. Riding the wave of a resurgent Māori culture, the leadership of the New Zealand Army took a significant risk and implemented the regeneration of the Army’s culture. The New Zeland Army, through its transformation into the iwi of Ngāti Tumatauenga, has transformed into a unique iwi, shaped and defined by the influences of a resurgent Māori culture and the combined martial traditions of European soldiers and Maori warriors, their shared history, heritage and experience of war.

Bibliography

Primary Sources

Major-General A.l.Birks. “Chief of General Staff Directive 9/94; the Army’s Culture.” Wellington: Army General Staff, HQ New Zealand Defence Force, 1994.

New Zealand Army. “The Army Culture.” NZ Army Publication (NZ P77) Why? Chapter 3, Section 1  (2014).

Secondary Sources

Published

Brosnahan, Seán. “Ngāti Tūmatauenga and the Kilties: New Zealand’s Ethnic Military Traditions.” In A Global Force: War, Identities and Scotland’s Diaspora, edited by David Forsyth, 168-92: Edinburgh University Press, 2016.

Cooke, Peter, and John Crawford. The Territorials. Wellington: Random House New Zealand Ltd, 2011.

Corbett, D. A. The Regimental Badges of New Zealand: An Illustrated History of the Badges and Insignia Worn by the New Zealand Army. Auckland, N.Z. : Ray Richards, 1980, Revised Edition, 1980.

Harding, Nina Joy. “You Bring It, We will Bring It Out”: Becoming a Soldier in the New Zealand Army: A Thesis Presented in Partial Fulfilment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Social Anthropology at Massey University, Manawatū, New Zealand. 2016.

Hohaia, Debbie. “In Search of a Decolonised Military: MāOri Cultural Learning Experiences in the New Zealand Defence Force.” Kōtuitui (Online)  (2016).

McKenzie, Peter. “How the NZ Army Became an Iwi.”  https://www.newsroom.co.nz/2018/11/25/331569/peter-mckenzie-on-army-as-an-iwi-for-monday.

Oldham, Geoffrey P. Badges and Insignia of the New Zealand Army: An Illustrated Price Guide to Cap and Collar Badges, Insignia and Shoulder Titles of the N.Z. Army, Police & Militia, from 1847 to the Present Day. New and rev. Ed ed.: Milimem Books, 2011.

Soutar, Monty. Ngā Tama Toa = He Toto Heke, He Tipare Here Ki Te Ūkaipo : Kamupene C, Ope Taua (Maori) 28 1939-1945 : I Tuhia Tenei Pukapua I Roto I Te Reo Maori. David Bateman, 2014.

Taylor, Richard Tribe of the War God: Ngati Tumatauenga. Heritage New Zealand, 1996. .

Te Ao Māori News. “Te Matatini 2015 – Te Kapa Haka O Kairanga.”  https://www.maoritelevision.com/news/regional/te-matatini-2015-te-kapa-haka-o-kairanga.

Unpublished

“Discussions conducted by author with various members of the New Zealand  Army “. 2019.


Notes

[1] Major-General A.l.Birks, “Chief of General Staff Directive 9/94; the Army’s Culture,” (Wellington: Army General Staff, HQ New Zealand Defence Force, 1994).

[2] Peter McKenzie, “How the NZ Army Became an Iwi,”  https://www.newsroom.co.nz/2018/11/25/331569/peter-mckenzie-on-army-as-an-iwi-for-monday.

[3] New Zealand Army, “The Army Culture,” NZ Army Publication (NZ P77) Why? Chapter 3, Section 1  (2014).

[4] Richard  Taylor, Tribe of the War God : Ngati Tumatauenga (Heritage New Zealand, 1996), Bibliographies, Non-fiction, 110-11.

[5] Although many NZ badges follow British badge design conventions and in many cases are direct copies, many badges have also included many unique New Zealnd features such as the adoption of Māori iconography and symbols and use Te Reo Māori in place of the traditional English or latin for mottoes. D. A. Corbett, The Regimental Badges of New Zealand : An Illustrated History of the Badges and Insignia Worn by the New Zealand Army (Auckland, N.Z. : Ray Richards, 1980, Revised enl. edition, 1980), Non-fiction, 9-17.

[6] Seán Brosnahan, “Ngāti Tūmatauenga and the Kilties: New Zealand’s Ethnic Military Traditions,” in A Global Force: War, Identities and Scotland’s Diaspora, ed. David Forsyth (Edinburgh University Press, 2016), 168-83.

[7] New Zealand Army, “The Army Culture.”

[8] Monty Soutar, Ngā Tama Toa = He Toto Heke, He Tipare Here Ki Te Ūkaipo : Kamupene C, Ope Taua (Maori) 28 1939-1945 : I Tuhia Tenei Pukapua I Roto I Te Reo Maori (David Bateman, 2014), Bibliographies, Non-fiction, 35.

[9] Peter Cooke and John Crawford, The Territorials (Wellington: Random House New Zealand Ltd, 2011), 371.

[10] Geoffrey P. Oldham, Badges and Insignia of the New Zealand Army : An Illustrated Price Guide to Cap and Collar Badges, Insignia and Shoulder Titles of the N.Z. Army, Police & Militia, from 1847 to the Present Day, New and rev. ed ed. (Milimem Books, 2011), Bibliographies,Non-fiction, 92.

[11] Nina Joy Harding, “You Bring It, We’ll Bring It Out” : Becoming a Soldier in the New Zealand Army : A Thesis Presented in Partial Fulfilment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Social Anthropology at Massey University, Manawatū, New Zealand (2016), Non-fiction, 130.

[12] McKenzie, “How the NZ Army Became an Iwi”.

[13] “Discussuions Conducted by Author with Various Members of the New Zealsnd  Army Command Chain.,”  (2019).

[14] Te Ao Māori News, “Te Matatini 2015 – Te Kapa Haka O Kairanga,”  https://www.maoritelevision.com/news/regional/te-matatini-2015-te-kapa-haka-o-kairanga.

[15] Debbie Hohaia, “In Search of a Decolonised Military : MāOri Cultural Learning Experiences in the New Zealand Defence Force,” Kōtuitui (Online)  (2016): 52.

[16] Ibid.


Indonesian Counterinsurgency in West Papua

The conduct of counterinsurgency operations occurs when a government is forced to take military action to either prevent or retaliate to attacks by disaffected groups and has become the defining feature of the modern era of conflict. The focus of the study on counterinsurgency is on either historical examples such as Malaya, Algeria or Vietnam or ongoing operations in places such as Iraq and Afghanistan. From the earlier conflicts, lessons have been learnt, lost, rediscovered, and adapted for modern conflicts. A good example is the works of David Galula which, based on his observations and experiences in Indochina and Algeria, have been adapted for use in the current United States Army counterinsurgency manual. Counterinsurgencies are seldom successful and, once committed to, are painful to disengage from. An enduring example of counterinsurgency with no end state is the 55-year-old Indonesian counterinsurgency in West Papua. The West Papua counterinsurgency campaign is against a motivated and determined opponent, dispersed in small cells amongst the local population with unparalleled knowledge of the local environment of isolated and complex terrain. Fighting the insurgency is a well-trained and motivated force equipped with modern western weapons and equipment with the support of the significant regional powers, which despite these advantages, has failed to bring the insurgency to an end.

The origins of the West Papua conflict go back to December 1949, when after a short war of independence, the Dutch East Indies gained independence from the Kingdom of the Netherlands as the Republic of Indonesia. West Papua, the western half of New Guinea Island, remained under the sovereignty of the Netherlands. Due to the ethnic and geographic differences between the Indonesian Islands, the Dutch administered West Paupa separately from the Dutch East Indies and wished to prepare West Papua for independence as a separate country.[1] Indonesia argued that the Dutch occupation of West Papua was illegal and saw the territory as an integral part of the Indonesian State.[2]  From 1949 to 1961, Indonesia unsuccessfully attempted through the United Nations (UN) legal mechanisms to gain sovereignty. Dissatisfied with the UN and confident with an infusion of modern Soviet military hardware, Indonesia launched several unsuccessful military operations against the Dutch territory in 1961 and 1962.[3][4] Despite retaining the military advantage, the Dutch were not in a position to conduct a protracted military campaign in Asia without western support. Seeking to gain favour with Indonesia, the United States and Australia forced the unwilling Dutch to enter into a settlement under the auspices of the UN for a temporary transfer of sovereignty of West Papua to Indonesia. The agreement required that in 1969 the UN oversaw a referendum, which gave the people of West Papua two choices:

  • Remain as part of Indonesia, or
  • become an independent nation.

Known as the “Act of Free Choice”, the vote was to be a consensus of just over 1000 elders, who were selected by the Indonesian Military, were coerced at gunpoint and had little choice but to vote to remain as part of Indonesia as the province of Irian Jaya.[5] The UN supported Indonesian stealing of the vote only worked to stiffen the resolve of the Free Papua Movement (OPM) to resist Indonesian rule.[6]

The Indonesian provinces of West Papua and Papua. Independence activists describe the
 combined provinces as West Papua. https://www.lowyinstitute.org/publications/west-papua-issue-won-t-go-away-melanesia

With the failure to establish an independent West Papua and sovereignty turned over to Indonesia, anti-Indonesian dissidents who had been trained and armed by the Dutch immediately took up the fight to make West Papua an independent sovereign state. The granting of sovereignty over West Papua to Indonesia by the UN was intended as temporary. However, to increase its control over West Papua, Indonesia implemented a policy of forced assimilation.[7] This policy encouraged the migration of settlers from Java and Sumatra to replace Melanesians in all government, cultural, and educational institutions with non-Melanesian migrants so that by the time the “act of free choice” took place in 1969 a substantial portion of the urban population of West Papua was non-Melanesian.[8]  As the Indonesian forced incorporation continued, support for the OPM from the frustrated West Papuan community grew. Initially only considered a nuisance by the Indonesians, by 1970, the OPM benefited from the defections of Melanesians serving with the Indonesian forces, and the use of bases across the border in Papua New Guinea had become a significant annoyance to Indonesia. The OPM’s effective guerrilla force was modest in numbers, between 400 to 600 hardcore guerrillas. Initially armed with World War II vintage weapons with little ammunition, OPM forces were adaptable natural jungle fighters and, as a matter of necessity, were experts in using traditional Papuan weapons such as bows, arrows, and axes. From the first action against Indonesian Forces on the 26th of July 1964, the OPMs preferred tactic was small-scale hit-and-run operations against Indonesian patrols, installations and commercial operations. A measure of their effectiveness was that the Indonesians soon avoided patrols into the jungle and retaliated with brutality, which became the cornerstone of the Indonesian counterinsurgency policy.[9]

The Indonesian response to the insurgency has been to view West Papuan separatists as enemies of the Republic of Indonesia and adopt a military approach as the primary counterinsurgency strategy to defeat the OPM.[10] The Indonesian counterinsurgency strategy was developed based on the lessons learnt in the successful operations against the Darul Islam and Republic of South Maluku rebellions in 1948 and 1950. These rebellions had been defeated within a year by utilising a more powerful armed force using loyal troops drawn from other provinces. From the start, the Indonesian approach was flawed, and the Indonesian Government did not take into account the long-term disadvantages of relying on military power while ignoring the West Papuans’ needs which failed to establish trust in the Government, pushing the West Papuans to support the OPM. The Indonesian counterinsurgency campaign was ruthless and saw by 2018 reportedly 500,000 West Papuans killed since the assumption of Indonesian sovereignty in 1963.[11] Indonesian counterinsurgency strategy not only targeted members of the OPM, but the assault, rape and murder of the family and known associates of OPM members, was commonplace. An example from 1970 saw Indonesian soldiers reportedly shoot and kill a pregnant woman, cut the baby from the mother’s womb, dissect it in front of 80 women and children of the woman’s village, concurrently soldiers raped and killed the pregnant woman’s sister.[12] The Indonesian counterinsurgency campaign also included airpower supplied by the United States in the ground attack role.[13] Indonesian fixed and rotary wing aircraft using napalm, conventional, cluster, and chemical weapons strafed and bombed at-will villages and suspected OPM training camps in West Papua and the border areas of neighbouring Papua New Guinea.[14]

The Indonesian Military controls West Papua as a “virtually autonomous government entity” , and until 1998, information on the counterinsurgency in West Papua could be managed and conducted unseen to the eyes of the world.[15] Financial interests in the mining enterprises, such as the Freeport mine by Australian and United States interests, effectively muzzled those two countries, and Papua New Guinea had little choice but to reach an uneasy compromise with Indonesia.[16] John Pemberton described Indonesia as invisible in the international media, “…an ideal absence in which nothing…happens.”[17]  In 1998 a change in the Indonesian Government and the events in East Timor saw a significant shift in the world focus on the conduct of Indonesia’s counter Insurgency operations in West Papua. Since 2005 Indonesia has withdrawn troops and taken a more conciliatory approach to the needs of the people in West Papua, shifting from seeking a military solution to a political solution.[18] Regardless of the changes since 2005, the Indonesian Military continues to maintain its ruthless control over West Papua. With the loss of East Timor, West Papua remains a power base and a significant source of revenue for the Indonesian Military as their significant involvement in both legal and Illegal businesses provides substantial funds for the Indonesian military organisation and senior officers of the Military.[19]

Despite superiority in military technology, the tacit blessing of the United Nations, the United States and Australia and the use of extreme brutality as a tool, the 55-year Indonesian counterinsurgency in West Papua has failed. Papuan resolve for independence was not weakened but remains strong. International pressure by human rights groups highlighted Indonesian conduct in East Timor in the late 1990s, resulting in a softening of the Indonesian stance in West Papua over the last ten years. Any moral and military advantage that the Indonesians might have gained by softening their stance is negated by the generational loss of trust that is now part of the West Papuans psyche and the Indonesian belief that any separatists are enemies of the Indonesian State and, as such traitors and criminals. The lesson from the Indonesian experience in conducting an insurgency is that military power, brutality and fear are not a workable combination and that understanding and catering to the social needs of the insurgents are a more effective strategy.

