RNZAOC 1 April 1952 to 31 March 1953

This period would see the RNZAOC. Continue to support Regular, Territorial and Compulsory Military Training. Ongoing support to Kayforce would continue.[1]

Key Appointments

Director of Ordnance Services

  • Lieutenant Colonel F Reid, OBE

Compulsory Military Training

During this period three CMT intakes marched in;[2]

  • 6th intake of 2850 recruits on 19 Jun 1952
  • 7th intake of 2645 recruits on 11 Sept 1952
  • 8th intake of 2831 recruits on 8 Jan 1953

On completion of CMT recruit training, recruits were posted to Territorial units close to their home location to complete their CMT commitment, with RNZAOC CMT recruits posted to either;

  • 1st Infantry Brigade Ordnance Field Park Platoon, Hopuhopu
  • 2nd Infantry Brigade Ordnance Field Park Platoon, Mangaroa.
  • 3rd Infantry Brigade Ordnance Field Park Platoon, Burnham

Territorial Force

The Ordnance Headquarters of the New Zealand Division, was on 19 Apr 1952 re-designated as Headquarters CRNZAOC New Zealand Division (HQ CRNZAOC NZ Div).[3]


The RNZAOC continued to support Kayforce with the dispatch of regular consignments of Maintenance stores and with all additional requests for stores by Kayforce met.

This period saw the first RNZAOC men rotated and replaced out of Kayforce;

Out of Kayforce

  • Staff Sergeant Neville Wallace Beard, 3 Jun 1952
  • Lance Corporal James Ivo Miller, 21 Jun 1952
  • Lieutenant Colonel Geoferry John Hayes Atkinson, 15 Jan 1953
  • Corporal Desmond Mervyn Kerslake, 18 Mar 1953

Into Kay force

  • TEAL Flight from Auckland,15 May 1952
    • Private Dennis Arthur Astwood
  • TEAL Flight from Wellington, 7 Jun 1952
    • Corporal Wiremu Matenga
  • TEAL Flight from Wellington, 14 Jun 1952
    • Sergeant Barry Stewart
  • TEAL Flight from Auckland, 30 Jun 1952
    • Lance Corporal Thomas Joseph Fitzsimons
    • Private Gane Cornelius Hibberd
  • TEAL Flight from Wellington, 30 Aug 1952
    • Staff Sergeant James Russell Don
  • 1 Sept 1952
    • Corporal Gordon Winstone East
  • TEAL Flight from Auckland, 23 Dec 1952
    • Captain Patrick William Rennison
  • TEAL Flight from Auckland, 3 Mar 1953
    • Lance Corporal Alexander George Dobbins

Coronation Contingent

On 2 Jun 1953, Queen Elizabeth II was crowned as monarch of the United Kingdom and British Commonwealth of nations. To commemorate the coronation, New Zealand provided a contingent of 75 Officers and men. RNZAOC soldier Temporary Staff Sergeant Earnest Maurice Alexander Bull was appointed as the Contingent Quartermaster Sergeant.[4] T/SSgt Bull would travel with the contingent on the long and uncomfortable return trip to the United Kingdom on the Australian aircraft carrier HMAS Sydney. Despite some controversy on the inadequate accommodation provided on the HMAS Sydney and quality of the New Zealand uniforms compared to the Australians, it was still considered a privilege to be part of the contingent.[5] A highlight for Bull was when he held the appointment of Sergeant of the Guard at St James Palace.

At Sea. 1953. Army members of the Australian and New Zealand Coronation Contingent engaged in rifle drill aboard the aircraft carrier HMAS Sydney, while en route to England for the coronation of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II. Copyright expired – public domain

Ordnance Conferences

Ordnance Conference 16 – 18 September 1952

The Director of Ordnance Services hosted a conference of the Districts DADOS and the Officer Commanding Main Ordnance Depot (MOD) at Army Headquarters over the period 16-18 September 1952.[6]  

Ordnance Conference 21-23 April 1953

The Director of Ordnance Services hosted a conference of the Districts DADOS and the Officer Commanding Main Ordnance Depot (MOD) at Army Headquarters over the period 21-23 April 1953. 

Items discussed at the conference included;

  • Corps Policy
  • Corps Establishments
  • Estimation of expenditure
  • Provision
  • Vehicles and Spares
  • LAD tools
  • Standard packages
  • District problems

Routine Ordnance Activities

Over this period the RNZAOC in addition to its regular duties of provision, holding and the issue of multitudinous stores required by the Army including the additional issue of training equipment to the territorial Force allowing all units sufficient equipment for normal training.

Small Arms Ammunition

Production of small-arms ammunition had met the monthly target, with the ammunition, fully proofed and inspected before acceptance.

Introduction of New Equipment

As new equipment was introduced, the RNZAOC would play an essential role in the acceptance processes. Upon delivery from the supplier, the equipment, its accessories and spares would be received into an RNZAOC Depot. The equipment would be inspected and kitted out with all its accessories before distribution to units. Depending on the equipment, several examples may have been retained in RNZAOC Depots as War Reserve/Repair and Maintenance Stock. Maintenance stocks of accessories and spares were maintained as operating stock in RNZAOC depots. If the new equipment was or contained a weapon system, ammunition specific to the equipment was managed by RNZAOC Ammunition Depots.

During this period, the following equipment was introduced into service;[7]

  • 384 Series 1 80″ Land-Rovers
  • 11 Daimler Mk 2 Armoured Cars[8]

New Headdress trial

It was announced in December 1952 that a trial to replace the famous “Lemon Squeezer” hat was to be undertaken.[9] Reintroduced in 1949 as the official peacetime headdress, the Lemon Squeezer was found to be unsuitable because it could not be rolled up or placed into a pocket without losing its shape.[10]  One it the items to be trialled was a Canadian style peaked ski caps made of brown serge wool used in the Battle Dress uniform.

Trentham Camp Commandant

For the first time since 1931, the appointment of Trentham Camp Commandant would be filled by an Ordnance Officer. In December 1952, Major D Roderick the incumbent Officer Commanding of the Main Ordnance Depot would take up the additional appointment of Trentham Camp Commandant.[11] Assisting Major Roderick as the Regimental Sergeant Major of bothTrentham Camp and the Main Ordnance Depot was Warrant Office Class One Alfred Wesseldine.[12]

Honours List

Long Service and Good Conduct

  • Warrant Officer Class One Bernard Percy Banks, Southern Districts Vehicle Depot, 16 Oct 1952.[13]
  • Warrant Officer Class One William Galloway, Central District Ordnance Depot, Waiouru Sub Depot, 25 Sept 1952

Enlistments into the RNZAOC

  • Brian Gush –16 May 1952
  • Robert J Plummer – 16 Sept 1952
  • John B Glasson – 9 Dec 1952
  • Thomas Woon – 17 Jun 1952

Transferred into the RNZAOC from other Corps

  • Warrant Officer Class One William Galloway from NZ Regiment to RNZAOC, June 1952
  • Warrant Officer Class One Ronald William Stitt from The Royal New Zeland Artillery to be Lieutenant and Quartermaster, RNZAOC from15 March 1953.[14]

Re-Engagements into the New Zealand Regular Force

With effect 1 Apr 1952, the undermentioned members of the RNZAOC were re-engaged into the NZ Regular Force;

  • Staff Sergeant M.J Ayers (NZWAC), 2 years
  • Sergeant B.N Evans, three years
  • Sergeant A, Grigg. Three years
  • Sergeant S.F Pyne, one year
  • Private (Temp LCpl) M.J Somerville (NZWAC).


To Lieutenant and Quartermaster

  • Warrant Officer Class One Arthur Fraser [15]
  • Warrant Officer Class Two (Temp WO1) Ronald John Crossman [16]
  • Warrant Officer Class One  George William Dudman[17]

To Lieutenant

  • 1952, Lieutenant (on probation) J. H. Doone, with seniority from 25 Oct 1948.[18]

Transferred to Reserve of Officers

The following officer was transferred to the Reserve of Officer with effect 17 Nov 1952;[19]

  • Lieutenant R. K. Treacher


[1] “H-19 Military Forces of New Zealand Annual Report of the General Officer Commanding, for Period 1 April 1952 to 31 March 1953 “, Appendix to the Journals of the House of Representatives  (1953).

[2] Peter Cooke, Fit to Fight. Compulsory Military Training and National Service in New Zealand 1949-72 (Auckland: David Ling Publishing, 2013), 539.

[3] Chief of Royal New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps “Units Resignated,” New Zealand Gazette No 32, 19 April 1953, 554.

[4] Howard E. Chamberlain, Service Lives Remembered : The Meritorious Service Medal in New Zealand and Its Recipients, 1895-1994 ([Wellington, N.Z.]: H. Chamberlain, 1995), 67-68.

[5] ” N.Z. Contingent Protests on Coronation Voyage,” Townsville Daily Bulletin (Qld. : 1907 – 1954)  7 May 1953

[6] Conferences – Ordnance Officers, Item Id R17188101 (Wellington: Archives New Zealand, 1950).

[7] Damien Fenton, A False Sense of Security : The Force Structure of the New Zealand Army 1946-1978, Occasional Paper / Centre for Strategic Studies: New Zealand: No. 1 (Centre for Strategic Studies: New Zealand, Victoria University of Wellington, 1998), Bibliographies, Non-fiction, 21.

[8] Ibid.

[9] “NZ Army May Get Ski Cap,” Burra Record (SA : 1878 – 1954) 16 Dec 1952.

[10] “Lemon Squeezer Back as Official Army Hat,” Northern Advocate, 16 February 1949.

