NZAOC Officers 1917-1939

Established under the auspice of the 1914 Defence regulations,[1] the New Zealand Army Ordnance Department (NZAOD) and the New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps (NZAOC) were established as a branch under the Quartermaster-General in 1917.  Assuming responsibility for the functions of Director of Equipment and Stores and the Director of Ordnance and Artillery, the officers of the NZAOD would be organised into three functional areas;

  • The Directing Staff
  • The Executive Staff and
  • The Inspectorate Staff

The initial officers of the NZAOD were drawn from the staff of the Defence Stores, Royal New Zealand Artillery, New Zealand Staff Corps (NZSC) and New Zealand Permanent Staff (NZPS) provided a bedrock of experience in which to build upon.

In 1920 the appointment of Director of Equipment and Ordnance Stores was renamed Director of Ordnance Services (DOS) and the post of Chief Ordnance Officer (COO) created with the intent that the DOS would provide the overall management of the New Zealand Ordnance Services and the COO acting as the Commanding Officer of the NZAOC. In 1922 the DOS assumed the role of Commanding Officer of the NZAOC from the COO, with the COO taking charge of the Trentham Ordnance Depot. Major King was appointed DOS in 1924 and for the duration of his tenure would retain the appointment of COO.

1924 saw the NZAOD amalgamate into the NZAOC and the original structure dispensed with. Many of the original officers had retired, replaced by new officers with war service in Ordnance or Quartermaster roles including some with Ordnance training at Woolwich. Due to a lack of qualified personnel, the appointments of Inspecting Ordnance Officer (IOO) and Inspector of Ordnance Machinery (IOM) was carried by one officer with responsibility for the appointment split between the Director of Ordnance and the Director of Artillery.

The Defence Regulation of 1927 clarified the status of the NZAOC and details its responsibilities as follows;[2]

The Director of Ordnance Services, assisted by the Chief Ordnance Officer, the Inspecting Ordnance Officer, and the Ordnance Mechanical Engineer, is responsible to the Quartermaster-General for;

  • The provision, receipt, storage, distribution, repair, examination, and maintenance of small-arms, machineguns, vehicles, clothing and necessaries, equipment and general stores (including medical and veterinary), and camp and barrack equipment,
  • The inspection and repair of armament and warlike stores, and the inspection of gun-ammunition,
  • The provision, receipt, storage, and distribution of small arms ammunition,
  • The receipt, storage, issue, and repair of fixed armament, field armament, and artillery vehicles,
  • The organization and control of ordnance workshops,
  • The preparation and periodic revision of Equipment Regulations and barrack and hospital schedules,
  • The organization, administration, and training of the N.Z Army Ordnance Corps,
  • The maintenance of statistics of the Ordnance Department.

Despite the challenges of the depression, the NZAOC would struggle through the 1930s and by the beginning of 1939 the officers of the NZAOC were employed as follows;[3]

Branch of the Adjutant and Quarter-Master General

Director of Ordnance Services- Lieutenant Colonel T.J King.

Main Ordnance Depot

  • Chief Ordnance Officer – Lieutenant Colonel T.J King.
  • Assistant Chief Ordnance Officer, Major W.R Burge, MC, NZSC.
  • Ordnance Officer (Provision), Captain H. E. Erridge.
  • Ordnance Officer, Captain E.L.G Bown, NZSC.
  • Assistant Ordnance Officer, Lieutenant A.H Andrews, BE.
  • Inspecting Ordnance Officer, Captain I. R. Withell, B.Sc., RNZA.
  • Ordnance Mechanical Engineer, Lieutenant S. B. Wallace, BE.

Northern Military District

  • District Ordnance Officer – Lieutenant L. Lewis.
    • Northern Command Ordnance Depot, Ngaruawahia.
  • Proof Officer, Small Arms Ammunition, Honorary Lieutenant J.W Fletcher, NZPS.

Central Military District

  • District Ordnance Officer – Major W.R Burge, MC, NZSC.
    • Main Ordnance Depot, Trentham.

 Southern Military District

  • District Ordnance Officer – Lieutenant D. Nicol.
    • Southern Command Ordnance Depot, Burnham.

List of NZAOC Officers 1917-1939

Head of Corps

  • Director of Equipment and Ordnance Stores, Major T. McCristell, NZAOD. 1 Apr 1917 to 30 Jan 1920. [4]
  • Director of Ordnance Services, Lieutenant Colonel H. E. Pilkington, CBE, RNZA. 30 Jan 1920 to 1 Oct 1924. [5] [6] [7]
  • Director of Ordnance Services, Lieutenant Colonel T.J King. 1 Oct 1924 – incumbent.[8] [9] [10]

Chief Ordnance Officer

  • Chief Ordnance Officer, Lieutenant Colonel T McCristell. 30 Jan 1920 to 30 Apr 1920.[11]
  • Chief Ordnance Officer, Captain T.J King. 30 Apr 1920 – incumbent 1939. [12]

Assistant Chief Ordnance Officer

  • Assistant Director of Equipment and Ordnance Stores, Temporary Captain T. J. King. 1 Apr 1917 to Jan 1920.
  • Assistant Chief Ordnance Officer, Captain A.W Baldwin. 3 July 1921 to 1922.
  • Assistant Chief Ordnance Officer, Captain W.R Burge, MC, NZSC. 18 Apr 1929 – incumbent 1939. [13] [14]

Ordnance Accounting Officer

  • Ordnance Accounting Officer, lieutenant J.M. Miller. 3 Jul 1918 to 12 Jul 1920.[15] [16]
  • Ordnance Accounting Officer, Lieutenant C.I. Gossage, OBE. 16 Aug 2031 Dec 22.[17] [18] [19]
  • Ordnance Accounting Officer, Lieutenant T.W Page. 1 Jan 23 to 27 Jul 29.[20] [21]