Bibliography

Afriandi, Djon. “The Indonesian Coin Strategy: Failures and Alternative Approaches in Overcoming the Papuan Insurgency.” Naval Postgraduate School, 2015.

Anderson, Kjell. “Colonialism and Cold Genocide: The Case of West Papua.” Genocide Studies and Prevention: An International Journal: Vol. 9: Iss. 2: 9-25. (2015).

Brigadier E D Smith. Sukarno Rides the Tiger. War in Peace. Vol. 3, London: Orbis, 1983.

Brundige, Elizabeth, Winter King, Priyneha Vahali, Stephen Vladeck, and Xiang Yuan. “Indonesian Human Rights Abuses in West Papua: Application of the Law of Genocide to the History of Indonesian Control.” Allard K. Lowenstein International Human Rights Clinic, Yale Law School (2004).

Budiardjo, Carmel, and Liem Soei Liong. West Papua: The Obliteration of a People. Tapol Thornton Heath, 1988.

Elmslie, Jim. “West Papuan Demographic Transition and the 2010 Indonesian Census: “Slow Motion Genocide” or Not?, Cpacs Working Paper 11/1.” The University of Sydney. Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies. (2010).

“Indonesia’s 1969 Takeover of West Papua Not by “Free Choice”.” The George Washington University, https://nsarchive2.gwu.edu//NSAEBB/NSAEBB128/index.htm.

Pemberton, John. On the Subject of “Java”. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1994, 1994. Bibliographies, Non-fiction.

Philpott, S. “This Stillness, This Lack of Incident: Making Conflict Visible in West Papua.” [In English]. Critical Asian Studies  (03 / 09 / 2018): 1-19.

Premdas, Ralph R., and Kwasi Nyamekye. “Papua New Guinea 1978: Year of the OPM.” Asian Survey 19, no. 1 (1979): 65-71.

Simpson, Bradley R. “Denying the ‘First Right’: The United States, Indonesia, and the Ranking of Human Rights by the Carter Administration, 1976–1980.” The International History Review 31, no. 4 (2009): 798-826.

“United Nations Security Force in West New Guinea.” Department of Peacekeeping Operations, https://peacekeeping.un.org/mission/past/unsfbackgr.html.

Viartasiwi, N. “The Politics of History in West Papua – Indonesia Conflict.” [In English]. Asian Journal of Political Science 26, no. 1 (01 / 02 / 2018): 141-59.

West Papua: Plunder in Paradise. Indigenous Peoples and Development Series: Report No 6. London: Anti-Slavery Society, 1990, 1990. Non-fiction.

Notes


[1] N. Viartasiwi, “The Politics of History in West Papua – Indonesia Conflict,” Asian Journal of Political Science 26, no. 1 (2018): 142-44.

[2] West Papua: Plunder in Paradise, Indigenous Peoples and Development Series: Report No 6 (London: Anti-Slavery Society, 1990, 1990), Non-fiction, 21.

[3] Brigadier E D Smith, Sukarno Rides the Tiger, vol. 3, War in Peace (London: Orbis, 1983).

[4] Viartasiwi, “The Politics of History in West Papua – Indonesia Conflict.”; ibid., 146.

[5] “United Nations Security Force in West New Guinea,” Department of Peacekeeping Operations, https://peacekeeping.un.org/mission/past/unsfbackgr.html.

[6] “Indonesia’s 1969 Takeover of West Papua Not by “Free Choice”,” The George Washington University, https://nsarchive2.gwu.edu//NSAEBB/NSAEBB128/index.htm.

[7] Kjell Anderson, “Colonialism and Cold Genocide: The Case of West Papua,” Genocide Studies and Prevention: An International Journal: Vol. 9: Iss. 2: 9-25.  (2015): 13.

[8] Ralph R. Premdas and Kwasi Nyamekye, “Papua New Guinea 1978: Year of the OPM,” Asian Survey 19, no. 1 (1979).

[9] Djon Afriandi, “The Indonesian Coin Strategy: Failures and Alternative Approaches in Overcoming the Papuan Insurgency” (Naval Postgraduate School, 2015), 68.

[10] The military approach as the main means for destroying the OPM insurgents was used in West Papua and East Timor and Aceh, where insurgents fought against Indonesian rule.

[11] S. Philpott, “This Stillness, This Lack of Incident: Making Conflict Visible in West Papua,” Critical Asian Studies  (2018): 260.

[12] Elizabeth Brundige et al., “Indonesian Human Rights Abuses in West Papua: Application of the Law of Genocide to the History of Indonesian Control,” Allard K. Lowenstein International Human Rights Clinic, Yale Law School (2004): 63.

[13] Carmel Budiardjo and Liem Soei Liong, West Papua: The Obliteration of a People (Tapol Thornton Heath, 1988); Bradley R Simpson, “Denying the ‘First Right’: The United States, Indonesia, and the Ranking of Human Rights by the Carter Administration, 1976–1980,” The International History Review 31, no. 4 (2009).

[14] Budiardjo and Liong, West Papua: The Obliteration of a People, 68-69.

[15] Anderson, “Colonialism and Cold Genocide: The Case of West Papua,” 14.

[16] Philpott, “This Stillness, This Lack of Incident: Making Conflict Visible in West Papua,” 260-79.

[17] John Pemberton, On the Subject of “Java” (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1994, 1994), Bibliographies, Non-fiction, 4.

[18] Afriandi, “The Indonesian Coin Strategy: Failures and Alternative Approaches in Overcoming the Papuan Insurgency,” 25-26.

[19] Jim Elmslie, “West Papuan Demographic Transition and the 2010 Indonesian Census: “Slow Motion Genocide” or Not?, Cpacs Working Paper 11/1,” The University of Sydney. Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies.  (2010): 8.


Military History Whiteboard

This page provides a break from the history of the RNZAOC and its predecessors, providing articles on various aspects of Military History.

David Galula and his influence on modern military operations

The Stanleyville Hostage Rescue Operation – The Congo 1964

The idea of Empire as a means of uniting early twentieth-century New Zealand

Indonesian Counterinsurgency in West Papua

The identity of Ngāti Tumatauenga


David Galula and his influence on modern military operations

The close of the Second World War saw an evolution of conflict that challenged the principles of military theorists such as Clausewitz or Jomini. Although conflicts where formed armies still faced each outer on the field of battle remained, wars fought as Insurgencies became the predominant form of warfare in the post-1945 world. The early leading theorises on insurgency were Mao Zedong and Che Guevara, who promoted Insurgency and the Frenchmen Fall, and Galula, who promoted some early theories and practices of counterinsurgency based on their observations and experiences in South East Asia. This article examines the experiences and work of David Galula and his influence on modern military operations.

David Galula had been commissioned into the French Army just before the fall of France in 1940. Dismissed from the French Army because he was a Jew, Galula joined the Free French Forces in North Africa, Serving as a Battalion Intelligence officer for the noted sinologist Jacques Guillermaz. Guillermaz became a key mentor and a significant influence on Galula’s life[1]. Accompanying Guillermaz to China in 1945 on his appointment as a military attaché. Galula became immersed in the ongoing Chinese Civil War, observing it close up and from both sides and, for a short period, was a captive of Mao’s Communist Chinese troops[2]. Spending a short spell observing the Greek Civil War during 1948, Galula was soon back in China, replacing Guillermaz as military attaché in Hong Kong from 1952 to 1956. Galula was well positioned in Hong Kong to study the successful counterinsurgency operations in the Philippines and Malaya and the unsuccessful counterinsurgency in Indochina, providing him with valuable lessons that he later applied in Algeria[3].

David Galula. (2022, July 5). In Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Galula

In the Philippines, Galula saw first-hand how the utilisation of a well-conceived civic action program, mobile striking forces and psychological warfare won the population’s support, causing the Hukbalahap Communist guerrilla movement to lose the protection and support of the local population forcing their surrender in 1954[4]. In Malaya, the fight against the communist insurgency was turning in favour of the British. This success provided Galula with a clear insight into the British approach. Having a precise political aim, with the security forces functioning within the law with the priority to defeat the insurgency by securing the population and providing better governance were all lessons Galula absorbed, and in future years considered the British achievements in Malaya an example of a successful counterinsurgency[5]. Galula continued to maintain personal contact with his fellow officers serving in Indochina. Through them, Galula could see the failures of the French counterinsurgency efforts leading to their defeat in 1954[6]. The French Defeat at Dien Ben Phu in 1945 had a traumatic effect on Galula as twenty of his military academy classmates had died, motivating him to put his observations on combating insurgency into practice in Algeria[7].

A posting as a Company Commander to Algeria in 1956 allowed Galula to test his theories. In the Greater Kabylia district, which at the time was a National Liberation Front (FLN) hotspot. [8] Galula drew upon his earlier experiences and observations to test his theories of counterinsurgency and within six to eight months, claimed to have cleared the district of FLN assets and restored the district to government control[9]. Galula’s success was noticed, earning him a promotion and a transfer to the Headquarters of National Defence in Paris in 1958. With Galula’s transfer to Paris, the situation in his former command soon unravelled as Galua had exaggerated his operational successes, leaving many unresolved issues leading to questions about the validity of his theories which went unanswered against the wider conflict then unfolding in Algeria[10].

Galula continued to lecture on his theories and attended Staff College in the United States. He was headhunted by General Edward Lansdale, who had met Galula in the Philippines and had become an admirer of his theories. Galula resigned from his commission in 1962 and was introduced into the counterinsurgency think tank industry flourishing in the United States. With General William Westmoreland’s assistance, Galua was given an appointment at Harvard’s Center for International Affairs[11]. During this period, Galula published his influential books; Pacification in Algeria (1962) and Counterinsurgency Warfare: Theory and Practice (1964).

In these publications, he drew upon the lessons learnt in the French colonisation of Indochina and Africa in the 19th Century and his theories on defeating communism-inspired insurgency based on his experiences in Asia and Algeria and proposed his four “laws” for counterinsurgency

  • The First Law: The support of the population is as necessary for the counterinsurgent as for the Insurgent.
  • The Second Law: Support Is gained through an active minority
  • The Third Law: Support from the population Is conditional
  • The Fourth Law: Intensity of efforts and vastness of means are essential.[12]

In 1961 the French soldier/academic Bernard Fall published his book, Street without Joy, an essay on the French war in Indochina, Falls book often featured in US military journals and saw the author lecture Special Forces at Fort Bragg in counterinsurgency warfare in Vietnam[13]. As the leading expert on Indochina, Fall endorsed Galulas work as the best “how-to” guide to counterinsurgency warfare[14]. Galula, despite having the potential to become a rising star as a counterinsurgency theorist due to the Kenndy administration embracing counterinsurgency as a military doctrine, fell into the shadow of fall and relative obscurity[15]. If there was an opportunity for cooperation between Galula and Fall, the opportunity was lost with their deaths in 1967. Galula to Cancer and Fall to a landmine in Vietnam, ironically in the area the French knew as the “street without Joy.”[16]

For close to forty years, Galula’s works were forgotten by a few outside of historical circles, and it was not until the United States’ involvement in Iraq that Galula came out of the shadows. Easily winning the conventional war against Iraq in 2003, the United States was unprepared for the insurgency that followed. Finding that the existing Small Wars Handbook, COIN doctrine and Special Forces doctrine was not providing the roadmap to combat and win the insurgency in Iraq. US Forces undertook a significant project while employed on operations and produced FM 3-24, The US Army Counterinsurgency Field Manual. FM 3-24 stressed that to win an Insurgency, political not military solutions were the key[17]. A significant influence in the production of FM 3-24 was that the American military embraced Galula’s theories as the foundation of FM 3-24. The success of the 2007 counterinsurgency “surge” was attributed directly to Galula’s teachings[18], which had been adopted for contemporary use with little due diligence into the historical mismatches between Galula’s theory and his actual practice of counterinsurgency[19].

