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.

Advertisements

NZAOC July 1933 to June 1934

Personnel

The strength of the NZAOC between June 1933 and May 1934 was;[1]

  • 5 Officers
  • 21 Permanent Other Ranks

Key Appointments

Director of Ordnance Services

  • Major Thomas Joseph King, NZAOC

Assistant Chief Ordnance Officer Trentham Camp

  • Captain W. R. Burge, M.C., NZSC

Main Ordnance Depot

  • Captain E.L.G Bown, NZSC.
  • Lieutenant D.L Lewis, NZAOC. [2]

Northern Command Ordnance Officer

  • Lieutenant J. W. Barry, N.Z. Staff Corps.[3]
  • Lieutenant L. Lewis, NZAOC.[4] [5] [6]

Central Command Ordnance Officer

  • Lieutenant H. E. Erridge NZAOC

Southern Command Ordnance Depot

  • Lieutenant H. E. Erridge NZAOC.[7]
  • Lieutenant D.L Lewis, NZAOC.[8]
  • Lieutenant D. Nicol, NZAOC.[9] [10] [11]

Inspecting Ordnance Officer and Ordnance Mechanical Engineer

  • Lieutenant I. R. Withell, RNZA.[12] [13]

Assistant Inspecting Ordnance Officer Ordnance and Ordnance Mechanical Engineer

Proof Officer, Small Arms Ammunition, Auckland

  • Honorary Lieutenant J.W Fletcher, NZPS.
NZAOC appropriations year ending 31 March 1934

NZAOC appropriations year ending 31 March 1934

Warrant Officer Armourers

Two armourers who had completed their time with the Royal Army Ordnance Corps had been engaged for service with the NZAOC, they were;[17]

  • Armourer Staff Sergeant-Major E. J. Hay, and
  • Armourer Quarter-master-Sergeant E. J. Trappitt

Annual Inspection of Small Arms

During this period the NZAOC continued to conduct annual inspections rifles, machine guns, and other arms of the Defence Department. Conducted by an artificer from the ordnance branch. All parts of the weapons were examined to find any faults that may have developed since the last inspection. Each inspection took about two months with some 9OOO weapon inspected in each inspection.[18] [19]

Waipukurau 1934a

Armament Staff Sergeant John William(Bill) Dalton and Armament Staff Sergeant Arthur Stewart Richardson, Artillery camp, Waipukurau March 1934. Photo courtesy Norm Lamont

 

Copyright © Robert McKie 2018

Notes:

[1] “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).

[2] 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.

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

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

[5] 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,” New Zealand Gazette No 83, 15 Nov 1934.

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

[7] 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.

[8]  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.

[9] 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.

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

[11]  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

[12] 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.

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

[14] 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.

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

[16]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.

[17] “Defence Armourers,” New Zealand Herald, Volume LXXI, Issue 21788, 1 May 1934.

[18] “Annual Inspetions,” Press, Volume LXX, Issue 21097, 23 February 1934.

[19] “Inspection of Arms,” Volume LXX, Issue 21097, 23 February 1934.


NZAOC June 1932 to May 1933

Personnel

The strength of the NZAOC between June 1932 and May 1933was; [1]

    • 2 Officers
    • 18 Permanent Other Ranks

Key Appointments

Director of Ordnance Services

  • Major Thomas Joseph King, NZAOC

Assistant Chief Ordnance Officer

  • Captain W. R. Burge, M.C., NZSC

Main Ordnance Depot

  • Captain E.L.G Bown, NZSC.
  • Captain H. E. Erridge NZAOC.[2]

Northern Command Ordnance Officer

  • Lieutenant J. W. Barry, N.Z. Staff Corps

Central Command Ordnance Officer

  • Captain W.R Burge, MC, NZSC

Southern Command Ordnance Depot

  • Lieutenant H. E. Erridge NZAOC

Inspecting Officer Ordnance and Ordnance Mechanical Engineer

  • Major W Ivory, RNZA

Assistant Inspecting Ordnance Officer and Assistant Ordnance Mechanical Engineer

  • Lieutenant I. R. Withell, RNZA

Proof Officer, Small Arms Ammunition, Auckland

  • Honorary Lieutenant J.W Fletcher, NZPS.
NZAOC appropriations year ending 31 March 1933

NZAOC appropriations year ending 31 March 1933

Improvised Explosive Device incident

The Inspecting Ordnance Officer Major W. Ivory, conducted a scene examination and provided evidence in court in relation to a IED incident that occurred at Marton on 2 June 1932.[3]

Retirements

Major W. Ivory. RNZA. Inspecting Ordnance Officer and Ordnance Mechanical Engineer retired on 6 April 1933. Major Ivory was responsible for the design, erection, and organisation of the new military workshops at Trentham, and for the scheme for the demolition of the Mount Cook Barracks. As the Inspecting Ordnance Officer and Ordnance Mechanical Engineer, Ivory had organised the whole of the military workshops throughout New Zealand for the repair and maintenance of equipment.[4] [5]

Overseas Courses

Captain’ I. R. Withell, RNZA proceeded to England for courses of instruction in Ordnance duties.[6] [7]

Copyright © Robert McKie 2018

Notes:

[1] “H-19 Defence Forces of New Zealand, Annual Report of the General Officer Commanding the Forces June 1932 to May 1933,” Appendix to the Journals of the House of Representatives  (1933).

[2]  Promoted 1 December 1934 “Appointment, Promotions, Transfers and Retirements of Officers from the NZ Forces,” New Zealand Gazette No 87, 29 November 1935.

[3] “Bus Blown Up,” Press, Volume LXVIII, Issue 20584, 28 June 1932, 28 June 1932.

[4] “Officers Low Pay,” Auckland Star, Volume LXIV, Issue 9, 12 January 1933.

