NZAOC July 1919 to June 1920

Personnel

The strength of the NZAOD/NZAOC on 30 June 1920 was 3391, consisting of;

  • Officers, 14;
  • Other ranks, 377

Despite pressure to reduce manning levels, it had not been possible to reduce the NZAOD/NZAOC to a greater extent owing to the large amount of work still required to be carried out in connection with the war. In addition to the ordinary ordnance work in connection with the Territorial Force, the NZAOD/NZAOC was required to;[1]

  • maintain extra personnel for the handling, storage and accounting of hospital equipment for the hospitals under the Defence Department,
  • maintain extra personnel for the educational and vocational establishments,
  • Handle the large quantity of military equipment arriving from overseas.

Until the hospitals were transferred to civil control, and the Vocational Training Branch took over by the Repatriation Department, and the military equipment for the Military Force distributed in accordance with future requirements, NZAOD/NZAOC personnel reductions were unable to be reduced to any great extent without serious risk of incurring inefficiency and loss of stores.[2]

Key Appointments

Directing and Executive Staff

Director of Equipment and Ordnance Stores

  • Major T McCristell, NZAOD.[3]

Director of Ordnance Services

  • Lieutenant Colonel H. E. Pilkington, CBE, RNZA.[4]

Chief Ordnance Officer, Dominion of New Zealand

  • Lieutenant Colonel T McCristell, NZAOD.[5] 30 January – 30 April 1920
  • Captain T.J King, NZAOD

Assistant Chief Ordnance Officer

  • Lieutenant A.W Baldwin, NZAOD. [6]

Ordnance Accounting Officer

  • lieutenant James M. Miller, NZAOD.[7]

Northern Military District Ordnance Officer

  • Captain F. E. Ford, NZAOD.
  • Lieutenant M.J Lyons. [8]

Canterbury and Nelson Military District Ordnance Officer

  • Captain A.R.C White, NZAOD

Otago and Southland Military Districts Ordnance Officer

  • Captain O.P McGuigan, NZAOD

Ordnance Officer Trentham Camp

  • Lieutenant H.H Whyte, NZAOD.[9] [10]

Ordnance Officer – Featherston Camp

  • Lieutenant A.W Baldwin, NZAOD.[11]
  • Lieutenant L.A Clement.[12]

Executive Staff Ordnance Officers

  • Lieutenant Eugene Key, NZAOD.[13]
  • Lieutenant Albert Austin, NZAOD.
  • lieutenant Walter N. Bates, NZAOD. [14]

Inspectorial Staff

Inspector of Ordnance Machinery

  • Captain B.G.V Parker, NZAOD.[15]

Inspector of Engineers, Electric Light and Defence Vessels Stores

  • Captain George John Parrell, NZAOD. [16]
  • Captain A.D Neilson.[17]

Proof Officer, Small Arms Ammunition, Auckland

  • Captain A, Duvall, NZAOD. [18]

Chief Armourer

  • Honorary Lieutenant William E. Luckman, NZAOD

Inspectorial Staff Ordnance Officers

  • Honorary Lieutenant Frederick W. Kibblewhite, NZAOD
  • Honorary Lieutenant William H Manning, NZAOD.[19]
  • Honorary Lieutenant William Ramsey, NZAOD.[20]
NZAOC appropriations year ending 31 March 1920

NZAOC appropriations year ending 31 March 1920

Organisation Changes

This period would see the NZAOC undergo a change of command and re-designation of appointments to bringing it into line with the current RAOC naming conventions. The Director of Equipment and Ordnance Stores (DEOS) would be renamed and Director of Ordnance Services (DOS) and the position of Chief Ordnance Officer (COO) created.[21] The Division of duties between the DOS and COO was that the DOS would have executive command of the NZAOD/NZAOD with the COO would be the Commanding Officer of the NZAOC and would manage the day the day Administrative functions.[22] [23]

Major T McCristell who had held the position of DEOS since 1916,[24] would become the COO and the position of DOS filled by Lieutenant Colonel H. E. Pilkington, RNZA. Lt Col Pilkington had spent the war filling a variety of Ordnance Positions in the NZEF and Brutish Army including time as the ADOS of 19 Corps and ADOS of the NZEF. McCristell’s tenure as COO would be brief as he would be seconded to the Audi Department, relinquishing the position of COO to Captain T.J King in April 1920.[25] [26]

Produce

The revenue generated by the NZAOC for the year ending 31st May 1920, was £49,013 17s, 4d., while approximately £90,000 was saved by the renovation of part-worn uniforms.

Review of the NZAOC Establishment

It was announced on the 4th of July 1920 that a board of officers was to assemble at General Headquarters for the purpose of inquiring into the establishment of the NZAOC, with a view to its reduction and the practicability of the substitution of a percentage of civilian staff or permanent staff. The board will be composed as follows:[27]

  • President
    • Lieutenant-Colonel H. E. Pilkington, CBE. (Director of Ordnance Services);
  • Members
    • Lieutenant Colonel C. E. Andrews, OBE
    • Lieutenant Colonel H. E. Avery, G.M.G, DSO

The war revealed the requirement for maintaining an adequate supply of war material to ensure the equipping the Territorial Army on mobilisation. The deficiency of war material in the Dominion in 1914 necessitated the original Expeditionary Force being sent overseas incompletely equipped, while the shortage of military stores in New Zealand during the war became a serious handicap to the training of both the Territorial Force and the drafts for the Expeditionary Force.

The military equipment which was used by the NZEF abroad had been handed back to the Imperial authorities, and a supply of new or serviceable equipment to reequip the New Zealand Army issued in lieu, and gradually shipped to New Zealand as shipping became available. The need for storage accommodation for this equipment was very great, and although temporary arrangements were made to store it in wooden hutments at Trentham and Featherston Camps, these buildings were not suitable for storage of valuable equipment, nor were they conveniently situated for mobilization. Recommendations were made for district mobilization stores to be constructed, in order that this valuable equipment may not deteriorate and that each district may be self-contained.[28]

Fiji Expeditionary Force

Early in 1920 New Zealand dispatched Force of Fifty-Six regular soldiers to Fiji on the NZ Government Steamer Tutanekai. This Small force was sent at the request of the Governor of Fiji to provided support to the limited Police resources at his disposal to manage a strike among Indian indentured labourers and sugar cane farmers. The first peacetime deployment of New Zealand Forces, it was mainly made up of members of the RNZA and served in Fiji between 3 February -28 April 1920 and was known as the Fiji Expeditionary Force. [29]

Included as part of Fiji Expeditionary Force was a small NZAOC Detachment, which included the following personnel;

  • Staff Sergeant Joseph Warren.[30]

Annual Christmas Leave

A definite arrangement was made by the Defence Department regarding the annual leave of members of the NZAOC. Annual leave would be taken by the NZAOC as follows;[31]

  • The first party would take leave on December 4 and return to duty on December 28.
  • The second party would go on leave on December 3O and return to duty on January 22.

 Obituary

On 3 July 1919 Captain A. Duvall, of the NZAOC was found dead in the laboratory room at the Colonial Ammunition Company, the cause being a bullet wound. He was the Proof officer for the Defence Department at Auckland, it being his duty to test ammunition. He was aged fifty and left a widow, but no children. The coroner returned a verdict that death was the result of gunshot wound apparently self-inflicted while in a state of nervous depression.

Lance Corporal Duncan Macgregor of the NZAOC passed away at the comparatively early age of 54 years at Wellington on 25 July 1919. A well-known figure in local military circles, LCpl Macgregor had been a member of the Argyle and Sutherland Highlanders, gaining decorations for conspicuous bravery in India and South Africa.[32]

duncan macgregor

Lance Corporal Duncan MacGregor, NZAOC. National Library of New Zealand

Provisional Dress Regulations

Provisional dress regulations for the New Zealand Permanent Forces were issued in early 1920.  The revised regulations detailed that the Director of Ordnance would wear the following dress distinctions; [33]

  • Blue Gorget patches (tabs), and
  • blue cap-bands

Discipline

Courts Martial

529 Private Samuel McShane, of the NZAOC was tried by District Court-martial on 23 September 1919 at Trentham Camp on charges of receiving public goods knowing them to have been stolen and was sentenced to 90 days’ imprisonment. His sentence remitted, Pte McShane was immediately demobilised with no demobilisation pay or privileges.[34]

Serious Charges

Serious charges were laid against 605 Conductor Walter Edward Cook, NZAOC (Temporary) of the Featherston Ordnance Detachment at the Magistrate’s Court on 18 June 1921. In outlining the case and explaining the charge; the theft of £2 11s 9d (approx. 2018 NZ$290), the property of the Government, Detective-Sergeant Lewis said that it had been a part of the accused’s duty to audit certain, accounts regarding the sale of blankets. It was alleged that Cook had altered a number of dockets, pocketed a part of the money, and then forwarded the altered dockets. The total sum involved was about £177 (approx. 2018 NZ$17000).[35]  Cook was later found guilty, reverted in rank to Private and demobilised with no demobilisation pay or privileges and sentenced to six months hard labour.[36]

Personnel Movements -July 1919 to June 1920

Transfers

  • Captain (Temp) Michael Joseph Lyons, from the regiment of Royal New Zealand Artillery with the rank of Lieutenant, 1 March 1920.

Enlistments

  • 197 Artificer Frederick Vaugha Evans
  • 644 Private Thomas William Henry Rowe
  • 663 Artificer Fredrick John Sygrove
  • 666 Lance Corporal Peter Gow Scrimgeour
  • 750 Private Peter McIlroy
  • 795 Private George Troope Dawson
  • 820 Private James Clements
  • 822 Private John James Thomas
  • 831 Private Thomas Heaton
  • 832 Private Richard Teehan
  • 835 Private William Joseph Conroy
  • 838 Private William Robert McMinn
  • 857 Private Isaac Bernard Shields
  • 860 Private Hugh Lawton Owen
  • 867 Private John Rescorl
  • 885 Private C J J Storie
  • 902 Private William Stewart Barr
  • 914 Private John Boyce
  • 920 Private Gordon James Francis Arenas
  • 938 Sergeant John Goutenoire O’Brien
  • 939 Private Harold Gordon Hill
  • 1036 Private Shepherd Hughes

