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 1920 to 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(Temporary), Captain I. R. Withell, RNZA, 1 Apr 1931 to 31 Sept 1931.
  • Proof Officer, Small Arms Ammunition, Honorary Lieutenant J.W Fletcher, NZPS. 1 Sept 1931 – incumbent 1939.[109]

Inspectorial Staff Ordnance Officers

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

Copyright © Robert McKie 2019

Notes:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[16] Relinquished appointment on retirement on 12 July 1920. “Appointments, Promotions, Resignations and Transfer of Officers of the New Zealand Staff Corps, Royal Regiment of New Zealand Artillery and Territorial Force,” New Zealand Gazette No 55, 4 June 1920, 1866.

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

[18] Relinquished commission due to retirement 31 December 1922.”Appointments, Promotions, Resignations and Transfer of Officers of the New Zealand Military Forces,” New Zealand Gazette No 2, 11 January 1923.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[28] Relinquished appointment of Ordnance Officer, Northern Command 1 August 1926.”Appointments, Promotions, Resignations and Transfer of Officers of the New Zealand Staff Corps, Royal Regiment of New Zealand Artillery and Territorial Force,” New Zealand Gazette No 77, 18 November 1926, 3254.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[44] “New Zealand Army.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[53],from December 20 1930  John J. Storey and J. Halket Millar, March Past : A Review of the First Fifty Years of Burnham Camp (Christchurch, N.Z. : Pegasus Press, 1973, 1974 printing, 1973), Non-fiction, 118.

[54] Ibid.

[55] Ibid.

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

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

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

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

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

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

[62] “Whyte, Herbert Henry.”

[63] 13 May 1920 “Appointments, Promotions, Resignations and Transfers of Officers of the Nzsc, Nzaod and Territorial Force,” New Zealand Gazette No 46, 12 May 1921.

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

[65] “New Zealand Army.”

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

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

[68] “New Zealand Army.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[77] “Untitled – Ford.”

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

[79] Ibid.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[88] To be OC Harbour Defences and OC RNZA Detachment Northern Command 17 June 1925 “Appointments, Promotions, Resignations and Transfer of Officers of the New Zealand Staff Corps, Royal Regiment of New Zealand Artillery and Territorial Force,” New Zealand Gazette No 51, 9 June 1925.

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

[90] Captain Ivory was seconded to the RNZAOC as the IOO and Acting IOM on 12 January 1927   “Appointments, Promotions, Resignations and Transfer of Officers of the New Zealand Staff Corps, Royal Regiment of New Zealand Artillery and Territorial Force,” New Zealand Gazette No 11, 3 March 1927.

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

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

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

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

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

[96] “New Zealand Army.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[110] 13 September 1920, Relinquished position on retirement. “Appointments, Promotions, Resignations and Transfer of Officers of the New Zealand Staff Corps, Royal Regiment of New Zealand Artillery and Territorial Force,” New Zealand Gazette No 83, 16 September 1920.

[111] 19 October 1920, Relinquished position on retirement. “Appointments, Promotions, Resignations and Transfer of Officers of the New Zealand Staff Corps, Royal Regiment of New Zealand Artillery and Territorial Force,” New Zealand Gazette No 95, 25 November 1920.

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

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

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NZAOC July 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.


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.


Ordnance Locations

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

Description of Ordnance Units

In general terms, Ordnance units can be described as:

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

Unit naming conventions

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

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

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

In 1968 a regionally based numbering system was adopted

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

Some exceptions were:

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

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

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

Exceptions were:

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

Unit locations New Zealand, 1907–1996

Alexandra

9 Magazines Operational from 1943, closed late 1950’s

Ardmore

20 Magazines operational from 1943

Auckland

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

RNZAOC units that have been accommodated at Auckland have been:

Stores Depot

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

Vehicle Depot

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

Ammunition Depot

  • Northern Districts Ammunition Depot, Ardmore

Other Units

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

Workshops

  • No 12 Ordnance Workshop, Devonport, 1941–1946

Workshop Stores Section

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

 Belmont

Operational from 1943

  • MOD Trentham, Ammunition Group, Ammunition Section

 Burnham

Stores Depot

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

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

Vehicle Depot

  • Southern Districts Vehicle Depot, 1948-1961

Ammunition Depot

  • Southern Districts Vehicle Ammunition 1954-1961

Other Ordnance Units

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

Ordnance Field Parks

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

Workshops

  • No 14 Ordnance Workshop, until 1946

Workshop Stores Section

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

 Christchurch

Stores Depot

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

Workshop Stores Section

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

 Dunedin

Stores Depot

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

 Fairlie

Nine magazines Operational 1943.

Featherston

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

Glen Tunnel

16 magazines Operational from 1943

Hamilton

Proof Office, Small Arms Ammunition Factory, 1943-1946

Kelms Road

55 Magazines Operational from 1943

Linton Camp

RNZAOC units that have been accommodated at Linton have been;

Stores Depot

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

Vehicle Depot

  • Central Districts Vehicle Depot, 1957-1961

Ammunition Depot

 

Ordnance Field Parks

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

Workshop Stores Section

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

Other Ordnance Units

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

Lower Hutt

Ordnance Field Parks

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

Mangaroa

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

Supply Depot

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

Ordnance Field Parks

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

     

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

 Mako Mako

39 magazines operational from 1943

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

Mount Somers

10 Magazines operational from 1943

Ngaruawahia

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

Stores Depot

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

Ordnance Field Parks

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

Workshop Stores Section

  • 1 Infantry Brigade Group LAD, Stores Section

Other Ordnance Units

  • Northern Districts Ammunition Depot, Kelms Road

 Palmerston North

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

Trentham

Stores Depot

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

Ordnance School

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

Workshops

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

Workshop Stores Section

  • 1 Base Workshop, Stores Section

Ordnance Field Parks

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

Vehicle Depot

  • Central Districts Vehicle Depot, 1948 – 1957

Ammunition Units

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

Waiouru

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

RNZAOC units that have supported Waiouru have been;

Stores Depot

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

Workshop Stores Section

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

Wellington

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

Stores Depot

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

 Workshops

  • Armament Workshop, Alexandra Military Depot.[29]

Unit locations overseas, 1914–1920

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

Egypt

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

Fiji

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

Germany

  • Ordnance Depot, Mulheim, Cologne

 Greece

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

Samoa

  • 1 Base Depot

 Turkey

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

 United Kingdom

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

Unit locations overseas, 1939–1946

Egypt

Headquarters

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

Base Units

Supply

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

Workshops (until Sept 1942 when transferred to NZEME)

  • NZ Base Ordnance Workshop

Laundry

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

Training

  • Engineer and Ordnance Training Depot, Maadi Camp

Field Units

Supply

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

Workshops (until Sept 1942 when transferred to NZEME)

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

Greece

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

Italy

Headquarters

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

Base units

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

Field units

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

Fiji

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

New Caledonia

  • Base Ordnance Depot
  • Division Ordnance Workshop

Solomon Islands

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

Tonga

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

Unit locations overseas, 1945–1996

Japan

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

Korea

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

Malaya

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

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

Singapore

Stores Depot

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

     

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

Workshops Stores Section

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

 Somalia

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

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

South Vietnam

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

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

Copyright © Robert McKie 2018

Notes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[25] Ibid.

[26] Ibid.

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

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

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

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

[31] Ibid.

[32] Ibid.

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

[Limited Leather Bound Edition], 2015), Bibliographies

Non-fiction.

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

[35] Ibid.

[36] Ibid.

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

[38] Ibid.

[39] Ibid.

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