Northern Command Ordnance Officers

  • Ordnance Officer Auckland, Captain W.T Beck, DSO. 3 Apr 17 to Mar 1918.
  • Ordnance Officer Auckland, Captain L.F McNair. 16 Jan 1918 to23 Apr 21.[22]
  • Ordnance Officer Auckland, Lieutenant M.J Lyons. 1 Mar 1920 to Sept 1920.[23] [24] [25] [26]
  • Ordnance Officer Auckland, Captain E.C Dovey, NZSC. Oct 20 to11 Jul 21.[27]
  • Ordnance Officer Northern Command, Captain A.W Baldwin. 1922 to1 Aug 26.[28]
  • Ordnance Officer Northern Command, Captain F. E. Ford. 1 Sept 1926 to 30 Jan 1931.[29] [30]
  • Ordnance Officer Northern Command, Lieutenant J.W Barry, NZSC. 31 Jan 1931 to12 Oct 1934.[31] [32] [33] [34]
  • Ordnance Officer Northern Command, Lieutenant L. Lewis. 13 Oct 1934 – incumbent 1939. [35] [36] [37] [38]

Central Command Ordnance Officers

  • Central Districts Ordnance Officer, Captain F. E. Ford. 1 Apr 1917 to 1 Dec 1921.[39] [40]
  • Ordnance Officer, Central Military Command, Captain H. H. Whyte, M.C. 2 Dec 1921 to 2 April 1929.[41] [42]
  • Ordnance Officer, Central Military Command, Lieutenant H. E. Erridge. 15 May 1929 to 20 Dec 1930.[43] [44][45]
  • Ordnance Officer, Central Military Command, Captain W.R Burge, MC, NZSC. 21 Dec 1930 – incumbent 1939. [46]

Southern Command Ordnance Officers

  • Ordnance Officer Southern Command, Captain A.R.C White. 1 Apr 1917 to 13 Dec 1930.[47] [48]
  • Ordnance Officer, Burnham, Captain O.F. McGuigan. 1921 to15 Oct 1922.[49] [50]
  • Ordnance Officer Southern Command, Lieutenant H. E. Erridge. 20 Dec 1930 to 31 Jan 1934.[51] [52] [53] [54] [55]
  • Ordnance Officer Southern Command, Lieutenant D.L Lewis. 1 Feb 1934 to 16 Apr 1934.[56]
  • Ordnance Officer Southern Command, Lieutenant D. Nicol. 19 May 1934 – incumbent 1939. [57] [58] [59] [60]

Dunedin Ordnance Officers

  • Ordnance Officer Dunedin, Captain O.F. McGuigan. 1 Apr 1917 to 1921.

Trentham Ordnance Officers

  • Ordnance Officer Trentham Camp, Honorary Lieutenant McNair, NZSC. 19 Mar 1917 to16 Jan 1918. [61]
  • Ordnance Officer Main Depot, Lieutenant H.H Whyte. 13 May 1920 to 4 Apr 1929. [62] [63]
  • Ordnance Officer Main Depot, Captain W. M. Bell. 15 Mar 1929 to15 Dec 1930. [64] [65] [66]
  • Ordnance Officer Main Depot, Lieutenant H. E. Erridge.14 May 29 to20 Dec 1930.[67] [68]
  • Ordnance Officer Main Depot, Captain A. W. Baldwin. 1 Aug 1926 to 31 Mar 31.
  • Ordnance Officer Main Depot, Captain E.L.G Bown, NZSC. 22 Apr 31- incumbent 1939. [69]
  • Ordnance Officer Main Depot, Lieutenant D.L Lewis, 16 Apr 34 to 1 June 34.[70]
  • Ordnance Officer (Provision), Captain H. E. Erridge. 29 Jun 1934.[71] [72]
  • Officer in Charge, Ordnance Workshop, Trentham Lieutenant A.H Andrews, BE. 17 Jun 1936 to 21 Sep 1937.[102]
  • Assistant Ordnance Officer Main Depot, Lieutenant A.H Andrews, BE, 17 Jun 1938- incumbent 1939. [73]

Palmerston North Ordnance Officers

  • Ordnance Officer, Palmerston North NZAOC Detachment, Captain F. E. Ford. 3 Apr 1917 to1 Dec 21.

Featherston Camp Ordnance Officers

  • Ordnance Officer Featherston Camp, Captain A. W. Baldwin. 19 Mar 1917 to 3 July 1921.[74] [75]
  • Ordnance Officer Featherston Camp, Lieutenant L.A Clement. 4 July 1921 to 31 Nov 21. [76]
  • Ordnance Officer Featherston Camp, Captain F. E. Ford. 1 Dec 21 to 1 Sep 26. [77] [78] [79] [80]

Executive Staff Ordinance Officers

  • Executive Staff Ordinance Officer, Lieutenant Eugene Key. 16 Jan 1918 to 12 Nov 1919. [81]
  • Executive Staff Ordinance Officer, Lieutenant Albert Austin. 3 Jul 1918 to 14 Jul 1921. [82]
  • Executive Staff Ordinance Officer, lieutenant Walter N. Bates. 3 Jul 1918 to 20 Jun 1920.[83]

The Inspector of Ordnance Machinery

  • The Inspector of Ordnance Machinery, Captain B.G.V Parker. 1 Apr 1917 to 30 Sep 1919.