[5] “New Zealand Army,” Evening Post, Volume CXV, Issue 8, 11 January 1933.

[6] Relinquished the appointments of Assistant Inspecting Ordnance Officer and Assistant Ordnance Mechanical Engineer 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.

[7] “Defence Services,” Evening Post, Volume CXIV, Issue 91, 14 October 1932.


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.


DOS visit to NZAOD – January 1986

Established on 1 October 1974, the New Zealand Advanced Ordnance Depot (NZAOD) was the New Zealand Ordnance Depot supporting the New Zealand Forces that remained in Singapore after the withdrawal of Australian and British forces from the ANZUK alliance.

NZAOD Entrance

The main entrance to NZAOD. Robert McKie Collection

Under the command of Major T.D Mcbeth, NZAOD was established as a self-contained and independent depot, with all the Ordnance functions expected of an Ordnance Depot in New Zealand.  From 1974 to 1989 NZAOD with its two-year posting for both married and single servicemen, would be the most desirable posting for New Zealand Ordnance Officers and Soldiers. At its peak, NZAOD would have a military strength of 25, supported by 75 Locally employed civilians(LEC’s). Many of the civilian staff had been with NZAOD since its formation in 1974, with many already having long service with the British and Australian forces.

NZAOD View 3

The NZAOD building. Robert Mckie collection

NZAOD View 5

Northwest view of NZAOD Building. Robert McKie Collection

navaldockyard-1962

HM Naval Base Singapore C1962

 

013662537[SVC2]

HM Naval Base, Singapore. Dockyard area as at January 1942. British Museum

The main NZOAD building consisted of a large two-storied ferroconcrete purpose-built warehouse, constructed in the 1930s as No 2 Store House of His Majesty’s Naval Base Singapore. Paid for in part by New Zealand contributions of £1 Million between 1928 and 1936,[1] the Singapore base was designed to be a bastion of defence against Japan. Weakened by the war in Europe which led to the neglecting of the intended land and air defences in Malaya, Singapore fell to Japanese forces after a short campaign in February 1942, placing the future NZAOD Store under the ownership of the Japanese Navy until 1945. Returned to British ownership in late 1945, the building would be handed over to New Zealand control in 1974. A portion of the north end of the building was shared with Headquarters NZ Force South East Asia with the remainder of the building belonging to NZAOD. NZAOD also had a tenancy of a Cold Store and a transport section to the north of the main warehouse, both of which were constructed in the post-war era.

 

Major Crafts OCIn January 1986, the NZAOD now under the command of Major B.L Crafts hosted the first Officer Commanding of NZAOD who was now the Director of Ordnance Services (DOS) Lieutenant Colonel Mcbeth.[2] DOS was undertaking a final tour as he prepared to hand over the duties of DOS to Lieutenant Colonel Corkin. It was not uncommon for the sitting DOS to visit, but this particular occurrence is significant, as using the latest video recording technology of the time,a video was produced to record the DOS visit. The resulting video although suffering some degradation provides a revealing snapshot of NZAOD as a January 1986.

With the original recording at an hour long, for ease of viewing it has broken-down into easy to view episodes

Part One

Tour of NZAOD January 1986, Part 1

Part one opens with the OC, Major Crafts and 2IC Captain John Govan, It then shows the Provision Control and Accounts Sections (PC&A). Notable is the absence of desktop computers, but there are typewrites and, in the background, bins containing MD310 ledger cards can be seen. These ledger cards were originally designed to be used with NCR business machines but by 1986 the unreliability of the machines and lack of support had caused them to be withdrawn from service in NZAOD with all ledger transactions carried out manually. The Ledger cards would be replaced by the computer mainframe-based Defence Supply System Development (DSSD) in mid-1987.

The single NZAOD Computer10550078_10152647755912867_7799335649563261586_o10550037_10152647797377867_539603964594090354_o10560366_10152647757222867_6895249663581160794_o10636461_10152647759762867_1401822615340289789_o10636514_10152647758262867_4703075205560893586_o10636631_10152647759112867_3843140255294397404_o10636565_10152647760262867_4172306291580047666_o10629284_10152647759537867_5391386835928625288_oAccomadation Stores 1Ammo SectionWO2 Le Gros10644566_10152647760102867_1081196340042601763_o10644542_10152647760747867_7854169441387760209_o10626310_10152647754592867_2521608283835253088_o10457673_10152647798152867_6508320381834276107_o1926165_10152647758022867_6712424884025133082_o1891427_10152647753807867_2598060697845645015_o1800172_10152647762257867_6593236161189896606_o906658_10152647754132867_3621628787069737802_o

The tour then continues into the Claims showing the use of the only computer in NZAOD. Continuing on into Local Purchase, Orderly room, IAS and Accommodation Section office. The Accommodation section was unique to NZAOD in that it managed the accommodation stores for the entire New Zealand Force South East Asia, cutlery, crockery, furniture, bedding and all other stores required to furnish a married quarter.

Part Two

Tour of NZAOD January 1986, Part 2

Guided by the Stores Warrant Officer (SWO) Warrant Officer Class One Goddard, the ground floor of the NZAOD warehouse is shown as is the spartan office accommodation. The video continues by showing the Returned Stores ad Disposals Section (RSDS) carpenters and rattan workshop, seamstresses and views of pallets of stock and piles of Rattan Chairs finishing with the NZ Force Quartermaster Store.

Part Three

Tour of NZAOD January 1986, Part 3

Part Three concentrates on the Cold Store and shows the staff hard at work undertaking maintenance, the production line for the locally manufactured “Gerber Packs” followed by some general views of the area.