Due to the implementation of FM 3-24, the United States counterinsurgency efforts in Iraq gained some success giving the United States Forces the upper hand over the insurgents, providing, as Galua had found in Algeria in 1956-59, a reversal of the situation from a few years earlier[20]. As the insurgency in Iraq stabilised, the American forces were able to complete their withdrawal in 2011. As with Galula in Algeria, once the influencing apparatus had been removed, the security and political situation degraded. Daesh emerged as a regional power creating an even worse insurgency for the Iraqi government, as there had been no plan to maintain the stability that the successful counterinsurgency had gained[21].

Gaula was an intelligent and keen observer who was at the right place at the right time to make observations of insurgencies in China, Greece, the Philippines, Malaya and French Indochina, which shaped his ideas on counterinsurgency. In Algeria, he had the opportunity to put his theories into practice at the Company and then Battalion level. Shaping the information to support his narrative created a mismatch between his theory and the reality on the ground, which came undone following his transfer to Paris. Endorsed by Bernard Fall as the producing the best “how-to” guide to counterinsurgency warfare, much of Galula’s theory was adopted by the United States Military in FM 3-24. Used to good effect in the “Surge’ of 2007, much of Galula’s theories found endorsement and praise and worked for a while. After the withdrawal of American forces from Iraq in 2011, the situation rapidly degraded into an insurgency, heralding the rise of Deash as a regional power, with the insurgency continuing today (2018). Galula’s influence on modern military operations has been significant, but Galula’s theories, although beneficial to the short-term goals of the United States counterinsurgency effort, are little more than a fad. A fad implemented without any robust field-testing conducted by its author or an independent authority has not benefited the United States in its long-term strategy against insurgencies.


Notes

[1] A.A. Cohen, Galula: The Life and Writings of the French Officer Who Defined the Art of Counterinsurgency (Praeger, 2012).

[2] Ann Marlowe, David Galula: His Life and Intellectual Context (Carlisle, PA: Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College, 2010. 2010).

[3] David Galula, Pacification in Algeria, 1956-1958, Mg (Rand Corporation) (Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corporation, 2006), Book.

[4] Ryan Nebres Severo, “Philippine Counterinsurgency During the Presidencies of Magsaysay, Marcos, and Ramos: Challenges and Opportunities,” (Fort Leavenworth, Kansas: U.S. Army Command and General Staff College 2016).

[5] Galula, Pacification in Algeria, 1956-1958.

[6] Bernard B. Fall, “The Theory and Practice of Insurgency and Counterinsurgency,” (2015).

[7] Marlowe, David Galula: His Life and Intellectual Context.

[8] P.J Banyard, “FLN: The Fight for Algeria’s Independence,” War in Peace1983.

[9] Galula, Pacification in Algeria, 1956-1958.

[10] G. Mathias, Galula in Algeria: Counterinsurgency Practice Versus Theory (ABC-CLIO, 2011).

[11] Marlowe, David Galula: His Life and Intellectual Context.

[12] David Galula, Counterinsurgency Warfare: Theory and Practice (Praeger, 2006), Article.

[13] Frances Fitzgerald, “”Lost on the Street without Joy” (Re “the Reporter Who Warned Us Not to Invade Vietnam 10 Years before the Gulf of Tonkin”),” The Nation, 2015 2015.

[14] Robert Tomes, “Relearning Counterinsurgency Warfare,” US Army War College: Parameters, no. Spring 2004 (2004).

[15] Marlowe, David Galula: His Life and Intellectual Context.

[16] Fitzgerald, “”Lost on the Street without Joy” (Re “the Reporter Who Warned Us Not to Invade Vietnam 10 Years before the Gulf of Tonkin”).”

[17] Travers McLeod, Rule of Law in War: International Law and United States Counterinsurgency in Iraq and Afghanistan (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015, 2014).

[18] Michael Evans, “The Shirt of Nessus: The Rise and Fall of Western Counterinsurgency,”  https://quadrant.org.au/magazine/2015/01-02/shirt-nessus-rise-fall-western-counterinsurgency/.

[19] Mathias, Galula in Algeria: Counterinsurgency Practice Versus Theory.

[20] David H. Ucko, The New Counterinsurgency Era: Transforming the U.S. Military for Modern Wars (Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press, 2009), Book.

[21] Mathias, Galula in Algeria: Counterinsurgency Practice Versus Theory.

Bibliography

Cohen, A.A. Galula: The Life and Writings of the French Officer Who Defined the Art of Counterinsurgency. Praeger, 2012.
Evans, Michael. “The Shirt of Nessus: The Rise and Fall of Western Counterinsurgency.”
Fall, Bernard B. “The Theory and Practice of Insurgency and Counterinsurgency.” 40, 2015.
Fitzgerald, Frances. “Lost on the Street without Joy” (Re “the Reporter Who Warned Us Not to Invade Vietnam 10 Years before the Gulf of Tonkin”).” The Nation, 2015 2015.
Galula, David. Counterinsurgency Warfare: Theory and Practice. Praeger, 2006. Article.
———. Pacification in Algeria, 1956-1958. [in English] Mg (Rand Corporation). Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corporation, 2006. Book.
Marlowe, Ann. David Galula: His Life and Intellectual Context. Carlisle, PA: Strategic Studies Institute, US Army War College 2010.
Mathias, G. Galula in Algeria: Counterinsurgency Practice Versus Theory. ABC-CLIO, 2011.
McLeod, Travers. Rule of Law in War: International Law and the United States Counterinsurgency in Iraq and Afghanistan. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015, 2014.
PJ Banyard. “FLN: The Fight for Algeria’s Independence.” War in Peace, 1983, 594-96.
Severo, Ryan Nebres. “Philippine Counterinsurgency During the Presidencies of Magsaysay, Marcos, and Ramos: Challenges and Opportunities.” 117. Fort Leavenworth, Kansas: US Army Command and General Staff College 2016.
Tomes, Robert. “Relearning Counterinsurgency Warfare.” US Army War College: Parameters, no. Spring 2004 (2004).
Ucko, David H. The New Counterinsurgency Era: Transforming the US Military for Modern Wars. [in English] Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press, 2009. Book.


Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, RNZAOC Colonel-in-Chief

The appointment of Colonel-in-Chief is a traditional ceremonial position in common usage across several Commonwealth armies. The Colonel-in-Chief is the royal patron of a regiment, and while not an operational appointment, the role is one centred on fidelity and tradition, creating a personal link between the regiment and the monarchy.

The colonel-in-chief of 16 British Army Regiments and Corps, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, was also the Colonel-in-Chief of the following New Zealand Regiments and Corps:

  • 1953 – 2022: Captain-General of the Royal Regiment of New Zealand Artillery.
  • 1953 – 2022: Captain-General of the Royal New Zealand Armoured Corps.
  • 1953 – 2022: Colonel-in-Chief of the Corps of Royal New Zealand Engineers.
  • 1953 – 1964: Colonel-in-Chief of the Countess of Ranfurly’s Own Auckland Regiment
  • 1953 – 1964: Colonel-in-Chief of the Wellington Regiment (City of Wellington’s Own)
  • 1964 – 2022: Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment
  • 1977 – 1996: Colonel-in-Chief Royal of the New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II assumed the appointment of Colonel-in-Chief, Royal New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps (RNZAOC) in 1977, an appointment that had its origins in 1921.

In January 1921, His Majesty King George V appointed HRH, The Duke of York, as the Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Army Ordnance Corps (RAOC). From the beginning, the new Colonel-in-Chief took a great personal interest in all RAOC activities and achievements, with Brigadier A.H Fernyhough noting in A History of the RAOC 1920-1945 that the RAOC was “beginning to be recognised as an important element in the efficiency of any modern army.”[1]

On the Duke of York’s accession to the throne as George VI in 1936, he held the appointment of Colonel-in-Chief of the RAOC until his death in 1952.

On the eve of her coronation, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II graciously consented to continue her late father’s appointment as the Colonel-in-Chief of the RAOC.

The Ordnance Corps of Australia, Canada and New Zealand had established formal alliances with the RAOC in 1920, leading to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II accepting the appointments of Colonel-of-Chief of The Royal Australian Army Ordnance Corps (RAAOC) in 1953 and Royal Canadian Ordnance Corps (RCOC) in 1958. However, the RNZAOC was to have a longer wait, while the Royal New Zealand Army Service Corps (RNZASC) and Royal New Zealand Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (RNZEME) gained Colonels-in-Chiefs.

In 1954, HRH Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester, took up the appointment of Colonel-in-Chief RNZASC. On his death in 1974, his widow Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester, assumed the RNZASC Colonel-in-Chief appointment. Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester, continued as the Colonel-in-Chief on the disestablishment of the RNZASC and the Royal New Zealand Corps of Transport (RNZCT) formation in 1979.[2]

Discussions for the appointment of a Colonel-in-Chief for the RNZEME had begun in the mid-1960s with HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, appointed as Colonel-in-Chief in 1971.[3]

The anomaly of the RNZAOC not having a Colonel-in-Chief was rectified on 2 June 1977 with the Governor-General announcing that on the occasion of Her Majesty’s Silver Jubilee, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second had graciously accepted the appointment of Colonel-in-Chief, RNZAOC.[4]

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Silver Jubliee 1977

For the next nineteen years, in her role as RNZAOC Colonel-in-Chief, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth took great interest in the activities of the RNZAOC and, during royal visits, provided the RNZAOC the honour of mounting Royal Guards for their Colonel-in-Chief.

With the amalgamation of the RNZCT, RNAZOC and the RNZEME into the Royal New Zealand Logistic Regiment on 8 December 1996, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II ceased to be the Colonel-in-Chief of the RNZAOC.

Concurrently HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh and Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester, also ceased being the Colonels-in-Chiefs of their respective Corps.


Notes

[1] Brigadier A.H Fernyhough C.B.E. M.C., A short history of the Royal Army Ordnance Corps (London: RAOC, 1965), 27.

[2] Julia Millen, Salute to service: a history of the Royal New Zealand Corps of Transport and its predecessors, 1860-1996 (Wellington: Victoria University Press, 1997, 1997), 422.

[3] Peter Cooke, Warrior Craftsmen, RNZEME 1942-1996 (Wellington: Defense of New Zealand Study Group, 2017), 263-64.

[4] “The Queen’s Silver Jubilee and Birthday Honours List 1977 “, New Zealand Gazette, No 66 (Wellington), 16 June 1977, http://www.nzlii.org/nz/other/nz_gazette/1977/66.pdf.


New Zealand’s Armoured RL Bedfords

In late 2022, the New Zealand Army will receive the Bushmaster Protected Mobility Vehicle. Although not a combat vehicle, the Bushmaster will provide the New Zealand military with greater protection while deployed on operations. Although touted as a new capability, the Bushmaster is the long overdue successor to the Bedford RL “Pig” armoured truck utilised by New Zealand’s Infantry Battalions in Malaya and Malaysia from 1957 to the mid-1960s.

It is described as an armoured monstrosity that, when travelling in it on a hot day (every day in Malaysia), as compared to being in a mobile sweat box. RNZAOC Conductor Dave Orr, then a rifleman in the 1st Battalion of the New Zealand Regiment from 1957 to 1959, drove these vehicles and, in an article provided to the First Battalion Association Newsletter, described his experience of driving the Pig.

The technical details of the Pig escape me as it is 53 years since I was behind the wheel of this great workhorse. We were told at the time, that beneath the steel in front lived an RL Bedford Engine which was required to push along 7 tons of armour plate. It was the original 6 door hatch back, having the driver and passenger front doors, two side opening doors, a double opening rear door and a roof hatch half way along the passenger/troop compartment. There were several steel sliding firing ports along each side of the vehicle.

The normal driving position was to elevate the steel shutters in front of the driver and shotgun rider to allow beautiful moist Malayan air to flow through the vehicle. This of course allowed all manner of mean spirited Malaysian bugs to come storming into the drivers eyes. Glasses were a handy item to have in the cab. The vehicle could be put in complete lockdown and still be driven when the front hatches were dropped. Both sides were fitted with driving ports with 6cm thick armoured glass about 20cm long.

Difficult to drive and very tiring in Malayan heat. Inside the passenger compartment were drop down slat seats. We could cram a section into the vehicle providing there was not too much gear.

Imagine the smell of eight or nine sweaty bodies, especially if the boys had been on the rum the night before and if someone farted!!! Gas masks were required but never supplied.