Inspector of Engineers, Electric Light and Defence Vessels Stores

  • Inspector of Engineers, Electric Light and Defence Vessels Stores, Captain George John Parrell. 1 Apr 1917 to 30 Sep 1919[84]
  • Inspector of Engineers, Electric Light and Defence Vessels Stores, Captain A.D Neilson. 1 Jul 1919 to 14 Jun 1921.[85] [86]

Inspecting Ordnance Officer and Acting Inspector of Ordnance Machinery

  • Inspecting Ordnance Officer and Acting Inspector of Ordnance, Machinery Captain William Ivory, RNZA. 1 Jan 1921 to 17 Jun 1925. [87] [88] [89] [90]
  • Acting Inspecting Ordnance Officer, Lieutenant A de T Nevill, RNZA. 18 Jun 1925 to 11 Jan 1927.[91] [92]
  • Inspecting Ordnance Officer and Inspector Mechanical Engineer, Captain William Ivory, RNZA. 2 Jan 1927 to 6 Apr 1933.
  • Inspecting Ordnance Officer and Assistant Ordnance Mechanical Engineer, Lieutenant I.R Withell, RNZA. 18 Dec 1933 to 21 Sep 37. [93] [94]

Assistant IOO and OEM

  • Assistant Inspecting Ordnance Officer and Assistant Ordnance Mechanical Engineer, Lieutenant I.R Withell, RNZA. 16 May 1929 to 4 Oct 1932.[95] [96] [97] [98]
  • Assistant Inspecting Ordnance Officer and Ordnance Mechanical Engineer, Lieutenant S. B. Wallace, BE 18 Dec 1933 to 15 Feb 1936.[99] [100] [101]

Inspecting Ordnance Officer

  • Inspecting Ordnance Officer, Captain I. R. Withell, B.Sc., RNZA. 21 Sep 1937 – incumbent 1939.[103]

Ordnance Mechanical Engineer

  • Ordnance Mechanical Engineer (Temp), Lieutenant A.H Andrews, BE. 21 Sep 1937 to17 Jun 1938.[104] [105]
  • Ordnance Mechanical Engineer, Lieutenant S. B. Wallace, BE. 18 Jun 1938 – incumbent 1939. [106]

Proof Officer, Small Arms Ammunition, Mount Eden

  • Proof Officer, Small Arms Ammunition, A, Duvall. 10 Jan 1918 to 3 Jul 1919[107] [108]
  • Proof Officer, Small Arms Ammunition, Captain E.H Sawle.  1920 to 25 Nov 1927
  • Proof Officer, Small Arms Ammunition, Lieutenant M.J Lyons.  26 Nov 1927 to 1931 Mar 1931.
  • Proof Officer, Small Arms Ammunition, Honorary Lieutenant J.W Fletcher, NZPS. 1 Sept 1931 – incumbent 1939.[109]

Inspectorial Staff Ordnance Officers

  • Lieutenant William E. Luckman. 1 Apr 1917 to 12 Sep 1920.[110]
  • Lieutenant Frederick W. Kibblewhite. N 1 Apr 1917 to 19 Oct 1920.[111]
  • Lieutenant William H Manning. 1 Apr 1917 to 4 Apr 1920.[112]
  • Lieutenant William Ramsey. 1 Apr 1917 to 4 Apr 1920.[113]

Copyright © Robert McKie 2019

Notes:

[1] “Regulations for the Military Forces of the Dominion of New  Zealand,” New Zealand Gazette No 6, 23 January 1914, Page 237 Para 62.

[2] “Regulations for the Military Forces of the Dominion of New Zealand,” New Zealand Gazette, May 19 1927.

[3] The War Office, The Monthly Army List, February 1939 (London: His Majestys Stationary Office, 1939).

[4] 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.

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

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

[7] Appointed Quartermaster General 1 October 1924″Appointments, Promotions, Resignations and Transfer of Officers of the New Zealand Military Forces,” New Zealand Gazette No 64, 6 October 1924, 6.

[8] Appointed DOS Vice Pilkington 1 October 1924  Ibid.

[9] Appointed DOS Vice Pilkington 1 October 1924  Ibid.

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

[11] 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.

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

[13]  Appointed Assistant COO 18 April 1929 “Appointments, Promotions, Resignations and Transfer of Officers of the New Zealand Military Forces,” New Zealand Gazette No 48, 27 June 1929, 1761.

[14] “New Zealand Army,” Evening Post, Volume CVII, Issue 150, 29 June 1929.

[15] “Whyte, Herbert Henry,” Personal File, Archives New Zealand  (1914): 117.

[16] Relinquished appointment on retirement on 12 July 1920. “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 55, 4 June 1920, 1866.

[17] Previously DADOS NZEF, after demobilisation Gossage joined the NZAOD as a Lieutenant on 16 August 1920. “Gossage, Charles Ingram  “, Personal File, Archives New Zealand 1914.

[18] 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, 11 January 1923.

[19] “Personal – Gossage,” New Zealand Herald, Volume LX, Issue 18332,, 23 February 1923.

[20] 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.

[21] Retired 29 July 1929 “Appointments, Promotions, Resignations and Transfer of Officers of the New Zealand Military Forces,” New Zealand Gazette No 58, August 1930.

[22] “Appointments, Promotions, Transfers and Retirements of Officers of the NZ Forces “, New Zealand Gazette No 12  (1918).

[23] 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.

[24]Ordnance Officer Auckland Mar 1920 to Sept 1920. “Lyons, Michael Joseph “, Personal File, Archives New Zealand  (1914-1931).

[25] 1 April 1922 Relinquished the rank of lieutenant and appointed rank of Conductor, WO Class with the honorary rank of Lieutenant. 1  “Appointments, Promotions, Resignations And Transfers,” New Zealand Gazette No 29, 13 April 1922, 1046.

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

[27] Ordnance Officer Auckland October 1920 to 11 July 1921. Passed away at his residence on 11 July 1921 “Personel Matter Dovey,” Evening Post, Volume CII, Issue 11, 13 July 1921.

[28] Relinquished appointment of Ordnance Officer, Northern Command 1 August 1926.”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 77, 18 November 1926, 3254.

[29] Relinquished appointment of OO Northern Command 30 Jan 1931 “Appointment, Promotions, Transfers and Retirements of Officers from the NZ Forces,” New Zealand Gazette No 27, 9 April 1931, 969.

[30] Released 30 January 1931 “Defence Cuts,” Evening Post, Volume CXI, Issue 84, 10 April 1931.

[31] Seconded for Service with NZAOC as Ordnance Officer Northern Command 31 January 1931. “Appointments, Promotions, Transfers and Retirements of Officers of the NZ Forces “, New Zealand Gazette No 16, 5 March 1931.