10551457_10152647779252867_4584731409712621041_oCold StoreCold Store (2)

Part Four

Tour of NZAOD January 1986, Part 4

Par Four moves to Dieppe Barracks to the 1RNZIR Light Aid Detachment Stores Section. RNZAOC Stores Sections were attached to all Army workshops to provide the spares support required to enable repairs Although not part of NZAOD the Stores Section it was still an RNZAOC unit.

The video then moves to the Direct Support Section (DSS) in Dieppe Barracks. DSS’s were the RNZAOC units responsible for providing clothing and accessories to dependent units.

Part Five

Tour of NZAOD January 1986, Part 5

DOAZN Room

Part Five concentrates on the DOAZN Room, which was the social hub of the unit.

Part Six

Tour of NZAOD January 1986, Part 6

Is a view to rousing music of NZOD from the Plunge pool hill.

 

NZAOD Farewell parade for DOS

NZAOD Farewell parade for DOS, January 1986

This video is on the formal parade for the DOS. Held on the roof of NZAOD, the military are inspected first and then the DOS takes the time to greet the civilian staff, many of whom he would have known from his time as OC.

DOS VISIT NZAODDOS VISIT NZAOD_0002DOS VISIT NZAOD_0003DOS VISIT NZAOD_0004

 

Social Function

The final video is of an NZAOD social function including some activities that in today’s environment would probably be considered inappropriate.

NZAOD Social Function, Jan 1986

 

Copyright © Robert McKie 2018

Notes:

[1] 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, 495.

[2] Lieutenant Colonel Macbeth was DOS from  July 1983 to Jan 1986 Major J.S Bolton, A History of the Royal New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps (Trentham: RNZAOC, 1992), 251.


NZ Divisional Ordnance Field Park 1941-1945

20170929_150757-740050609.jpg

Badge of the 2nd NZEF

The New Zealand Divisional Ordnance Field Park (NZ OFP) was the primary stores holding organisation working in support of the 2nd Division of the 2nd New Zealand Expeditionary Force(2 NZEF) from July 1941 until December 1945. Following closely behind the NZ Division the NZ OFPs main role was to provide a holding of spares for the NZ Divisional Workshop, and often as the Workshop deployed elements forward to support individual brigades, sections of the NZ OFP would also be detached forward. Mentioned in passing in many of the war histories produced since the war, the story of the NZ Divisional OFP has remained untold in any detail.

British experimentation in mechanisation during he the 1920s had identified the need for mobile Field Workshops and OFP’s to support the mechanised forces that would fight the next war. Added to British Army War Establishments (WE) in the 1930s but due to the financial depression of the time, it would not be until July 1939 when Britain formed a number of new Field Workshops and OFPs as part of the Territorial Army, setting out to recruit 150 officers and 5000 other ranks to bring the new units to war strength.[1]

A OFP was a mobile mini Ordnance Depot with its stock held on vehicles (on wheels) consisting of;

  • Assemblies and spare parts of “A” and “B” vehicles and equipment’s as are normally required by mobile workshops for repair purposes, and
  • Advanced holdings of certain “A” and “B” vehicles for replacement purposes

An OFP’s holdings would constitute a forward portion of the stocks of the Base Ordnance Depot(BOD) and would be modified due to experience gained as the war progressed and equipment changed. [2]

Stockholding would normally consist of fast moving or essential items essential to maintain equipment vital to the dependency, including MT spares, Weapon spares and signal stores,[3] with scaling for each Divisional OFP against a scale set to represent 2.5% of the supported division’s vehicles.[4] Scaling of OFP’s was centrally controlled by the British Army’s Scales Branch of the Central Provisioning Organisation, which developed standard “Middle East” scaled for OFP’s taking into consideration the long lines of communication from the factory to the foxhole and the diversity of equipment sources such as for Britain, India, Canada and the United States.[5]

When New Zealand committed forces to the war in September 1939, an Infantry Division with supporting arms was to be recruited and sent overseas in three Brigade Group echelons.

  • The first echelon consisting of the 2NZEF Headquarters and a Brigade Group arrived in Egypt in February 1940.
  • The second echelon was diverted to Britain and would not join the NZ Division in Egypt until March 1941.
  • The third echelon would arrive in Egypt in September 1940.

Given the title of the New Zealand Ordnance Corps (NZOC), the initial Ordnance contribution would only consist of Headquarters Staff and Light Aid Detachments (LAD) attached to each Infantry Brigade and Artillery Regiment. Within a short period of time, New Zealand Ordnance personnel would work closely with the existing Royal Army Ordnance Corps (RAOC) Base Stores Depots and Workshops in Egypt to establish the NZOC Base Ordnance Depot and Workshops at Maddi Camp. With the arrival of the 3rd echelon in Sept 1940 and the final arrival of the 2nd echelon from England in March 1941 was the NZ Division fully able to be consolidated as a unit. NZOC units consisting of Three Independent Brigade Workshops and 11 Light Aid Detachments were sent to Greece in March 1941 as part of New Zealand contribution to that campaign.[6] The NZOC workshops were supported in this campaign by the RAOC 1 OFP.[7] A lack of consultation prior to the operation saw that the attached British OFP was not scaled correctly to support the New Zealand units. 1 OFP held sufficient spares for Internationals and Crossley’s but this would be problematic as with the NZ Division not equipped with Internationals and only held two Crossley’s. Fortunately, 1 OFP held sufficient quantities of Ford, 25 pounder and 2 pounder spares, spring steel, sheet and rod metals, compressed air and many general items and with supplementation from local sources was able to provide some useful support to the NZ Workshops.[8] The Greek Campaign would ultimately be a defeat for the British Forces who would lose the Island of Crete to German airborne forces in May 1941.

NZ OFP July 1941 – January 1943

OFP October 1941

Alf Beale of the OFP sorting out his stock for the bin vehicle. Maadi Camp, October 1941. Photo W.W Thomas.