The Pigs were used for all manner of tasks, such as various types of stores deliveries as well as troop movements. They were used at night to drop off ambush parties and the driver was required to drop off the troops at the side of the road whilst on the move. The vehicle would be gradually slowed about half a mile from the drop point. the troops would de-bus out the back of the vehicle on the move and the vehicle would move on. A mile or so up the road, after gradually gaining speed the driver would stop and secure the rear door himself if he did not have a shotgun rider and return to base. It would be a lonely ride back to Tana Hitam if you were on your own with only convoy lights on. The old No5 with 10 rounds mag were poor company.

Dave Orr, First Battalion New Zealand Regiment Newsletter, Vol 1 Issue 26 November 2011
A shifty looking driver at the wheel in Taiping about to depart for one of the satellite camps with a load of stores. Dave Orr

Having the official nomenclature in the British Vocabulary of Army Ordnance Stores (VAOS) as the “Truck, 3-Ton 4×4, Armoured (Bedford RL)”, it was more commonly known as the “Bedford RL APC.” To the soldiers who operated it, it was known as the ‘Pig” or, as noted by the curator of the Bovington Tank Museum, David Fletcher, due to its poor riding comfort, it was also called “The Bastard” by troops in Malaya.

Development of the Bedford RL APC

The origins of the Pig were based on a requirement in post-war Malaya for protected mobility for British and Commonwealth forces who were combating a communist insurgency. Apart from some heavy armour based in Hong Kong, the only armoured vehicles available to the British were second-hand WW2 armoured cars and trucks with few purpose-built Armoured Personnel Carriers (APC) available. With the United Kingdom stretched for resources and maintaining the British Army on the Rhine (BAOR) the priority for modern APCs, a decision was taken by Malayan Command to convert some of the new and just landed Bedford RL trucks into APCs.

The conversion of standard 1950 Bedford RLs into APCs was carried out by the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME) 40 Base Workshops in Singapore between 1951 and 1959. During this period, 40 Base Workshops converted around fifty standard RLs to the armoured configuration.

New Zealand Armoured RL of the Malaya insurgency. http://www.tanks-encyclopedia.com/coldwar/UK/bedford-rl-pig.php

Design

Using armour plating recovered from the scuttled Japanese Heavy Cruiser IJN Takao by the Royal Navy’s Sembawang Dockyard, 40 Base Workshops manufactured a simple slab-sided armoured body over the entire standard RL Chassis. The engine compartment consisted of a flat compartment forward of the driver’s cab, creating a “snout nose”. The driver’s cab had an open windshield but was provided with two armoured shutters with thick glass.

Detail of Armoured RL engine compartment and cab. Image courtesy of William Ormsby

The driver’s cab and troop compartment shared the slab-sided body. Two hatches were provided on the roof, a circular front hatch fitted with a ring to mount a machine gun and a second rectangular hatch at the rear. The Armoured RL had six doors, driver and passenger doors in the driver’s compartment, cargo doors mid-way on both sides of the troop compartment and twin doors at the rear.

Armoured RL Troop Compartment, Image courtesy of William Ormsby

In the troop compartment, Inwards facing folding seats were provided, allowing the carriage of up to ten soldiers. Several ports with sliding shutters were provided; in theory, these allowed soldiers to fire on the move but were more helpful in providing ventilation.

The armour was bolted; however, its thickness is unknown, considering that it was taken from a warship’s superstructure and is estimated to have been 8 mm. The basic RL Bedford weighed 8 tons, so given the weight of the armour, the overall weight was around 11 tons.

Bedford RL Armoured Truck Specifications (estimated)

Length6.35 m (247 inches)
Width2.45 m (95 inches)
Height3.35 m (130 inches)
Total weightcirca 11 tons (30,000 lbs)
Crew2 + 8-10 infantry
PropulsionBedford 6 cyc. 400 cu, 110 hp
Suspension4 x 4 Leaf springs
Speed (road)40 kph (50 mph)
Range   400 km (250 mi)350 km (200 miles)
ArmamentFitted with ring mount able to accept a Bren
Armour8mm front and sides
ProductionCirca 50, 1951-1959

New Zealand Usage

With only a small production run of around 50 vehicles, the Bedford RL APC was a theatre-specific vehicle with a likely allocation of a fixed number per battalion with spare and reserve vehicles held by 221 Base Vehicle Depot at Tebrau, Johore Bahru. Utilised by the New Zealand Regiment in Malaya from 1957, the Bedford RL APC remained in use with the 1st Battalion, Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment, on the formation of that unit in 1964. With the improving security situation in Malaysia allowing security operations to be taken over by Malaysian Forces, the Bedford RL APC was withdrawn from New Zealand service and returned to 221 Base Vehicle Depot sometime around 1965/66.

No longer required for their intended use in Malaysia, the Bedford RL APC remained in use with British Forces in Aden and Cyprus.

New Zealand Armoured and Standard RL Bedford’s Malaysia 1960s. Image courtesy of William Ormsby
New Zealand Armoured RL Bedford Malaysia 1960s. Image courtesy of William Ormsby
New Zealand Armoured RL Bedford Malaysia 1960s. Image courtesy of William Ormsby

The Bedford RL APCs used by New Zealand are known to have used the following Tactical Signs.

New Zealand Regiment C1957

1 RNZIR C1964

1 RNZIR C1964


New Zealand’s Flaming “A” Badge

Since 1971, Ammunition Technical Officers (ATOs) and Ammunition Technicians (ATs) of the New Zealand Army have proudly worn the Flaming “A” Badge, a symbol of the dangerous and skilful nature of the AT trade. The AT trade evolved from managing powder magazines in the 19th century to managing the full range of ammunition and explosives available to the modern New Zealand Army. The Flaming “A” Badge is more than a symbol of the dangerous and skilful nature of the AT trade but an acknowledgement to those who wear it of their trade’s long and proud whakapapa.

In early Colonial New Zealand, Ammunition and explosives were imported from the United Kingdom and Australia. To safely store and distribute powder and shot, Powder magazines were established at Wellingtons Mount Cook and Auckland’s Mount Albert, with specialist expertise required for the handling and storing of these stocks provided by qualified and experienced individuals from the British Military Stores Department and Royal Artillery and Engineer officers. As the Imperial Forces completed their withdrawal from New Zealand in 1870, full responsibility for New Zealand’s Magazines and Ammunition was passed to the Defence Stores Department.

From 1873 the powder magazines at Mount Albert and Mount Cook were replaced by new facilities at Auckland’s Mount Eden and Wellingtons Kaiwharawhara, both of which remained in use through to the 1920s. Supporting the dispersed Militia and Volunteer Forces, magazines were maintained by the Defence Stores Department at most provincial centres.

With the formation of the permanent Garrison Artillery in 1884, Frederick Silver and Robert George Vinning Parker, Sergeant Majors with considerable experience in the Royal Marine Artillery and Royal Garrison Artillery, then serving as constables in the Armed Constabulary, were transferred to the Garrison Artillery as instructors. Providing a solid base of experience, Silver and Parker were instrumental in mounting much of New Zealand’s Garrison artillery, compiling books and manuals and, in conjunction with the Defence Storekeeper managing the stocks of Artillery ammunition.

With the government’s encouragement, Major John Whitney established Whitney & Sons as an ammunition manufacturing company in Auckland. With additional investors, this company became the Colonial Ammunition Company (CAC) in 1888, the first ammunition manufacturer in New Zealand and the first in Australasia. Entering a contract with the New Zealand Government to produce Small Arms Ammunition (SAA), the deal was that the government provided the powder with the CAC providing the components for manufacturing complete cartridges. The Government retained the right to inspect and conduct quality control inspections on each batch before acceptance by the New Zealand Forces. The testing regime was a simple one which consisted of testing only a small percentage of a batch by test firing. The test results were based on the performance of this percentage that the ammunition is accepted or rejected.

With the production of .577 Snyder Ball Ammunition underway by 1890, the first testing, inspection and acceptance of the initial batches were conducted by Major John Pirie of the New Zealand Militia. Formerly a Major in the Guernsey Militia, Major Pirie immigrated to New Zealand, becoming the Auckland District Musketry Instructor in 1881 and conducting inspections of manufactured Ammunition until July 1891. From July 1891, ammunition inspection was passed to the Officer Commanding the Auckland District, Major Goring. In 1893, Lieutenant J E Hume of the Permanent Militia was responsible for examining ammunition. Hume held this responsibility in addition to his other duties until 1898.

On 6 February 1898, a formal request was placed on the United Kingdom for the recruitment of a suitable Warrant Officer from the Royal Artillery to “Take charge of the testing operations of SAA and the supervision of the manufacture of the same”. Quartermaster Sergeant Instructor Arthur Duvall, Royal Garrison Artillery of the Artillery College, was selected as the Small Arms Testing officer for the New Zealand Forces. To be promoted to 3rd Class Master Gunner on appointment, it was to be a three-year engagement at a rate of Nine Shillings a day with free quarters or a £50 per annum housing allowance. Arriving in New Zealand in July 1898, Duvall was soon at work at the CAC premises at Mount Eden in Auckland. Extending his engagement every three years, Duvall completed twenty years of service with the British Army in 1911. Taking his discharge in New Zealand, Duvall was immediately attested into the New Permanent Staff as an Honorary Lieutenant on 26 April 1912 and then promoted to Honorary Captain on 1 April 1914.

In 1902, Silver was discharged from the Artillery and was appointed as the Assistant Defence Storekeeper. While taking on the duties of Assistant Defence Storekeeper, Silver also retained responsibility for managing all the Artillery’s stores and ammunition. Following the implementation of the Defence Act 1909 and subsequent reorganisation, Silver transferred from the Defence Stores to the office of the Director of Artillery. He was appointed as Quartermaster (Honorary Lieutenant) into the post of Artillery Stores Accountant, retaining responsibility for all artillery stores and ammunition. Retiring in June 1913, Silver was replaced as Artillery Stores Accountant by Parker, who was promoted from Warrant Officer to Quartermaster (Honorary Lieutenant).

With the Colonial Ammunition Company in Auckland manufacturing SAA, thus allowing a measure of self-sufficiency, the same could not be said for artillery ammunition which all had to be imported from overseas. Parker conducted a cost-benefit analysis to assess the virtues of locally made-up artillery ammunition compared to imported items. Parker estimated that by cleaning and refilling casings, inspecting and refurbishing propellant bags, and manufacturing new ones as required, annual savings of £3,333 (2022 NZD$633,605) could be made. To achieve these savings, a recommendation that a specialist Royal New Zealand Artillery Ordnance Corps Section be established to manufacture and modify ammunition was made. General Godley approved the proposal in mid-1914, and on 1 March 1915, authority was granted under New Zealand Defence Forces General Order 90 to raise the New Zealand Army Ordnance Section with effect from 1 April 1915.

On 31 May 1917, regulations constituting the New Zealand Army Ordnance Department (NZAOD) and New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps (NZAOC), backdated to 1 February 1917, were approved and published in the New Zealand Gazette of 7 June 1917, concluding forty-eight years of service provided by the Defence Stores Department,

Administrative control of the New Zealand Artillery Ordnance Section was passed to the NZAOC, and Parker was commissioned as Captain in the NZAOD as the Inspector of Ordnance Machinery. However, his time in this post was short, as he retired on 30 September 1919.

On 10 January 1918, Duvall was transferred from the Permanent Staff to the NZAOD, graded as an Ordnance Officer Class 3 with the rank of Captain as the Proof Officer SAA. The post of Proof Officer SAA was to be a continuous appointment in the New Zealand Army ammunition supply chain until 1968, when the CAC shifted its operations to Australia, ending its long relationship with the New Zealand Army.

Experience during the 1914-18 war highlighted the need for specialist officers trained in the technical nature of ammunition. Undertaking several courses of instruction in the United Kingdom, Captain William Ivory, RNZA, returned to New Zealand at the end of 1919 to assume the role of Inspecting Ordnance Officer (IOO). Lieutenant A de T Nevill, RNZA, took the post of Acting IOO in 1925 to allow Ivory to undertake regimental duties within the RNZA, with Ivory reassuming the position of IOO on 2 January 1927. On Ivory’s retirement in 1933, Lieutenant Ivan Roberts Withell, RNZA, assumed the appointment of IOO, a role held until his death on 31 August 1946.

On the formation of the NZAOC in 1917, the Royal New Zealand Artillery (RNZA) Ordnance Section at Fort Ballance passed to NZAOC control, continuing with its task of storing, repairing, and refurbishing ammunition under the control of the RNZA. With The Kaiwharawhara Magazines closed in the early 1920s, Watts Peninsular on the north end of Wellingtons Miramar peninsular became the first large-scale ammunition depot of the NZAOC. The ammunition infrastructure consisted of 19 magazines, one store and a laboratory spread out across the peninsula at Shelly Bay, Kau Point, Mahanaga Bay, Fort Ballance and Fort Gordon. These were not purpose-built ammunition magazines but repurposed submarine mining and coastal artillery fortifications dating back to the 1880s. In the case of Kau Point and Forts Ballance and Gordon, the large six- and eight-inch disappearing guns had been removed in the early 1920s, and the gun pits roofed over, becoming ad-hoc magazines. This accommodation was far from ideal as temperature and moisture control could not be adequately controlled, resulting in potential damage t ammunition stocks.