[32] Appointed Officer in Charge Waikato Camp, Ngaruawahia in addition to appointment of OO Northern Command. “Appointment, Promotions, Transfers and Retirements of Officers from the NZ Forces,” New Zealand Gazette No 73, 24 November 1931, 2154.

[33] “Personal Barry,” Auckland Star, Volume LXIII, Issue 282, 28 November 1932.

[34]  Relinquished appointment of  Ordnance Officer Northern Command 12 Oct 1934.”Appointment, Promotions, Transfers and Retirements of Officers from the NZ Forces,” New Zealand Gazette No 83, 15 Nov 1934, 3611.

[35] “H-19 Defence Forces of New Zealand, Annual Report of the General Officer Commanding the Forces June 1933 to May 1934,” Appendix to the Journals of the House of Representatives  (1934): 1.

[36] Lewis had formally been a NZAOC Soldier who was transferred to the Civil Services in 1931 and employed in the Main Ordnance Depot, appointed to a commission in the NZAOC with the rank of Lieutenant, on 1 February 1934    “Appointment, Promotions, Transfers and Retirements of Officers from the NZ Forces.”

[37] “Personal Lewis,” Press, Volume LXX, Issue 21175, 28 May 1934.

[38] Appointed Ordnance Officer Northern Command 13 October 1934. “Appointment, Promotions, Transfers and Retirements of Officers from the NZ Forces,”  3611.

[39] “Untitled – Ford,” Evening Post, Volume CII, Issue 81 1921.

[40] Captain F. E. Ford, who was in command of the Ordnance section attached to the Central Command in Palmerston North, proceeded to Featherston Military Camp on the 1st of December to take charge of the Featherston Ordnance Depot. “Untitled – Ford,” Manawatu Standard, Volume XLIII, Issue 386, 2 December 1921.

[41] “Appointments, Promotions, Resignations and Transfer of Officers of the New Zealand Military Forces,” New Zealand Gazette No 25, 11 April 1929.

[42] “Personal Items,” New Zealand Herald, Volume LXV, Issue 19840, 10 January 1928.

[43] Appointed 14 May 1929.”Appointments, Promotions, Resignations and Transfer of Officers of the New Zealand Military Forces,”  1761.

[44] “New Zealand Army.”

[45] Relinquished appointment of OO Main Ordnance Depot and OO Central Military Command 20 Dec 1930.”Appointment, Promotions, Transfers and Retirements of Officers from the NZ Forces,” New Zealand Gazette No 16, 5 March 1931, 515.

[46] Appointed Command Ordnance Officer 18 April 1929. The War Office, The Monthly Army List, February 1939.

[47] Relinquished appointment of OO Southern Command 19 December 1930. “Appointment, Promotions, Transfers and Retirements of Officers from the NZ Forces,”  969.

[48] Released 19 December 1930  “Defence Cuts.”

[49] “Personal – Mcguigan,” Manawatu Standard, Volume XLIII, Issue 351,, 20 March 1922.

[50] Posted to the retired list 15 October 1922 “Appointments, Promotions, Resignations and Transfer of Officers of the New Zealand Military Forces,” New Zealand Gazette No 71, 22nSept 1922, 2667.

[51] Appointed Ordnance Officer Southern Command 31 January 1931 “Appointments, Promotions, Transfers and Retirements of Officers of the NZ Forces “.

[52] Appointed Officer in Charge Burnham Camp in addition to Ordnance Officer Appointment 20 December 1930. “Appointment, Promotions, Transfers and Retirements of Officers from the NZ Forces,” New Zealand Gazette No 70, 10 November 1931.

[53],from December 20 1930  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, 118.

[54] Ibid.

[55] Ibid.

[56]  David Llewellyn Lewis to be Lieutenant and appointed Ordnance Officer (Temp) Southern Command 1 February 1934. “Appointment, Promotions, Transfers and Retirements of Officers from the NZ Forces, New Zealand Gazette No 6, 8 Feb 1934, 201.

[57] “H-19 Defence Forces of New Zealand, Annual Report of the General Officer Commanding the Forces June 1933 to May 1934,”  1.

[58] David Nicol to be Lieutenant and appointed Assistant Ordnance Officer, Southern Command 19 May 1934.”Appointment, Promotions, Transfers and Retirements of Officers from the NZ Forces,” New Zealand Gazette No 42, 7 June 1934, 1715.

[59] “H-19 Defence Forces of New Zealand, Annual Report of the General Officer Commanding the Forces June 1933 to May 1934,”  1.

[60]  Employed in a civil capacity at the Main Ordnance Depot, Trentham, was appointed to a commission NZAOC with the rank of Lieutenant on 9 May 1934

[61] “Appointments, Promotions, Transfers and Retirements of Officers of the NZ Forces “, New Zealand Gazette No 60  (1917).

[62] “Whyte, Herbert Henry.”

[63] 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.

[64]Appointed 15 March 1929 was also Officer in Charge Trentham Military Camp. “Appointments, Promotions, Resignations and Transfer of Officers of the New Zealand Military Forces,”  1761.

[65] “New Zealand Army.”

[66]relinquished appointment of OO Main Depot 15 December 1930  “Appointment, Promotions, Transfers and Retirements of Officers from the NZ Forces,”  969.

[67] Appointed 14 May 1929.”Appointments, Promotions, Resignations and Transfer of Officers of the New Zealand Military Forces,”  1761.

[68] “New Zealand Army.”

[69] Appointed Ordnance Officer Main Ordnance Depot 22 April 1931. “Appointment, Promotions, Transfers and Retirements of Officers from the NZ Forces,” New Zealand Gazette No 40, 21 May 1931, 1549.

[70] Relinquishes appointment of Ordnance Officer (Temp) Southern Military Command for duty at the Main Ordnance Depot, Trentham 16 April 1934. “Appointment, Promotions, Transfers and Retirements of Officers from the NZ Forces,” New Zealand Gazette No 38, 24 May 1934.