NZ Division Ordnance Field Park (1941)

Vehicle Tactical Sign NZ Division Ordnance Field Park 1941

Evacuated to Egypt, the New Zealand Division would undertake a period of rebuilding and expansion. 1 NZ Field Workshop war reformed as1 NZ Divisional Ordnance Workshop on 16 June 1941 followed by the formation of 2 and 3 NZ Field Workshops on 27 June. Taking on board the lesson of the Greek campaign a New Zealand Divisional OFP was formed on 28 July 1941. The NZ OFP would spend August and September assembling its personnel and equipment and bringing its stock to scale with the personnel learning the intricacies of Ordnance accounting. With a strength of 4 Officers and 81 Other Ranks, the OFP was equipped with 27 3-ton Lorries in different configurations optimised for the carriage of OFP Stores.[9]

OFP Formed 41

OFP Sept 41

Four Ordnance Sergeants of the Divisional OFP in the Western Desert, September 1941. L to R: W.W Thomas, E.M McSherry, A Wilkin, R Smith. Photo W.W Thomas.

OFP ESTB 1941

Organised with a Headquarters and three sections, the NZ OFP would participate in Operation Crusader in November 1942 and its subsequent operations. Like any unit of the NZ Division, the NZ OFP was not immune to casualties and would see Major William Knox, Officer Commanding of the NZ OFP injured after driving over a landmine leading to his evacuation from Tobruk, during which it is suspected that he drowned when the ship he was on was sunk.[10] [11] Withdrawn to Egypt in December 1941 the NZ OFP would then accompany the NZ Divison to Syria in March 1942 as a precautionary measure to guard against a German thrust from the North.

Recalled to the Western Desert during June 1942, the NZ Division was urgently called forward to help counter the Axis advances into Egypt. The NZ Division would transit the 1500 kilometres from Syria to Minqar Qiam on Egypt’s western frontier in just over a week and was immediately in the fight.  Forced into a fighting withdraw the NZ Division soon withdrew to new positions in the vicinity of the Egyptian town of El Alamein where the 8th Army would hold fast and hold the line.

Lessons learned in the recent campaign identified the need for the New Zealand Division to have its own armoured element. This led to the converting of the 4th Infantry Brigade into the 4th New Zealand Armoured Brigade on 5 October 1942.[12] [13] Concurrent with the reorganisation of the 2nd NZEF, the increased mechanisation of the battlefield saw the British Army reform its maintenance and repair organisations and form them into a single Corps of Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (EME) on 1 October 1942.[14] The EME would assume responsibility for all RAOC, ASC and Royal Engineer Workshops, Recovery Sections and LADs.  New Zealand and Australian would follow suit on 1 December 1942, followed by India on 1 May 1943 and Canada on 22 February 1944. The formation of the New Zealand Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (NZEME) would see the NZ OFP remain with the NZOC,[15] whilst assuming the additional responsibility for the provision of MT Spares to the ASC workshops which had transferred to NZEME, and the scaling of spares for the new armoured component of the Division.

As New Zealand Division had converted to a mixed Infantry/Armoured Division, the NZ OFP was reorganised on 20 November 1942 from a modified Infantry Division OFP of a Headquarters and three Sections into a modified OFP structure of a Headquarters and three task orientated sections consisting of ;[16]

  • A Headquarters Holding Section – responsible for holding reserve stocks of all OFP Stores
  • An Infantry Section – responsible for serving the workshops and LAD’s both of the Infantry Brigades and Divisional troops with MT Stores, weapon spares and signal stores
  • an Armoured Section – Responsible for workshops and LAD’s of the Armoured brigade for armoured specific MT Stores, weapon and signal stores.

The positions of Driver-Mechanics and Electrician were removed from the establishment with the affected personnel transferred to NZEME units and replaced with NZOC Storeman-Drivers, The Fitters were retained as attached NZEME personnel.

RAOC9

RAOC Ordnance Field Park 1944/45 (RAOC, public domain)

February 1943 – January 1944

2 NZ Division Ordnance Field Park

Vehicle Tactical Sign NZ Division Ordnance Field Park 1944-45

On in February 1943, the establishment was again modified with an increase of the strength to 5 Officers and 99 Other Ranks with the structure changed to include an additional section, the Reserve Vehicle Park Section whose role was to hold reserves of the Divisions vehicles.

Further adjustment to the role and establishment of the OFP were facilitated on 7 March 1943 when Controlled Stores became an OFP responsibility’ Included as part of the OFP Headquarters, whose strength grew by one Warrant Officer Class One and one Private.

OFP ESTB 1943

Following the second Battle of El Alamein, the NZ OFP would continue to support the NZ Division in the advance across Libya and into Tunisia until the final defeat of the Axis forces in North Africa in May 1943. During this advance, there were periods when a New Zealand Advanced Ordnance Depot (NZAOD) was attached to the NZ OFP from the NZ Base Ordnance Depot (BOD) in Egypt. The role of the NZAOD was to provide holding of General stores and consumables not held by the OFP, mainly clothing and personnel webbing equipment.

The New Zealand Division would not participate in the invasion of Sicily but would spend the next few months reorganising and refitting as the 4th Armoured Brigade completed its training and was fully integrated into the NZ Division, and it would not be until October 1943 that the Division would re-enter the war in Italy.