A smaller Ammunition section was also maintained at Mount Eden in Auckland until 1929, when along with some staff from Fort Balance, the Mount Eden Ammunition Section was transferred to New Magazines at Hopuhopu Camp. Envisaged to be the principal ammunition depot for New Zealand, eleven magazines and a laboratory were constructed between 1925 and 1927. Built into the hillside to contain any blasts, the magazines were made of concrete, with double walls forming an inspecting chamber. The intent of the inspection chamber was for sentries to observe thermometers and adjust the ventilation to maintain the stock at optimal temperatures by consulting a chart.

The NZAOC Ammunition sections were civilianised in 1931 when nearly all of the NZAOC military staff were transferred to the Public Service as civilian staff at a lower rate of pay or placed on superannuation as the result of government budgetary restraints.

When New Zealand entered the Second World War in September 1939, the responsibility for ammunition was shared between the RNZA and the NZAOC.

  • The Director of Artillery was responsible to the General Officer Commanding for.
    • The provision and allocation of gun ammunition,
    • The receipt, storage, and issue of gun ammunition and explosives other than small-arms ammunition
  • The Director of Ordnance Services, assisted by the IOO and the SAA Proof Officer, were responsible to the Quartermaster-General for.
    • The inspection and repair of gun ammunition,
    • The provision, receipt, storage and distribution of small arms ammunition.

NZAOC Ammunition facilities and personnel shared by the RNZA and NZAOC in September 1939 consisted of.

  • The IOO, Captain I.R Withell, RNZA
  • The Proof Officer, SAA Mount Eden Auckland, Honorary Lieutenant J.W Fletcher, NZPS
  • 19 Magazines, 1 Store, and an Ammunition Laboratory at Fort Ballance managed by
    • an RNZA WO1 seconded to the NZAOC
    • five members of the NZAOC civilian staff
  • 11 Magazines and an Ammunition Laboratory at Hopuhopu Camp managed by
    • an RNZA WO1 seconded to the NZAOC and
    • two members of the NZAOC civilian staff.
  • Single SAA Magazines at Trentham and Burnham Camps.

From 1940 as the New Zealand Army moved from a peacetime to a wartime footing, the Ammunition trade grew exponentially as new infrastructure was constructed to accommodate the extensive range of ammunition required for training and home defence, with Modern Explosive Store Houses built at.

  • Burnham – 8 Magazines
  • Ohakea – 6 Magazine
  • Papakura (Ardmore)- 28 Magazines
  • Hopuhopu and Kelms Road – 55 Magazines
  • Waiouru – 45 Magazines
  • Makomako – 39 Magazines
  • Trentham (Kuku Valley) – 22 Magazines
  • Belmont – 62 Magazines
  • Glen Tunnel – 16
  • Mount Somers – 10
  • Fairlie – 9
  • Alexandra – 9

In 1942 a conference of the QMG, DQMG2, AQMG5, COO, DCOO and IOO reset the wartime policy and organisation of New Zealand Military Ammunition services in which,

  • The COO and the Ordnance Ammunition Group were responsible for the management and storage of ammunition
  • the Chief IOO (CIOO) was responsible for all technical management and inspection of ammunition.

With the role of the IOO branch now defined, from January 1943, the establishment of the IOO Branch was steadily increased to more robust levels.

From mid-1945, discussions started taking place on the post-war shape of the NZAOC. Some thought was given to returning the NZAOC to its pre-war status as a predominantly civilian organisation. Reality prevailed, and the future of the NZAOC was assured as a permanent component of the post-war Army.

The Proposed establishment of NZAOC Ammunition units saw the first widespread use of Ammunition Examiner (AE) as the ammunition trade name. AEs had existed in the British Army since 1923, evolving from the trade of Military Laboratory Foreman that had been established in 1886. Although the Royal Army Ordnance Corps (RAOC) authorised the use of a specialist AE badge consisting of an ‘AE in Wreath’ in 1942, permission to wear this badge was not granted to New Zealand AEs.

RAOC Ammunition Examiner Trade Badge 1942 to 1950 with ‘homemade’ Brass Version.

The first New Zealand AE were in the 2nd New Zealand Expeditionary (2NZEF), where New Zealand Ordnance Corps (NZOC) AEs were included as part of the 2nd New Zealand Division NZASC Ammunition Company establishment. Little information is known about the 2NZEF AEs. They were likely recruited from within 2NZEF, given some rudimentary training by the RAOC and set to work.

From 1 June 1945, the Artillery Headquarters element responsible for managing Gun Ammunition, the Ammunition and Equipment Section, was transferred to the control of the Chief Ordnance Officer (COO), ending the RNZA roles in the management of ammunition that had existed since the 1880s and the employment of Parker and Silver. As a result of the transfer, 11 Officers and 175 Other Ranks of the Royal New Zealand Artillery were absorbed into the NZAOC establishment.

On 15 November 1945, the QMG directed that the care, maintenance, accounting and storage of all ammunition and explosives was the responsibility of the COO. Under the COO, these duties were to be undertaken by

  • The IOO Section
  • The NZAOC Ammunition Section

Under the CIOO, the IOO Section was responsible for.

  • The control of all work on ammunition for all purposes other than accounting and storage,
  • Maintenance of Ammunition and explosives in stock in a serviceable condition and ready for use,
  • Provision of personnel for inspection and repair and for working parties to carry out repairs,
  • Provision of all equipment and stores required for the inspection and repair of ammunition,
  • Provision and accounting for Motor Transport necessary for the transport of stock for inspection and repair,
  • Administration and control of Repair Depot Trentham,
  • Maintenance of buildings at Repair Depot Trentham.

The NZAOC Ammunition Section was responsible for.

  • The accounting, storage and care of ammunition and explosives,
  • Maintenance or magazines areas and of buildings and services connected with the storage of ammunition and explosives,
  • Administration of personnel of the IOO Section, while attached to ammunition depots concerning pay, rations, quarters, clothing and discipline,
  • Transport arrangements for the movement of ammunition not connected with the inspection and repair of ammunition at depots.

The provision of suitably trained personnel was a constant problem for the CIOO. A course for IOOs was conducted over November/December 1945 to provide sufficient Officers to fill the IOO establishment. Graduates included

  • Captain John Gordon Renwick Morley
  • Captain Gerald Arthur Perry
  • Lieutenant Heaphy
  • Lieutenant W.G Dixon
  • Lieutenant Eric Dudley Gerard

On 1 September 1946, Army Headquarters “Q” Branch underwent a significant reorganisation which included the formation of the New Zealand Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (NZEME) and the reorganisation of New Zealand’s Ordnance Services under the Director of Army Equipment (DAE) which became the senior NZAOC appointment.

Under the DAE, Ordnance Services were divided between the,

  • COO, responsible for Headquarters New Zealand Ordnance Services, including the Provision Group
  • CIOO, responsible for the IOO Group

On the retirement of the incumbent DAE, Lieutenant Colonel C.S.J. Duff, DSO, RNZA, on 3 July 1947, the appointment of DEA was renamed Director of Ordnance Services (DOS), with Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Huia Andrews, RNZAOC, appointed as the first post-war DOS on 1 October 1947.

By 1949 the Ammunition organisation had further evolved, combining the IOO and NZAOC Section into a single ammunition organisation, with

  • The CIOO and staff providing DOS with the required technical advice on ammunition
  • District IOOs appointed to each District Headquarters as the Ammo advisor to the District DADOS
  • District Ammunition Sections now renamed as
    • Northern District Ammunition Depot
    • Central District Ammunition Depot
    • Southern District Ammunition Depot
  • Army Ammunition Repair Depot
  • Army Ammunition Supply Depot

To facilitate the further reorganisation and refinement of the Ammunition functions, the DOS hosted the first conference of Senior Ammunition Officers at Trentham Camp from 21-24 June 1949.

RNZAOC IOOs and AEs 1949

With the role of Inspection Ordnance Officers and Ammunition Examiners now embedded into the structure of the New Zealand Army, The Ammunition trade remained an under-resourced trade, struggling to fill its establishments despite having a high operating tempo. Typical activities supported during the 1950s included,

  • Continuous inspection of wartime ammunition held depots
  • Disposal of surplus and obsolete ammunition by
    • Dumping at sea
    • Destruction within depots
    • Sale to the public (SAA natures)
    • Transfer to allied nations
  • Supply of Ammunition to support Compulsory Military Training
  • Disposal of Blinds and unexploded Ammunition discovered in wartime training areas
  • Trials and introduction into service of new natures of ammunition
  • Technical Ammunition support to the Fiji Military Forces

In the United Kingdom, a competition was held in 1948 to design a new badge for RAOC Ammunition Examiners, with a design by Major Leonard Thomas Herbert Phelps accepted. Rumoured to be based on the Elizabeth Arden Cosmetics Company logo, the new Ammunition Examiner badge, consisting of a 3″ x 2″ Red, Black and Gold Flaming Grenade superimposed with the Letter A in the body of the Grenade signifying the AE trades position as an “A” Class trade, and was the first three-colour trade badge in the British Army.

Elizabeth Arden lipstick

In 1950 The British Army Dress Committee gave authority for AEs of the rank of Sergeant and above to wear the ‘Flaming A’ Trade Badge as a ‘Badge of Appointment’. However, it took time for this badge to be approved for wear by New Zealand’s Ammunition Trades.

Large ‘Ammunition Examiner’ Badge c1950, Brass and Anodized ‘Flaming A’ Badges. https://raoc.websitetoolbox.com/post/ammunition-technicians-badge-1566875?highlight=ammunition%20technician%20badge

In 1959 a comprehensive review of army dress embellishments was conducted to provide a policy statement on the wear embellishments such as

  • Shoulder titles
  • Formation Patches
  • Service Badges
  • Badges of Appointment
  • Instructors Badges
  • Skill-at-Arms Badges
  • Tradesmen’s badges

In reviewing Badges of Appointment, it was found that in comparison with the British Army, some badges of appointment worn by the British Army were also approved for wear by the New Zealand Army. Worn below the rank badge by WOs and above the chevrons by NCOS, examples of British badges of appointment worn by the New Zealand Army included,

  • Gun, worn by WO2s, SSgts and Sgts of the RNZE
  • Grenade, worn by WO2s, SSgts and Sgts of the RNZA
  • Hammer and Pincers, worn by WO2s, SSgts and Sgts of the RNZEME
  • Lyre, worn by Bandsmen

In the case of the RAOC AE flaming “A” badge, it was felt that there was merit in supporting the use of the same badge for wear by RNZAOC ammunition trades, and the adoption of the flaming “A” badge was recommended.

Despite the many recommendations for the army dress embellishment review, the only decision was to adopt shoulder titles and formation patches. The Army Dress Committee invited the Adjutant General to prepare a paper on dress embellishment and draw up a policy on Badges of Appointment, Instructors Badges, Skill-at-Arms Badges and Tradesmen’s badges. The wait for a badge for AE’s was to continue.

As the RNZAOC organisation matured in the late 1950s, it became apparent that the system in place of having separate Ordnance, Vehicle and Ammunition Depots located in the same locations but under different command arrangements was impracticable and not an efficient use of resources. Starting in 1961, a reorganisation was undertaken to consolidate administrative, accounting and store functions under one headquarters. The restructuring resulted in only one RNZAOC depot in each district, which consisting of,

  • Headquarters,
  • Stores Sub-Depot,
  • Ammunition Sub-Depot,
  • Vehicle Sub-Depot
  • Traffic Centre.

To achieve this, all the existing District Ammunition Depots became sub-depots of a District Ordnance Depot, designated as.

  • Ammunition Sub-Depot, Northern Districts Ordnance Depot (NDOD) – Ngāruawāhia,
  • Ammunition Sub-Depot Central Districts Ordnance Depot (CDOD) – Linton,
  • Ammunition Sub-Depot Southern Districts Ordnance Depot (SDOD) – Burnham

Ammunition Sub-Depots now consisted of:

  • Ammunition Inspection Section.
  • Ammunition Repair Section.
  • Non-Explosive Store.
  • NDOD Ammunition Areas.
    • Ardmore
    • Kelm road
    • Ngāruawāhia
  • CDOD Ammunition Areas
    • Waiouru
    • Makomako
    • Belmont
    • Trentham
  • SDOD Ammunition Areas
    • Burnham
    • Glentunnel
    • Fairlie
    • Mt Somers

In 1960 the RAOC renamed their Ammunition Trades, and concurrent with the 1961 reorganisation, the RNZAOC decided to align the Ammunition Trade with the RAOC and adopt the same trade names, making the following changes.