[71] Promoted to Captain 1 December 1934 “Appointments, Promotions, Transfers and Retirements of Officers of the NZ Forces “, New Zealand Gazette No 87, 29 November 1934.

[72] Appointed Ordnance Office (Provision) Main Ordnance Depot July 1934.”Personal Items Nicol, Erridge,” New Zealand Herald, Volume LXXI, Issue 21862, 26 July 1934.

[73] Relinquished the appointment of OME(Temp) appointed Assistant Ordnance Officer Main Ordnance Depot 17 June 1938. “Appointments, Promotions, Transfers and Retirements of Officers of the NZ Forces “, New Zealand Gazette No 53, 14 July 1938, 1659.

[74] “Appointments, Promotions, Transfers and Retirements of Officers of the NZ Forces,

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

[76] Minute from DOS to General Officer In Charge Administration 5 May 1920 “Whyte, Herbert Henry,”  117.

[77] “Untitled – Ford.”

[78] Captain F. E. Ford in command of the Ordnance section attached to the Central Command in Palmerston North to proceed to Featherston Military Camp on the 1st of December to take charge of the Featherston Ordnance Depot. “Untitled – Ford.”

[79] Ibid.

[80] Relinquished appointment of Ordnance Officer Featherston Camp from 1 September 1926, appointed Ordnance Officer Northern Command. Ibid

[81] 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.

[82] Relinquished position due to retirement on 14 July 1921 “Appointments, Promotions, Resignations and Transfers of Officers of the Nzsc, Nzaod and Territorial Force,” New Zealand Gazette No 72, 4 August 1921, 2046.

[83] 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.

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

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

[86] Held appointment from1 July 1919 to 14 June 1921 “Appointments, Promotions, Resignations and Transfer of Officers of the NZ Staff Corps, Nzaod and Territorial Force,” New Zealand Gazette No 16, 27 February 1922, 588.

[87] “Ivory, William “, Personal File, Archives New Zealand  (1916-1933).

[88] To be OC Harbour Defences and OC RNZA Detachment Northern Command 17 June 1925 “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 51, 9 June 1925.

[89] “New Zealand Naval Forces,” Poverty Bay Herald, Volume LI, Issue 16781, 14 July 1925.

[90] Captain Ivory was seconded to the RNZAOC as the IOO and Acting IOM on 12 January 1927   “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 11, 3 March 1927.

[91] Acting IOO from 18 June 1925″Appointments, Promotions, Resignations and Transfer of Officers of the New Zealand Staff Corps, Royal Regiment of New Zealand Artillery and Territorial Force.”

[92] Relinquished the appointment of Acting IOO on 11 January 1927 “Appointments, Promotions, Resignations and Transfer of Officers of the New Zealand Staff Corps, Royal Regiment of New Zealand Artillery and Territorial Force.”

[93] After completion of a course in England, appointed Inspection Ordnance Officer and Ordnance Mechanical Engineer, 18 December 1933.”Appointment, Promotions, Transfers and Retirements of Officers from the NZ Forces,” New Zealand Gazette No 3, 25 January 1934, 83.

[94] . From January 1934 “Personal Items Whitell,” Press, Volume LXX, Issue 21075, 29 January 1934.

[95] Appointed 16 May 1929 “Appointments, Promotions, Resignations and Transfer of Officers of the New Zealand Military Forces,”  1761.

[96] “New Zealand Army.”

[97] Relinquished appointment of Assistant IOO and Assistant OME on proceeding to England for course 4 October 1932.”Appointments, Promotions, Resignations and Transfer of Officers of the New Zealand Military Forces.,” New Zealand Gazette No 65, 13 October 1932, 2110.

[98] To be Lieutenant and appointed Assistant IOO and Assistant OME 12 December 1933.”Appointment, Promotions, Transfers and Retirements of Officers from the NZ Forces,”  83.

[99] “H-19 Defence Forces of New Zealand, Annual Report of the General Officer Commanding the Forces June 1933 to May 1934,”  2338.

[100]Appointed and granted the rank of Lieutenant in the NZAOC dated 12th December 1933  “South Canterbury Wallace,” Press, Volume LXX, Issue 21171, 23 May 1934.

[101] Relinquished the appointment of Assistant IOO and OEM to attend course in England 15 February 1936. “Appointments, Promotions, Resignations and Transfers of Officers of the NZ Military Forces,” New Zealand Gazette No 19 5 May 1936.

[102] Alan Huia Andrews, BE to be Lieutenant, 17 June 1936. “Appointments, Promotions, Resignations and Transfers of Officers of the NZ Military Forces,” New Zealand Gazette No 44, 5 May 1936.

[103] Relinquished the appointment of OME and retains the appointment of IOO 21 Sept 1937. “Appointments, Promotions, Transfers and Retirements of Officers of the NZ Forces “, New Zealand Gazette No 70, 14 October 1937, 2338.

[104] Appointed OME (Temp) 21 September 1937. Ibid.

[105] Relinquished the appointment of OME(Temp) appointed Assistant Ordnance Officer Main Ordnance Depot 17 June 1938. “Appointments, Promotions, Transfers and Retirements of Officers of the NZ Forces “,  1659.

[106] Having completed a course of instruction at the Military School of Science, Woolwich, appointed OME 18 June 1938. Ibid.

[107] “Appointments, Promotions, Transfers and Retirements of Officers of the NZ Forces “.

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

[109] Appointed 1 Sept 1931 NZ General Order 353/1931

[110] 13 September 1920, Relinquished position on retirement. “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 83, 16 September 1920.

[111] 19 October 1920, Relinquished position on retirement. “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 95, 25 November 1920.

[112] 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.

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

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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.