February 1944 – December 1945

After several months in Italy, the NZ OFP undertook another reorganisation in February 1944. The NZ BOD at Maadi camp in Egypt had been split into two parts; No 1 NZ BOD, which would remain in Egypt and No 2 NZ BOD which was based at Bari on the South Adriatic coast of Italy.  With No 2 NZ BOD in Italy, the shortened and narrow lines of communication made the need for the NZAOD less necessary than in North Africa. The NZAOD that had been supporting the NZ Division in Italy prior to the establishment of 2 BOD was disbanded on 16 February 1944. With a requirement for the stores that the NZAOD held remaining forward, some its functions were absorbed into the NZ OFP as a mobile AOD section, increasing the strength of the NZ OFP by one Officer and fifteen Other Ranks and 10 additional lorries. [17]

OFP ESTB 1944

One of the functions that the AOD section brought to the NZ OFP was a Mobile Officers Shop. Officers shops were an organisation developed by the British in North Africa. Centrally provisioned by the Central Provision Office, Officers Shops allowed Offices to buy at reasonable rates, authorised items of kit such as clothing, camp kit, travel bags, Leather jerkins and shoes.[18] In Italy, the Officers Shop organisations were similar to that in the Middle East, but also stocked a range of locally obtained items. Although the Officers shop function was included as part of the AOD Section from February 1944 it would not officially be formalised and added to the establishment of the NZ OFP until 11 May 1945.

Further changes to the NZ OFP happened in August 1944 when an NZASC Warrant Officer Class Two was included in the Headquarter establishment to assist in the coordination of supplies to NZASC units from the NZ OFP.[19]  Additional equipment in the form of a truck-mounted crane to assist with the handling of heavy tank spares and engines in the Armoured Section was also approved during August 1944.[20]

In April 1945 the stockholding of signals stores in Division OFP’s was authorised to be increased. With the increase of holdings estimated to be around six tonnes, an additional three 3-ton Lorries was approved along with an increase of two Storeman and one Clerk.

Germany surrendered on 7 May 1945, bringing hostility’s in Europe to a close, but in the Pacific and South East Asia the war against Japan was still in progress and discussion of the future of the NZEF and its future in the war was underway. By June 1945 the decision had been made to maintain NZOC units in the NZEF at full strength to facilitate the handing back of vehicles and equipment by Divisional units as they were demobilised or reorganised for service against Japan. The August atomic bombing of Japan and their subsequent surrender in September 1945 brought what was going to be a long war to a sudden end. Japan would be occupied by allied forces and New Zealand would contribute a Brigade group (J Force) based on the 9th Infantry Brigade of the 2nd NZEF.[21]

In October 1945 it was decided to disband the NZ OFP, its men and equipment would be absorbed into an NZAOD, a Vehicle and Equipment Handling Depot and attached to 557 BOD, RAOC. The NZAOD and Vehicle and Equipment Handling Depot would receive and sort the equipment, with the best of it going to the J Force elements forming at Florence and the remainder returned to the RAOC. The NZOC personnel seconded to 557AOD who would receive and process the equipment back into the RAOC system, whilst also collection and dispatching new equipment from RAOC stocks for delivering to J Force.[22] [23]

OFP DisbandmentThe NZ OFP was functionally disbanded on 26 October 1945 and formally disbanded after 4 years and 5 months of service as a unit of the 2nd NZEF on 29 December 1945.[24]

During the NZ OFP 4 years of service, the following members died while on active service;

  • Temporary Major William Andrew Knox, 5 December 1941, No Known Grave, commemorated at Alamein Memorial.
  • Sergeant Ronald Roy Moore, 13 February 1942, now resting at the Fayid War Cemetery in Egypt.
  • Private Ivan James Curin, 24 March 1945, now resting Ravenna War Cemetery in Italy

OFP Storage and Accounting

Prior to the beginning of the war of the war, the standard system of field storage was the humble disused ammunition box. As Britain mobilised the influx of men from the automotive industry into the RAOC saw the introduction of the latest in storage techniques and how to maximise space which would be utilised to maximise storage in the OFP’s.[25]

Morris C8 15cwt 4 X 4 GS

Morris C8 15cwt 4 X 4 GS

The heart of the OFP was its store’s vehicles. The NZ OFP used a mixture of 15-cwt (.75-tone) trucks for administration tasks and 3-Ton lorries for the carriage of stores. The 3-ton lorries were generally of two types;

  • GS Lorries for the carriage of large items such as engines, gearboxes and differentials, and
  • Bin Lorries for the carriage of smaller compact items such as nuts, bolts, gaskets, fan belts, brake linings, windscreen wipers

GS Lorries were fitted with a flat floor body with fixed sides and headboard, and a drop tailgate. Usually fitted with a canvas canopy on a tubular frame. At times the tubular frame would be lined with chicken wire to limit pilferage.

Binned vehicles were lorries and trailers fitted with fixed racking made up of bins of different dimensions. Early designs consisted of full-length benches on both sides of the vehicle with storage bins under the benches and compartments for small items above the benches and a writing desk. Stores inside the bins were kept secure on the move by a mesh screen which could be removed when the vehicle was stationary to allow access to the stores. As the war progressed, the design of binned vehicles became more sophisticated with later models having solid bodies with internal lighting. The following illustrations provide an example of different types of bin trucks.

Polish OFP 2

Bin Lorry of the Polish Corps Italy 1943-45. The Polish Institute and Sikorski Museum

Polish OFP 1

Bin Lorry of the Polish Corps Italy 1943-45. The Polish Institute and Sikorski Museum

stores NO1 aust binned

Bin Truckc60l

Ledger CardStores accounting was managed by the Visidex system. The Visidex system was introduced in the late 1930’s by the RAOC as simple ledger card system to replace mechanical ledger posting systems which had proved to be unsatisfactory.[26] Adopted for wartime service the Visidex system was ideal as it was a simple system that required a minimum of staff training. Using carbon backed posting slips it allowed checks to easily carried out. Each OFP section would maintain a control office for which all indents from units would be received, the stock record would be checked, the location where the stock held identified (in an OFP each truck was a stock location) and the stock record updated. If the stock was available, it would immediately be issued. If the stock was not available, it would be recorded as a Dues Out, and an indent would be placed on the supporting Depot for replenishment which would be marked as a Dues In.[27] Each truck in an OFP would also maintain stock records that that would be reconciled with each issue and receipt and stocktake. The robustness and simplicity of the Visidex system would see it remaining as the primary field stores accounting system in the New Zealand Army well into the 1990s.