  • Chief Inspecting Ordnance Officer became Chief Ammunition Technical Officer
  • Senior Inspecting Ordnance Officer became Senior Ammunition Technical Officer
  • District Inspecting Ordnance Officer became District Ammunition Technical Officer
  • Inspecting Ordnance Officer became Ammunition Technical Officer
  • Ammunition Examiner became Ammunition Technician

Up to 1961, Ammunition Technical Officers (ATOs) were usually only employed in Ammunition-related duties. However, as a result of this reorganisation, ATOs were now used across all of the RNZAOC and, as such, were required to balance their regular duties with their Ammunition responsibilities.

1968 saw further reorganisation with the Main Ordnance Depot at Trentham was renamed 1 Base Ordnance Depot and the District Ordnance Depots renamed

  • Northern District Ordnance Depot to 1 Central Ordnance Depot
  • Central District Ordnance Depot to 2 Central Ordnance Depot
  • Southern District Ordnance Depot to 3 Central Ordnance Depot

A significant aspect of the 1968 reorganisation was the Disestablishment of The Small Arms and Proof Office co-located at Mount Eden when the CAC closed down, ending the ammunition trades’ long relationship with the CAA. Additionally, the Ammunition Proof and Experimental Centre operations at Kuku Valley was closed down, and its operations moved to the new Joint Services Proof Establishment at Kauri Point in Auckland.

Keen to provide the Ammunition trade with a suitable trade identifier Major D.H Rollo, the CATO, sent a message to the New Zealand Defence Liaison Staff in London in September 1968 requesting the following information from the UK Chief Inspector of Land Service Ammunition (CILSA) on the RAOC AT Badge

  • Do other ranks and officers wear it
  • Conditions of entitlement to wear
  • Cost of badge
  • Possibility of procuring samples
  • Any other pertinent details which may guide in adopting a similar badge

By the end of November 1968, through the New Zealand Defence Liaison Staff, the UK CILSA provided the following information on the RAOC AT badge to the New Zealand CATO,

  • Worn by all Ammunition Technicians on No 1 and No2 Dress. It is not worn with any other form of dress.
  • Price
    • No1 Dress – 7/6d each,
    • No 2 Dress – 5.1/4d each
  • Samples of each badge to be provided

Armed with this information that the RAOC badge was only approved for wear by ATs and not ATOs, CATO raised a submission to the 77th meeting of the Army Dress Committee in April 1969 for approval to introduce the Flaming “A” badge for New Zealand ATs. However, it was not a robust submission and was declined because it was contended that there was not sufficient justification for the badge, with the following reasons given.

  • Other trades in the Army were equally deserving of such a badge
  • The low standard to qualify for the badge

The Dress Committee agreed to reconsider the matter if further justification could be supplied.

By 1969 developments in the United Kingdom and the troubles in Northern Ireland saw the unofficial wearing of the RAOC AT badge by ATOs, and by 1971 an ATO badge consisting of a small ‘Flaming Circle’ without the superimposed A was introduced in the June 1971 DOS Bulletin.

Moving forward from Major Rollo’s initial submission, New Zealand’s CATO, Major Bob Duggan, reconsidered the earlier proposal and, on 13 July 1970, through the DOS, submitted the following for a combined AT/ATO Badge,

CONSIDERATIONS

6.            R & SO Vol II provides for the wearing of qualification badges, and a study of that publication reveals that a large proportion of Army Corps already have these. Many badges require less effort for qualification than would the exacting trade of Ammunition Technician. In addition, and supporting the acceptance of an ATO/AT Badge, these technicians are frequently required to deal with other services and members of the public.

7.            The low standard required to qualify for this badge has been reconsidered in light of information obtained on similar standards received from overseas. In addition, it was never the intention to cheapen the significance of this badge in the RNZAOC or those of any other Corps. The standard required to qualify for the ATO/AT badge would now be as follows:

a. Technical Officers who have practised for a minimum of one year.

b. All Ammunition Technicians, regardless of rank, who have qualified in all ways for four stars in their trade.

8.            The Public Relations side of the duties of ATO/Ats, as mentioned in paragraph 6 above, is further explained. This aspect concerns the collection and disposal of stray ammunition and explosives as well as involvement with the Police and other Government Departments in bomb scares. The average annual number of items, all natures and types of stray ammunition which have been collected over the last three years is 5750, which represents approximately 450 calls by ATOs or four-star ATs. ATO/ATs are requested by Police Stations throughout New Zealand

a. To visit many private homes to identify-stray ammunition.

b. Assess whether or not the items are in a dangerous state, and

c. Remove such items for disposal. If an item is in an armed state, it could mean disposal in situ’.

9.            The request is therefore not for a trade badge, but one of recognition and identification as to the dangerous and skilful nature of their specialist work.

With the Support of the Army Q Branch, the Army Dress committee approved the introduction of the AT Badge for qualified RNZAOC ATOs and ATs on 31 May 1971

The New Zealand AT badge adopted in 1971 was identical to the RAOC AT Badge. The criteria for being awarded was for Officers to have completed one year of practical experience after graduating from the ATOs Course in Australia or the United Kingdom. For ATs to qualify, they were required to be qualified in all aspects of the trade, which could take up to six years.

The United Kingdom continues to maintain different ATO and AT badges. The Australian Army utilises an RAOC style, ATO badge with a stylised Wattle for ATOs and ATs.

Australian Army Ammunition Technical Officer/Ammunition Technician Badge. https://www.army.gov.au/sites/default/files/2020-03/Army%20Dress%20Manual_0.pdf

Examples of New Zealand ATO/AT Badges

1st pattern Ammunition Technician Badge. Robert McKie Collection
1st pattern Ammunition Technician Badge Mess Kit Badge. Robert McKie Collection

In 1988, as part of a New Zealand Army initiative to develop insignia with a unique New Zealand flavour, fern fronds were included across many New Zealand Army badges, including the AT Badge.  The fern fronds represented New Zealand’s national plant, the silver fern, which had been used to represent New Zealand in sports uniforms and military insignia since the 1880s.

New Zealand ATOs and ATs matured into a highly specialised trade that, on the amalgamation of the RNZAOC into the Royal New Zealand Army Logistic Regiment (RNZALR) in 1996, had a wide range of responsibilities, including

  • The inspection, storage and maintenance of all ammunition and explosives used by the Army
  • The conduct of technical trials on new ammunition,
  • The conduct investigations into ammunition incidents and accidents,
  • The disposal of unserviceable or obsolete ammunition,
  • The management of Explosive Ordnance Devices and Improvised Explosive Devices.

New Zealand’s Ammunition trade has progressed from storing and managing black powder magazines in the 19th century to managing the many modern ammunition natures available to the 21st century New Zealand Army. Although introduced in 1971 to recognise and identify the specialist, dangerous and skilful nature of the Ammunition trade, the flaming “A” badge is a fitting symbol of the trade’s progress.


RNZAOC Days of Significance

Most of the Corps and Regiments of the New Zealand Army observe a day significant to the respective Corps or Regiment

  • The Royal New Zealand Artillery celebrates “Gunners Day” on 26 May, marking the formation of the Royal Regiment of Artillery in 1716.
  • The Royal New Zealand Armoured Corps celebrates “Cambrai Day” on 20 November, marking the Battle of Cambrai in 1917, which saw large numbers of tanks first employed.
  • The Royal New Zealand Corps of Transport celebrated “RNZCT Corps Day” on 12 May, which marked the formation of the New Zealand Army Service Corps in 1910.

For the Royal New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps (RNZAOC), the day of significance was 12 July and as “Corps Day” commemorated the day in 1947 when the New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps (NZAOC) was granted Royal Status.

The granting of Royal Status to the NZAOC was an acknowledgement of New Zealand’s Ordnance services from 1912 and the valuable contributions of the NZAOC during the Second World War.

1 May 1912 – New Zealand Ordnance Corps

For a military force to remain effective, the ability to maintain and repair firearms is an essential function. From the 1860’s Armourers and Arms Cleaners of New Zealand’s Defence Stores Department, in conjunction with civilian gunsmiths, kept New Zealand’s stock of weapons maintained and repaired. With the introduction of Bolt Action rifles and Maxim Machine Guns, the increasing complexity and quantity of weapons systems available to New Zealand’s Military Forces required the secondment of Armourer Sergeants from the United Kingdom’s Army Ordnance Corps in 1900.[1]  Arriving in New Zealand in 1901, AOC Armourer Sergeants Bertram Buckley and John Hunter immediately set to upskilling New Zealand’s military armourers.[2]  Providing further support to Buckley and Hunter was the secondment 2nd Class Armourer Sergeant William Edward Luckman to New Zeeland from the AOC in 1903, who was appointed as the Chief Armourer of New Zealand’s Military Forces.

By 1911 Armourer Sergeant Major Luckman, having had his secondment extended several times, was well established as the Chief Armourer of New Zealand’s Military Forces. His Armourers provided inspection, maintenance, and repairs in Armourers workshops in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin. Although on secondment to the New Zealand military, Luckman, Buckley, and Hunter were still Armourers in the AOC and required to maintain their professional proficiency. New Zealand Armourers trained under Luckman’s supervision required a trade structure and recognition of their ability in sync with the AOC. To provide this structure, General Order 118 was released on 1 May 1912, establishing the New Zealand Ordnance Corps (NZOC) and providing a career path from Apprentice to Armourer Sergeant Major for Armourers of the Defence Stores Department. [3]

1 April 1915 – Royal New Zealand Artillery, New Zealand Army Ordnance Section

While the Defence Stores Department were responsible for Small-Arms and associated ammunition, the Royal New Zealand Artillery was responsible for supplying and maintaining the various types of Ordnance (Artillery) and associated ammunition utilised by the Regiment of New Zealand Artillery, New Zealand Garrison Artillery and New Zealand Field Artillery.[4] This functional separation between the Defence Stores Department and Artillery had existed since the 1880s, remaining extant in 1915. While the Colonial; Ammunition Company factory at Mount Eden in Auckland allowed a measure of self-sufficiency in Small Arms Ammunition, the same could not be said for artillery ammunition. In 1911 The Artillery Stores Accountant, Lieutenant Robert George Vining Parker, produced a cost-benefit analysis of the virtues of locally made-up Artillery and imported artillery ammunition. It was estimated that by cleaning and refilling casings, inspecting and refurbishing propellant bags, and manufacturing new ones as required, savings of £3,333 (2022 NZD$633,605) could be made. To achieve these savings, a recommendation that a specialist Artillery Ordnance Corps Section be established to manufacture and modify ammunition was made. [5] Approved by the Commandant of the New Zealand Military Forces, General Alexander Godley, in mid-1914, formal authority was not granted until 1 March 1915, with New Zealand Defence Forces General Order 90 authorising the raising as a component of the Royal New Zealand Artillery, the New Zealand Army Ordnance Section with effect from 1 April 1915.[6] The NCO and six Gunners of the New Zealand Army Ordnance Section were based at Wellingtons Fort Balance.

1 February 1917 – New Zealand Army Ordnance Department and New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps

On 31 May 1917, regulations constituting the New Zealand Army Ordnance Department (NZAOD) and NZAOC, backdated to 1 February 1917, were approved and published in the New Zealand Gazette on 7 June 1917, concluding forty-eight years of service provided by the Defence Stores Department.[7]

From January 1917, the legacy Defence Stores Department remained in existence only in name as the Director of Equipment and Ordnance Stores, Major Thomas James McCristell, put the pieces together for the final establishment of New Zealand’s military Ordnance Services. Ordnance Procedures for the New Zealand Defence Forces drafted in 1916 were released on 23 January 1917, providing the New Zealand military with regulations concerning Ordnance Services.[8]  These procedures were a forward-looking document and can be considered the foundation of New Zealand’s military store accounting procedures.

In line with the British AOC organisation, the New Zealand Ordnance Services were to consist of the,

  • Officers organised into the NZAOD as,
    • Directing Staff.
    • Executive Staff.
    • Inspectorial Staff.
  • Warrant Officers, Non-Commissioned Officers and soldiers organised into the NZAOC,
    • Clerical and Stores Section.
    • Armourers Section.
    • Armament Artificers Section. [9]

Included in the establishment of the NZAOC were Artificers of the Royal New Zealand Artillery, the Artillery Ordnance Corps Section and the Armourers of the NZOC.

It must be noted that from 1917 the New Zealand Military now maintained two NZAOCs whose only relationship was in name and had no technical relationship. These were,

  • The New Zealand Expeditionary Force NZAOC was formed as a unit of the NZEF in 1915 and was disestablished in 1921.[10] This NZAOC consisted of Officers, Warrant Officers, NCOs and Other Ranks.