NZAOC Conductors 1917-1931

The Honourable and Ancient Appointment of Conductor has origins dating back to 1327 where the appointment is mentioned in the Statute of Westminister as the men whose job it was to conduct soldiers to places of assembly. The “Conductor of Ordnance” is also mentioned in the records of the siege of Boulogne in 1544. Surviving as an appointment directly related to the handling of stores in the British Army until the late 19th century. The first New Zealand connection to the Conductor appointment was during the New Zealand Wars, with Conductors appointed to provide support to the Imperial Regiments serving in that campaign. The British Army formalised the appointment by Royal Warrant on 11 January 1879 which established Conductors of Supplies (in the Army Service Corps) and Conductors of Stores (in the Ordnance Stores Branch) as Warrant Officers, ranking above all Non-Commissioned Officers. The Army Service Corps dispensed with Conductors of Supplies in 1892 with the Army Ordnance Corps retaining Conductors on its formation in 1895. In the Army Ordnance Corps, the appointment of conductor had become a senior and responsible position with the holder being a pillar of knowledge, who when required would do duty as a subaltern officer, but not sit on courts of inquiry or regimental boards. On parade, Conductors would take post as an officer but would not salute.[1]

New Zealand Conductors

Before the First World War, no single indigenous Ordnance Organisation was supporting the New Zealand Forces, responsibility for Ordnance Services was split between the Defence Stores Department and the Royal New Zealand Artillery. The requirement for an Ordnance Organisation had been identified as early as 1901[2] and again in 1907[3] but with no decision taken on the formation of an Ordnance Corps until 1916. Early 1916 saw the formation of the New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps (NZAOC) as a unit of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force (NZEF). The NZAOC EF would be a wartime unit constituted for the period of hostilities and would be disestablished and demobilised as part of the NZEF in 1920. However, in New Zealand on 1 February 1917, the home service NZAOC was constituted and established as a component of the New Zealand Permanent Forces.[4]

On the creation of the NZAOC in New Zealand, provision had been allowed in its organisational structure for the appointment of six Conductors as part of the Clerical and Stores Section.[5]

Following the British model, the NZAOC EF included both Conductors and Sub-Conductors as part of its organisational structure.[6] This practice was not duplicated by the NZAOC in New Zealand, with only the appointment of Conductor adopted. The Rank insignia for the Conductor in both the NZEF and New Zealand would be a Crown in a Wealth,[7] the same insignia is worn by Warrant Officers Class Two in the modern New Zealand Army.

20171229_171818-224606766.jpg

Warrant Officer Class One, Conductor Badge 1915-1918. Robert McKie Collection

Drawing the bulk of it’s staff from the existing personnel of the New Zealand Defence Stores Department, the NZAOC also absorbed individuals who were suitably qualified and experienced in the handling and accounting of military equipment from the military districts and training camps, including the men who would be the first two Conductors;

  • William Henry Manning, [8] and
  • William Ramsey.[9]

William Henry Manning

At fifty years f age William Henry Manning as too old to serve overseas but was able to enlist into the NZEF Army Service Corps(ASC) on 17 December 1915 for home service only.

Born on 31 August 1965, Manning had spent most of his adult life as a soldier in the British Army. Serving as a Regimental Quartermaster Sergeant, Manning had also spent time as an acting ASC Officer in charge supplies and an acting Ordnance Officer in various parts of the Empire. One of his last positions held was as a Troopship Quartermaster Sergeant on the SS Lismore Castle transporting the 2nd Battalion of the East Surrey Regiment to South Africa from the United Kingdom in October – November 1899. On the completion of his tenure with the British Army,  Manning with his wife and two children migrated to New Zealand.

Appointed as a teacher in 1908, Manning and his wife would become School Masters, first at the Native School at Te Haroto and then the Native School at Waimarma.

Eager to serve, Manning approached the Defence Force on 10 October 1915 advising them of his experience and willingness to serve. Manning offer to serve was accepted, and on 17 December 1915 Manning was attested into the ASC as a soldier. Promoted successively from Private, Corporal, Sergeant and then Staff Sergeant on 6 April 1916.

Transferred to the Quartermaster General Branch on May 1916, Manning would remain there until 1 February 1917 when he would become a foundation member of the NZAOC on its formal formation with promotion to Conductor following on 2 February 1917.

William Ramsey

Born on 11 June 1852, Ramsey, like Manning had spent his adult life in the British Army all around the world including service at Woolwich, Aldershot, Limerick, Malta and Ambala (India) and on his retirement had migrated to New Zealand with his wife and six children.

William Ramsey

William Ramsey, 1918

At the time of his enlistment in December 1915, Ramsey was working as a caretaker for the Presbyterian Institute at Trentham. At sixty-three years of age, Ramsey was enlisted for service with the New Zealand Army with the Headquarters of Trentham Camp on 3 December 1915. Like Manning, Ramsey’s experience was recognised, and while working for Captain McCristell, the Camp Quartermaster, promoted successively from Private, Corporal, Sergeant and then Regimental Quartermaster Sergeant on 1 April 1916. On 3 February 1917 Ramsey was transferred into the NZAOC and immediately promoted to Conductor.

Ramsey

With available records identifying Manning and Ramsey as the first Conductors appointed in New Zealand, Information of the Conductors that followed is incomplete with the following known to have been appointed as Conductors;

  • Regt No 36 Conductor James Murdoch Miller, [10]1 Jul 17 – 3 Jul18,
  • Regt No 69 Conductor Eugene Key,[11] 5 Jul 17 – 16 Jan 18,
  • Regt No 91 Conductor Donald McCaskill McIntyre,[12] 30 Jul 17 – 10 Jul 19,
  • Regt No 112 Conductor George William Bulpitt Silvestre,[13] 1 Nov 18 – 22 Aug 20
  • Regt No 48 Conductor Mark Leonard Hathaway, MSM,1 [14] Nov 18 – 30 Sep 19
  • Regt No 605 Conductor Walter Edward Cook,[15] 1 Nov 19 – 5 Jul 20,
  • Regt No 948 Conductor Michael Joseph Lyons,[16] MSM 1 Apr 22 – 1Jul-27.
  • Regt No 807 Conductor Thomas Webster Page, MSM 1Aug 22 – 22 Dec 25
  • Regt No 363 Conductor D.L Lewis, 1 Oct 28 – 31 Mar 31