Releases

  • 47 Private Charles Harbage
  • 69 Lieutenant Eugene Key
  • 86 Lance Corporal Duncan Campbell MacGregor
  • 100 Lieutenant William Ramsay
  • 103 Private Thomas Riordan
  • 105 Private Thomas Rodgers
  • 125 Private Robert Walker
  • 128 Private Ludvig Martin Williamson
  • 136 Private Clifford Seddon
  • 160 Staff Sergeant Frederick William Tavendale
  • 183 Sergeant Robert Walter Baker Gale
  • 200 Private Alfred Healy de Vere
  • 221 cadet Harry William Miller
  • 228 sergeant Thomas Graham Niven
  • 241 Corporal Theodore Norris
  • 254 Private James Gorman
  • 269 Private George Kermode
  • 273 Private Thomas Ellwood Lyle
  • 294 Corporal Richard Brady Simpson
  • 299 Lance Corporal Peter Tulloch
  • 318 Private Frank Joseph Shacklock
  • 329 Private Harold Fraser White
  • 366 Private William Henry Murdoch
  • 368 Private James King
  • 393 Private John Naylor
  • 407 Private James Crone.[37]
  • 418 Private William Henry McCarthy
  • 424 Private Phillip Thomas Labatt
  • 436 Private John Raymond Johnson
  • 441 Private Montagu Spotswood
  • 446 Private Cecil Balcombe Langridge
  • 453 Private Harold Rigby
  • 462 Private William Ernest George
  • 478 Private Andrew Robert Murphy
  • 480 Private James Herbert Turner
  • 515 Private Thomas Edward Mills
  • 518 Private James McEntee
  • 529 Private Samuel McShane
  • 574 Artificer Henry James Day
  • 601 Private James Pritchard
  • 605 Private Walter Edward Cook
  • 617 Private Horace James Richards
  • 634 Private John Morrison
  • 675 Private Benjamin Smith
  • 680 Private Egbert Edwin White
  • 690 Private John Miller
  • 697 Private William Gibbons
  • 718 Private Peter Douglas Adamson
  • 477 Corporal Lawritz Christopher Jansen
  • 493 Corporal William Parry Mortimore
  • 644 Corporal Thomas William Henry Rowe
  • 354 Sergeant William Varian Wilson
  • 431 Sergeant John McVean Walker
  • 795 Sergeant George Troope Dawson
  • Lieutenant Walter Norman Bates.
  • Lieutenant William Manning.
  • Lieutenant William Ramsay.
  • Captain George John Parrell.
  • Lieutenant Colonel T McCristell.[38]

Deaths

  • Lance Corporal Duncan Macgregor.
  • Captain A. Duvall.

Copyright © Robert McKie 2019

Notes:

[1] “H-19 Defence Forces of New Zealand, Annual Report of the General Officer Commanding the Forces,” Appendix to the Journals of the House of Representatives  (1920).

[2] Ibid.

[3] Relinquished position to Director of Ordnance Services on 30 January 1920. “Appointment of Director of Ordnance Services and Chief Ordnance Officer,” New Zealand Gazette No 15, 19 February 1920, 547.

[4] Assumed position from Director of Equipment and Ordnance Stores on 30 January 1920.Ibid.

[5] Assumed position 30 January 1920, relinquished it to Captain T.J King on 30 April 1920 when seconded to Audit Department. “Appointments, Promotions, Resignations and Transfer of Officers of the New Zealand Staff and Territorial Force,” New Zealand Gazette no 55, 4 June 1920, 1865.

[6] “Whyte, Herbert Henry,” Personal File, Archives New Zealand  (1914): 116.

[7] Ibid., 117.

[8] Appointed 1 March 1920″Appointments, Promotions, Resignations and Transfer of Officers of the New Zealand Staff and Territorial Force,” New Zealand Gazette No 41, April 22 1920, 1257.

[9] “Whyte, Herbert Henry.”

[10] 13 May 1920 “Appointments, Promotions, Resignations and Transfers of Officers of the Nzsc, Nzaod and Territorial Force,” New Zealand Gazette No 46, 12 May 1921.

[11] Relinquished appointment as OO Featherston Camp to become Assistant COO 3 July 1919. Replaced by Lt L.A Clements.

[12] “Whyte, Herbert Henry,”  117.

[13] Relinquished position due to retirement on12 November 1919 “Appointments, Promotions, Resignations and Transfer of Officers of the New Zealand Staff Corps, Royal Regiment of New Zealand Artillery and Territorial Force,” New Zealand Gazette No 145, 11 December 1919.

[14] Relinquished position due to retirement on 20 June 1920. “Appointments, Promotions, Resignations, Transfers and Retirements of Officers from the NZ, NZ Army Ordnance Department and Territorial Force,” new Zealand Gazette No 36, 8 April 1920, 1072.

[15] Relinquished position due to retirement on 30 September 1919. “Appointments, Promotions, Resignations and Transfer of Officers of the New Zealand Staff Corps, Royal Regiment of New Zealand Artillery and Territorial Force.”

[16]  Relinquished position due to retirement on 30 September 1919.”Captain George John Parrell,” New Zealand Gazette No 76, 30 September 1919, 2016.

[17] “Neilson, Albert Ernest,” Personal File, Archives New Zealand  (1902-1921).

[18] “Death of an Officer,” New Zealand Herald, Volume LVI, Issue 17205, 5 July 1919.

[19] Relinquished position due to retirement on 4 April 1920. “Appointments, Promotions, Resignations, Transfers and Retirements of Officers from the NZ, NZ Army Ordnance Department and Territorial Force,”  1071.

[20] Relinquished position due to retirement on 4 April 1920. Ibid.

[21] “Appointment of Director of Ordnance Services and Chief Ordnance Officer.”

[22] Minute from DOS to GO IC Administration Date 5 June 1920″King, Thomas Joseph,” Personal File, Archives New Zealand 1914-1946.

[23] “Ordnance Services,” New Zealand Times, Volume XLVI, Issue 10514,, 16 February 1920.

[24] “Appointments, Promotions, Resignations and Transfer of Officers of the New Zealand Staff and Territorial Force,” New Zealand Gazette No 47, 20 April 1916.

[25] “Appointments, Promotions, Resignations and Transfer of Officers of the New Zealand Staff and Territorial Force.”

[26] “King, Thomas Joseph.”

[27] “H-19 Defence Forces of New Zealand, Annual Report of the General Officer Commanding the Forces.”

[28] Ibid.

[29] I. C. McGibbon and Paul William Goldstone, The Oxford Companion to New Zealand Military History (Auckland; Melbourne; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000, 2000), Bibliographies, Non-fiction, 170-71.

[30] “Warren, Joesph,” Personal File, Archives New Zealand  (1915-1931).

[31] “Local and General – Nzaoc Annual Leave,” Dominion, Volume 13, Issue 126, 21 February 1920.

[32] “All Sorts of People,” Free Lance, Volume XIX, Issue 996, 6 August 1919.

[33] “Provisional Dress Regulations,” Southland Times, Issue 18756, 3 March 1920.

[34] “Court Martial,” New Zealand Times, Volume XLIV, Issue 10397, 30 September 1919.

[35] “Serious Charges,” Evening Post, Volume XCIX, Issue 144, 18 June 1920.

[36] “Cook, Walter Edward,” Personal File, Archives New Zealand  (1918-1920).

[37] “Untitled -Crone,” Manawatu Standard, Volume XLIII, Issue 1784, 9 April 1920.

[38] “Appointments, Promotions, Resignations and Transfer of Officers of the New Zealand Staff and Territorial Force,” New Zealand Gazette No 99, 9 December 1920.

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Charles Ingram Gossage, NZEF DADOS 1918-1919

Gossage 1919

Charles Ingram Gossage was born on 11 August 1890 at Tapanui, New Zealand to Richard Ingram Gossage and Margret (Smith) and was the oldest boy in a family of three girls and two boys; Jane Eliza born 1886, Marion Peebles and Margaret Rubina born 1888 and George Low born 1894.1

Meeting his military service obligations, Gossage served in the 5th Mounted Rifles (Otago Hussars). Joining the Bank of New Zealand on 6 January 1913, Gossage was employed at the Dunedin branch when he enlisted into the NZEF.

On the declaration of war Gossage along with his younger brother George volunteered for war service and enlisted at Dunedin into their Territorial Army unit the 5th Mounted Rifles (Otago Hussars) on 9-Aug-14. Gossage was attested as 9/39 Trooper C.I Gossage on 13-Aug-14.

After a short period of training, the Gossage brothers embarked as part of the NZEF Main Body on Troop Transport 5 on 15-Oct-14, disembarking in Egypt on 3-Dec-14

Transferred into the Divisional Headquarters on 5 Feb 1915, Gossage was allocated the new Regimental Number of 15/39a. Embarking from Alexandra for the Dardanelles on 27 April, Gossage would remain at Gallipoli until he was evacuated to Alexandra with dysentery in late June. Remaining in Hospital until 5 August he was then released to a convalescent Camp to recover, returning to full duty on 25 August.

On 27 August Gossages 22-year-old brother George who was also serving with the Otago’s in Gallipoli was killed in action and now rests on the Hill 60 cemetery at Gallipoli and is memorialised on the Mosgiel War memorial in New Zealand.

Gossage Brother

Trooper George Gossage, Mosgiel Lodge Memorial Board – No known copyright restrictions.

Returned to full fitness, Gossage departed from Alexandra for Mudros on 3 November, continuing to serve in Gallipoli until the withdrawal on 20 December, disembarking in Alexandra soon afterwards.

Gossage 1914

Some of the boys of the 7th Southland Squadron, Otago Mounted Rifles Members of the 7th Southland Squadron, Otago Mounted Rifles who were among the last to leave Gallipoli. Gossage is incorrectly named as Tossage.

Transferred from Division Headquarter back to the Otago Mounted Rifles Gossage was promoted to Temporary Signal Corporal on 28 December and would serve with the Otago Mounted Rifles in the Canal Zone and was promoted to Lance Corporal on 28 January 1916.

Enjoying some downtime as the NZEF reorganised, Gossage was admitted to hospital in Ismailia with VD on 6 February and then transferred to the Hospital at Abbassya the next day and released from the hospital on 13 February.

Relinquishing his temporary Corporal rank on 10 February, Gossage was transferred to Moascar camp and Attached to the New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps (NZAOC) on 13 February and promoted to Sergeant on 18 February.

Formally transferred to the NZAOC on 21 March, Gossage had a short time to acquaint himself with his new responsibilities before embarking for France on 6 April.

Working under the Deputy Assistant Director Ordnance Services (DADOS) NZ Division Lieutenant Colonel Herbert, the NZAOC had a steep learning curve and not only had to learn how to operate within the British Ordnance system,2  but also support the New Zealand Division as it reorganised and equipped with all types of war materiel.

On 17 April 1916 Gossage was appointed Company Sergeant Major and acting Warrant Officer, and on 24 July in a testament to his performance, Gossage was promoted to Warrant Officer Class One with the appointment of Conductor, the first New Zealand Soldier to be granted this appointment. Further promotion followed with promotion to 2nd Lieutenant on 25 January 1917.

14 May 1917 saw Gossage at the New Zealand Officer Convalescent Home at Brighton in England where he would remain until 12 June and then placed onto the strength of the HQ NZEF (UK) in London. Struck off strength HQ NZEF(UK) on 13 June Gossage was posted to the New Zealand Reserve Group at Sling Camp.

To further his utility as an Ordnance Officer, Gossage marched out of Sling Camp on 21 September to attend an Ordnance Officers course at the Headquarters of the Army Ordnance Corps located at the Red Barracks, Woolwich London.

During his time at Woolwich married Wilfred Agnes Norwell at London on 29 December 1917.