[11] Howard Weddell, Trentham Camp and Upper Hutt’s Untold Military History (Howard Weddell, 2018), Bibliographies, Non-fiction, 226.

[12] Major J.S Bolton, A History of the Royal New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps (Trentham: RNZAOC, 1992), 266.

[13] Chamberlain, Service Lives Remembered : The Meritorious Service Medal in New Zealand and Its Recipients, 1895-1994, 32-33.

[14] “Appointments, Promotions, Transfers, and Resignations, of Officers of the New Zealand Army “, New Zealand Gazette No 35, 9 June 1949.

[15] Ibid., 569.

[16] Ibid.

[17] Ibid.

[18] “Appointments, Promotions, Transfers, and Resignations, of Officers of the New Zealand Army “, New Zealand Gazette No 75, 27 November 1953, 1959.

[19] “Appointments, Promotions, Transfers, and Resignations, of Officers of the New Zealand Army “,  569.

Royal New Zealand Army Logistic Regiment Insignia

Starting in 1992 the New Zealand Army underwent a series of re-organisations, and the three New Zealand Logistic Corps: the Royal New Zealand Corps of Transport (RNZCT), the Royal New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps (RNZAOC), and the Royal New Zealand Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (RNZEME), came under the spotlight for potential change as increases to efficiencies became the priority.[1]

Observing developments in the United Kingdom where on 5 April 1993 the British Army amalgamated the Royal Corps of Transport, Royal Army Ordnance Corps, Royal Pioneer Corps, Army Catering Corps and the Postal Branch of the Royal Engineers into the Royal Logistic Corps the stage was set for a change in New Zealand.[2]

The practice of having the separate New Zealand Logistic Corps remaining as small independent units under different administrative structures was inefficient, and the decision was made to follow the British lead and amalgamate the Logistic Corps of the New Zealand Army into one Logistic Regiment. On 4 April 1996, the Chief of General Staff, Major General P.M. Reid, signed CGS Directive 07 /96, authorising the formation of the New Zealand Logistic Regiment.[3]

Royal New Zealand Army Logistic Regiment – Family Tree

The RLC Badge

When the British Army formed the Royal Logistic Corps, a new badge was designed by Sergeant R.R Macneilage of the RAOC in 1991, incorporating aspects of all the forming Corps.[4]

  • The outer star form the Royal Corps of Transport badge
  • The wreath from the Royal Engineer badge
  • The crossed Axes from the Royal Pioneer Corps badge
  • The Shield and garter from the Royal Army Ordnance Corps badge, and
  • The mottos from the Army Catering Corps badge
Badge of the Royal Logistic Corps. Wikipedia Commons

The RNZALR Badge

The RNZALR was to amalgamate not only the RNZCT, RNZAOC and RNZEME Corps but also the All Arms Storeman trade personnel from across all Corps and Regiments of the New Zealand Army. To break down the resistance to the new Regiment and extinguish the perceived traits of tribalism that existed amongst the corps and trades about to be amalgamated, [5]  a neutral badge was to be adopted. Following a design competition encompassing 110 designs, a design with no connection to the forming Corps and that was acceptable to the Herald of Arms was selected and approved on 21 October 1996.

Herald of Arms

The RNZALR badge consists of the following elements;

  • A set of green ferns unique to New Zealand providing the main body,
  • Crossed Swords representing the Army supporting an oval shield.
  • The oval shield has a blue background displaying the stars of the Southern Cross. The Southern Cross is an identifier long associated with New Zealand Army logistics in that it was used as an identifier by;
    • 2NZEF for non-divisional vehicles, primary logistics at Maadi in 1942
    • The Logistic Support Group from the 1960’s
    • Headquarters Support Command up to the early 1990’s
  • A riband embossed with “Royal N.Z Army Logistic Regiment.”
  • All surmounted with a St Edwards Crown, which represents the ties to the Monarch.
Cap and collar badges of the RNZALR. Robert McKie Collection

Distinguishing Patches

The formation of the RNZALR saw the introduction of coloured regional distinguishing Patches to be worn behind the badge on berets or attached to the left-hand side of the puggaree on the Mounted Rifles hat.[6]

  • 1st Base Logistic Battalion, Trentham Camp (Disbanded 30 January 1998)
1 Base Logistic Battalion.2
  • 2nd Logistic Battalion, Linton Camp(Now 2 Combat Service Support Battalion)
2 Logistic Battalion
  • 3rd Logistic Battalion, Burnham Camp (Now 3 Combat Service Support Battalion)
3 Logistic Battalion
  • 4th Logistic Battalion, Waiouru Camp (Disbanded 30 June 2001)
4 Logistic Battalion.2
  • 5th Base Logistic Support Group, Trentham (Retitled to Trentham Regional Support Centre 1 July 2001 and restructured as Trentham Regional Support Battalion on 17 July 2006)
5 Base Logistic Group
  • 5 Force Support Company, Auckland (Patch approved but never adopted, Unit disestablished)
1 Logistic Battalion

RNZALR officers and soldiers posted to units other than Logistic Battalions wear the badge with no coloured backing.

Interim Embroidered Badges

At the time of the formation of the RNZALR, interim embroidered badges substituted for metal badges, which had not been manufactured at the time.

Backings for metal badges

When metal badges become available in late 1997, a mixture of cloth and plastic regional distinguishing backings were adopted, although the patch was meant to be a 50mm square, units adopted either a rectangular backing or one in the shape of the badge.

Pugaree Flashes

Until the withdrawal of the Mounted Rifle Hat in 2017, backing flashes were not worn behind the badge but were worn on the left-hand side of the Pugaree.

RNZALR Officer Badges

RNZALR Stable Belt

Dispensing with the traditional colourful stable belts based on the parent British Corps, the new RNZALR stable belt includes the following features

  • The RNZALR Corps badge in the centrepiece
  • The RZALR motto “Ma Nga Hua Tu Tangatain the outer piece[7]

At the time of the formation of the RNZALR, the new stable belts were not available, the interim use of blue webbing pistol belts were utilised until the provision of the correct items.

Formation Parades

Her Majesty the Queen approved the disestablishment of the foundation corps to take effect on 8 December 1996 with the formation of the RNZALR to take effect from 9 December 1996.[8] Marked with simultaneous formation parades at the main camps.[9] Officers and soldiers marched on in the embellishments of their parent Corps and marched wearing the embellishments of the RNZALR.[10]

Copyright © Robert McKie 2018


[1][1] Carol J. Phillips, “The Shape of New Zealand’s Regimental System” (, Massey University, 2006), P.99.

[2] Royal Logistic Corps Museum, “The Royal Logistic Corps and Forming Corps,”  http://rlcmuseum.co.uk/docs/history.html.

[3] “Why? ,” New Zealand Army Publication, Chapter 1, Section 10, Para. 1393.

[4] The Royal Logistic Corps YouTube Channel, “What Makes up the Royal Logistic Corps Cap Badge.,”  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J6MNuiVm2E4.

[5] Phillips, “The Shape of New Zealand’s Regimental System,” P. 98.

[6] New Zealand Army, NZ P23 – New Zealand Army Orders for Dress (Wellington: New Zealand Defence Force, 1997), Chapter 3, Section 2, Para 30321, Sub-paras f to J.

[7] English translation  “By Our Actions We Are Known.”

[8] “New Zealand Army,” New Zealand Gazette  (1997): P. 4723.

[9] NZ Army Public Information Officer, “Forming of the Royal New Zealand Army Logistic Regiment,” news release, 5 December 1996.

[10] “Regiment Forms,” Dominion Post, 7 December 1996.

New Zealand Ordnance Shoulder Titles


New Zealand Army Shoulder Titles C1979. Robert McKie Collection

Brass Shoulder Titles

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

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

    • New Zealand Army Ordnance Department – NZAOD




  • New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps – NZAOC.


NZAOC Shoulder Titles. Robert McKie Collection

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

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



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

Cloth Titles

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

RAOC Shoulder

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

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



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




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

NZAOC June 1923 to May 1924


The strength of the NZAOC on the 31st of May 1924 was 108, consisting of:[1] [2]

  • 6 Officers
  • 69 Permanent Other Rank
  • 33 Temporary Other Ranks

Director of Ordnance Services

  • Lieutenant Colonel H. E. Pilkington, RNZA

Chief Ordnance Officer

  • Captain T.J King

Ordnance Accounting Officer

  • Lieutenant T.W Page

Northern Command Ordnance Officer

  • Lieutenant A. W. Baldwin

Central Command Ordnance Officer

  • Lieutenant H.H Whyte

Southern Command Ordnance Officer

  • Captain A.R.C White

Featherston Camp Ordnance Officer

  • Captain F. E. Ford

Ordnance Accounting Officer

  • Lieutenant T.W Page

Inspecting Ordnance Officer and Acting Inspector of Ordnance Machinery

  • Captain William Ivory, RNZA

Proof Officer, Small Arms Ammunition

  • Captain E.H Sawle

NZAOC appropriations year ending 31 March 1924

NZAOC appropriations year ending 31 March 1924

Ordnance Stores

The provision of proper Ordnance Depots in all three commands had become an urgent matter, for economic as well as strategic and tactical reasons. Valuable equipment was stored in temporary structures, which in most cases was quite unsuitable for the purpose. As a necessity, the bulk of the equipment was held at Trentham and Burnham in wooden buildings erected as temporary accommodation for troops, not as permanent storage for valuable equipment. The development of Burnham and Ngaruawahia as ordnance depots was a matter of some urgency and would be put in hand as soon as funds for the purpose are available.[3]