27 June 1924 – Reconstitution of the New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps

On 3 July 1924, a notice published in the New Zealand Gazette revoked the regulations that established the NZAOD and NZAOC on 1 February 1917. Backdated to 27 June 1924, the NZAOD was reconstituted as part of the NZAOC, resulting in one Ordnance organisation serving as part of the New Zealand Permanent Forces.[11]

1 November 1940 – New Zealand Ordnance Corps

Unlike the New Zealand Army Service Corps, which consisted of the New Zealand Permanent Army Service Corps (NZPASC) as part of the Permanent Army and the NZASC as its Territorial Army component, the NZAOC did not maintain a Territorial Army component of part-time citizen-soldiers. With the onset of war in 1939 and the mobilisation of the Territorial Army in 1940, the Quartermaster General, Colonel Henry Esau Avery, decided that Light Aid Detachments were an Ordnance responsibility and established the NZOC as the NZAOC Component of Territorial Army as of 1 November 1940.[12]

As in the First World War, the 2NZEF also maintained Ordnance units. 2NZEF Order 221 of March 1941 set NZOC as the title of Ordnance in the NZEF.[13]  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. The New Zealand Division followed suit and formed the New Zealand Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (NZEME) on 1 December 1942, placing repair and maintenance elements into the NZEME with the Ordnance Stores and Services functions remaining as the NZOC. However, as the NZEME was a 2NZEF element and not formed as part of New Zealand’s Force at home and in the Pacific, men posted to the NZEME were still listed as part of the NZOC.

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

1 September 1946 – NZAOC Reorganisation

On 1 September 1946, the NZAOC underwent its first major post-war reorganisation with several significant changes reshaping the NZAOC, including,

  • MT Workshops, Ordnance Workshops, and Armourers Workshops separated from the NZAOC to form the NZEME.[14]
  • The Distinction between Regular and non-Regular soldiers in place across the army since 1909 was removed. The NZOC was disestablished, and its Officers and Soldiers integrated into the NZAOC.[15]

12 July 1947 – Designation as a Royal Corps

In recognition of the valuable services provided by New Zealand’s Military Forces during the Second World War, King George VI approved in 1947 the addition of the prefix “Royal” to be granted to the following Corps of the New Zealand Military Forces

  • The New Zealand Armoured Corps
  • The New Zealand Engineers
  • The New Zealand Corps of Signals
  • The New Zealand Infantry Corps
  • The New Zealand Army Service Corps
  • The New Zealand Army Medical Corps
  • The New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps
  • The New Zealand Electrical and Mechanical Engineers
  • The New Zealand Army Dental Corps
  • The New Zealand Chaplains Department.[16]

Taking effect from 12 July 1947, the Royal New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps, further embraced this honour by adopting 12 July as the RNZAOC Corps Day.


Notes

[1] “Two armourer sergeants imported from England,” Archives New Zealand Item No R24403217  ( 1902).

[2] “Buckley, Bertram,” Personal File, Archives New Zealand (Wellington) 1900,.

[3] NZ Armourers, New Zealand Military Forces, General Order 118/12, (Wellington, 1 May 1912), 44-45. ; “Boyce, John – WWI 35094, WWII 4239 – Army,” Personal File, Archives New Zealand (Wellington) 1914.

[4] In 1914 the stocks of New Zealand Artillery consisted of a variety of obsolete, obsolescent and current field and fixed coast artillery pieces, including  6-Pounder Hotchkiss gun; QF 6 pounder Nordenfelt; QF 12 pounder 12 cwt gun; Ordnance QF 18-pounder; QF 4.5-inch howitzer; BL 6-inch Mk VII naval gun, 6-inch gun Mk V; BL 8 inch Mk VII naval gun.”(Capt J O’Sullivan Director of Stores – Return of Ordnance and Ammunition in New Zealand),” Archives New Zealand Item No R24750839  (14 March 1906), .; Peter Cooke, Defending New Zealand: Ramparts on the Sea 1840-1950s (Wellington, NZ: Defence of New Zealand Study Group, 2000, 2000), 833.

[5] Major J.S Bolton, A History of the Royal New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps (Trentham: RNZAOC, 1992), 54-56.

[6] Formation of Army Ordnance Corps Section, New Zealand Defence Forces, General Order 90, (Wellington, 1 April 1915).

[7] “New Zealand Army Ordnance Department and New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps Regulations,” New Zealand Gazette, No 95, June 7, 1917.

[8] organised into five sections covering all the Ordnance administrative and accounting required of the New Zealand Military:                Section 1 – Administration, Section 2 – Charge of Storehouses, Magazine and Workshops, Section 3 – Charge of Stores, Section 4 – Small-arms and machine guns, Section 5 Supply and Receipt of stores and clothing, Section 6 – Transmission and consignment of Stores, Section 7 – Stocktaking, survey and sales of stores, Section 8 – Receiving, issuing and Accounting “Regulations

[9] “New Zealand Army Ordnance Department and New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps Regulations,” New Zealand Gazette No 95 (Wellington), June 7 1917, 2292-93.

[10] Robert McKie, “Ordnance at the Front – The New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps in the NZEF, 1914 to1920,” The Volunteers: New Zealand Military Historical Society 46, no. 1 (2020): 7-24.

[11] “NZAOD and NZAOC,” New Zealand Gazette July 3 1924.

[12] “Formation of New Units, Changes in Designation, and Reorganization of Units of the Territorial Force. ,” New Zealand Gazette, No 127, 19 December 1940, http://www.nzlii.org/nz/other/nz_gazette/1940/127.pdf.

[13] Designation of Units – Ordnance Corps, 2NZEF Order 221, (March 1940).

[14] “Organisation – Policy and General – Royal New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps 1946-1984,” Archives New Zealand Item No R17311537  (1946).

[15] “Formation of Unit of the New Zealand Permanent Force,” New Zealand Gazette No 60, 29 August 1946, http://www.nzlii.org/nz/other/nz_gazette/1946/60.pdf.

[16] “Designation of Corps of New Zealand Military Forces altered and Title ” Royal ” added,” New Zealand Gazette No 39, 17 July 1947, http://www.nzlii.org/nz/other/nz_gazette/1947/39.pdf.


Puggarees of New Zealand’s Logistic Corps

From 1912 to 1958, the sight of New Zealand Soldiers in felt slouch hats was commonplace. In addition to providing a practical form of headdress, the use of a coloured headband known as a Puggaree allowed easy identification of the Regiment or Corps of the wearer.

Origins

The Puggaree origins lay in the Hindu word, ‘Pagri,’ which is used to describe a wide range of traditional headwear worn by men and women throughout the Indian Sub-Continent, one of the most recognisable being the Dustaar or Sikh turban.

Soldiers, by their nature, are creatures of innovation and British troops serving India soon found that by wrapping a thin scarf of muslin around their headdress, not only could additional protection from sword blows be provided, but the thin cloth scarf could also be unravelled to provide insulation from the heat of the sun. Like many Indian words, “Pagri” became anglicised into Puggaree.

By the 1870s, the practical use of the Puggaree had become secondary, and the Puggaree evolved into a decorative item on British Army headdress, which, when used with a combination of colours, could be used to distinguish regiments and corps. First used by New Zealanders in the South African war, the use of Puggaree on slouch hats was formalised in the New Zealand Army 1912 Dress Regulations. These regulations detailed the colours of the distinctive Puggaree used to indicate different service branches. Although not stated in the 1912 regulations, the design of New Zealand puggarees was based on three pleats of Khaki/Branch colour/Khaki. The exception was the Artillery puggaree. The puggaree colours detailed in the 1912 regulations were

  • Mounted Rifles – Khaki/Green/Khaki)
  • Artillery –Blue/Red/Blue
  • Infantry – Khaki/Red/Khaki
  • Engineers – Khaki/Blue/Khaki
  • Army Service Corps – Khaki/White/Khaki
  • Medical corps –Khaki/Dull-Cheery /Khaki
  • Veterinary Corps – Khaki/Maroon/Khaki[1]

When first New Zealand troops went overseas in 1914, the NZ Slouch hat was a headdress that had been first used in the South Africa War and had a crease running down the crown from front to rear. From 1914 the Wellington Battalion wore their hats with the crown peaked, and after a short period where cork helmets were also worn, General Godley issued a directive that all troops, other than the Mounted Rifles, would wear the slouch hat with the crown peaked, in what became known as the “Lemon Squeezer”.[2]

Worn with both the Mounted Rifles Slouch hat and the Lemon Squeezer, the Puggaree became a distinctive mark of the New Zealand soldier, identifying them as distinct from soldiers from other parts of the Empire, although Australian and Canada would both use coloured Puggaree on their respective headdress, it was not to the same extent as New Zealand.[3] From 1917 the New Zealand puggaree also proved helpful in distinguishing New Zealand troops from the Americans, who wore headwear similar to the New Zealand Lemon Squeezer hat.[4]

Following the First World War, Dress regulations published in 1923 detailed an increased range of puggarees available to identify the other corps added to the army establishment during the war.

  • Permanent Staff – Scarlet
  • Mounted Rifles – Khaki/Green/Khaki)
  • Artillery –Blue/Red/Blue
  • Engineers – Khaki/Blue/Khaki
  • Signal Corps – Khaki/Light blue/Khaki
  • Infantry – Khaki/Red/Khaki
  • Army Service Corps – Khaki/White/Khaki
  • Medical Corps –Khaki/Dull-Cheery /Khaki
  • Veterinary Corps – Khaki/Maroon/Khaki
  • Ordnance Corps – Red/Blue/Red
  • Pay Corps – Khaki/Yellow/Khaki
  • Cadets – Khaki
  • Chaplains – Black/khaki/Black[5]

A common feature of military dress embellishments was that often there was a high-quality version made for officers and a lesser quality version for the Rank and file, with puggarees also adhering to this practice. Requestions for puggarees from 1943 indicate that the following corps and regiments utilised officer puggarees.

  • Artillery
  • Engineers
  • Infantry
  • Army Service Corps
  • Medical Corps
Example of Infantry Officers Puggaree (Top) and Infantry Rank and File Puggaree (Bottom)

The felt slouch hat and Puggaree would remain a fixture of the New Zealand Army until 1958, when the Lemon Squeezer was withdrawn from services and replaced with a new and unpopular Battle Dress cap. The lemon squeezer style felt hat returned serviced in 1977 as a ceremonial item with a plain red puggaree. The Mounted Rifles style slouch hat returned to service with Queen Alexandra’s Mounted Rifles (QAMR) in 1993 with the traditional Mounted Rifles khaki/green/khaki puggaree.

The Mounted Rifles hat with the Mounted Rifles khaki/green/khaki puggaree was adopted as headwear across the New Zealand Army from 1998 to 2012. However, corps puggarees were not reintroduced, becoming the standard army puggaree, with some units utilising coloured patches affixed to the Puggaree as unit identifiers.

In the forty-six years from 1912 to 1958 that puggarees were utilised as a uniform item, each corps adopted different coloured combinations. However, this article focuses on the use and history of Puggarees by New Zealand’s Logistic Corps,

•             The Royal New Zealand Army Service Corps

•             The Royal New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps,

•             The Royal New Zealand Electrical and Mechanical Engineers and

•             The Royal New Zealand Army Logistic Regiment.

Puggarees of the Royal New Zealand Army Service Corps

The origins of the Royal New Zealand Army Service Corps (RNZASC) puggarees are established in the Regulations of 1912. The RNZASC wore the Khaki/White/Khaki puggarees through the First World War and into the interbellum period.

New Zealand Army Service Corps Puggaree. Robert McKie collection

On 1 June 1924, the NZASC was split into the New Zealand Permanent Army Service Corps, consisting of the Regular ASC NCOs and soldiers, and the NZASC consisting of the Territorial Officers, NCOs and Soldiers.[6] The only uniform difference between the NZPASC and NZASC were their respective brass shoulder titles, with both branches retaining the Khaki/White/Khaki Puggaree

During the Second World War, the NZASC Khaki/White/Khaki remained in use throughout the war

In late 1942, 2NZEF placed a requisition on New Zealand to manufacture 50,000 Officer and Rank and File hat bands (puggarees) for all the different units of the NZEF. As the 3rd Division was in the process of standing up in New Zealand, the Ministry of Supply increased the requestion to 60,100, including

  • 10,000 NZASC Rank and File puggarees, and
  • 1000 NZASC Officer puggarees. [7]
NZASC Puggaree Size Ranges ordered 1943

In early 1944 the decision was made by 2NZEF to replace the lemon squeezer hat with more practical forms of dress, and the requirement for puggarees was adjusted. Considering puggarees already manufactured and the requirement for puggarees by forces in New Zealand and the Pacific, 14590 puggarees from the original order of 61,100 were cancelled.[8] 760 Rank and files NZASC puggarees had already been manufactured, so based on revised calculations, the NZASC order was reduced to 6000 Rank and file and 300 Officer puggarees. [9]

The NZPASC and NZASC were reconstituted on 12 January 1947 and a combined regular and Territorial NZASC, retaining the use of the Khaki/White/Khaki puggaree.[10]

The NZASC was granted royal status on 12 July 1947, becoming the Royal New Zealand Army Service Corps.[11]

Puggarees of the Royal New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps

The New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps (NZAOC) was formed as a unit of the NZEF in early 1915 and established as a unit of the New Zealand Permanent Forces in 1917. It is assumed that as a new unit, a distinctive puggaree was adopted for the NZAOC, but the limited photographs of NZAOC personnel are black and white, making identification of colours difficult.