Summary

The New Zealand Division was one that was heavy in motor transport, and the close of the war in Europe as General Freyberg canvassed for the Division to be employed in South East Asia, British commanders welcomed the thought of the NZ Divisions participation, but concerns were raised that there would not be sufficient road space for the many thousands of vehicles on the NZ Division.[28]  With vehicles from motorcycles to tanks, weapons from pistols to howitzers and hundreds of other pieces of technical equipment requiring maintenance and repair,  the 2n NZEF developed first under the NZOC and then NZEME a world-class maintenance and repair system based on LAD, Field and Base workshops, which in the NZ Division was kept supplied with MT and other technical spares by the NZ OFP.

In the post-war NZ Army, OFP’s would exist in various iterations from 1948 until the late 1970s, but these would be training units that would never be deployed as standalone units such as the NZ OFP. The direct descendent s of the NZ OFP would be the RNZAOC Stores Sections attached to each RNZEME Workshop. Carrying specialised spares, assemblies and workshops materials to suit the particular requirement of its parent RNZEME workshops, Stores Sections became an RNZAOC responsibility in 1962 when RNZEME Technical Stores were transferred to the RNZAOC. A familiar sight on any RNZEME workshop exercise from the 1960s to 1996, the spirit of the NZ OFP would be well represented by RNZAOC Workshops Stores Sections with their RL Bedford Bin trucks and later Unimog mounted Binned 13’ Containers.

Copyright © Robert McKie 2018

OFP Mascot

Sergeant Harry Gilbertson of the OFP with the section mascot. ‘Sergeant Two Bob’ was brought as a pup from a ‘WOG’ for two bob and stayed with the section until the end of the war. Maadi, September 1943. Photo H.J Gilbertson

Notes

[1] “Technicians for Army,” Evening Post, Volume CXXVIII, Issue 22, 26 July 1939.

[2] The War Office, Ordnance Manual (War) (London: His Majestys Stationery Office, 1939), Chapter IV, Section 35, Page 79.

[3] Brigadier A.H Fernyhough C.B.E. M.C, History of the Royal Army Ordnance Corps 1920-1945 (London: Royal Army Ordnance Corps, 1965), 153.

[4] Major J.S Bolton, A History of the Royal New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps (Trentham: RNZAOC, 1992), 95.

[5] Brigadier A.H Fernyhough C.B.E. M.C, History of the Royal Army Ordnance Corps 1920-1945, 184.

[6] Bolton, A History of the Royal New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps, 94.

[7] Brigadier A.H Fernyhough C.B.E. M.C, History of the Royal Army Ordnance Corps 1920-1945, 141.

[8] Bolton, A History of the Royal New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps, 95.

[9] 2nzef – Organisation and War Establishments – Ordnance – Field Item Idr20107590 Record No  Da 1/9/Sd81/21 (Wellington: New Zealand Archives, 1941).

[10] A commercial traveller, Major Knox had served in the Field Artillery in the Great War attaining the rank of Lieutenant. Enlisting in the 2NZEF in 1930, Knox was posted to the 7th Anti-Tank Regiment as the Quartermaster. On 4 August 1941 Knox was transferred into the NZOC as the Officer Commanding of the NZ OFP and granted the rank of Temporary Major whist holding that appointment. Injured as the result of driving over a landmine, Knox was admitted to a Casualty Clearing Station on 29 November 1941. Evacuated alongside 380 other wounded soldiers, of whom 97 were New Zealanders on the SS Chakdina on the afternoon of 5 December 1941. Torpedoed by enemy aircraft, only 18 of the New Zealanders were rescued with the remainder including Knox presumed drowned. “William Andrew Knox,” Personal File, Archives New Zealand 1939.

[11] J. B. McKinney, Medical Units of 2 Nzef in the Middle East and Italy, Official History of New Zealand in the Second World War 1939-45 (Wellington, N.Z.: War History Branch Department of Internal Affairs, 1952, 1952), Non-fiction, 179.

[12] 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, 37.

[13] D. J. C. Pringle and W. A. Glue, 20 Battalion and Armoured Regiment, Official History of New Zealand in the Second World War 1939-45 (Wellington: War History Branch, Department of Internal Affairs, 1957, 1957), Non-fiction, 292.

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

[15] Bolton, A History of the Royal New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps, 103.

[16] 2nzef – Organisation and War Establishments – Ordnance – Field

[17] Ibid.

[18]  Brigadier A.H Fernyhough C.B.E. M.C, History of the Royal Army Ordnance Corps 1920-1945, 205.

[19] NZASC Units were; 4 & 6 Reserve Mechanical Transport Company, Ammunition Company, Petrol Company, Supply Column, NZ Field Bakery, 18 Tank Transporter Company, NZ Mule Transport Company. Julia Millen, Salute to Service: A History of the Royal New Zealand Corps of Transport and Its Predecessors, 1860-1996 (Wellington: Victoria University Press, 1997, 1997), Bibliographies, Non-fiction, 441.

[20] 2nzef – Organisation and War Establishments – Ordnance – Field

[21] Matthew Wright, Italian Odyssey: New Zealanders in the Battle for Italy 1943-45 (Auckland, N.Z.: Reed, 2003, 2003), Bibliographies, Non-fiction, 166.

[22] 2nzef – Organisation and War Establishments – Ordnance – Field

[23] Bolton, A History of the Royal New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps, 120.