4 July 1918 saw both Manning and Ramsey promoted to the rank of Honorary Lieutenants and appointed as Ordnance Officers 4th Class to the Inspectorial Staff of the New Zealand Army Ordnance Department(NZAOD).[17]

Having both reached retiring age Manning and Ramsey relinquished their honourary ranks and appointments on the Inspectorial Staff of the NZAOD and demobilised out of the NZAOC 4 April 1920.[18]

During 1918, British Army Order 305 was issued which settled the insignia for Conductors as the Royal Arms in Laurel Wreath, and for a Sub-Conductor the Royal Arms.[19]  Although probably adopted for wear in New Zealand in 1918/19, the Insinga of the Royal Arms in a Laurel Wreath was confirmed for New Zealand Conductor in the NZ Military Forces Dress Regulations of 1923.[20]

20171229_110605-826040666.jpg

Warrant Officer Class One, Conductor Badge. Robert McKie Collection

Precdence of RanksDefence Regulations since 1895 had placed Conductors as warrant officers, ranking them above all non-commissioned officers. The New Zealand Defence Regulations of 1927 placed Conductors on the order of precedence of Warrant and Non-Commissioned Officers as the senior of the Warrant Officer Class One (WO1) rank equivalent to Staff Sergeant-Majors, N.Z. Permanent Staff and Master Gunner, 1st Class.[21]

Following the mass civilianization of the NZAOC in 1931 the appointment of Conductor fell into abeyance. The appointment would remain as a valid appointment until removed from Army Regulations in 1949.[22] Reinstated in 1977, The appointment of Conductor again became available for selected WO1’s of the Royal New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps(RNZAOC) and would remain in use until 1996 when due to the amalgamation of the RNZAOC into the Royal New Zealand Army Logistic Regiment the appointment was discontinued.

Ordnance 1918

The New Zealand Ordnance Corps 1918, Buckle Street Wellington. RNZAOC School

Copyright © Robert McKie 2018

Notes:

[1] The Kings Regulations and Orders for the Army,  (London1908).

[2] J Babington, “Defence Forces of New Zealand,” in AJHR (Wellington: House of Representatives, 1904).

[3] J Ward, ibid. (1907).

[4] “New Zealand Army Ordnance Department and New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps Regulations,” New Zealand Gazette, No 95, June 7 1917, P. 2288.

[5] Ibid., P. 2289.

[6] The First conductors in the NZEF NZAOC were Acting Sub Conductor William Coltman, appointed in February 1916 and Conductor Charles Gossage, appointed on 21 July 1916.”Gossage, Charles Ingram  “, Personal File, Archives New Zealand 1914; “Coltman, William “, Personal File, Archives New Zealand 1914.

[7] British Army Orders 70 & 174 of 1915,  (1915).

[8] “Manning, William Henry,” Personal File, Archives New Zealand 1915.

[9] “Ramsey, William,” Personal File, Archives New Zealand 1915.

[10] “Miller, James Murdoch “, Personal File, Archives New Zealand  (1914-1918).

[11] “Key, Eugene,” Personal File, Archives New Zealand  (1914-1918).

[12] ” Mcintyre, Donald Mccaskill,” Personal File, Archives New Zealand  (1899-1919).

[13] “Silvestre, William Bulpitt,” Personal File, Archives New Zealand  (1914-1918).

[14] “Hathaway, Mark Leonard,” Personal File, Archives New Zealand  (1917-1928).

[15] “Cook, Walter Edward,” Personal File, Archives New Zealand  (1917-1920).

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

[17] “Appointments, Promotions and  Transfers of Non Commissioned Officers of the NZ Army Ordnance Corps and NZ Permanent Force,” New Zealand Gazette No 105, 1 August 1918.

[18] “Appointments, Promotions, Resignations, Transfers and Retirements of Officers from the NZ, NZ Army Ordnance Department and Territorial Force,” New Zealand Gazette No 26, 8 April 1920.

[19] British Army Order 308 of 1918,  (1918).

[20] New Zealand Military Forces Dress Regulations, ed. New Zealand Military Forces (Wellington1923).

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

[22] “Regulations for the New Zealand Military Forces 1927, Amendment, No. 62,” New Zealand Gazette, No 26, 28 April 1949.


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.


Influenza 1918

Natural calamities in New Zeland have proved the worth of the military, which with a trained and disciplined workforce and access to resources can respond efficiently in a manner that civilian organisations can match. Be it floods, heavy snow, cyclones or earthquakes the men and women of the New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps have often been found at the front line of relief efforts.

One of the earliest examples of New Zealand’s Ordnance Services providing emergency relief was during the Influenza epidemic of October 1918, when the most massive public health crisis ever to strike New Zealand occurred when the worldwide influenza epidemic reached New Zealand shores. Between October and November 1918, an estimated 9000 New Zealanders would perish as a result of the Influenza epidemic.[1] In the capital city of Wellington, the onset of the Influenza epidemic caused the existing medical facilities to be overwhelmed and unable to cope with the unprecedented number of people struck down with Influenza.  Stepping up to assist the Public Health Department, The New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps based at Alexandra Barracks were mobilised to establish emergency hospitals around the Wellington region.

McCristell

Major Thomas James McCristell, Director of Equipment and Ordnance Stores, 10 April 1916 – 20 January 1920.