Completing the Ordnance Officers course at Woolwich, Gossage was brought back on to the strength of the NZAOC in London on 25 February 1918, proceeding back to France on 18 March. Arriving back in the NZ Division on 19 March, Gossage was promoted to Lieutenant and appointed DADOS NZ Division vice Lieutenant Colonel Herbert DSO who had been appointed as the ADOS of a British Corps.3  On 31 March for the period that he was employed as DADOS,   Gossage was granted the Rank of Temporary Captain, and on 24 June was granted the rank of Temporary Major.

Departing France for leave in the United Kingdom on 2 November 1918, Gossage was on leave when the armistice took effect on 11 November. Within the first few weeks of the armistice if space allowed the wives and families of New Zealand servicemen returned to New Zealand.4  It is possible that Gossage’s wife departed for New Zealand during this period.

Returning to France on 20 November Gossage moved with the New Zealand Division through Belgium into Germany establishing themselves in Cologne by 20 December, where they would carry out occupation duties before demobilisation.5  On 15 December Gossage was promoted to Captain while retaining the rank of Temporary Major while DADOS NZ Division.

NZ Ordnance Staff 1919

New Zealand Ordnance Corps demobilisation Staff at Mulheim, Germany, Febuary1919. Alexander Turnbull Library/Public Domain

 

With the first units of the Division demobilising on 18 March 1919, the New Zealand Division was formally disbanded on 25 March 1919.6  Gossage was ordered to proceed to England as soon as the Ordnance Equipment of the New Zealand Division was handed over to the British. Impressed with the performance of the New Zealand Division between 16 September 1918 and 15 March 1919, General Haig Mentioned in Dispatches many members of the New Zealand Division including Gossage on 16 March 1919. With the New Zealand Division demobilised and all its equipment disposed or handed back, Gossage marched out tor England on 2 May 1919.

On 31 May 1919,  Gossages daughter Thelma was born in Auckland New Zealand.

Awarded the OBE on 3 June 1919, Gossage remained in London until 25 August, then posted to Sling Camp where he remained until he returned to New Zealand for demobilisation on 3 November 1919.

Travelling back on the troopship Ruahine, Gossage arrived back in New Zealand on 25 December 1919 and proceeded on leave. On 24 January 1920 Gossage Relinquished the rank of Temporary Major and was Struck off the strength of the NZEF and was transferred to the reserve of Officers with the rank of Captain. In total Gossage spent five years and seventy-one days on overseas service.

Gossage would not remain out of uniform for long, and on 16 August 1920 was granted a commission as a Lieutenant in the New Zealand Army Ordnance Department (NZAOD) as Ordnance Accounting Officer at the Mount Cook depot at Wellington.

Gossage oversaw the receipt of a large amount of new military equipment, which at the end of the war had been purchased from the United Kingdom to equip an Infantry Division and Mounted Brigade.  Additionally, Gossage also introduced a modern cost accounting system which proved very successful and reduced losses to a negligible level.

With the closing of the Mount Cook Depot in Wellington in 1920 and the transfer of Ordnance services to Trentham Camp, Gossage transferred to Trentham as the Accounting Officer on 18 July 1921. Offered a position with a commercial firm in London Gossage resigned his commission with the NZAOD on 31 December 1922 and with his family relocated to the United Kingdom.

With the onset of the Second World War and the second echelon of the 2nd NZEF in the United Kingdom, on 20 May 1940, Gossage offered his services to the New Zealand Government. On the recommendation of Lieutenant Colonel King, the DADOS of the 2NZEF, Gossage’s offer was declined. Although his offer of service was declined by New Zealand, Gossage was commissioned as a Lieutenant into the admin branch of the Royal Army Ordnance Corps (RAOC) on 21 April 1941.7 The extent of Gossage’s wartime service with the RAOC is unknown, but he does not appear in the Army list of 1947, so was probably discharged soon after the end of the war.

Gossage passed away at St Andrews Hospital, London at the age of 75 on 3 March 1966.

Copyright © Robert McKie 2018

 Notes

1 “Charles Ingram Gossage “, Personal File, Archives New Zealand 1914.

2 P.H. Williams, Ordnance: Equipping the British Army for the Great War (History Press, 2018).

3 Herbert was posted to the British XI Corps as ADOS, “Alfred Henry Herbert “, Personal File, Archives New Zealand 1914.

4 “Nzef Circular Memorandum Uk 214, Notes on Demobilisation’, in Reports by Gen. Richardson in Uk No. 23-32 Nov 1917-Feb 1919, Acid 17590 Wa/231/11, Anz.”

5 Matthew Wright, Western Front: The New Zealand Division in the First World War 1916-18 (Auckland, N.Z: Reed Books, 2005, 2005), Bibliographies Non-fiction, 159.

6 Ibid., 160.

7 “Supplement to the London Gazette, Page 3075,” London Gazette, 30 May 1941.


Dunedin Ordnance Depot Fire

A warehouse is usually a building of ample space, filled with commodities of all descriptions packed high and often close together making them conducive to the spread of fire. In the short history of the New Zealand Army Ordnance services, the risk of warehouse fires has always been taken seriously. As a small army at the end of a very long supply chain, the loss of expensive and hard to replace stores is something the Army could ill afford, not to mention the loss and replacement of infrastructure. Shortly after the formation of the New Zealand Ordnance Services in 1917, the Dunedin Ordnance Depot experienced a fired which although destroying some stock, was prevented by the fast response of the Dunedin Fire Brigade from becoming a catastrophic event.

The Dunedin Ordnance Depot started its life in 1907 as a purpose-built Mobilisation Store at 211 St Andrews Street. With a Civilian storekeeper Mr O.P McGuigan employed under the technical control of the Defence Stores organisation, the store was under the day to day control of the Officer Commanding of the Otago and Southland Military District, becoming part of the new Ordnance organisation on its formation in 1917.[1]  Mr McGuigan was granted Honorary rank as a Captain in 1914 and commissioned as a Captain in the New Zealand Army Ordnance Department (NZAOD) in 1917, holding the appointment of Assistant Director of Equipment and Ordnance Stores, with responsibility for the existing Territorial Army units, the various army establishments in the Otago and Southland Military District and the providing of Ordnance Stores to troopships.[2] The Dunedin Ordnance Depot is known to have a staff of at least 6 Other Ranks.

mob store Dunedin

Dunedin Mobilisation Stores, 211 St Andrews Street, Dunedin. Google Maps/ Public Domain

At around 5 pm on Monday the 11th of June 1917, Captain M’Guigan conducted a final check of his ordnance store, ensuring that all the fireplaces had been extinguished and satisfied that the building was safe to secure for the night, locked the doors. At approximately 5 am on the morning of the 12 of June, a policeman on his rounds passed the building and saw nothing suspicious. At 5.15 am the alarm was raised from the alarm on the corner of St Andrews street that there was a fire underway in the upper floors of the Defence building.[3]

At the time the Dunedin Fire Brigade consisted of the central fire-station and substations at Maori Hill, Roslyn, and Mornington. The Dunedin Brigade had retired its horse-drawn appliances in 1913 and had just recently received three modern Dennis 60 h.p. motor hose-tenders, each fitted with a telescopic trussed ladder and first-aid pumping outfits and was at the time was a well-equipped brigade.[4],[5] As the central station was located less a Kilometer from the defence buildings, it fell upon Superintendent Napier and the men of the central fire station to respond to the fire alarm.

Old Picture-124

Dunedin Fire Brigade appliance No5 C1917. Courtesy of Dunedin Fire Brigade Restoration Society

Old Picture-171

Dunedin Fire Brigade appliance No6 C1917. Courtesy of Dunedin Fire Brigade Restoration Society

Promptly arriving at the defence buildings, the responding fire brigade found an active fire emerging from the front portion of the second floor of the Defence Stores. The ferocity of the fire indicated that it had been alight for some time and had a firm grip of the contents. Described as “a very hot and Stubborn little fire”, the blaze proved challenging to overcome requiring three lines of hose and an hour and a half of hard and smart work by the fire brigade to bring the fire under control and extinguish the blaze.[6]

Postfire examinations revealed severe damage to the stock including;

  • Khaki overcoats,
  • forage caps,
  • saddlery,
  • uniform jackets, and other assorted

The damaged stock was confined to items stacked close to the window on the second floor, while stock close to the fireplace located on the rear wall was limited to smoke damage, eliminating embers from the fireplace as the cause. Surprisingly the damage to the building was superficial except for the roof which was beyond repair. With a total loss valued at £1237 (NZD 155422.62).[7] The Cause of the blaze was never determined, and as there was no insurance on the property, the cost was born by the crown with final appropriations for the losses made in 1921.[8]

How the fire affected the work at the Dunedin Ordnance Depot is unknown, but it would continue to service the Otago and Southand Military district until 1921 when the South Island military districts amalgamated into the Southern Military Command. To support the new Southern Military Command, a single Ordnance Depot was established at Burnham Camp, combining the stores and staff of the Ordnance Depots of Christchurch and Dunedin.[9] The Dunedin fire was a close call, with the risk of fire to Ordnance stores well recognised by the Ordnance leadership fire pickets would remain an essential regimental duty for Ordnance Other Ranks in Ordnance Depots for many years.[10] The most severe fire to strike a New Zealand Ordnance Store was the 1944/45 New Year’s Eve fire which resulted in the loss of £225700 (2017 NZD 18,639,824.86) of stock from No2 Ordnance Depot in Palmerston North.[11] The Palmerston North fire led to a review of all New Zealand Ordnance Depots to ensure the robustness of fire prevention measures.[12]

Despite the initial fire in Dunedin in 1917 and the Palmerston North fire in 1944 the spectre of fire would remain constant. Fire prevention and precautions would remain a continuous component of Ordnance training and procedures until the amalgamation to the RNZAOC into the RNZALR in 1996, and because of such diligence, there would be few fire-related incidents in New Zealand Ordnance Depots.

Copyright © Robert McKie 2018

 

Notes

[1] Joseph S. Bolton, A History of the Royal New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps (Wellington: RNZAOC, 1992), 53.

[2] “Annals from a Forgotten Ordnance Depot (Author Unknown),”  https://rnzaoc.files.wordpress.com/2017/06/no-2-72.pdf.

[3] “Fire at Dunedin Defence Store,” Evening Star, Issue 16448,, 12 June 1917, 4.

[4] “H-06a Fire Brigades of the Dominion (Report on the) by the Inspector of Fire Brigades for the Year Ended 30 June 1917,” AJHR  (1917): 4.

[5] Shawn McAvinue, “Party Time for Old Dennis Fire Engines,” Otago Daily Times, 28 March 2016.

[6] “Fire at Dunedin Defence Store,”  4.

[7] “Appropriation Act,” General Assembly of New Zealand  (1920): 29.

[8] Ibid.

[9] John J. Storey and J. Halket Millar, March Past: A Review of the First Fifty Years of Burnham Camp (Christchurch, N.Z.: Pegasus Press, 1973, 1974 printing, 1973), Non-fiction, 127.

[10] “Ordnance Corps Circulars 1928-1940  Ad1 1235 /256/10/4,” Defence Archives, Archives New Zealand  (1928).

[11] “Fire in Army Stores,” Press, Volume LXXXI, Issue 24524, 24 March 1945.