At Burnham and Ngaruawahia, high charges for maintenance of the temporary buildings were being incurred, the cost of transportation of stores and equipment was increasing, and proper supervision and control was becoming very difficult.[4]

Northern Command

The Northern Command was the worst off in this respect. The site at Ngaruawahia was suitable, but with no buildings there, equipment for Northern Command was held partly at Featherston and partly at Trentham.[5]

Southern Command

The Southern Command was in a better position. The buildings at Burnham, though inadequate for the storage of all the equipment for Southern Command, were more or less satisfactory.[6]

Central Command

The Central Command had ample accommodation, of a kind at Trentham and Featherston, but proper fireproof stores needed to be erected at Trentham, and the buildings at present in use for storage of equipment can then be taken into use for the purpose for which they were built, the accommodation of troops. Featherston will be dismantled when Ngaruawahia depot is built.[7]


The magazine accommodation for both gun and small-arms ammunition was quite insufficient for the army’s requirements, and all sorts of temporary accommodation in unsuitable buildings was being utilized. In consequence, the usual safety precautions could not be adhered to, and there was the danger of accidents and deterioration of ammunition. Proposals had been submitted for the erection of up-to-date magazines at Ngaruawahia for gun ammunition, and for small-arms-ammunition magazines in each command at Ngaruawahia, Trentham, and Burnham.[8]

Stores and Equipment

Stores and equipment generally were in a satisfactory position, but as a consequence of the unsuitable accommodation, they were subjected to considerable deterioration. The capacity and efficiency of the Ordnance workshops were considerably increased by the installation of new machinery; and the arrears of work which were accumulating overhauled, and that the deterioration that was threatening material, vehicles through lack of attention as prevented.[9]

The Cost Accounting system of accounting for stores was proving successful, and everything in connection with this was satisfactory with few losses occurring.[10]

The sale of surplus stores was still proceeding, although the returns had fallen off, for various reasons. The total receipts for the year were approximately £52,000, making a grand total, to date of approximately £424,000. The present method of sale was considered more satisfactory in every way than a sale by auction; it enabled the general public throughout New Zealand to obtain the stores at low prices and provided an efficient organization to deal with surplus stores as they became available from time to time. The dyeing of surplus khaki uniforms for sale to the public was proving a successful venture and was the only satisfactory method of disposing of those large stocks.


Applications were requested to fill Vacancies for Armourers in the NZAOC. The call was for Qualified Armourers and Gunsmiths who had previous experience in the repair of small-arms and machine guns. Mechanics would be considered if they had had training in armourer s duties.

1924 Ad

Evening Post, Volume CVII, Issue 114, 15 May 1924. Papers Past

Gallant Conduct

On 11 March 1924 Corporal Artificer John William Dalton, NZAOC was instrumental in saving the lives of four non-swimmers during extreme flash flooding which destroyed the encampment of the 6th Battery, NZA during their camp at Eskdale.[11] [12] [13]

GO 164 of 1924

General Order 164

eskdale flood 1924 07b

Corporal Articifer Dalton supervising the recovery of guns after the Eskdale flood 1924. Norm Lamont Collection

eskdale flood 1924 07a

Corporal Articifer Dalton supervising the recovery of guns after the Eskdale flood 1924. Norm Lamont Collection

dalton jw 11c eskdale flood 1924

Corporal Articifer Dalton supervising the recovery of guns after the Eskdale flood 1924. Norm Lamont Collection

dalton jw 11b eskdale flood 1924

Corporal Articifer Dalton supervising the recovery of guns after the Eskdale flood 1924. Norm Lamont Collection

eskdale flood 1924 08b

Corporal Articifer Dalton supervising the recovery of guns after the Eskdale flood 1924. Norm Lamont Collection

eskdale flood 1924 08a

Corporal Articifer Dalton supervising the recovery of guns after the Eskdale flood 1924. Norm Lamont Collection

eskdale flood 1924 06b

Corporal Articifer Dalton supervising the recovery of guns after the Eskdale flood 1924. Norm Lamont Collection

eskdale flood 1924 06a

Corporal Articifer Dalton supervising the recovery of guns after the Eskdale flood 1924. Norm Lamont Collection

dalton jw 11c eskdale flood 1924

Corporal Articifer Dalton supervising the recovery of guns after the Eskdale flood 1924. Norm Lamont Collection

New Zealand Rifle Team

Sergeant Ching a member of NZAOC, was invited to join the New Zealand Rifle Team for the shooting competition to be held at Bisley in the United Kingdom in September.[14]

NZ Army Dress Regulations 1923

The following extracts are from the 1923 NZ Army Dress Regulations that relate to the NZOC.  The 1823 Dress Regulations were the first update to the Dress Regulations since 1912.[15]


Ordnance Corps – Two 1/4 in stripes, maroon cloth 1/2 in apart

Shoulder Titles

Brass letters, worn by officers, warrant officers, Non-commissioned officers and men on the shoulder straps of jacks (service and blue) and greatcoats. The will not be worn on mess-jackets.


NZAOC Shoulder Titles. Robert McKie Collection


Ordnance Corps – Red-Blue-Red


NZAOC Puggaree. Robert McKie Collection

Forage Cap Band

Ordnance Corps – Scarlet


Corporal Peter Gow Scrimgeour passed away at his residence at William Street, Upper Hutt, on Wednesday 24 October 1923. Joining the NZEF with the Eighth Contingent, Scrimgeour saw considerable service in France and at the time of his death was employed with the Trentham Detachment of the NZAOC.[16]  Scrimgeour was provided with a military funeral on 26 October 1923.[17]


Personnel Movements -July 1923 to June 1924


  • 176 Armorer Private Reginald Albert Percival Johns
  • 820 Private James Clements
  • 838 Lance Corporal William Robert McMinn
  • 914 Armourer Sergeant John Boyce
  • 954 Company Sergeant Major Joseph Arthur Head


  • 666 Corporal Peter Gow Scrimgeour

Copyright © Robert McKie 2018


[1] “H-19 Defence Forces of New Zealand, Annual Report of the General Officer Commanding the Forces from 1 June 1923 to 30 June 1924,” Appendix to the Journals of the House of Representatives  (1924).

[2] “B-01-Part02 Public Accounts for the Financial Year 1923-1924,” Appendix to the Journals of the House of Representatives  (1924).

[3] “Hydro-Electric Development,” Press, Volume LIX, Issue 17850  (1923).

[4] “H-19 Defence Forces of New Zealand, Annual Report of the General Officer Commanding the Forces from 1 June 1923 to 30 June 1924.”

[5] Ibid.

[6] Ibid.

[7] Ibid.

[8] Ibid.

[9] Ibid.

[10] Ibid.

[11] “Caught by the Flood “, New Zealand Herald, Volume LXI, Issue 18659, 15 March 1924.

[12] “Gallant Conduct,” New Zealand Herald, Volume LXI, Issue 18725, 3 June 1924.

[13] “Courageous Conduct,”  in New Zealand Army General Order 164 (Wellington1924).

[14] “Personal Matters – Ching,” Evening Post, Volume CVII, Issue 113, 14 May 1924.

[15] 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, 34.

[16] “Scrimgeour, Peter Gow “, Personal File, Archives New Zealand  (1914-1918).

[17] “Personal Matters – Ching.”

New Zealand Army Ordnance: Trade and Appointment Badges

When it comes to Trade embellishments, The RNZAOC and its predecessors had very few.

Quartermaster Sergeants

Although not technically an Ordnance embellishment, many of the original members of the NZAOC in the NZEF spent time as Regimental or Company Quartermaster Sergeants.

Quartermaster Rank Insignia

Warrant Officer


Regimental Quartermaster Sergeant-Major, 1914-1915. Robert McKie Collection


Regimental Quartermaster Sergeant-Major, 1915-1918. Robert McKie Collection


Regimental Quartermaster Sergeant-Major, From 1918. Robert McKie Collection

Non-Commissioned Officers


Company Quartermaster Sergeant, 1914-1917. Robert McKie Collection



Regimental Quartermaster Sergeant-Major, From 1917. Robert McKie Collection


Quartermaster Sergeant (Other than Company of Squadron) From 1917. Robert McKie Collection




Traditionally considered part of the Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, New Zealand Army Armourers had their roots as part of the NZAOC until 1946 when they became part of the Corps the New Zealand Electrical and Mechanical Engineers.

Armourers Rank Insignia


Armourer Sergeant Major, From 1917. Robert McKie Collection


Armourer Quartermaster Sergeant, 1914-1917. Robert McKie Collection


Armourer Quartermaster Sergeant, From 1917. Robert McKie Collection


Armourer Staff Sergeant, From 1914. Robert McKie Collection


Armourer Sergeant, From 1914. Robert McKie Collection


Prior to the introduction and wide use of motorised vehicles and pneumatic wheels, wagons, carts and artillery with wooden and iron wheels were the main means of battlefield transportation. The repair of wheels was carried out by Wheelwrights, who due to their specialisation in working with wheels made of wood and iron, were classed as specialist artificers called “Wheeler Articifers”. The New Zealand Expeditionary Force initially deployed in 1914 with:

  • 2 Wheeler/Fitters with each Artillery Battery,
  • 2 Wheeler/Fitters with the Artillery Ammunition Column,
  • 4 Wheelers with the Army Service Corps Divisional Train, and
  • 1 Wheeler with the Mounted Rifles Field Ambulance.

As the war progressed the growth of the Wheeler trade would have been commensurate with the growth of the NZEF. As the war shifted into a war of attrition with little movement, unit tradesmen including Wheelers were brigaded at the Divisional Ordnance and ASC workshops.