Under the management of the Director of Equipment and Ordnance Stores, Major Thomas McCristell, the 123 men of the Ordnance Corps equipped the various emergency hospitals with over 300 beds, supplied the stores and supervised the hospital arrangements and general machinery of each establishment  in and about Wellington, so that by 20 November the following hospitals and convalescent hospitals had been established:[2]

  • Hospitals
    • Normal School, 91 women,
    • Sydney street Schoolroom, 41 men.
    • Missions to Seamen, 65 men.
    • John’s Schoolroom, 67 men and women.
    • Alexandra Hall, 20 men.
    • Wellington College, 105 men and women.
    • Patrick’s College, 48 men.
    • Brooklyn Hall, 32 men and women.
    • Johnsonville, 23 men and women.
    • Seatoun, 10 men and women.
  • Convalescent Hospitals
    • Thomas’s Hall, 35 men.
    • Wellington Convalescent Home, 24 women.
    • Salvation Army Training College, 16 women.
    • Anne’s Hall, 30 men.
  • Untended Children’s Home
    • Miramar Golf Club, 56 children

The 1916 census listed the population of Wellington as 95235, deaths in Wellington attributed to the influenza were 795 which gave Wellington a death rate of 7.9 per 1000. This rate was slightly higher than Auckland but well below the death rate found in other North Island Locations which was as high as 43 per 1000.[3] It would be optimistic to believe that the work carried out by the Ordnance Corps in establishing emergency hospitals contributed to Wellingtons low death rate.

hero_wellington-ambulances

Emergency ambulances alongside the Wellington Town Hall during the 1918 flu pandemic. Ref: PAColl-7489-69 Alexander Turnbull Library

The Ordnance men were not immune to the effects of the Influenza, and at one stage 7O men were laid up with influenza, placing extraordinary demands onto the very much reduced staff.[4] Private F.W  Maynard, a 35-year-old Ordnance Soldier, died as a result of the complications caused by Influenza on the 28 November.[5]

By December 1918 the influenza epidemic was under control, and the crisis has passed with the emergency hospitals progressively shut down. Much of the credit to the success of the setting up and management of the emergency hospitals were placed directly on Major McCristell and his team from the Ordnance Corps.

Copyright © Robert McKie 2018

flu-poster

Influenza instructions for nurses.Ref: Eph-B-HEALTH-1918-01, Alexander Turnbull Library

 

 

Notes

[1] Manatū Taonga – Ministry for Culture and Heritage, “100 Years since Influenza Pandemic, 28 September 2018,”  https://mch.govt.nz/100-years-influenza-pandemic.

[2] “Revelations,” New Zealand Times, Volume XLIII, Issue 10133, 22 November 1918.

[3] “North Island Influenza Death Rates, 11 January 2018,”  https://nzhistory.govt.nz/culture/influenza-pandemic/north-island-death-rates.

[4] “Under Control,” New Zealand Times, Volume XLIII, Issue 10131, 20 November 1918.

[5] “Soldiers Deaths,” Evening Post, Volume XCVI, Issue 131, 29 November 1918.


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.


RNZAOC First Day Covers

A first-day cover is a postage stamp on a cover, franked on the first day that the stamp is authorised for use. First Day Covers are also produced to commemorate events with a design on the left side of the envelope (a “cachet”) explaining the event or anniversary being celebrated.

To commemorate the RNZAOC Corps Day in 1978, Military Covers of Christchurch produced two First Day Covers for the Royal New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps (RNZAOC).

20180212_101115-987816883.jpg

Cachet

Based on a standard postal envelop the RNZAOC First day cover consisted of an RNZAOC themed Cachet on the left-hand side. The Cachet consists of the RNZAOC Badge set in a square divided into four quarters, each illustrating aspects of the RNZAOC.

  • Top left  – the Crest of the Board of Ordnance e representing the British military heritage of the RNZAOC
  • Top Right – A warehouse forklift representing the warehousing responsibilities of the RNZAOC
  • Bottom right – Lcpl/Cpl Gina Pirikahu in the Machine Room at 1 Base Ordnance Depot Trentham, Operating an NCR Accounting Machine, representing the advanced accounting systems utilised by the RNZAOC at the time.
  • Bottom left – A display of ammunition representing that ammunition management which is a key RNZAOC responsibility.

Cachet

RNZAOC First Day Cover Cachet

Stamps

The RNZAOC First Day Cover uses a 1 and 2 Cent Stamp that was designed for use with ‘Coin-in-slot’ machines, and 5 and 10 cent stamps designed for use in ‘postafix’ machines. The stamps are simple ones with a left-hand side profile of Queen Elizabeth II, the stamps were coloured as follows

  • 1 Cent – Violet on White
  • 2 Cent – Orange on white
  • 5 Cent – Brown on white
  • 10 Cent – Blue on white

Issued for use on the 13th of June 1978, the 1, 2 and 5 cent stamps were phased out after only five months due to increases in postal rates.

stamp

Franking Marks

Two franking marks are used on the RNZAOC First Day cover.

The first franking mark is an RNZAOC stamp based on the RNZAOC Badge, with “CORPS DAY” printed above the badge. Below the badge is the continuity Number AZAFC 16 and “ROYAL NEW ZEALAND ARMY ORDNANCE CORPS”

NZAFC is used on all NZ Military First Day Covers up to 1979 with a different number allocated for each unit. Covers after 1979 use NZFPO.

RNZAOC Stamp
Franking Mark RNZAOC Corps Day

The second franking mark is a  for Trentham Camp, New Zealand and is dated 12 July 1978.

Trentham post mark

Franking Mark, Trentham Camp NZ

 

Signed Covers

The RNZAOC First Day Cover with the 2 and 10 Cent stamp was signed by;

  • Brigadier A.H Andrews, CBE. Colonel Commandant of the RNZAOC, 1 April 1969 to 30 September 1977
  • Lieutenant Colonel J Harvey, MBE. Colonel Commandant of the RNZAOC, 1 October 1977 to 31 March 1979

20180212_101001-805068418.jpg

Another version of the The RNZAOC First Day Cover with the 1 and 10 Cent stamp was signed by;

  • Lieutenant Colonel A.J Campbell, Director of Ordnance Services, 7 December 1976 to 9 April 1979

Ordnance 2

Inserts

The RNZAOC First Day Covers were issued with insert cards detailing the history of the RNZAOC up to 1977.

20180220_143217-1885010383.jpg20180220_143240-1865800185.jpg

 

 

 

Examples of similar New Zealand Military Covers

 

RNZCTRnzct2

 

Army MuseumHMS Welligton 1978

 

Copyright © Robert McKie 2018