[12] “Army Stores in Christchurch Fire Protection Report,” Press, Volume LXXXI, Issue 24515, 14 March 1945.


The evolution of NZAOC ammunition responsibilities 1939-1945

With Japan expanding into China and war clouds brewing over Europe, Defence in New Zealand had by 1938 started to pull itself out of the years of forced inactivity and neglect that had been the hallmark of the early 1930’s. By mid-1939 re-equipment and rearmament was underway with many new weapons in the process of being introduced into service with more on order. With so many new armaments coming into service alongside the existing inventory, there was also ammunition which required correct storage and accounting. Responsibility for the management of ammunition was divided between the Royal New Zealand Artillery (RNZA) and the New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps (NZAOC). To meet the growing needs of the New Zealand Army, both organisations rapidly expanded in manpower and infrastructure from having a minimal ammunition capability in 1939, finally combining to form a single NZAOC organisation charged with responsibility for managing New Zealand Army ammunition depots in 1945.

Pre War Situation

Fort Ballance

On the formation of the NZAOC in 1917, the Royal New Zealand Artillery (RNZA) Ordnance Section at Fort Ballance passed to NZAOC control. Becoming the NZAOC Ammunition Section, it continued with its task of storing, inspection repairing and refurbishing Ammunition as a uniformed branch of the NZAOC under the control of the RNZA. Located at Watts Peninsular on the north end of Wellingtons Miramar peninsular, the ammunition infrastructure consisted of 19 magazines, one store and a laboratory situated 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 as far back as the 1880’s. In the case of Kau Point and Forts Ballance and Gordon, the large 6 and 8inch disappearing guns had been removed in the early 1920’s and the gun pits roofed over to become ad-hoc magazines. This accommodation was far from ideal as temperature, and moisture control was not able to be adequately controlled, resulting in potential damage to ammunition stocks.[1][2][3]

watts map

Fort Ballance Ammunition Area

 

HopuHopu Camp

A smaller Ammunition section was also maintained in Auckland during the 1920’s, who along with some staff from Fort Ballance Ammunition Section was transferred to the New Magazines at HopuHopu Camp[4] on the competition of their construction in 1929.[5] Envisaged to be the principle ammunition depot for New Zealand, Eleven magazines and a laboratory were constructed between 1925 and 1927. Built into a hillside, the magazines were constructed of concrete, with double walls, which formed an inspecting chamber. The intent of the inspection chamber, was for sentries to observe thermometers, and by consulting a chart, adjust the ventilation to maintain the stock at optimal temperatures. Entirely reverted into the hill and faced by an embankment the Hopuhopu magazine s designed in such a way so that if there were an explosion, the blast would be contained.[6]

20180412_164813-190082474.jpg

HopuHopu Camp Ammunition Area 1945. Public Works Department

The NZAOC Ammunition sections were disestablished in 1931 when nearly all of the NZAOC military staff, were as part of government budgetary restraints transferred to the Public Service as civilian staff at a lower rate of pay or placed on superannuation.[7]

When New Zealand entered the war in September 1939, The responsibility for ammunition was shared between the RNZA and the NZAOC;[8]

  • 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 Inspecting Ordnance Officer 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 personnel consisted of;[9]

  • The Inspecting Ordnance Officer (IOO), Captian I.R Withell, R.N.Z.A
  • The Proof Officer, Small Arms Ammunition (SAA) Mount Eden Auckland, Honorary Lieutenant J.W Fletcher, N.Z.P.S
  • 2 Civilian Staff at Ngawahawia
  • 5 Civilian Staff at Fort Ballance

Ammunition Facilities shared by the RNZA and NZAOC consisted of ;

  • 19 Magazines, 1 Store, and an Ammunition Laboratory at Fort Ballance managed by an RNZA WO1 seconded to the NZAOC and 5 civilian Staff
  • 11 Magazines and an Ammunition Laboratory at HopuHopu Camp managed by an RNZA WO1 seconded to the NZAOC and 5 civilian Staff
  • Single SAA Magazines at Trentham and Burnham Camps.

1940-41

As the New Zealand Army moved from a peacetime to a wartime footing, Ammunition responsibilities were split between the Assistant Quarter Master General (2) (AQMS(2)) and Assistant Quarter Master General (5) (AQMS (5)).[10]

AQMS(2)

  • With Lieutenant Colonel T.J King, Director of Ordnance Services (DOS) transferred to the 2nd New Zealand Expeditionary Force (NZEF), under the auspices of the AQMS(2) the position of DOS was parked for the duration of the war, and the responsibilities of the DOS divided as follows;
  • The Chief Ordnance Officer assuming responsibility for the Supply functions of DOS, including the management of NZAOC Ammunition Sections whose primary responsibility was SAA.
  • Ordnance Mechanical Engineer (OEM) assumed responsibility for Ordnance Workshops.
  • The Inspecting Ordnance Officer and the Proof Officer SAA came under the responsibility of the Chief Munitions Officer as the Army Inspection Department with the technical responsibility for the management and inspection of Ammunition.

AQMS(5)

  • The AQMS(5) was responsible for the Army Headquarters Gun Ammunition and Equipment Section.

Ammo responsibility 1941-45

With a significant amount of ammunition being received from overseas, it became a matter of urgency that the establishment of the NZAOC Ammunition section is increased and additional magazine accommodation constructed. Immediate relief was gained by the construction of eight magazines at Burnham Camp and the taking over of 6 Magazines and a Store at the Ohakea Airforce Base in the Manawatu. Both the Burnham and Ohakea magazines had been constructed as part of a prewar expansion plan. Ten magazines had been built at Ohakea, with their construction completed in 1940 and construction of eight magazines at a location north of Burnham Camp was started in 1940 with building completed by May 1941. [11]

By October 1941 the NZAOC Ammunition Section establishment and Magazine situation was;[12]

NZAOC Staff at Army Headquarters

  • 1 Captain
  • 1 Lieutenant
  • 1 Other Rank

Fort Ballance

  • NZAOC Strength: 4 Military Staff
    • Lieutenant Edkins
    • Staff Sergeant Eastgate
    • Sergeant Anderson
    • Corporal Bagley
    • 10 Civilian Staff
  • Buildings: 19 Magazines, 1 Store, 1 Laboratory
  • Ammunition held: Grenades, Bombs, Pyrotechnics and explosives
  • Work Carried out: Receipt and Issue of Ammunition, preservation of Ammunition held, major repair to Gun Ammunition, Manufacture of Blank Gun Ammunition

Hopuhopu (including Mount Eden SAA Magazine)

  • NZAOC Strength: 2 Military Staff
    • WarrantOfficer Class One Little
    • Sergeant Waters
    • 2 Civilian Staff
  • Buildings: 13 Magazines, 1 Laboratory
  • Ammunition held: Gun Ammunition, Grenades, Bombs, Pyrotechnics and explosives
  • Work Carried out: Receipt and Issue of all Ammunition, preservation of Ammunition held, minor repair to Ammunition,

Burnham

  • NZAOC Strength: 1 Sergeant employed as part of the New Zealand temporary Staff
  • Buildings: 7 Magazines, 1 laboratory (on magazine converted to a lab, the purpose-built laboratory would not be construed until 1945)
  • Ammunition held: Gun Ammunition, Grenades, Bombs, Pyrotechnics and explosives
  • Work Carried out: Receipt and Issue of Ammunition, preservation of Ammunition held, major repair to Gun Ammunition,

Ohakea

  • NZAOC Strength: 1 Sergeant employed as part of the New Zealand temporary Staff
  • Buildings: 6 magazines, 1 Store
  • Ammunition held: Gun Ammunition only
  • Work Carried out: Receipt and Issue of Ammunition, preservation of Ammunition held, major repair to Gun Ammunition

Further construction of magazines was planned with the War Cabinet granting expenditure in September 1941 for an extensive magazine building programme at the following locations;

  • Papakura (Ardmore)- 8 Magazines
  • Hopuhopu – 11 Magazines, 1 Laboratory, 3 Stores
  • Waiouru – 13 Magazines, 1 laboratory and 1 Store
  • Manawatu – 10 Magazines, 1 laboratory and 1 Store
  • South Island – 8 Magazines, 1 laboratory and 1 Store

1941 Magazine Design

Designed by the PublicWorks Department consultation with Army Headquarters, six designs were utilised, known as type A to F;[13]

  • Type A – 12.19m x 6.70m, Double brick walls with a corrugated asbestos roof, with entrance porch.
  • Type B – 12.19m x 6.70m, Double brick walls with a corrugated asbestos roof, no entrance porch.
  • Type C – 6.70m x 57m, Brick cavity walls with a corrugated asbestos roof.
  • Type D – 15.24m x 9.75m, Brick cavity walls with a corrugated asbestos roof, with entrance porch
  • Type E – 15.24m x 9.75m, Single timber walls with exterior cement fibre boards with a corrugated asbestos roof.
  • Type F – 15.24m x 9.75m, Double timber walls with exterior cement fibre boards with a corrugated asbestos roof.

Significant establishment changes were also proposed with an increase of the NZAOC establishment to 3 Officers and 62 other ranks including all civilian ammunition staff being placed into uniform retired.

1942

Although New Zealand had been at war for just over two years, up to December 1941, it had been a distant European war not requiring the full mobilisation of New Zealand. The near-simultaneous attacks by Japan against Malaya, the Philippines and speed of the Japanese advance southwards forced New Zealand on to a total war footing with the full mobilisation of the territorial army and the formation of additional Divisions for home defence and service in the Pacific.[14]

To meet immediate requirements for the storage of ammunition at Waiouru, authorisations for the construction of 16 temporary ammunition stores was granted in April 1942. Completed on the 18th of July 1942 the 9m x 6m temporary wooden ammunition stores were located south of the main camp.[15]

1942 Magazine Design

With the entry of Japan into the war, new magazines were approved. Due to the increased threat posed by Japan, the new magazines were designed with the intent of providing additional protection and were known as types M, P, R1, R2 and R3;[16]

  • Type M – 7.18m wide of variable length, precast concrete walls and roof supported by interior pillars.
  • Type P – 7m or 14m wide of variable length, precast concrete walls and roof supported by interior pillars.
  • Type R1 – 7.62m wide of variable length. Concrete walls and roof supported by interior pillars.
  • Type R2 – 7.62m wide of variable length, Brick walls with a Concrete roof supported by interior pillars.
  • Type R3 – 7m wide of variable length, Concrete outer wall with an inner brick wall with a concrete roof supported by interior pillars.

In addition to the 295 magazines constructed, numerous non-explosive stores, guard accommodation, garages and cookhouses, external and internal roads were also built. The non-explosive stores were generally 6m x 9m, constructed of unlined timber wall with an asbestos roof. The laboratory were 13m x 6m with cavity walls with an asbestos roof.