After the war, army tradesmen were progressively placed under the control of the New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps (NZAOC). In 1924  all Artificers. (Armament, Saddlers and Wheelers) were reclassified as Artificers and all adopted the Tong and Hammer trade identifier. With no delineation between Artificers, tracing the status of Wheelwrights in the interwar period is difficult, but in 1938 there was one civilian Wheelwright on the strength of the Main Ordnance Workshop in Trentham. In 1946 the workshop functions separated for the NZAOC and amalgamated in tithe Royal New Zealand Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (RNZEME).


Wheeler Quartermaster Sergeant (Discontinued 1917). Robert McKie Collection


Wheeler Staff Sergeant. Robert McKie Collection


Wheeler Staff Sergeant. Robert McKie Collection


Wheeler Corporal. Robert McKie Collection


Wheeler Lance Corporal. Robert McKie Collection


Wheeler. Robert McKie Collection

Ammunition Technicians

In 1961 the New Zealand Army Ammunition appointments of Inspecting Ordnance Officer and Ammunition Examiner were renamed as follows;

  • ‘Ammunition Technical Officer’ (ATO) replaced that of ‘‘Inspecting Ordnance Officer’ (IOO) and
  • ‘Ammunition Technician’ (AT) that of ‘Ammunition Examiner’ (AE).

ATOs and ATs at this time were still not permitted to wear any trade badge.

On the 16th of June 1971, the RNZAOC Chief Ammunition Technical Officer Major Bob Duggan oversaw the adoption of the RAOC Ammunition Technician ‘Flaming A’ as the qualification badge for New Zealand Army ATOs and AT’s. The “A” in the New Zealand badge had little to do with Ammunition but was chosen to represent that the ammunition trade was one of the army “A” Class trades and that was identified by the “A” on the qualification badge.

Qualification for the badge was;

  • Ammunition Technical Officers: Completion of one year’s practical experience after graduating from the ATO course in either Australia or the United Kingdom
  • Ammunition Technicians: Qualified in all aspects of the trade (on Average 5 to 6 years service),


AT original

1st pattern Ammunition Technician Badge. Dave Theyers Collection

As the badge was identical to the RAOC AT badge, it was decided in 1988 to include fern fonds to give it a significant New Zealand Character.

AT new

2nd pattern Ammunition Technician Badge. Dave Theyers Collection

When the RNZAOC was disestablished in 1996, use of this badge was carried over to the Royal New Zealand Army Logistic Regiment.


The Honourable and Ancient Appointment of Conductor has origins dating back to 1327 where they are mentioned in the Statute of Westminister as the men whose job it was to conduct soldiers to places of assembly.  The “Conductor of Ordnance” is also mentioned in the records of the siege of Boulogne in 1544. Surviving as an appointment directly related to the handling of stores in the British army until the late 19th century, the appointment was formalised by Royal Warrant on 11 January 1879 which established conductors of supplies (in the Army Service Corps) and conductors of stores (in the Ordnance Store Branch) as warrant officers, ranking above all non-commissioned officers.

The first New Zealand Conductor was appointed in 1916 and the appointment would remain in use until 1930 and again from 1977 to 1996.

Conductor Badges 1916 – 1930

During this period Ordnance Warrant Officers, Class One could be granted the appointment of either

  • Conductor, or
  • Sub-Conductor

Conductors wore the Crown in Laurel Wreath, (Now worn by the Warrant Officer Class II)  while the Sub-Conductor wore the Royal Arms.



In 1918, British Army Order 309 of 1918 changed the Conductors badges to the Royal Arms in a Laurel Wreath for Conductors and the Royal Arms continued to be worn by Sub-Conductors. Although the regulations to change badges was issued in 1918, NZEF Conductors were still wearing the original pattern badge in 1919.



The appointment of Conductor remained extant in New Zealand Ordnance until 1930 when due to the mass civilianization of the NZ Ordnance Corps the appointment of Conductor fell into abeyance.

Conductor Badges 1977 – 1996

The Honourable and Ancient Appointment of Conductor was approved for selected RNZAOC Warrant Officers Class Ones in 1977. The Modern Conductor badge was the Royal Arms (updated with the Queens crown), with either a red backing for metal badges or surrounded by a red border on cloth badges.




The appointment of Conductor in the RNZAOC was discontinued in 1996 with the disestablishment of the RNZAOC and the formation of the Royal New Zealand Army Logistic Regiment (RNZALR).   In 1993 when the United Kingdom Royal Army Ordnance Corps (RAOC) was disestablished, the appointment of Conductor was carried over to the new Royal Logistic Corps. The RNZAOC did not follow the lead of the RAOC and carry the appointment over to the new Logistic Regiment. RNZAOC Warrant Officers who held the appointment of Conductor in 1996 retained the appointment until they were either commisioned or left the service.

Director of Ordnance Services

Dress regulations promulgated in the New Zealand Gazette of 19 May 1927 (Para 916. (b) (i) ) detailed that the Director of Ordnance Services was to wear the following dress embellishments;

  • Blue Gorget-Patches,
  • Blue Cap Band with lion and crown cap badge.

The use of these items was discontinued in the early 1940’s

RNZAOC Gorget patch pair

NZAOC Gorget patch pair (with post 1953 RNZAOC Button). Robert McKie Collection

RNZAOC School Staff

Established at Trentham in 1958 and formalised by charter on 5 September 1960, the RNZAOC schools initial function was to”

“Conduct courses as directed by Army HQ, to recommend personnel for re-employment within the Corps, to assess and test personnel fro star classification (later called Band courses) and to recommend improvements in methods and procedures affecting the Corps.”

Over the years the school developed into one of the most important units of the Corps, with responsibility for;

  • RNZAOC Supply Training,
  • RNZAOC Ammunition Training,
  • Tri-Service IED/EOD Training,
  • Hosting of major Corps Conferences,
  • The development and maintenance of the Corps technical publications,
  • The development and conduct of training in all aspects of Corps activities,
  • The maintenance of the Corps history and heritage.

During the school’s existence, it is known that the following two armlets were worn by School Staff.

It is at present unknown when the first armlet was adopted but it was worn until 1994 when the RNZAOC School became the Supply and Ammunition wings of the Army Logistic Center.

The armlet was a 100mm high red band with a 32mm blue stripe sewn centrally around it, mounted with a centrally mounted Ordnance Shield facing outwards.

Ord School Brassard

RNZAOC School Instructors armlet (First Pattern). Malcolm Thomas Collection

With the reorganisation of the RNZAOC School into the Army Logistic Center in 1994, a new armlet was introduced. Worn by instructors of the Supply and Ammunition wings of the Army Logistic Center this armlet was same dimensions as the original armlet but with the Crest of the Earl of Liverpool in place of the Ordnance Shield. This armet remained in use up to the time then RNZAOC was disestablished and the Trade Training School was established as part of the RNZALR.

Ord School Brassard 1

RNZAOC School Instructors armlet (Second Pattern). Malcolm Thomas Collection


Copyright © Robert McKie 2017

Ordnance Stable Belts

Sable belts (also know as Corps or Regimental Belts in the New Zealand Army) have their origins in the British Army. where they were initially worn by cavalrymen as part of their working dress.


Cavalry “Surcingle,” which is a leather or webbing strap when is placed over the saddle as an extra means of keeping the saddle secure and in place.


During the mid 19th Century, British Cavalrymen realised that by modifying a Cavalry “Surcingle,”  they would have a belt that was very useful in providing lower back support when cleaning stables and tending horses.

Initially worn by cavalrymen (and ASC and AOC personnel from trades associated with horses) the modified Surcingles were wider at 4″ than the 2½” width of modern stable belts. predominately made out of canvas, the buckles were worn on the left so not to scratch and catch on on horses and equipment.

With the adoption of coloured belts by officers in the British Indian Army in the mid-1800’s, the British Army at home started to adopted the practice in the late 1800’s as the coloured belts added a splash of colour and individuality to the drab khaki working uniforms the use of stable belts spread to other branches of the British Army during the 1950’s.

A modern stable belt is a wide webbing belt, usually of a single solid colour or horizontally striped in two or more different shades. Worn around the waist, either through the trouser belt loops or over a jersey.

With the original cavalry stable belts having the buckles at the side, later versions of stable belts were buckled at the front with a metal buckle bearing the badge of the Regiment or Corps.

Royal Army Ordnance Corps

The 1st pattern RAOC Belt was introduced before World War II and would be continued to be worn into the early 1950’s.  This pattern of belt was 4” (10cm) wide and was fitted with leather side fastening straps (worn to the left)

UK 1st type

1st Pattern RAOC Stable Belt. Mike Comerford Collection

The 2nd pattern RAOC Belt was introduced in the mid-1950’s and was fitted with the buckles at the side. It had a single yellow stripe bordered on either side by thin blue and red stripes and a broad blue stripe on the outside edges


2nd Pattern RAOC Stable Belt http://www.stablebelts.co.uk

The 3rd RAOC Belt adopted at around 1961 was initially fitted with buckles at the side, the leather side buckles were soon replaced with a brass buckle bearing the badge of the RAOC on the Right (male) fitting and the words ‘Royal Army Ordnance Corps’ in a circlet on the left (Female) fitting. The belt had four wide blue stripes with 3 narrow red stripes and would become the pattern for most Commonwealth Ordnance Corps Stable Belts. The Brass buckle was in time replaced with a chrome metal buckle.