[24] 2nzef – Organisation and War Establishments – Ordnance – Field

[25] P.H. Williams, War on Wheels: The Mechanisation of the British Army in the Second World War (History Press Limited, 2016), 73.

[26] Brigadier A.H Fernyhough C.B.E. M.C, History of the Royal Army Ordnance Corps 1920-1945, 40.

[27] Williams, War on Wheels: The Mechanisation of the British Army in the Second World War, 73.

[28] Wright, Italian Odyssey: New Zealanders in the Battle for Italy 1943-45, 166.


Gordon Cumming Bremner

Gordon Cumming Bremner was born at Wanganui on 30 October 1891. Completing his schooling, Gordon took up a career as a farm hand in the central North Island of New Zealand. Fulfilling his obligation to participate in Compulsorily Military Training, Gordon enlisted in the 6th (Manawatu) Mounted Rifles of the Territorial Army on 1 March 1911. Serving in the Territorial Army for three years Gordon would enlist in the New Zealand Expeditionary Force (NZEF) in January 1915.

Taking his attestation on 11 January 1915, Gordon would spend three months training at Trentham before embarking on Troopship No 23 the SS Waitoma on 17 April 1915 as part of the 4th Reinforcements for the voyage to Egypt. Disembarking at Suez on 25 May 1915, Gordon would undergo further training at Zeitoun Camp. Early in June Gordon departed Alexandra, joining the 11th (Taranaki) Company of the Wellington Battalion in the Dardanelles on 9 June.

Bremner GC 01 B Coy 4th Reinfs

Gordon Bremner with B Company 4th Reinforcements, Norm Lamont Collection

Bremner GC 01a B Coy 4th Reinfs

Gordon would have spent the uncomfortably hot months of June and July with the Taranaki Company rotating between Courtney and Quinn’s Posts at Gallipoli as the Wellington Battalion consolidated its position. Participating in the Battle of Chunuk Bair and wounded in action on 8 August,  the injury saw Gordon evacuated from Gallipoli on HMS Alaunia.  Gordon arrived back in Alexandra on 13 August and admitted to the 1st Australian (No.3 Auxiliary) Hospital at Heliopolis on 14 Aug where in addition to his battle injuries Gordon received treatment for appendicitis. Diagnosed with neurasthenia, the term used to describe “shell shock” or what is referred to in modern times as a Post-Traumatic Stress Injury (PTSI) saw the transfer of Gordon to the New Zealand General Hospital at Abbassia on 13 September. With Gordon’s condition classifying him as unfit for service, he was transferred to the Lady de Walden’s Hospital at Alexandria on 8 October in preparation for his repatriation to New Zealand, departing on the SS Tahiti on 20 November. Arriving in New Zealand on boxing day 1915 and admitted to a convalescent home at Rotorua, Gordon would spend several months recuperating. Recovery was slow, and although his health had improved, Gordon remained classified as medically unfit for military service resulting in his discharge from the NZEF on 19 April 1916.

Bremner GC 07a Otago Witness Sep 1915

Motivated to continue serving, Gordon re-joined the Territorial Army on 1 June 1916 and applied for enlistment into the NZEF on 10 December, but his C2 medical grading precluded his reenlistment into the NZEF. Gordons records do not record his activities during 1917, but in February 1918 Gordon was medially reclassified as C1 – Likely to become fit for active service after special training. Gordon’s medical upgrading was well timed, as on 15 September 1917 authorisation for men medically unfit for active service was granted so they could replace Territorials who remained on duty at the coast defence forts in the main centres. Gordon was ordered to report to the Officer Commanding of the RNZA Wellington on 26 Feb 2018 and on 27 February 1918, Gordon was enlisted as a guard with the Garrison Artillery at Fort Ballance at Wellington.

Bremner GC 09 Garrison Artillery

Gordon Bremner Garrison Artillery. Norm Lamont Collection

On 31 December 1918 Gordon married Irene Pearl Williams at Wellington. Their marriage would see the birth of eight children and the adoption of another;

  • Zita Millicent (adopted), born 27 Dec 16 Christchurch,
  • Jean Kathleen, Born 21 Sept 20 Wellington,
  • James Alexander Gordon, born 31 Jan 22 Taumarunui,
  • Allan Duff, born 21 Apr 24 Wellington,
  • Jessie Elizabeth, born 20 Sept Wellington,
  • Louise Gladys, born 29 Sept Wellington.
  • Nancy Irene, born 1930,
  • John Keith, born 1934,
  • Joyce Kay, born 9 Feb 1936

After four years, the armistice of 11 November 1918 brought the First World War to a close, and by late 1919 Gordon was at a crossroads regarding his future. As a Bombardier (Corporal) in the Artillery, he was well placed to transfer from the Territorials into the Permanent Force and with his savings purchase a comfortable house and pursue a career in the peacetime army, or he could take his discharge and seek fresh pastures. Gordon chose to seek fresh pastures and with his pre-war experience as a farm hand decided to become a farmer. Utilising the Soldiers Resettlement Scheme, Gordon invested his savings in a farm in the King Country. With marginal and isolated land allocated to returned servicemen, Gordons attempt to develop and farm the land was an experience shared by many other returned servicemen and was a futile and hopeless endeavour. After two years of backbreaking and heartbreaking work, Gordon and his family abandoned their farm and now homeless with savings expended returned to Wellington in October 1922.