With construction started in early 1942, wartime conditions, competition for material and manpower priorities and the challenging and isolated locations of some of the sites saw that the final construction was not completed until late 1944. The final tally of magazines constructed across eleven locations was;[17]

  • Papakura (Ardmore)- 20 Magazines
  • Hopuhopu and Kelms Road – 55 Magazines
  • Waiouru – 45 Magazines
  • Makomako – 39 Magazines
  • Trentham(Kuku Valley) – 22 Magazines
  • Belmont – 62 Magazines
  • Glen Tunnel – 16
  • Burnham Camp – 8
  • Mount Somers – 10
  • Fairlie – 9
  • Alexandra – 9

During the same period, magazines and other ammunition infrastructure was also constructed for the Navy, Air Force and United States Forces in many locations across the country of which some would also be utilised by the NZAOC

The increase of Ordnance Depot Establishments

As of the 22nd of July 1942, the approved establishment of the NZAOC Depots was 435, consisting of 18 Officers, 47 other ranks and 370 civilians. Approval was granted on the 8th of August 1942 to increase and fully militarise the establishment of the NZAOC. The increase in the establishment was required to provide adequate staff for the four Ordnance Depots, with an ability to surge personnel into Advanced Ordnance Depots at Whangarei and Blenheim, in support of the Home Defence Divisions. The authorised establishment for NZAOC Depots (including Ammunition Sections), was increased to be a fully militarised establishment of 1049 Officers and Other Ranks.[18]

Officers Other Ranks Total
Main Ordnance Depot 19 556 575
Ordnance Depot Northern District 4 182 186
Ordnance Depot Central District 3 81 84
Ordnance Depot Southern District 4 200 204
Total 30 1019 1049

1943

Waiouru

  • Construction of the following ammunition infrastructure was completed on the 5th of February;[19]
  • One type B magazine
  • Eleven type D magazines
  • Laboratory
  • Non-Explosive Store

Followed by the completion of the following magazines in October 1943;

  • Two type D magazines
  • Four type E magazines
  • Four type F magazines
20180412_164447808026669.jpg
Waiouru Ammunition Area C1945. Public Works Department

Mokomoko

Construction of Mokomoko completed in March 1943.[20]

20180412_164357-1310043622.jpg

Mokomoko Ammunition Area C1945. Public Works Department

Mount Somers

Construction of Mount Somers completed in March 1943.[21]

Glentunnel

Construction of Glentunnel completed in August1943.[22]

Fairlie

Construction Authorised in December 1942 with construction completed during 1943.[23]

Alexandra

Construction of nine 18m long R2 Type magazines, Laboratory and a non-explosive store completed on November 1943.[24]

Kaikorai Valley (Dunedin)

Selected as the site of an ammunition Depot in early 1942. Seventeen temporary Wooden Ammunition Shelters and five temporary wooden explosive stores were constructed along with a quantity of supporting infrastructure including a road aptly named “Ammunition Track” which is the only trace left today. Possibly due to its close proximity to the coast and the threat of Japanese Air raids, the permanent Ammunition depot was built further inland at Alexandra.[25]

Dates for the completion of the construction of the Ardmore, Ngawahiwaia, Kelms Road and Kuku Valley magazines is not detailed in the Public Works history but would have been during 1943.[26]

Army Inspection Department adopt NZOC Badge

Due to the close asocial of the to Army Inspection Department to Ammunition the Chief Munitions Officer made a request to the Ch.ief Ordnance Officer that the Army Inspection Department be granted permission to were the Cap Badge and puggaree of the New Zealand Ordnance Corps (NZOC). Records are unclear if this request was granted.[27]

1944

Waiouru

Construction of the following was completed by May 1944;

  • Five type R1 magazines
  • Fourteen type R2 magazines
  • One type R3 magazine

Belmont

With a storage capacity of 17310 tons, the Belmont ammunition area was the largest ammunition depot ever constructed in New Zealand. The Belmont Depot covered an area of  320 acres with a 13km internal road network.  Construction of the Belmont Ammunition area was completed by November 1944.[28]

1945

From mid-1945 discussions start to take place on the post was the shape of the NZAOC. Some thought was given to returning the NZAOC to its pre-war status as a predominantly civilian organisation. Reality prevailed the future of the NZAOC was assured as a feature of the post-war army. It was estimated that there was at least three years of work required in inspecting and refurbishing ammunition returned from units that had been demobilised, that was in addition to maintaining existing stocks of unused ammunition.[29] Proposed establishment for NZAOC Ammunition units would see the first widespread use of the terms IOO (In the context of the modern Ammunition Technical Officer) and Ammunition Examiner (Ammunition Technician). 1945 would see the completion of the ammunition infrastructure works first authorised in 1941.

Burnham

Construction of Non-explosive store and Laboratory completed

Transfer of Ammunition and Equipment Section to NZAOC

Since before the Defence Act of 1909 which created the framework of the modern New Zealand Army, there had long between a division of responsibilities for the Managment of Ammunition. Traditionally the provision, allocation, receipt, storage and issue of Gun (Artillery) Ammunition had been an Artillery responsibility, with the Managment of Small Arms Ammunition the responsibility of the Defence Stores/Ordnance Corps. 1 June 1945 the NZAOC assumed responsibility for the management of all Army ammunition. The Artillery element responsible for the management of Gun Ammunition, the Ammunition and Equipment Section was transferred from the control of Army Headquarters to the Chief Ordnance Officer. As a result of the transfer, 11 Officers and 175 Other Ranks of the Royal New Zealand Artillery were absorbed into the NZAOC establishment.[30]

Ordnance Takes Full Control

On the 15ht of November 1945, the Chief Ordnance Officer took up responsibility for the care, maintenance, accounting and storage of all ammunition and explosives.

Control of ammunition would be undertaken by;

  • The IOO Section, and
  • The Ammunition Section

IOO Section

The IOO Section, administered by the CIOO was responsible for;[31]

  • The control of all work on ammunition for all purposes other than accounting and storage,
  • Maintenance of ammunition and explosives in stock in serviceable condition 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 f Repair Depot Trentham,
  • Maintenance of buildings at Repair Depot Trentham.

Ammunition Section

The Ammunition Section was responsible for;[32]

  • 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.

Copyright © Robert McKie 2018

Notes

[1] Russell Glackin, In Defence of Our Land: A Tour of New Zealand’s Historic Harbour Forts (Auckland, N.Z.: Penguin Group (NZ), 2009, 2009), Bibliographies

[2] Kiri Petersen Cathryn Barr, “New Zealand Defence Force Heritage Management Plan Forts Ballance and Gordon,” (Hamilton: Opus International Consultants Limited 2009), 2-5.

[3] Tony Walton, “Wellingtons Defences: A Reconnaissance Survey of the Fortifications or 1884-1945,” Archaeology in New Zealand 33 (1990): 87-99.

[4] At different times refered to as Waikato or Ngawahawia Camp

[5] “Modern Military Camp,” New Zealand Herald, Volume LXVI, Issue 20324, 3 August 1929.

[6] “Dominions Ammunition Depot,” Auckland Star, Volume LVI, Issue 83, 8 April 1925.

[7] Joseph S. Bolton, A History of the Royal New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps (Wellington: RNZAOC, 1992), 84.

[8] “Regulations for the Military Forces of the Dominion of New Zealand.,” New Zealand Gazette no. 32 (1927).

[9] “Establishments – Ordnance Corps Ad1 493 / 228/2/6,” Defence Archives, Archives New Zealand (1937).

[10] Ibid.

[11] F Grattan, Offical War History of the Public Works Department (PWD, 1948), 529.

[12] “Establishments – Ordnance Corps Ad1 493 / 228/2/6.”

[13], 517.

[14] Peter D. F. Cooke, Defending New Zealand: Ramparts on the Sea 1840-1950s (Wellington, N.Z.: Defence of New Zealand Study Group, 2000, 2000), Bibliographies

[15] Grattan, 521.

[16] Ibid., 518.

[17] Ibid., 517.

[18] “Establishments – Ordnance Corps Ad1 493 / 228/2/6.”

[19], 521.

[20] Ibid., 523-24.

[21] Ibid., 528.

[22] Ibid., 527.

[23] Ibid., 530.

[24] Ibid., 532.

[25] Ibid., 519.

[26] Ibid., 520.

[27] “Badges and Buttons – Regimental, Royal New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps 1936-1967, 92 / 213/12/19,” Defence Archives, Archives New Zealand (1936).

[28] , 524-26.

[29] “Establishments – Ordnance Corps Ad1 493 / 228/2/6.”

[30] Ibid.

[31] Ibid.

[32] Ibid.


Ordnance Locations

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

Description of Ordnance Units

In general terms, Ordnance units can be described as:

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

Unit naming conventions

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

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

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

In 1968 a regionally based numbering system was adopted

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

Some exceptions were:

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

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

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

Exceptions were:

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

Unit locations New Zealand, 1907–1996

Alexandra

9 Magazines Operational from 1943, closed late 1950’s

Ardmore

20 Magazines operational from 1943

Auckland

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

RNZAOC units that have been accommodated at Auckland have been:

Stores Depot

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

Vehicle Depot

  • Northern Districts Vehicle Depot, Sylvia Park, 1948-1961
  • Northern Districts Ordnance Depot, Vehicle Sub Depot, Sylvia Park, 1961 – 1968
  • 1 Central Ordnance Depot (1 COD), Vehicle Sub Depot, Sylvia Park, 1968 to 1979
  • 1 Supply Company, Vehicle Sub Depot, Sylvia Park, 1979 to 1989

Ammunition Depot

  • Northern Districts Ammunition Depot, Ardmore

Other Units

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

Workshops

  • No 12 Ordnance Workshop, Devonport, 1941–1946

Workshop Stores Section

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

 Belmont

Operational from 1943

  • MOD Trentham, Ammunition Group, Ammunition Section

 Burnham

Stores Depot

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

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

Vehicle Depot

  • Southern Districts Vehicle Depot, 1948-1961

Ammunition Depot

  • Southern Districts Vehicle Ammunition 1954-1961

Other Ordnance Units

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

Ordnance Field Parks

  • 3 Infantry Brigade Group OFP Platoon, 21 October 1948 – 28 June 1955
  • 1 (NZ) Division OFP, Tech Stores Platoon, 28 June 1955 – 

Workshops

  • No 14 Ordnance Workshop, until 1946

Workshop Stores Section

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

 Christchurch

Stores Depot

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

Workshop Stores Section

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

 Dunedin

Stores Depot

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

 Fairlie

Nine magazines Operational 1943.