RAOC Patt2

2nd Pattern RAOC Stable Belt with brass buckle. Robert McKie Collection



3rd Pattern RAOC Stable Belt. Robert McKie collection

RAOC personnel posted to the Commando Ordnance Squadron and 82 Airborne Ordnance Company, exchanged the RAOC buckle for the buckle of the parent unit they belonged to.


Commando Ordnance Squadron, RAOC (1972-1993) http://www.stablebelts.co.uk


The buckle of Commando Ordnance Squadron, RAOC (1972-1993). http://www.stablebelts.co.uk


82 Airborne Ordnance Company RAOC – 5 Airborne Brigade http://www.stablebelts.co.uk


Buckle of 82 Airborne Ordnance Company RAOC – 5 Airborne Brigade http://www.stablebelts.co.uk

Royal New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps


The RNZAOC was slow to introduce stable belts, and it is mentioned in a 1969 edition of the Pataka magazine that plans for the introduction of a stable belt had been rejected and would not proceed.

Stable belts for the RNZAOC were approved for use in 1972. The Belt was based on the RAOC belt having four wide blue stripes with 3 narrow red stripes, the buckle departed from the RAOC pattern, having a 7–6 cm chromed buckle on which a RNZAOC Badge was mounted.


RNZAOC Stable Belt. Robert McKie Collection

Royal Australian Army Ordnance Corps

The Australian Army adopted the stable belt in the late 1970s; however, they were removed from service in 1995 and are no longer worn.

Based on the 2nd pattern RAOC Belt, the RAAOC belt was fitted with a buckle with the RAAOC badge on the Right (male) fitting and the words ‘Royal Australian Army Ordnance Corps’ in a circlet on the left (Female) fitting.


Royal Australian Army Ordnance Corps. http://www.stablebelts.co.uk

Royal Canadian Ordnance Corps

Used by the Royal Canadian Army Ordnance Corps between 1953 and 1961, the RCOC stable belt was based on the 2nd pattern RAOC Belt. The RCOC belt was fitted with a buckle with the Ordnance Shield mounted with a St Edwards Crown on the Right (male) fitting and the words ‘Royal Canadian Ordnance Corps’ in a circlet on the left (Female) fitting.


Royal Canadian Ordnance Corps Stable Belt. Robert McKie collection

Malaysian Kor Ordnans DiRaja (Royal Ordnance Corps)

Based on the 2nd pattern RAOC Belt, the Malaysian belt is fitted with the buckles at the side.


Royal Malaysian Army Ordnance Corps http://www.stablebelts.co.uk

Ghana Army Ordnance Service

Based on the 2nd pattern RAOC Belt, the Ghana Army Ordnance Service belt is fitted with the buckles at the side.


Ghana Army Ordnance Services http://www.stablebelts.co.uk


Kenya Armed Forces Ordnance Depot

Departing from the traditional RAOC colour pattern, the Kenyan belt is fitted with the buckles at the side.


Kenya Armed Forces Ordnance Depot http://www.stablebelts.co.uk



Sultan of Oman’s Logistics Corps http://www.stablebelts.co.uk

Logistic Support Group

The Sultan of Oman’s Logistic Corps Buckle. http://www.stablebelts.co.uk

Copyright © Robert McKie 2017

Honours and Awards gained by New Zealand Ordnance Officers and Soldiers, 1915-1996

From 1915 to 1996 the following Honours and Awards were awarded to members of the;

  • New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps (NZEF), 1915 – 1921
  • New Zealand Army Ordnance Department, 1917 – 1924
  • New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps, 1917 – 1947
  • New Zealand Ordnance Corps, 1940 – 1946
  • Royal New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps, 1947 – 1996

Military Cross

Military Cross

Military Cross. NZDF

The Military Cross was created on 28 December 1914 to be awarded to officers in recognition of “an act or acts of exemplary gallantry during active operations against the enemy on land.


  • Temporary Captain Frank David Barry

Military Medal


Military Medal. Wikipedia Commons

The Military Medal was created on 25 March 1916 to be awarded as the Other Ranks equivalent to the Military Cross.


  • Private Mervyn William Curtis


  • Sergeant Claude Rex Pulford

Companions of the Distinguished Service Order (DSO)



The Distinguished Service Order was instituted in 1886 and awarded for meritorious or distinguished service by officers of the armed forces during wartime. The DSO was awarded to over 300 New Zealanders during both World Wars.


  • Captain William Thomas Beck


  • Lieutenant Colonel Alfred Henry Herbert

Most Excellent Order of the British Empire

The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is a British order of chivalry established on 4 June 1917 by King George V. The five classes of appointment to the Order are, in descending order of precedence:

  • Knight Grand Cross or Dame Grand Cross of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (GBE)
  • Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (KBE)
  • Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE)
  • Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE)
  • Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE)

The British Empire Medal is affiliated with the order, but its members are not members of the order.

Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE)


Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire. NZDF


  • Lieutenant Colonel Herbert Edward Pilkington


  • Brigadier Thomas Joseph King


  • Brigadier Allan Huia Andrews


  • Brigadier Piers Martin Reid

Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE)


Officer of the Order of the British Empire with 1917-35 Ribbon. NZDF


  • Temporary Major Charles Ingram Gossage
  • Major Norman Joseph Levien
  • Major Thomas James McCristell


  • Lieutenant-Colonel Ernest Leonard Guy Brown


  • Lieutenant-Colonel Francis Reid


  • Major Francis Anness Bishop (For service in Malaya 1Jan-31 July 1960)


  • Lieutenant-Colonel Henry McKenzie Reid


  • Lieutenant-Colonel Edward William Whiteacre


  • Brigadier Malcolm John Ross

Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE)

Member of the Order of the British Empire MBE

Member of the Order of the British Empire MOD UK


  • Major Norman Joseph Levien


  • Captain David Nicol


  • Temporary Captain George Douglas Pollock


  • Lieutenant Colonel John Owen Kelsey
  • Second Lieutenant Neville John Rollison


  • Warrant Officer Class Two Alan Frank
  • Captain William Charles Hastings
  • Lieutenant George Rupert Gable
    Citation: This officer has, by ingenuity and improvisation, showed great initiative and ability in overcoming difficulties and in carrying out his work during the whole period of his services in Fiji, New Caledonia, Guadalcanal, Vella Lavella and Green Island. In so doing he has set an outstanding example to his men in carrying out their work of maintaining the division’s equipment at a high standard of serviceability.


  • Captain (Temporary Major) Harold Cordery
  • Major Frank Arthur Jarrett
  • Second Lieutenant Desmond Godfrey Leitch
  • Temporary Warrant Officer Class One Herbert James Shepherd


  • Lieutenant Bernard Ewart Woodhams


  • Warrant Officer Class One Edward Coleman


  • Warrant Officer Class One William Sampson Valentine


  • Colonel Geoffrey John Hayes Atkinson


  • Major Francis Anness Bishop


  • Lieutenant and Quartermaster Henry Williamson


  • Staff-Sergeant Robert James Plummer


  • Major Jack Harvey


  • Warrant Officer Class One Henry Eric Luskie


  • Warrant Officer Class Two Ian Mac Stevenson


  • Warrant Officer Class One Barry Stewart


  • Warrant Officer Class Two Brian Michael Colbourne


  • Major and Quartermaster Edward Vennel Sweet


  • Captain Michael Anthony Mendonca

British Empire Medal (BEM)

Medals awarded to the NZDF. WW2  War Medal. Obverse.

British Empire Medal. NZDF


  • Staff Sergeant Patrick Arthur Fear


  • Staff Sergent William Alexander Sammons


  • Sergeant (temporary) James Russell Don


  • Staff-Sergeant (Temporary) Maurice William Loveday


  • Warrant Officer Class Two (Temporary)
    Ian McDonald Russell


  • Staff-Sergeant Robert James Plummer


  • Staff Sergeant Leslie Mullane


  • Corporal Tere William Kururangi


  • Temporary Warrant Officer Class Two Peter Gordon Barnes (Territorial Force)


  • Warrant Officer Class Two Tony John Harding
  • Corporal Richard Stuart Tyler


  • Warrant Officer Class Two Ross Charles Fearon

Meritorious Service Medal (MSM)


Meritorious Service Medal. NZDF

The Meritorious Service Medal was awarded between 1898 and 2013. initially instituted by British Royal Warrant on 28 April 1898 as an award for Warrant Officers and Senior Non-Commissioned Officers of the Army.

Between 1985 and October 2013, the Meritorious Service Medal was awarded for meritorious service of twenty-one years or more and recipients must have already held a long service and good conduct medal. The number of army personnel holding the award was restricted to twenty serving Army personnel.

Nearly all recipients of this medal have been of the rank of Sergeant or above. However, in the early 20th Century some awards were made to lower ranks. The last Royal Warrant (1985) specified that only those with the substantive rank of Sergeant could be considered for award of the medal.


  • Warrant Officer Class One Wilhelm Henchcliffe Simmons
    • “This NCO has performed all his duties with conspicuous ability and has contributed to the efficiency of his Corps.”


  • Armourer Sergeant Quartermaster Sergeant George Bush
  • Armourer Sergeant Clarence Guy Charles Wagg
    • “For conspicuous ability as Armourer Sergeant in charge of Divisional Armourers and through his energy and application, over one hundred Lewis and Vickers Guns, brought in by Salvage Companies, were repaired and put into action at a critical period of the Passchendaele offensive.”