A Newspaper article from December 1918 does provide evidence that an Ordnance puggaree of red/blue/red existed. The article published in the Press on 5 December 1918 stated, “There are only two units in the New Zealand Division with red in the puggaree. They are the Artillery and Ordnance, and in both units, the colours are red and blue”. This sentence identifies that the Ordnance Puggaree was red and blue.[12]

Ordnance Puggaree, RNZAOC 1947-53 Badge. Robert McKie collection

The NZAOC red/blue/red Puggaree was formalised as the Puggaree of the NZAOC in 1923 when the New Zealand Army updated its Dress Regulations for the first time since 1912.[13]

By October 1939, the expansion of the NZAOC and formation of the New Zealand Ordnance Corps (NZOC) for service with the 2nd NZEF created a requirement for NZAOC puggarees that could not be satisfied from stocks held by the Main Ordnance Depot. An urgent order was raised for 288 NZAOC puggarees

As part of the 2NZEF requestion of 1942, orders to manufacture 2200 NZAOC puggarees were raised.

NZAOC Puggaree Size Ranges ordered 1943

By 1944, 270 NZAOC puggarees had been manufactured and delivered, and despite the order quantities for other corps being reduced, some adjustment was made to the size range required, and the remaining 1930 NZAOC puggarees were manufactured.   

Puggarees of the Royal New Zealand Electrical and Mechanical Engineers

The youngest of the three New Zealand logistic corps, the Royal New Zealand Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (RNZEME), progressively evolved into a corps from 1942 in three stages.

  • The New Zealand Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (NZEME) formed as a unit of the 2nd NZEF in November 1942.[14]
  • The formation of the NZEME as a new unit of New Zealand’s Permanent Forces on 1 September 1946, amalgamating and co-ordinating ordnance workshops, mechanical transport workshops, and armourers’ workshops, which in the past have been under separate command.[15]
  • The granting of “Royal” status on 12 July 1947.[16]

As the RNZEME established itself as a Corps, it utilised three types of Puggaree.

Red/Blue/Red Puggaree

As a corps predominantly drawn from the NZAOC, on its establishment in 1946, the NZEME adopted the existing NZAOC Red/Blue/Red Puggaree and NZOC badge. This was a temporary measure until NZEME Puggaree and badges were manufactured.[17]

NZ Ordnance Puggaree with NZOC Badge

Red/Green/Red Puggaree

By 1948 a distinctive Red/Green/Red puggaree with its origins in the NZEME of 2NZEF had replaced the NZAOC Puggaree.

NZEME pattern Puggaree. Robert.McKie Collection

As part of the 2NZEF requestion of 1942, orders were raised for 3000 puggarees for the NZEME.[18]

NZAOC Puggaree Size Ranges ordered 1943

As the NZEME puggaree was a new pattern, its design was described

  • Shades of red material as per Kaiapoi pattern range 7443x (as used in Artillery and Infantry bands).
  • Shades of green material as per Kaiapoi pattern range 18153B 9 (as used in NZMR bands).

The NZEME puggarees were not included in the reduction and cancellation of the 1943 order, and it can be assumed that the complete order of 3000 was manufactured and placed into storage at the Main Ordnance Depot. [19]  A 1945 report places the cost of a dozen NZEME puggarees at £1.3.0 (2022 NZD $107.07).[20]

Blue/Yellow/ Red Puggaree

By 1948 the RNZEME decided to update their Puggaree with one that reflected their corps colours of blue, yellow and red, with an order for 4000 placed on the Kaiapoi Woollen Manufacturing Company. With competing manufacturing demands, the Kaiapoi Woollen Manufacturing Company could not satisfy this order but could provide the required materials. In June 1949, the War Asset Realisation Board District Officer in Auckland selected a Mrs V.I Banton of 117 Lynwood Road, New Lynn, to manufacture the RNZEME puggarees. At the cost of 1/6 each (2022 NZD $6.65). [21]

RNZEME Puggaree. Robert McKie collection

With the initial order for 4000 paced in June 1949, it was not until January 1950 that Mrs Banton provided suitable samples that met the required specifications to allow her to begin production, with the first batch of 704 provided in April 1950.

With the new RNZEME puggaree becoming available, the question of how to dispose of the 1800 red/green/red pattern NZEME puggarees in the Ordnance clothing stores was raised.

It would not be a case of a new pattern in, old pattern out, but one where the old pattern was to be progressively wasted out as stocks of the new pattern became available. The priority was to be RNZEME Territorials Force units first, then distributed to RNZEME Regular Forces units.[22] Photographic evidence suggests that the transition from the NZEME puggaree to the RNZEME Puggaree had been completed by 1951.

Farewell to the Puggaree

A 1947 survey of New Zealand Soldiers found that the Lemon Squeezer was the most popular form of headdress utilised by the New Zealand Army.[23] However, it was not the most suitable type of headdress, and for many of the same reasons 2NZEF discontinued its use during the war, the army began to look for a replacement.

In 1954 the Cap Battledress (Cap BD), commonly referred to as the Ski Cap, was introduced into service. The Cap BD progressively replaced the Lemon squeezer so that by 1960 except for its use by the New Zealand Artillery Band, the Lemon squeezer ceased to be an official uniform item of the New Zealand Army.[24]

NZ Army Cap Battledress (Cap BD), introduced in 1954, was withdrawn from service in 1964. Robert Mckie Collection

With several thousand unused puggarees sitting in Ordnance Depots as now dead stock, unlikely to ever be issued, Army HQ issued instructions that except for  150 RNZA Puggarees of a balanced size range, all other stocks were to be destroyed.[25]  By August 1961, all stocks of puggarees had been destroyed.[26]

The Lemon Squeezer was reintroduced as a ceremonial headdress in 1977, utilising the red Puggaree utilised by the Staff Corps, Permanent Staff and 1953 Coronation Contingent.

Puggaree of the Royal New Zealand Army Logistic Regiment

The Royal New Zealand Army Logistic Regiment (RNZALR) was established in 1996 by amalgamating the Royal New Zealand Corps of Transport, RNZAOC and RNZEME while also absorbing all the All Arms Quartermaster Storekeepers from every corps of the New Zealand Army. A diverse regiment of officers and soldiers from across the army, a means to shape the regiment’s heritage and acknowledge the importance of its and predecessors’ role, was required. An opportunity to coalesce the RNZALR was provided in 1998.

In 1998, the RNZALR was presented with a banner providing a regimental focal point. Several unique dress items, including a puggaree, were introduced to provide the RNZALR Banner escort party with distinctive RNZALR dress embellishments. Missing the opportunity to adopt a new puggaree that reflected the role that the RNZALR’s predecessors had performed with courage and resilience in the past, the leadership of the RNZALR took the cautious and lazy option of adopting a Puggaree with no connection to the legacy corps. The Puggaree adopted was a  blue puggaree, last been utilised by the NZ Provosts in the First World War.

Also, in 1998 the New Zealand Army reintroduced the Mounted Rifles Felt hat as an item of headdress across the army. Already in service with QAMR since 1993, the Mounted Rifles hat retained the Mounted Rifles Khaki/Green/Khaki puggaree. The reintroduction of the Mounted Rifles hat could also be considered a missed opportunity by the leadership of the RNZALR for not advocating the adoption of a unique RNZALR puggaree to be worn by RNZALR units. A compromise was provided through the adoption of a unit flashed affixed to the left side of the Puggaree. While retained by QAMR, the Mounted Rifles hat was withdrawn from general army use in 2012.

In conclusion, the demise of the coloured Puggaree in 1958 removed a valuable means of identifying soldiers and their units. It was an embellishment that by 1970 was missed, and to fill the gap, some corps lobbied for the introduction of corps lanyards while others introduced regimental stable belts. The opportunity was open to reintroducing regimental Puggarees between 1998 and 2022. However, this was missed. Today Puggarres are a reminder of a time of more colourful uniform embellishments and a curiosity for collectors of militaria.


Notes

[1] New Zealand Military Forces Dress Regulations, ed. New Zealand Military Forces (Wellington, 1912). https://rnzaoc.files.wordpress.com/2018/08/1923-nz-army-dress-regs.pdf; “Formation of New Unit and Corps, Constitution of Generals’ List and Colonels’ List, Amalgamation, Redesignation, and· Disbanding of Corps, New Zealand Military Forces,” New Zealand Gazette No 2, 11 January 1947, http://www.nzlii.org/nz/other/nz_gazette/1947/2.pdf.

[2] D. A. Corbett, The regimental badges of New Zealand: an illustrated history of the badges and insignia worn by the New Zealand Army (Auckland, NZ: Ray Richards, 1980 Revised enl. edition, 1980), Non-fiction, 47-48.

[3] “Local And General,” Dominion, Volume 9, Issue 2610,, 4 November 1915, https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/DOM19151104.2.38.

[4] “Visit to Paris,” North Otago Times, Volume CV, Issue 14001, 11 December 1917, https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/NOT19171211.2.58.

[5] New Zealand Military Forces Dress Regulations, ed. New Zealand Military Forces (Wellington, 1923). https://rnzaoc.files.wordpress.com/2018/08/1923-nz-army-dress-regs.pdf.

[6] “Formation of New Zealand Permanent Army Service Corps.,” New Zealand Gazette No 46, July 3 1924, http://www.nzlii.org/nz/other/nz_gazette/1924/46.pdf.

[7] Main Ordnance Depot O.S.56/40/1/2499 Dated 28 June 1943. “Clothing: Felt Hats, Bands: Provision,” Archives New Zealand No R17187892  (1939).

[8] Chief Ordnance Officer 56/40/1/439 Dated 14 April 1944 “Clothing: Felt Hats, Bands: Provision.”

[9] Chief Ordnance Officer 56/40/1/439 Dated 14 April 1944 “Clothing: Felt Hats, Bands: Provision.”

[10] “Formation of New Unit and Corps, Constitution of Generals’ List and Colonels’ List, Amalgamation, Redesignation, and· Disbanding of Corps, New Zealand Military Forces.”

[11] “Designation of Corps of New Zealand Military Forces altered and Title ” Royal ” added,” New Zealand Gazette No 39, 17 July 1947, http://www.nzlii.org/nz/other/nz_gazette/1947/39.pdf.

[12] “Soldiers and Dress – Ordnance Pugaree,” Press, Volume LIV, Issue 16387 (Christchurch), 5 December 1918, https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/CHP19181205.2.6.1.

[13] New Zealand Military Forces Dress Regulations.

[14] Peter Cooke, Warrior Craftsmen, RNZEME 1942-1996 (Wellington: Defense of New Zealand Study Group, 2017).

[15];”Formation of Unit of the New Zealand Permanent Force,” New Zealand Gazette No 60, 29 August 1946, 1199, http://www.nzlii.org/nz/other/nz_gazette/1946/60.pdf.

[16] “Designation of Corps of New Zealand Military Forces altered and Title ” Royal ” added.”

[17] “New Unit of Permanent Forces,” Press, Volume LXXXII, Issue 24979 (Christchurch), 13 September 1946, https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/CHP19460913.2.16.

[18] Main Ordnance Depot O.S.56/40/1/2499 Dated 28 June 1943. “Clothing: Felt Hats, Bands: Provision.”

[19] Chief Ordnance Officer 56/40/1/439 Dated 14 April 1944 “Clothing: Felt Hats, Bands: Provision.”

[20] Ministry of Supply 10/59/367 dated 13 September 1945 “Clothing: Felt Hats, Bands: Provision.”

[21] War Asset Realisation Board SCB.Q900 Dated 14 June 1949.”Clothing: Puggarees and Hat Bands RNZEME,” Archives New Zealand No R22496567  (1950).

[22] MOD 14/1/19 dated 22 Apr 1950.”Clothing: Puggarees and Hat Bands RNZEME.”

[23] “Lemon squeezer Most Popular NZ Army Hat,” Northern Advocate,, 22 December 1947, https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/NA19471222.2.17.

[24] Malcolm Thomas and Cliff Lord, New Zealand Army distinguishing patches, 1911-1991 (Wellington, N.Z. : M. Thomas and C. Lord, 1995, 1995), Bibliographies, Non-fiction, 128-29.

[25] Army 213/15/1/OS3, dated 1 April 1961.”Clothing: Felt Hats, Bands: Provision.”

[26] SMD 5/20/1/ORD 13 July 1961, “Clothing: Felt Hats, Bands: Provision.”