Featherston

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

Glen Tunnel

16 magazines Operational from 1943

Kelms Road

55 Magazines Operational from 1943

Linton Camp

RNZAOC units that have been accommodated at Linton have been;

Stores Depot

  • No 2 Ordnance Depot, 1 October 1946  to 1948
  • Central Districts Ordnance Depot,  1948 to 1968
  • 2 Central Ordnance Depot (2 COD), 1968 to 1979[10]
  • 2 Supply Company, 1979 to 1985
  • 5 Composite Supply Company, 1985 to 1990
  • 21 Field Supply Company 1990 to 1996

Vehicle Depot

  • Central Districts Vehicle Depot, 1957-1961

Ammunition Depot

 

Ordnance Field Parks

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

Workshop Stores Section

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

Other Ordnance Units

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

Lower Hutt

Ordnance Field Parks

  • 1 (NZ) Division OFP, Tech Stores Platoon, 28 June 1955 –

Mangaroa

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

Supply Depot

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

Ordnance Field Parks

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

     

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

 Mako Mako

39 magazines operational from 1943

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

Mount Somers

10 Magazines operational from 1943

Ngaruawahia

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

Stores Depot

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

Ordnance Field Parks

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

Workshop Stores Section

  • 1 Infantry Brigade Group LAD, Stores Section

Other Ordnance Units

  • Northern Districts Ammunition Depot, Kelms Road

 Palmerston North

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

Trentham

Stores Depot

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

Ordnance School

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

Workshops

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

Workshop Stores Section

  • 1 Base Workshop, Stores Section

Ordnance Field Parks

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

Vehicle Depot

  • Central Districts Vehicle Depot, 1948 – 1957

Ammunition Units

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

Waiouru

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

RNZAOC units that have supported Waiouru have been;

Stores Depot

  • Main Ordnance Depot, Waiouru Sub-Depot, 1940–1946, Initially managed as a Sub-Depot of the Main Ordnance Depot in Trentham, Ordnance units in Waiouru consisted of:
    • Artillery Sub Depot
    • Bulk Stores Depot
    • Ammunition Section
  • Central Districts Ordnance Depot, Waiouru Sub Depot (1946–1976). [24] In 1946 Waiouru became a Sub-Depot of the Central Districts Ordnance Depot in Linton, consisting of:
    • Ammo Group
    • Vehicle Group
    • Camp Equipment Group.
  • 4 Central Ordnance Deport, (1976–1979) On 1 April 1976 became a stand-alone Depot in its own right[25]
  • 4 Supply Company, (1979–1989)
    when the RNZASC was disbanded in 1979 and its supply functions transferred to the RNZAOC, 4 Supply gained the following RNZASC units:[26]
    • HQ 21 Supply Company,(TF element)(1979–1984)
      21 Supply Company was retained as a Territorial unit for training and exercise purposes and was capable of providing a Supply Company Headquarter capable of commanding up to five subunits.
    • 47 Petroleum Platoon (1979–1984)
    • 44 Supply Platoon
  • Central Q, (1989–1993)
  • 4 Field Supply Company, (1993–1994)
  • Distribution Company, 4 Logistic Regiment, (1994–1996)

Workshop Stores Section

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

Wellington

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

Stores Depot

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

 Workshops

  • Armament Workshop, Alexandra Military Depot.[29]

Unit locations overseas, 1914–1920

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

Egypt

  • Ordnance Depot, Zeitoun Camp, 1914-16
  • Ordnance Depot Alexandra, 1915-16
    • 12 Rue de la, Porte Rosette, Alexandria. [31]
    • New Zealand Ordnance Store, Shed 43, Alexandria Docks.[32]
  • NZ Ordnance Section, NZEF Headquarters in Egypt
    • Qasr El Nil Barracks, Cairo.[33]

Fiji

  • NZAOC Detachment, Fiji Expeditionary Force, Suva – February- April 1920

Germany

  • Ordnance Depot, Mulheim, Cologne

 Greece

  • Ordnance Depot, Sapri Camp, Lemnos Island, October – December 1915

Samoa

  • 1 Base Depot

 Turkey

  • Ordnance Depot, ANZAC Cove, Gallipoli, April – Dec 1915

 United Kingdom

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

Unit locations overseas, 1939–1946

Egypt

Headquarters

  • Office of the DDOS 2NZEF, 22 Aig 1941 to Sept 1942
  • Office of the ADOS 2NZEF, Sept 1942 to 1 Sept 1945

Base Units

Supply

  • New Zealand Base Ordnance Depot, Maadi, 1940 to 19 Feb 1944
  • No 1 New Zealand Base Ordnance Depot,  16 Feb 1944 to 1946

Workshops (until Sept 1942 when transferred to NZEME)

  • NZ Base Ordnance Workshop

Laundry

  • NZ Base Laundry, 30 Sept 1942 – 30 Sept 1943 

Training

  • Engineer and Ordnance Training Depot, Maadi Camp

Field Units

Supply

  • 2 NZ Divisional Ordnance Field Park, 28 Jul 1941 – 29 Dec 1945
  • NZ Divisional Mobile Bath Unit, 6 Sept 1941  –  30 Sept 1942
  • NZ Divisional Mobile Laundry & Decontamination Unit, 22 Sept 1941 – 27 Mar 1942
  • NZ Divisional Mobile Laundry, 27 Mar 1942 – 30 Sept 1942
  • NZ Salvage Unit, 16 Aug 1941 – 20 Oct 1942

Workshops (until Sept 1942 when transferred to NZEME)

  • 2 NZ Divisional Ordnance Workshops
  • 1 NZ Field Workshop
  • 2 NZ Field Workshop
  • 3 NZ Field Workshop
  • 14 NZ Anti-Aircraft Workshop Section
  • 9 NZ Light Aid Detachment (attached 4 Fd Regt)
  • 10 NZ LAD (attached 5 Fd Pk Coy)
  • 11 NZ LAD (attached HQ 4 NZ Inf Bde)
  • 12 NZ LAD (attached 27 NZ (MG) Bn) Disbanded 15 Oct 1942
  • 13 NZ LAD (attached 2 NZ Div Cav)
  • 14 NZ LAD (attached 2 NZ Div Sigs)
  • 15 NZ LAD (attached 7 NZ A Tk Regt)
  • 16 NZ LAD (attached HQ 5 Fd Regt)
  • 17 NZ LAD (attached HQ 5 NZ Inf Bde)
  • 18 NZ LAD (attached 6 NZ Fd Regt)
  • 19 NZ LAD (attached HQ 6 NZ Inf Bde)

Greece

  • 2 Independent (NZ) Brigade Group Workshop.[34]
  • 5 Independent (NZ) Brigade Group Workshop.[35]
  • Light Aid Detachments x 11
  • 1 Ordnance Field Park (British OFP attached to NZ Division).[36]

Italy

Headquarters

  • Office of the ADOS 2NZEF, 6 Jun 1945 to 1 Sept 1945

Base units

  • No 2 New Zealand Base Ordnance Depot, Bari, 16 Feb 1944 – 2 Feb 1946.[37]
    •  Advanced Section of Base Depot, Senegallia, Sept 44 – Feb 46.
  • NZ Advanced Ordnance Depot,   1943- 14 Feb 1944 (Absorbed into OFP)

Field units

  • NZ Division Ordnance Field Park OFP,  – 29 Dec 1945
  • NZ Advanced Ordnance Depot,   27 Oct 1945- 1 Feb 1946
  • NZ Mobile Laundry Unit, 1 Oct 1943 – 16 Feb 1944
  • NZ Mobile Bath Unit, 18 Oct 1943 – 16 Feb 1944
  • MZ Mobile Laundry and Bath Unit, 16 Feb 1944  – 8 Dec 1945
  • NZ Vehicle and Stores Reception Depot, 27 Oct 1944 – 1 Feb 1946
    • Vehicle Depot, Assisi, 27 Oct 1945 – Jan 1946.[38]
    • Stores Depot, Perugia, 27 Oct 1945 – Feb 1946.[39]

Fiji

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

New Caledonia

  • Base Ordnance Depot
  • Division Ordnance Workshop

Solomon Islands

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

Tonga

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

Unit locations overseas, 1945–1996

Japan

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

Korea

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

Malaya

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

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

Singapore

Stores Depot

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

     

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

Workshops Stores Section

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

 Somalia

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

  • Supply Detachment, Dec 1992 to June 1993
  • Supply Platoon x 2 rotations, July 1993 to July 1994 (reinforced with RNZIR Infantry Section)
  • RNZAOC officers to UNOSOM headquarters, 1992 to 1995.[40]

South Vietnam

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

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

Copyright © Robert McKie 2018

Notes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[25] Ibid.

[26] Ibid.

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

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

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

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

[31] Ibid.

[32] Ibid.

[33] Glyn Harper, Johnny Enzed: The New Zealand Soldier in the First World War 1914-1918, First World War Centenary History (Titirangi, Auckland, New Zealand: Exisle Publishing, 2015

[Limited Leather Bound Edition], 2015), Bibliographies

Non-fiction.

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

[35] Ibid.

[36] Ibid.

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

[38] Ibid.

[39] Ibid.

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

 

 


NZAOC Between the wars

During its 79 year existence as a Corps, the NZAOC/RNZAOC was essentially a peacetime organisation and only actively engaged in supporting the army on warlike operations for approximately half its life. 1919 to 1939 and 1972 to 1992 were two long periods where the country was at peace, and the NZAOC/RNZAOC focus was on supporting Training, managing stocks for potential mobilisations and struggling to remain relevant in climates of financial restraint.

This article will provide an overview of the NZAOC during the period 1919 to 1938

On the cessation of hostilities in 1918,  the New Zealand Army Ordnance organisation consisted of the New Zealand Army Ordnance Department (Officers) and the New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps (Other Ranks) collectively referred to as the NZAOC.

Personnel

During the interwar period, the strength of r the NZAOC fluctuated from a high of 493 in 1919  to a low of  20 in 1932 ending the period with a force of 34 in 1939

NZAOC INTERWAR MANNING

Directors of Ordnance Services

  • Major T McCristell – 10 Apr 1916 to 30 Jan 1920 (Director of Equipment and Ordnance Stores)
  • Lt Col H.E Pilkington – 30 Jan to 1 Oct 1925 (Director of Ordnance Stores)
  • Major T.J King – 1 Oct 1924 to 22 June 1940

NZAOC JULY 1918 TO JUNE 1919

Having only being Gazetted by regulations published in 1917, the NZAOC had only been established as part of the permanent staff of the Defence Forces of New Zealand for just over a year on the cessation of Hostilities.

Under the control of the Director of Army Ordnance and Supplies, Major T McCristell. The NZAOC was Organised with Ordnance Stores under four District Ordnance Officers located at;

  • Mount Eden in Auckland
  • Alexandra Barracks, Mount Cook, Wellington, with detachments at
    • Palmerston North, and
    • Featherston
  • King Edward Barracks, Christchurch
  • St Andrews St, Dunedin

With the cessation of Hostilities operations swiftly switched from supporting the NZEF and training replacements to the demobilisation of the NZEF, the closing of camps and the downsizing of the army to peacetime levels

NZAOC JULY 1919 TO JUNE 1920

The NZAOC was under pressure to reduce manning levels. This was not possible owing to the significant amount, of work, still required to be carried out in connection with the war. In addition to the ordinary ordnance work in support of the Territorial Force, the NZAOC was required to;

  • maintain extra personnel for the handling, storage and accounting of hospital equipment for the hospitals under the Defence Department,
  • retain additional staff for the educational and vocational establishments,
  • Handle the large quantity of military material arriving from overseas.

NZAOC JULY 1920 TO JULY 1921

Approved by His Majesty King George V at the end of 1920, General Order No 95 of 1 March 1921 granted formal approval of an alliance between the RAOC and the Ordnance Corps of;

  • Australia
  • Canada
  • New Zealand
  • South Africa

The RAOC motto ” SUA TELA TONANTI” formally adopted as the motto of the NZAOC.