  • Staff Sergeant Major (Honorary Lieutenant) Albert Austin
  • Warrant Officer Class One (Conductor) Arthur Gilmore
  • Armourer Sergeant Percival James Lister
    • Armourer Sergeant attached to 1st Battalion, Otago Regiment ” For consistent devotion to duty. 9/119 Arm Sergeant Percival James Lester has done consistently good work as Armourer Sergeant of this Battalion. Possessing exceptional mechanical and good inventive ability, he has to his routine duties, designed and constructed several forms of apparatus intended to improve the handling of Lewis gun etc., He has been unsparing in his endeavours to keep efficient the arms and other mechanical appliances in use by the unit, working long hours to do everything possible for the good of the ordnance of the Battalion.”
  • Sergeant Major John Goutenoire O’Brien
  • Warrant Officer Class One (Conductor) Clarence Adrian Seay
    • “For long and valuable service. This NCO has done continuous good work and has performed his duties in a most excellent manner. As Senior Warrant Officer, with the New Zealand Ordnance Department, his work has been of a most arduous character and has frequently involved him in situations which have called for a display of energy and initiative. In an advance the necessity of clean clothing and socks etc., for the fighting troops is sometimes very acute. Conductor Seay on his energy and ability has at times been of \the greatest assistance to the DADOS in administrating a very important branch of the service.” Died of disease, Germany 20 February 1919.


  • Armourer Sergeant Quartermaster Sergeant John Alexander Adamson
  • Private Patrick Keeshen
  • Staff Sergeant David Llewellyn Lewis


  • Corporal John Francis Hunter


  • Private Charles William Marshall
  • Warrant Officer Class One Thomas Webster Page


  • Staff Sargent Saddler George Alexander Carter
  • Armourer Staff Quartermaster Sergeant Thomas Reid Inch
  • Armourer Sergeant Harold Victor Coyle Reynolds


  • Corporal Edgar Charles Boalt
  • Armourer Sergeant Andrew Archibald Young


  • Warrant Officer Class One Michael Joseph Lyons


  • Private William Valentine Wood


  • Lance Corporal William Terrington Popple
  • Sergeant Albert Edward Shadbolt
  • Corporal Earnest John Williams


  • Warrant Officer Class Two Samuel Thomson


  • Corporal Philip Alexander Mackay
  • Sergeant Edward Ashton Waters


  • Warrant Officer Class One Arthur Sydney Richardson


  • Warrant Officer Class One Percy Charles Austin
  • Warrant Officer Class One John William Dalton
  • Warrant Officer Class One Eric John Hunter


  • Warrant Officer Class One Bertram Buckley
  • Warrant Officer Class One Willian Charles Hastings


  • Warrant Officer Class One William Galloway


  • Warrant Officer Class One Bernard Percy Banks
  • Warrant Officer Athol Gilroy McCardy


  • Warrant Officer Class One Maurice Sidney Phillips


  • Staff Sergeant Kevin Patrick Anderson
  • Warrant Officer Class One Murray Alexander Burt


  • Warrant Officer Class One Earnest Maurice Bull
  • Warrant Officer Class One John Bernard Crawford
  • Warrant Officer Class One Alick Claud Doyle
  • Warrant Officer Class One Hector Searl McLachlan
  • Warrant Officer Class One Douglas Keep Wilson


  • Warrant Officer Class One Barry Stewart
  • Warrant Officer Class One David Gwynne Thomas


  • Warrant Officer Class One George Thomas (Rockjaw) Dimmock


  • Warrant Officer Class Two Ian McDonal Russell


  • Warrant Officer Class One Bryan Nelson Jennings


  • Warrant Officer Class One Alexander Harvey McOscar


  • Warrant Officer Class One David Andrew Orr

Dave Orr 2

Warrant Officer Class One (Conductor) Dave Orr receiving his MSM from the Commander NZ Force SEA, Brigadier Burrows 1982. Joe Bolton Collection


  • Warrant Officer Class One Anthony Allen Thain


  • Warrant Officer Class One David Wayne Kneble

Mentioned in Dispatches (MID)

A Mentioned in Dispatches award was awarded when a serviceman’s name appeared in an official report written by a superior officer and sent to the high command, in which his or her gallant or meritorious service was described.


  • Captain William Thomas Beck


  • Lieutenant Colonel Alfred Henry Herbert


  • Staff Quartermaster-Sergeant Reginald Pike


  • Armourer-Sergeant Charles Mervyn Abel
    • Attached to New Zealand Divisional Headquarters – For distinguished and gallant services and devotion to duty during the period 16th September 1918 to 15th March 1919.”
  • Captain Charles Ingram Gossage
    • For distinguished and gallant services and devotion to duty during the period 16th September 1918 to 15th March 1919.”
  • Corporal Matthew Henderson
    • For distinguished and gallant services and devotion to duty during the period 16th September 1918 to 15th March 1919.”
  • Warrant Officer First Class (Conductor) Clarence Adrian Seay


  • Staff Sergeant Stanley Copley Bracken
  • Private John Wilson Wallace


  • Lieutenant Colonel John Owen Kelsey
  • Second Lieutenant Thomas Lindsay Cooper


  • Captain John Brodie Andrews
  • Captain Gordon Stanley Brash
  • Staff Sergeant Allen Anthony McMahon
  • Lance Corporal Colin James Ross
  • Staff Sergeant John Bell Taylor
  • Warrant Officer Class One Robert William Watson


  • Staff Sergeant Francis William Thomas Barnes
  • Honorary Major Conrad William Owen Brain
  • Staff Sergeant Henry France
  • Corporal Lewis James Garnham
  • Corporal Robert Love Gibbs
  • Captain Robert Clay Jones
  • Lieutenant Colonel John Owen Kelsey
  • Warrant Officer Class Two Thomas Edward Lawson
  • Corporal Charles Hector Lorrett
  • Private William McCullough
  • Warrant Officer Class Two Alexander Douglas McKenzie
  • Captain Harrison Lee McLaren
  • Warrant Officer Class Two Robert Morrison
  • Sergeant Arthur William Thomas Pearce
  • Staff Sergeant Lionel Pedersen
  • Corporal Stanley Hewitson Phillips
  • Warrant Officer Class Two James Pilgrim
  • Staff Sergeant John Frederick Popenhagen
  • Warrant Officer Class Two James Roughan
  • Private John Edwin Sanders
  • Corporal Gilbert Scarrott
  • Warrant Officer Class One Julius John Charles Schultz
  • Private Charles Edward Sumner
  • Corporal Thomas Henry Sunley
  • Sergeant Peter Llewellyn Wagstaff


  • Corporal Harding George Bommer
  • Warrant Officer Class Two Thomas Clifford Catchpole
  • Sergeant John Earnest Donoghue
  • Private Vernon Charles Goodwin
  • Lance Corporal Herbert Ernest Edwin Green
  • Sergeant Leslie Louis Merlin Hallas
  • Major Hugh France Hamilton
  • Private Charles Wesley Helliwell
  • Corporal Douglas Haig Spence Hunter
  • Lance Corporal Arthur Leask
  • Corporal William Hugh McIntyre
  • Lance Corporal Jack Clifford Miller
  • Captain Harold Oakley Nuttall
  • Private Albert Nuttridge
  • Private Edwin Albert Oberg
  • Captain Ronald Stroud
  • Captain Edwin Charles Sutcliffe
  • Second Lieutenant Ian Talbot
  • Driver Maurice Joseph Trewarn
  • Private Charles Sutcliffe West
  • Corporal Robert Yates


  • Corporal Jack Stanley Wooster (Recommended)


  • Captain and Quartermaster (temporary) David
    Ralph Hughes

Legion of Merit


Legion of merit. Wikipedia Commons

The Legion of Merit is a United States military award that is given for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services and achievements. The decoration is issued to members of the United States and foreign militaries.


  • Lieutenant-Colonel Maurice Salmon Myers.
    Citation: Colonel Myers has been head of the Ordnance Service of this division since its arrival in the South Pacific area in November 1942. Throughout his employment in this capacity he has rendered signal service to the division, notably in regard to the procurement of equipment which has been supplied to us through American sources. Without his careful foresight and planning the equipment problems of the Third New Zealand Division would have been much greater than they proved to be.

Armed Forces Honour Medal 2nd Class


South Vietnam Honour Medal 2nd class

The Armed Forces Honour Medal was a South Vietnamese medal awarded to any member of the military who actively contributed to the formation and organisation of the Vietnamese military in South Vietnam. The medal was intended for non-combat achievements. The second class medals were awarded to warrant officers and enlisted personnel.

  • Staff Sergeant  G.W. Byrom
  • Sergeant B.R. Swain


Beattie, P., & Pomeroy, M. (2016). Gallant acts & noble deeds: New Zealand Army honours and awards for the second World War. Auckland: Fair Dinkum Publications.

Chamberlain, H. (1995). Service Lives Remembered: The Meritorious Service Medal in New Zealand and Its Recipients, 1895-1994. H. Chamberlain.

McDonald, W. (2001). Honours and Awards to the New Zealand Expeditionary Force in the Great War, 1914-1918. Hamilton, New Zealand: Richard Stowers.

Polaschek, A. (1983) The complete New Zealand Distinguished Conduct Medal. Christchurch, Medals Research Christchurch.

http://www.vietnamwar.govt.nz/help, (Ministry for Culture and Heritage),

Copyright © Robert McKie 2017

Ordnance during the Field Force era 1964 – 1978

To meet SEATO commitments, the New Zealand Army reorganised in 1964, there would be an Infantry Battalion based in Malaysia as part of the British Commonwealth Strategic Reserve, with the remainder of the Army organised to provide reinforcement of the overseas elements at short notice, and with a more extended notice period. Forces able to meet other commitments outside of the scope of the Strategic Reserve. To achieve this that Army was organised as:

  • Field Force
    • The Combat Brigade Group – Organised as a combat force for commitments outside of the scope of the Strategic Reserve.
    • The Logistic Support Group – Organised to provide support in the field to the Combat Brigade Group.
    • The Combat Reserve Brigade Group – Designed to backfill personnel from the Combat Brigade Group and Logistic Support Group on their mobilisation, to provide trained reinforcements.
  • Static Support Force – all the static non-deplorably units.