Attempting to find work with the Main Ordnance Depot at Trentham in October 1923 and again in March 1924, Gordon was initially unsuccessful, but did secure work at the Trentham Racecourse and later as a foreman with the Public Works Department in Trentham Camp. Gordon eventually secured a position as the relieving Camp Firemaster and in charge of the night patrol, with accommodation for his family provided in a target shed adjacent to the rifle range. The delivery of the first motorised ambulance to Trentham Camp saw Gordon appointed as the driver. In July 1925 Gordon’s luck changed as he was accepted for service into the New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps (NZAOC) and was attested as a Private into “E” Section of the Main Ordnance Depot on 21 July. Up to his enlistment in the NZAOC Gordon had remained efficient in the Territorial Army with his service between 1916 and 1925 equalling four years and 211 days.

Bremner GC 14

Gordon Bremner as Trentham Camp Ambulance Driver C1925. Trentham News 1 September 1955 Norm Lamont Collection

Gordon’s enlistment into the NZAOC would in normal circumstances allowed him to retire at the age of 55 with a comfortable pension, but this was not to be. Due to the world-wide depression and economic recession the government was forced to savagely reduce the strength of the Army by using the provisions of section 39 of the Finance Act, 1930 (No. 2)  military staff could be either;

  • Transferred to the Civil service, or
  • Retired on superannuation.

Using this act, Gordon was discharged out of the NZAOC and transferred to the Civil Service on 31 January 1931 to work in the same position as a lorry driver but at a lower rate of pay.

Discharge 1930

Less than a week after Gordon’s transfer to the NZAOC Civilian staff, a disastrous earthquake struck Napier and Hastings on 3 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. As part of the civilian ordnance staff, Gordon’s skills as a lorry driver were put to full use delivering these stores and equipment to Napier and Hastings. All military employees including the civilian staff such as Gordon who engaged in the relief effort were deserving of great credit for the manner in which they carried out their duties under trying conditions.

Gordon’s wounds continued to cause him issues, and in February 1933 Gordon was admitted to hospital for an operation on a duodenal ulcer which was causing him some discomfort. As a result of the surgery a souvenir of Chunuk Bair, a piece of Turkish shrapnel was removed from Gordon’s stomach.

Gordon would continue to serve with the NZAOC in a civilian capacity for the remainder of the 1930’s. Although New Zealand entered the Second World War in 1939, the NZAOC would not transition into a full wartime footing until 1942 when, with the threat of invasion by Japan perceived as possible, saw the mobilisation of the full military potential of New Zealand. The NZAOC would transition from an organisation primarily staffed by civilians into one with a predominately military establishment, with many of the NZAOC civilian staff including Gordon returning to uniform. Gordon was attested into the Temporary Service of the NZAOC at Trentham on 24 August 1942 and allocated the service number 814628. Promoted to Corporal on 1 September 1942 with promotion to Sergeant following on 1 August 1944.

 

Bremner GC 15 1950s

Gordon Bremner. Norm Lamont Collection

Bremner GC 14b

Gordon Bremner. Norm Lamont Collection

With the end of the Second World War, Gordon transitioned into the post-war Interim Army as a Sergeant on 26 June 1946 and then into the Home Service Section (HSS) of the Regular Force as a Sergeant in the Royal New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps (RNZAOC). As a driver in the Receipts and Issues Group of the Main Ordnance Depot, Gordon would often be out on runs around the Wellington region collection and delivering store to units and to transports agencies such as the railway, his pleasant manner, willingness to oblige and friendly ways ensured that he was a respected and popular member of Trentham Camp. Gordons activities were not limited to Trentham Camp and throughout his post-war service at Trentham, he would undertake many tours of duty to the other Ordnance depots at Linton, Waiouru and Hopuhopu. Receiving three extensions to his service Gordon would serve throughout the 1950’s.

Bremner GC 14 1950s

Gordon Bremner. Norm Lamont Collection

In 1955 a review of Gordon’s service was undertaken, and in acknowledgement of his Sixteen Years and Nineteen days qualifying service in the Territorial Army, NZEF and NZAOC from 1911 to 1931, Gordon was awarded the New Zealand  Long & Efficient Service Medal on 12 May 1955. The New Zealand Long and Efficient Service Medal was rendered obsolete with the standardisation of awards on 23 September 1931 and Gordons award of this medal is notable as due to its late claim, Gordon’s award was the last one of this type awarded.

LSES Medal Bremner

Reaching retiring age in 1956, Gordon was discharged from the New Zealand Army on 6 August 1956 after close to Forty-Five years service, the majority of which spent at Trentham Camp to which he had been a witness of its growth form a rudimentary Training Camp in 1915 to a modern Military Camp.

Gordon retired in Upper Hutt and passed away at the age of 76 on 28 November 1967. Gordon now rests at the Wallaceville Cemetery, Upper Hutt, Wellington, New Zealand.

Tombstone

Gordon Bremner Tombstone, Wallaceville Cemetery, Upper Hutt. Courtesy Dave Morris

During his service Gordon was awarded the following medals;

  • 1914-15 Star
  • British War Medal
  • Victory Medal War Medal 1939-45
  • New Zealand. War Service Medal.
  • New Zealand Long & Efficient Service Medal

Gordon had also been issued with the Silver War Badge. The Silver War Badge, also known as the “Wound Badge” or “Services Rendered Badge” was issued during the First World War to personnel who had been honourably discharged due to wounds or sickness from military service.

In August 1967 Gordon received his Gallipoli lapel badge in the post with a letter apologising for the delay in sending out the Medallion. Gordons Gallipoli medallion would arrive a  week after his funeral.

Gordon’s son James would also pursue a military career in the Ordnance Corps. Working a civilian storeman at the Main Ordnance Depot in Trentham, James would be attested into the Army on 12 June 1940. Serving in Italy with the New Zealand Ordnance Corps with the 2nd NZEF from 1943 to 1945. Remaining in the NZAOC at the Main Ordnance Depot, James would retire from the RNZAOC as A Warrant Officer Class Two on 21 April 1961.

Bremner JA 06

 

Copyright © Robert McKie 2018

 

.