During this period the NZAOC had been considerably reduced but was still considered more than the strength required for its regular peace duties which consisted of the accounting, storage, issue, receipt, and care of all Ordnance stores for the N.Z. Military Forces, including the following in excess of ordinary routine duties;;

  • Receipt, accounting, and storage of abundant supplies of military equipment from the United Kingdom,
  • Ordnance issues and accounting in connection with military hospitals and sanatoria,
  • Sale of surplus stores
  • Marking of new rifles and equipment and reissuing to Territorial Force and Cadets. Nearly all of the new military equipment had arrived, and distributed as under;
    • Training equipment to units,
    • Mobilization equipment to depots in each command,
    • Reserve equipment at the main Ordnance depot.

As a result of the Army reorganisation, Military districts were reduced from 4 to 3 and renamed as Commands. This resulted in the Education Department Industrial School at Burnham been taken over for use as a NZAOC depot for the Southern Military Command. This led to the Ordnance Store located at King Edward Barracks and the Dunedin Ordnance Store situated in St Andrews Street, Dunedin closing and relocating to Burnham Camp as the Southern Command Ordnance Depot.

The current Ordnance Store at Mount Eden was unsuitable, and until suitable storage accommodation was provided, mobilisation stores for Auckland command were to be housed at Featherston Camp which resulted in the delayed demolition of this camp.

The NZAOC Palmerston North Detachment had closed during this period and had transferred its stores to Featherston and Trentham Camps.

The Ordnance Stores located in Buckle Street in Wellington had been relocated to Trentham.

NZAOC JULY 1921 TO JUNE 1922

With Ordnance Depots established at Burnham for the Southern Command, and at Trentham for the Central Command. The site for the Northern Command Depot at Ngaruawahia had been obtained in an exchange with the Railway Department for land at Frankton Junction. The mobilisation stores for the Northern Command were held at Trentham and Featherston, so it became a priority to incur some expenditure for the erection of buildings at Ngaruawahia. Plans were also on the table for the provision of suitable fireproof buildings to replace the contemporary temporary accommodation at Trentham and Burnham. At Trentham all available buildings, including the gymnasium used by the School of Instruction, were utilised for storage; many of the older hutments were not suitable for storing the equipment stores within them, and the risk of fire was a very grave one.

Based on the lessons learned during the war a new The cost accounting system was introduced in 1921.

NZAOC JULY 1922 TO JUNE 1923

Due to financial constraints work on the construction of the Ordnance Stores for the Northern Command had not yet been commenced, and work that was proposed to be carried out at Trentham and Burnham depots had been delayed. This had made the provision of proper Ordnance Depots at all three locations an urgent matter.

NZAOC JUNE 1923 TO MAY 1924

On 3 July 1923, the New Zealand Army Ordnance Department was amalgamated with the New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps resulting in one Ordnance organisation for the New Zealand Army.

NZAOC JUNE 1924 TO MAY 1925

At Ngaruawahia Camp, a railway-siding had been completed, and a branch line into the camp is under construction. and the provision of buildings for Ordnance stores was receiving consideration.

NZAOC JUNE 1925 TO MAY 1926

At Ngaruawahia work commenced on the large Ordnance Store building, which when completed would absorb the stores located at Mount Eden and at Featherston Camp and enable the temporary structures in those camps to be dismantled. Five magazines for gun-ammunition and high explosives and the earthwork for five others were also completed at Ngaruawahia Camp. Five additional magazines for gun-ammunition and one for small-arms ammunition were planned to be constructed in 1927. Further building forecasted for the next year included;

  • four married quarters,
  • Ordnance Office, and
  • workshops.

NZAOC JUNE 1926 TO MAY 1927

The development of Ngaruawahia Camp was continuing satisfactorily. The large Ordnance Store, a large building 322 ft by 100 ft divided into seven bay’s four 25ft by 100 ft, three 74ft by 100 ft, was nearing completion with the building walls up and two of the smaller bays roofed in. Other buildings projected to be constructed were an Ordnance workshop, 61ft by 50ft, and a vehicle shed, S2oft by 25ft.

The railway-siding serving the Ordnance buildings has been completed. The construction of the Ordnance Office and small-arms ammunition magazine has been commenced, and two high-explosive magazines and three married quarters will be put in hand immediately.

The entire inventory previously held at Featherston Camp had been removed. Several buildings were transferred to Fort Dorset to provide accommodation there, and, except for six retained for possible similar transfer elsewhere, and two brick buildings kept on the site, the whole of the buildings had been sold to the general public for removal. The land was retained and was leased for grazing purposes.

NZAOC JUNE 1927 TO MAY 1928

To make good wastage due to retirements, Six Other Ranks were enlisted into the NZAOC during this year.

The development of Ngaruawahia Camp was now in its final stages.

NZAOC JUNE 1928 TO MAY 1929

A concrete strong-room and Ordnance Workshops had been erected at Burnham Camp.

With the removal of stores to Ngaruawahia Camp, the buildings at Mount Eden were no longer required, so they were disassembled and re-erected Narrow Neck Camp.

NZAOC JUNE 1929 TO MAY 1930 

All construction work at Ngaruawahia Camp was completed, and the buildings have been handed over to the Army

NZAOC JUNE 1930 to MAY 1931

On account of the disastrous earthquake that struck Napier and Hastings on the 3rd February 1931, the NZAOC was called upon at short notice to supply tents, blankets, bedding, cooking and eating utensils, for use in the stricken areas. The total value of the stores issued from the Ordnance Stores at Trentham was £35,000. The Ordnance staff did particularly good work in dispatching these stores and equipment.

The Ordnance workshop located at Mount Cook was relocated to Trentham Camp.

With the Depression affecting the New Zealand economy, the NZAOC was forced to retrench many of its staff including;

  • Seventy-six officers and other ranks of the NZAOC were retired on superannuation as from the 31st March 1931.
  • Seventy-four NZAOC staff (excluding officers and artificers) who were not eligible for retirement were transferred to the civil service to work in the same positions but at a lower rate of pay.

NZAOC JUNE 1931 TO MAY 1934

A low period in NZAOC history, the retrenchments of 1931 had hit hard, and operations in the army were at an all-time low during this period

NZAOC JUNE 1934 TO MAY 1935

Equipment and stores required for the Territorial Force had been maintained during the year in serviceable condition. Meticulous attention had been paid to the inspection and testing of small-arms ammunition.

NZAOC JUNE 1935 TO MAY 1936

The NZAOC continued to be was responsible for;

  • the provision, distribution, repair, examination, and maintenance of small arms machine guns, vehicles, clothing, equipment, and general stores
  • the inspection and repair of armament and inspection of gun ammunition
  • the receipt, testing, storage, and issue of small-arms ammunition
  • the organisation and control of ordnance workshops

NZAOC JUNE 1936 TO MAY 1937

NZAOC personnel has been engaged throughout the year in the following activities :

  •  Care, preservation, turnover, and accounting for all stores, arms, equipment, and clothing held in Ordnance Depots.
  • Receipt and classification of clothing returned from Territorials and Cadets. Allocation of apparel for dry-cleaning and renovation, and examination on return from dry cleaning contractors.
  • Examination of new clothing supplied by contractors.
  • Annual inspection of rifles and light machine guns on charge to Territorial Units and Cadets, and half-yearly examination of Vickers guns.
  • The issue of camp equipment and training stores for camps, bivouacs, and courses of instruction throughout the Dominion, also hire of stores to various organisations.
  • Sales of rifles and barrels to gunsmiths, to rifle clubs, and to general public, and sales of S.A.A. to rifle clubs.
  • The everyday issues of clothing, arms, equipment, S.A.A. and expendable stores. No progress has been made during the year with the stripping, cleaning, and preservation of the balance of the rifles, S.M.L.E. Mark III, held in store, and which have not been examined since receipt from the United Kingdom in 1920. Authority had been obtained, however, for the engagement of four arms-cleaners, and the work has now started.

As the guest of the Commonwealth Government of Australia, The Director of Ordnance Services paid a six-week visit to Australia at the end of 1936

NZAOC JUNE 1937 TO MAY 1938

The constant changes in the organisation of units and in equipment generally, as adopted in England, had very much complicated and increased the Ordnance work in New Zealand. Much remained to be done in the repair, maintenance, and the modernisation of arms and equipment, in the receipt, storage, and issue of stores and equipment from abroad, and in preparation for mobilisation.

A contract for the first section of the large Ordnance Store required at Trentham was let, and it was proposed to accelerate the construction of the remainder of the buildings. Plans were prepared for the structures needed for the Ordnance Depots at Ngaruawahia and Burnham, and for the rebuilding of the Ordnance Workshop, Devonport.

NZAOC JUNE 1938 TO MAY 1939

There had been a considerable increase in Ordnance work during the last eight months. Equipment tables for all Territorial units except Artillery had been prepared, and the issue of equipment was proceeding. Camp-equipment stocks have been thoroughly revised in the light of the altered establishments, and essential purchases have been affected.

The first section of the large Ordnance store building at Trentham was nearing completion, and a contract had been let for the second section. The construction of this store would alleviate the severe shortage of storage space at Trentham, and will at the same time make available additional barrack-rooms for the accommodation of troops attending the Schools of Instruction. A contract had also been let for the first section of a similar Ordnance store at Burnham with clearing operations on the site commenced.

The Southern Ordnance Depot assisted the Southern Military School at Burnham. The school conducted a unique course for quartermasters, drawn from the various Territorial units of the Southern Military District. The Southern Ordnance Depot provided instruction on the are and preservation of clothing and ordnance equipment.

Copyright © Robert McKie 2017

 


NZAOC July 1922 to June 1923

The Establishment of the New Zealand Army Ordnance Department (Officers) and New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps (Other ranks) on the 30th of June 1923 was 109, consisting of.[1]

  • 7 Officers, and
  • 102 Other Ranks

Key Appointments

Director of Ordnance Services

  • Lieutenant Colonel H. E. Pilkington, CBE, RNZA.[2]

Chief Ordnance Officer

  • Captain T.J King, NZAOD. [3]

Assistant Chief Ordnance Officer

  • Lieutenant A. W. Baldwin, NZAOD

Ordnance Accounting Officer

  • Lieutenant C.I. Gossage, OBE, NZAOD.[4] [5]
  • Lieutenant T.W Page, NZAOD. [6]

 Northern Command Ordnance Officer

  • Lieutenant M.J Lyons, NZAOD. [7]

 Central Command Ordnance Officer

  • Lieutenant H.H Whyte, NZAOD

Southern Command Ordnance Officer

  • Captain A.R.C White, NZAOD

 Featherston Camp Ordnance Officer

  • Captain F. E. Ford, NZAOD.

 Inspecting Ordnance Officer and Acting Inspector of Ordnance Machinery

  • Captain William Ivory, RNZA.