RNZAOC Locations and Roles

The RNZAOC maintained units on a regional basis with;

  • Combat Brigade Group units based in the Northern region,
  • Logistic Support Group units based in the Central region,
  • Combat Reserve Brigade Group units based in the Southern region, and
  • Static Support Force units base throughout the country in non-operational support roles.

Units classed as Operating units had a real-time peacetime support role, all others only had training roles.

Up to 1968 Ordnance units, their locations and dependency’s are detailed in the following three tables;

Ordnance In the Northern Military District

1968 NMD

1st COD 1971

1st Central Ordnance Depot – 25 June 1971. RNZAOC School

Ordnance In the Central Military District

1968 CMD

CDOD 1965

Central Districts Ordnance Depot 1965. Dave Morris Collection

Ordnance In the Southern Military District

1968 SMD

Dress Embellishments

Circular Coloured patches 1½ inch in diameter were worn on the shoulder Battledress and then Service Dress just below the Corps Shoulder Title, these patches were discontinued in the mid-1970’s.

  • Combat Brigade Group – Black
  • Logistic Support Group – Red
  • Combat Reserve Brigade group – Green
  • Static Support Force – Blue


1968 Reorganisation

In 1968 it was decided to refine the RNZAOC organisation to better suit its outputs, resulting in name changes, roles changes, relocation and disestablishment for some units.

Unit Name Changes

  • The Main Ordnance Depot at Trentham was renamed 1 Base Ordnance Depot.
  • The three District Ordnance Depots were renamed as Central Ordnance Depots
    • Northern District Ordnance Depot – 1 Central Ordnance Depot
    • Central District Ordnance Depot – 2 Central Ordnance Depot
    • Southern District Ordnance Depot – 3 Central Ordnance Depot

Note: It was mooted that ‘Command’ instead of ‘Central’ be used as the name of the Ordnance Depots, and some correspondence does refer to the COD as Command Ordnance Depots.

Roles Changes and Re-locations

  • 1 Infantry Brigade Group Ordnance Field Park based at Trentham and already partly scaled but with no role other than training this was moved to Ngaruawahia, with the task of maintaining the Equipment Tables of Combat Brigade group units.

    1 Composite Ordnance Company Plaque. Peter Cox collection

    1 Composite Ordnance Company would assume the role as the significant bulk Ordnance stock-holding unit in the Field Force, with responsibility for issuing bulk to 1 Ordnance Field Park and all Workshop Stores Sections and detailed Issues to all Logistic Support Group units. This unit would have a peacetime holding of 60 -90 days of War Reserve stocks which were transferred from 1 Base Ordnance Depot. All Platoons were centralised at Mangaroa, less 4 (Ammo) Platoon which would be located at Makomako and loaned back to 2 Central Ordnance Depot.

  • 3 Infantry Brigade Group Ordnance Field Park situated at Ngaruawahia with no stocks held and performing only a Training Role, this unit was relocated to Burnham where the majority of Combat Reserve Brigade Units were located, and would continue to have no stock-holding responsibility and would only have a training role.

There was no change to the Role and locations of the Workshops Stores section and RNZAOC school.



The Small Arms and Proof Office co-located at Mount Eden with the Colonial Ammunition Company was closed down, and the Army ended its long relationship with the Colonial Ammunition Company when that company closed down.

The Ammunition Proof and Experimental Centre operations were also closed down, and its operations moved to the new Joint Services Proof Establishment, a Tri-service unit established as part of the Naval Ammunition Depot ad Kauri Point in Auckland.

RNZAOC Overseas

Throughout the 1960s the RNZAOC would provided individuals for overseas service, with the bulk serving with the Australians in South Vietnam and 1 RNZIR at Ternadak Barracks in Malaysia.

In 1970 due to a proposed British withdrawal from Singapore, the RNZAOC made a commitment with the RAAOC to form 5 Advanced Ordnance Depot in Singapore. 5 Advanced Ordnance Depot would be the first RNZAOC unit overseas since Kayforce during the Korean War, and the RNZAOC would retain a unit in Singapore until 1989.

Future Reorganisations

The RNZAOC would retain this organisation until the late 1970s when with the gaining of the Rations and Fuel functions on the disestablishment of the Royal New Zealand Army Service Corps and the RNZAOC would undergo yet another Reorganisation, which will be covered in another article.

Copyright © Robert McKie 2017

Ordnance Badges of the Commonwealth 1895 – 2019

Ordnance badges of the United Kingdom and most present and former Commonwealth countries all trace their origins to the Coat of Arms of the Board of Ordnance.

Coming into use in the seventeenth century, but not given royal approval until 1806 when the Arms of the Board of Ordnance was confirmed by a grant from the College of Arms in 1823.

The description of the original grant of arms describes the coat of arms as;

  • The blazon is as follows:
    • Arms: Azure – 3 Field Pieces in pale, or; on a chief, argent, three cannonballs, proper.
    • Crest: Out of a mural crown, argent, a dexter cubit arm, the hand grasping a thunderbolt, winged and inflamed, proper.
    • Supporters: On either side, a Cyclops, in the exterior hand of the dexter a Hammer, and in that of the sinister a pair of Forceps, resting on the shoulder of each respectively, all proper.
    • Motto: ‘sua tela tonanti’ (‘To the Thunderer his weapons’); also more loosely translated as (‘To the warrior his arms’].

Board of Ordnance details

Translated into modern English it reads as:

Shield: Blue background with 2 Field Pieces in Gold, on the Top portion of the shield 3 Silver/White cannonballs,

Crest: rising from a
Silver/White crown, a right arm grasping a thunderbolt, wings against a flaming background.

Supporters: Two cyclops on either the right-hand cyclops holding a hammer, the left-hand cyclops a pair of Forceps, resting on the shoulder of each respectively.

Motto: In the riband, the motto ‘sua tela tonanti’ loosely translated as ‘To the warrior his arms’

The shield with three cannons and three cannonballs is the standard component of the Coat of Arms used on Ordnance cap badges; variations include a riband with either the Corps motto or a descriptor of the corps the insignia belongs to.

Early Australian and New Zealand Ordnance badges had annulus surrounding the shield with the name of the respective Corps inside it.

Many international variations of Ordnance badges have also had national identifiers affixed to the top of the shield, for example, Canada had a Beaver on their 1903 badge, and New Zealand had the letters NZ on various versions of their badge.

The common direction for the cannons is that they always face to the right (Dexter in heraldic terms), the exception is the New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps 1917-23 and South Africa Ordnance Corps 1923-33 badges where the cannons face to the left (Sinister in heraldic terms).

On granting of Royal status, two features were added to most badges:

  • Permission was granted to affix the Royal garter in a buckled circle or oval, with the motto “Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense”. Its translation from “Old French” is “Shame be to him who thinks evil of it.” It is sometimes re-interpreted as “Evil (or shame) be to him that evil thinks” or “shame on anyone who thinks ill of it.”
  • Crowns of the reigning Regents were worn.
    • The Tudor or “Kings Crown” on badges from 1918 to 1953
    • The St Edwards or “Queens crown” from 1953

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Listed below are examples of some of the various ordnance badges of the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, India and South Africa. Examples of new Zealand pages can be found at Ordnance Badges of New Zealand 1916-1996.

Great Britain

From 1896 the United Kingdom maintained two Ordnance entities;

  • The Army Ordnance Department, Comprising of Officers, and
  • The Army Ordnance Corps, Comprising of other ranks

In July 1896 on the recommendation of the War Office, Queen Victoria approved the use of the of the arms of the Board of Ordnance in that the shield, less the crest and the supporters be incorporated into the badge of the Army Ordnance Department and Corps (AOC). The two cap badges were of similar design, differing only in the wording on the scroll and became the parents of all the Imperial, then Commonwealth Ordnance Corps, its pattern of badges would be utilised at some stage by all.



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The Army Ordnance Department and Corps were combined in 1918 to form the ‘Royal Army Ordnance Corps‘ which would remain in existence until 1993 when it was disestablished to form the ‘Royal Logistic Corps



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Formed as the ‘Australian Army Ordnance Stores Corps’ on 1 July 1902 at the same time as the civilian-staffed Civil Service run ‘Australian Army Ordnance Department’.

Entirely placed under military control in 1942 and renamed the ‘Australian Army Ordnance Corps’ and granted Royal status in 1948. The current design of badge with a King’s crown was approved in 1948 but only worn as a collar badge until 1956 when a cap badge with a Queens Crown was introduced which remain in service today.



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Created as the ‘Ordnance Stores Corps‘ in 1903. It was renamed the ‘Canadian Ordnance Corps‘ in 1907. Granted Royal designation in 1919 it became the ‘Royal Canadian Ordnance Corps‘. Serving until 1968 when the ‘Logistic Branch‘ was formed by combining the ‘Royal Canadian Ordnance Corps’ and the ‘Royal Canadian Army Service Corps‘.



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The history of the Indian Army Ordnance Corps is traced back to the 15-century formation of the three Presidencies of the East India Company – Bengal, Madras and Bombay, with the formal recognition of the Indian Army Ordnance Corps with the establishment of ‘Board of Ordnance‘ in 1775.