1922 estb

Change of Command

The Director of Ordnance Services assumed command of the NZAOC from the Chief Ordnance Officer on 30 September 1922.[8]

Ordnance Depots

Northern Command

Due to financial constraints, work on the construction of the Ordnance Depot for the Northern Command had not commenced. The plans for the Ngaruawahia Ordnance Depot also provided for magazines which were urgently required to relieve the present congested magazines located at Fort Ballance, and to enable a number of the existing magazines at Auckland to be utilised for naval purposes[9].[10]

Central Command

Work that was proposed to be carried out at the Trentham depot had also been delayed due to financial constraints. [11]

Work that was proposed to be carried out at the Burnham depot had also been delayed due to financial constraints. [12]

These delays had made the provision of proper Ordnance Depots at all three locations an urgent matter. Apart from the strategic and tactical considerations, which would be important in the event of mobilisation. The completion of new depots was essential to avoid the high cost of maintenance of the temporary buildings in which the equipment was stored, and the higher freight charges involved the distribution of stores for peace requirements from unduly distant Ordnance Depots. The lack of substantial weatherproof and fireproof depot storehouses was causing the stocks of clothing and stores to be subject to a higher degree of deterioration that would generally be the case, and also exposes them to the risk of total loss by fire. [13]

Ordnance Workshops

Armament Sergeant Major (WO1) Joseph Warren appointed as Warrant Officer In Charge of the Ordnance Workshop Wellington 0n 8 May 1922.[14] [15]

warren warrant

The overhaul and assembling of the 6-inch 26cwt howitzers were completed satisfactorily at the Ordnance workshop, Alexandra Barracks. Twelve howitzers were overhauled and issued to the Territorial Artillery on completion. [16]

Accounting Systems

The cost accounting system introduced in 1921 by Lieutenant C.I. Gossage had proved very successful, and losses had become comparatively negligible. The inauguration of the new system, combined with the changes of staff consequent upon reorganisation, involved very considerable work, and the disposal of outstanding deficiencies in stores caused mainly through unrecorded issues to the Expeditionary Force or faulty book-keeping by the ever-changing temporary staff was a work of some magnitude.[17]

dying of Khaki clothingThe sale of surplus stores through a central depot in Wellington had been continuous since the establishment of the depot and had proved successful in every way. The sales average approximately £1,000 per week, and the prices obtained are much higher than could be achieved by any other method. To enable a considerable surplus of khaki service uniform jackets to be sold, a dying contract had been arranged, and supplies of those garments, dyed dark blue, were on the market. Khaki trousers were being, similarly stained to provide complete suits. The contract is very advantageous to the NZAOC since faded garments of little sale value were restored to excellent condition and are saleable at very satisfactory prices. On completion of each training-year large quantities of uniform, clothing was withdrawn from Territorials who have completed their service. To enable this clothing to be reissued it was thoroughly cleaned and renovated under a contract dry-cleaning process. The resultant savings were very considerable. For the six months ended 31st March 1923, the figures were as follows[18];

  • Number of garments dry-cleaned, 43,263
  • the number of garments renovated, 16,598
  • The total cost of dry-cleaning and renovation, £3,510
  • Before the present system, clothing was laundered and renovated for £8,423
  • so that the current system resulted in a saving of £4,913 for six months

Ordnance Veteran Petitions Parliament

Mr William Thomas Beck DSO MID, who served with the New Zealanders in Egypt and Gallipoli, and who suffered from shell-shock and defective eyesight, petitioned Parliament for redress on the 20th of June 1920. An Ordnance Corps member who served on Gallipoli as the New Zealand and Australian Division, DADOS at ANZAC. On being invalided back to New Zealand, he was declared medically unfit for service with the Defence Department, and so lost, the benefits and emoluments of his employment, while on the other hand the Superannuation Board declared him fit, and refused to extend to him the benefits of the fund to which for so long he had contributed. It is unknown how successful his Petition was.[19]

Presentation on Ordnance, Otago Officers’ Club 19 July 1922

Very few civilians, and even soldiers, during the war were aware of the work of the Ordnance Corps behind the lines and at the base depots. This subject was dealt with in an interesting lecture at the Otago Officers’ Club last evening by Captain Edward Fletcher Roberts, who was with the Ordnance Corps both in France and Mesopotamia. Captain Roberts gave an instructive and entertaining address on “Ordnance Work During the Great War.” Colonel E. R, Smith presided over a fairly numerous attendance. Captain Roberts dealt with the various phases of ordnance work, and by means of diagrams lucidly explained its many activities. The public generally had no idea of the enormous expense and vast amount of labour which is utilised in repairing artillery, gun limbers, machinery, etc., for an army in the field. Captain Roberts detailed the duties of Inspectors of Ordnance Machinery—more commonly known as I.0.M. These officers received a three months’ “oram” course at Woolwich before going on active service, where they received very full instruction on the mechanism, of gun carriages and the examination of ordnance. The speaker explained the various causes of gun trouble and the methods employed in effecting the necessary repairs. In dealing with ordnance workshops. Captain Roberts said there were several classes of workshops—the ordnance mobile workshops (light), commonly called travelling workshops, and the ordnance mobile workshops (heavy), which were stationed further back on the lines of communication than the light shops, and were a much slower moving unit, being hauled by traction engines. The heavy shop acted as a feeder to several light shops, there being at one time one heavy mobile workshop to each army. There were also base workshops which were capable of doing almost any repair. There were immense base workshops at Havre and Calais. As the speaker’s experience of base workshops was limited to Mesopotamia he dealt fully with their organisation and work in that country. He described the different repair work done and said that a large number of Arabs and Indians were employed by the British authorities. The captain concluded his remarks by giving instances of the various repairs effected to artillery of all types, to wheels for different vehicles, and all that a campaign makes necessary. At the conclusion of his address, Captain Roberts was accorded a hearty vote of thanks by acclamation.[20]

Chanak crisis

During September–October 1922 Turkish nationalist forces who had expelled the Greeks from Smyrna by force in August 1922, threatened to cross into the British occupied Dardanelles. Fearing for the security of the Dardanelles neutral zone, the British reinforced their positions in Chanak, the neutral region on the Asiatic shore of the Dardanelles, thus blocking the Turkish Forces. As the possibility of war grew, the British Government reached out to the Dominions, asking for support if hostilities broke out. New Zealand responded positively and despite it only been 4 years since the 1914-1918 New Zealand’s attitudes to war had not been affected, and the New Zealand Defence establishment embarked into an intense period of planning for the contribution of Expeditionary Force consisting of an Infantry Brigade. The Director of Ordnance Services was asked to provide the following personnel as part of the Infantry Brigade headquarters;[21]

  • One Warrant Officer
  • One Clerk
  • One Storeman
  • Four Armourer Staff Sergeants

Thousands of men volunteered, but luckily the potential conflict was resolved peacefully, and the New Zealand contribution was not required.

20180505_200735-190082474.jpg

Kings Medal Shooting Competition

Corporal F. W. Ching, of the Ordnance Staff at Trentham, finished at 2nd place at the championship at the National Rifle Association meeting held in March 1923, earning an N.Z.A.R.A. Gold Jewel and £8. [22]

Personnel Movements -July 1922 to June 1923

Enlistments

  • 977 Private William Charles Hastings

Transfers from Royal New Zealand Artillery

  • 807 WO1 (Hon Lieutenant) Thomas Webster Page. [23]
  • 954 Company Sergeant Major Joseph Arthur Head, from Wellington Detachment
  • 956 Staff Sergeant Saddler George Alexander Carter, from Auckland Detachment
  • 960 Sergeant Frank William Ching, from Wellington Detachment
  • 961 Corporal Edgar Charles Boult, from Dunedin Detachment
  • 965 Bombardier Philip Alexander MacKay, from Featherston Detachment
  • 967 Bombardier Robert John Gamble, from Dunedin Detachment
  • 968 Bombardier Thomas Alexander Hunter, from Auckland Detachment
  • 974 Gunner Henry William Le Comte, from Wellington Detachment

Releases

  • 12 Staff Sergeant James Brown
  • 43 Staff Quartermaster Sergeant William James Frost
  • 51 Private John Edward Hedderwick
  • 58 Staff Quartermaster Sergeant Thomas Reid Inch
  • 71 Staff Sergeant Bernard Terence Leydon
  • 92 Private Hector Finch McKay
  • 110 Corporal Frederick William Savill
  • 121 Private William Thornton
  • 227 Private Daniel Clarke
  • 669 Lance Corporal Thomas William Cooper
  • 750 Private Peter McIlroy
  • 826 Artificer Joseph Graydon Crawford
  • 832 Private Richard Teehan
  • 835 Private William Joseph Conroy
  • 860 Private Hugh Lawton Owen
  • 943 Sergeant Major Artificer James Edward Nesbitt

Copyright © Robert McKie 2019

Notes:

[1] “H-19 Defence Forces of New Zealand, Annual Report of the General Officer Commanding the Forces from 1 July 1922 to 30 June 1923,” Appendix to the Journals of the House of Representatives  (1923): 2.

[2] “Pilkington, Herbert Edward,” Personal File, Archives New Zealand  (1896 – 1930).

[3] “King, Thomas Joseph,” Personal File, Archives New Zealand 1914-1946.

[4] Relinquished commission due to retirement 31 December 1922.”Appointments, Promotions, Resignations and Transfer of Officers of the New Zealand Military Forces,” New Zealand Gazette No 2  (1923).

[5] “Personal – Gossage,” New Zealand Herald, Volume LX, Issue 18332,  (1923).

[6] Howard E. Chamberlain, Service Lives Remembered : The Meritorious Service Medal in New Zealand and Its Recipients, 1895-1994 ([Wellington, N.Z.]: H. Chamberlain, 1995), 350-51.

[7] “Lyons, Michael Joseph,” Personal File, Archives New Zealand  (1914-1919).

[8] “Change of Command,” NZAOC Corps Orders No 51  (1922): Part 2, Para 1.

[9] Major General E Chaytor, “Report on the Defence Forces of New Zealand,” AJHR H-19 (1923).

[10] “H-19 Defence Forces of New Zealand, Annual Report of the General Officer Commanding the Forces from 1 July 1922 to 30 June 1923.”

[11] Ibid.

[12] Ibid.

[13] Ibid.

[14] “Warren, Joesph,” Personal File, Archives New Zealand  (1915-1931).

[15] “Change of Command,”  Part 2, Para 2.

[16] “Six-Inch Howitzers,” Evening Post, Volume CIV, Issue 13, 15 July 1922.

[17] “H-19 Defence Forces of New Zealand, Annual Report of the General Officer Commanding the Forces from 1 July 1922 to 30 June 1923.”

[18] “Report on the Defence Forces of New Zealand.”

[19] “Soldiers Grievance Loss of Employment,” New Zealand Herald, Volume LIX, Issue 18221, 14 October 1922.

[20] “Ordnance Work in the War “, Otago Daily Times, Issue 18611, 20 July 1922.

[21] “Ordnance – Turkish War – Ordnance Personnel – General Instructions, Ad1 1059 /95,” Defence Archives, Archives New Zealand  (1922).

[22] “Shooting at Trentham,” Manawatu Standard, Volume XLIV, Issue 657  (1923).

[23] Appointed Conductor on transfer into NZAOC