With the global disestablishment of the Board in 1855, the Ordnance State Department and Corps were created which was in turn in 1885 organised into the Army Ordnance Department for officer and the Army Ordnance Corps for men.



In 1922 the Army Ordnance Department and Army Ordnance Corps were reorganised and renamed ‘Indian Army Ordnance Corps‘. A similar corps badge to the previous badge was introduced but with the scroll bearing the words ‘Indian Army Ordnance Corps’ This badge continued in use until 1954 when the current badge came into use. The IAOC badge should have been discontinued after India became a republic in 1950, but a delay in finalising the new crest led to its continued usage till 1954.


Indian Army Ordnance Corps cap, collar badges 1922-1950 and shoulder title. Robert McKie Collection

With Independence in 1950, the “Indian” prefix was dropped, and the corps is now only known as the ‘Army Ordnance Corps’.

iindia ordnance post 1947

India Army Ordnance Corps- post-1947

Other known Indian Ordnance badges were:

  • 1884-1922
    • Pagri (Turban) Badge – Ordnance shield surmounted by fist rising from coronet grasping lightning rods, scroll bellow inscription SUA TELA TONANI
    • Waist Belt Clasp – Kings Crown) over Ordnance shield in centre, ORDNANCE around top, INDIA around bottom
    • Pagri (Turban) Badge – WW1 period – fist rising from coronet grasping
      lightning rods surmounted by two wings, no scroll


On the partition of India and Pakistan in 1947, the Ordnance badge adopted by Pakistan was a modified IAOC badge where the crown was replaced by the Pakistan ensign of Cresent and Star and the word Indian was replaced by Pakistan.

On the 15th of August 1954, a redesigned badge was adopted. Based on the RAOC Pattern badge, this badge consisted of;

  • the Ordnance shield of three cannons and three cannonballs
  • Pakistan ensign of a 5 pointed Star.
  • Annulus inscribed with the words ‘Pakistan Army Ordnance Corps’
  • The Ordnance Motto ‘Sua Tela Tonanti’ Translated into English reading ‘To the Thunder his Weapons’ inscribed onto the Riband.

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A princely state during the British Raj. After India gained independence in 1947, Hyderabad remained independent with the Indian Army taking control of Hyderabad after an invasion codenamed Operation Polo bringing Hyderabad in the Indian union in 1948.

hydrabad ordnance

Hyderabad Army Ordnance Corps.



South Africa

Following the British model, the South African Ordnance Department for officers and the South African Ordnance Corps for men was established in 1923. Combining into a single Corps in 1933 and finally reorganising in 1939 when the Technical Services Corps and the ‘Q Services Corps’ was created.

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Rhodesia and Nyasaland

The army of the Short-lived Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland (1953-1963) maintained the Rhodesia and Nyasaland Army Services Corps to provide logistical support to the Federal Army.  The Rhodesia and Nyasaland Army Services Corps was divided into three branches;

  • The Ordnance & Supply Branch – Tasked with the provisioning of all Army arms, supplies, and equipment. 150 soldiers strong.
  • The Workshop Branch – Artificers and mechanics responsible for the good maintenance of vehicles, firearms, and other equipment deployed by the Federal Army. The branch was 270 men strong.
  • The Supply & Transport Branch – Comprised of one Askari Platoon, two Coloured Afro-Asian Platoons, and one Eurasian Platoon, the Supply & Transport Branch was tasked in delivering the supplies set aside by the Ordnance & Supply Branch to troops in the field. The total size was 180 men.

Rhodesia and Nyasaland Army Service Corps


J.L. Chapple Indian Army Collection catalogue, Part II – Arms and Services, AFI, IST-ISF. (2017). Retrieved from Indian Military History Society: http://durbaronline.co.uk/PDF/PDF6arms-svces.pdf

Copyright © Robert McKie 2017

Zeitoun Ordnance Cap Badge Mystery

British Army Ordnance Corps 1915_zpsaibxjzox

New Zealand Supply Depot Staff at Zeitoun Camp, 1915. National Army Museum of New Zealand

I was recently made aware of this photo of New Zealand Supply Depot Staff at Zeitoun Camp, Egypt in 1915, it has been taken from the album of Major Alexander Charters, CMG, DSO, of the Wellington Infantry Battalion. The picture shows a group of men, most likely of the No 1 Depot Unit of Supply (DUS) New Zealand Army Service Corps (NZASC).

Badges of the NZASC 1910-1947. Robert McKie collection

Based at Zeitoun Camp from August 1915 until 16 March 1916 No 1 DUS was responsible for the supply and distribution of over 28000000 Kilograms of forage, foodstuffs, firewood and other goods to its subordinate units during that time.  It is on the surface an unremarkable picture but shows the variety of head-wear and uniforms at the time. Most are wearing Wolseley pattern sun helmets, two are wearing Forage Caps, two individuals are wearing felt hats with NZASC Khaki/White/Khaki Puggaree, one is wearing a Mounted Rifles bandoleer. Most interestingly of all is an individual wearing Lemon Squeezer hat,  with an unidentified Puggaree, (most likely an infantry Puggaree) with a British Army Ordnance Corps (AOC) badge.

The question has to be asked, why is a New Zealand soldier in 1915 wearing a British Army Ordnance Corps badge?

At the time of the photo, New Zealand did not have an Ordnance Corps, and one would not be formally created in the NZEF until February 1916,  (see NZAOC 1916-1919) and at home until 1917. (NZAOC, 1917-1923)   In the context of the NZEF,  ad-hoc Ordnance Sections had been established as staff under the New Zealand Division Deputy Assistant Director of Ordnance Services(DADOS). On the arrival of the NZ advance party in 1914, Sergeant (later Major) Levien had been attached to the British Ordnance Corps Depot at the Citadel in Cairo to study the Ordnance systems in use with the Imperial forces in Egypt to integrate New Zealand into the British Supply System.


Rue de la, Porte Rosette, Alexandria, Egypt. Public Domain

Early in 1915 to support the Zealand Forces, Levien now promoted to Lieutenant established a New Zealand Ordnance Depot in Alexandra at No. 12 Rue de la, Porte Rosette and a warehouse at Shed 43, Alexandra Docks.

Given the need to outfit New Zealand units as they arrived in Egypt, and as the New Zealand Forces returned from Gallipoli, there would have been a significant effort to refit, refurbish and re-equip units as they reorganised for future service in France and the Middle East. This would have put a considerable strain onto the nascent New Zealand Ordnance Corps, requiring in addition to the original DADOS staff, the drafting in of additional soldiers with clerical, stores and maintenance experience from within NZEF. Records analysed so far identify 13 Other Ranks (Private to Company Sergeant Major), who joined the NZAOC on its formal creation in Feb/Mar 1916, who would have quite possibly been working in  Ordnance roles since 1915.

British Army Ordnance Corps_zpshkmjkhxu

Ordnance Member, New Zealand Supply Depot Staff at Zeitoun Camp, and was definitely taken in 1915. National Army Museum of New Zealand

Unlike the soldiers of the NZASC who deployed as part of the established NZASC organisation and wore the NZASC cap badge.  Soldiers posted to NZ Ordnance, deployed from NZ on the strength of the unit or Battalion that they had enlisted into and were posted to the Ordnance establishment after their arrival in Egypt, and before establishment of the NZAOC in Feb 1916 would have retained the cap badge of their parent unit. I am sure that this would have caused some confusion and based on the evidence of the Zeitoun photo at least one Ordnance soldier utilised a British AOC badges to identify himself as Ordnance.

RAOC 1918

UK Army Ordnance Corps Badge 1895-1918. Robert McKie Collection



Judging by the puggaree on this soldiers lemon squeezer hat, this soldier has transferred to Ordnance from one of the New Zealand Infantry Battalions and quite possibly retains his parent units collar badges. Unfortunately, the quality of the picture doesn’t provide enough detail to identify the group with any certainty.

This picture raises several questions.

  • Was this an officially endorsed dress embellishment to identify individuals employed in Ordnance roles, possibly with the endorsement of the British Ordnance establishment in Egypt?
  • Was it just a case of an individual employed in an Ordnance role using the renowned Kiwi initiative and acquiring an AOC badge to show that he was Ordnance?
  • Was it just an ASC soldier, displaying an AOC badge he had just swapped as a keepsake? (by all accounts a thriving trade causing a shortage of badges)
  • Was it, in fact, a British Ordnance Soldier, wearing an acquired lemon Squeezer?
  • In 1914 there were several British Army Ordnance Corps Armourers posted to Alexandra barracks at Mount Cook in Wellington, are they part of this mystery, did some of these Armourers deploy with the NZEF to the Middle East?
  • Does the use of its badge have its origins back to 1913 when the first Ordnance Depots were established for the New Zealand Territorial Amy annual camps, and this individual was one of the original members?

Until further photographic evidence or written documentation is discovered, this picture raises more questions than answers, but this photo does provide a start point for later research to unravel this cap badge mystery.  I have seen some examples this badge with the letters “NZ” affixed on top of the shield, are these modified badges part of the same story?

Eventually, the NZAOC in the NZEF would adopt its own badge either in 1916/1917 and on the creation of the Home Service NZAOC in 1917 the adoption of their own badge. Use of both badges would evolve several times into the 1955 pattern that would serve the RNZAOC until 1996.


Copyright © Robert McKie 2017


New Zealand Supply Depot Staff at Zeitoun Camp, 1915 (Colourised). National Army Museum of New Zealand