Worn by some New Zealand Army units since the mid-1960s, it was not until 1973 that the wearing of stable belts (commonly referred to as Corps or Regimental Belts in the New Zealand Army) was authorised across the New Zealand Army. In adopting a stable belt, a few units adopted belts of a unique design; however, most New Zealand corps, regiments, and infantry battalions choose designs based on the regimental colours of a parent or allied units of the British Army. The three Logistics Corps of the NZ Army adopted stable belts of a British design, and it was not until 1996 and the formation of the Royal New Zealand Army Logistic Regiment (RNZALR) that a unique New Zealand Logistic stable belt was be adopted.
Stable belts have their origins in the British Army. Cavalrymen (and ASC and AOC personnel from trades associated with horses) found that by modifying a Cavalry “Surcingle,” they had a belt that was particularly useful in providing lower back support when cleaning stables and tending horses. As British military uniforms became more utilitarian, lacking the colour and flair of earlier patterns, the wearing of coloured “stable belts” in regimental colours evolved, adding a splash of colour and individuality to the drab khaki working uniforms of the period.
The use of coloured stable belts in regimental colours spread to all branches of the British Army, becoming established as a uniform item following World War Two. Most commonwealth countries followed the example of the British Army and adopted the coloured stable belt of the Corps or Regiments to which they had links or alliances. The adoption of stable belts by the NZ Army was far from enthusiastic, and it was not until the mid-1960s that stable belts started to appear. It was not until 1973 that the Army Dress Committee officially approved the universal wearing of stable belts for all Regiments and Corps of the NZ Army.
Stable Belts are generally manufactured from a 21/2- to a 3-inch-wide belt of a heavily woven material with horizontal stripes in two or more colours. Buckle types vary with six main types used.
Single tongue leather buckle. In NZ only used by the 4th Otago and Southland Battalion
Multi tongue leather buckle. Consisting of two leather buckles
Triple Locket. In NZ only used on the 5th Wellington West Coast Battalion Other Ranks Stable belt.
Rectangular plate (Matt colour or chromed) and Cap Badge design.
Web Belt clasp. Used on Interim RNZALR Stable belt.
RNZASC stable belt
Photographic evidence suggests that the Royal New Zealand Army Service Corps (RNZASC) adopted the British Army Royal Army Service Corps (RASC) stable belt sometime around 1970. However, the exact year is unknown. Until its disestablishment in1965, the RASC had worn a stable belt with a blue base with two central white stripes and two yellow stripes on the borders. A stable belt with a multi-tongue leather buckle, the RASC stable belt was worn with two leather buckles worn on the right hip. The Canadian ASC wore the same pattern stable belt up to 1968 and continues to be worn by the Malaysian Kor Perkhidmatan Diraja (Royal Logistics Corps).
In June 1973 the New Zealand Director of Supply and Transport requested from the Colonel Commandant of the Royal Corps of Transport (RCT) permission for the RNZASC to adopt the RCT stable belt. Adopted by the RCT in 1965, permission for the RNZASC to adopt the RCT pattern belt was granted by the Colonel Commandant of the RCT in September 1973. Concurrent with the adoption of the RCT stable belt by the RNZASC, was the adoption of the same belt by the Royal Australian Corps of Transport (RACT) in 1973.
RNZCT stable belt
On 12 May 1979, the RNZASC ceased to exist, as its Supply functions were transferred to the Royal New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps (RNZAOC), while the Transport, Movements and Catering functions were reformed into the Royal New Zealand Corps of Transport (RNZCT). The RCT pattern stable belt continued to serve as the stable belt of the RNZCT throughout the RNZCTs existence within the NZ Army. The only change to the belt throughout its life was some subtle changes to the design of the buckle.
RNZAOC stable belt
There is much photographic evidence of RNZAOC officers and soldiers in Singapore unofficially wearing British (Single locket) and Malaysian (multi tongue leather buckle) Ordnance Corps stable belts during the 1970-72 period. The RNZAOC initially discussed introducing stable belts in 1969. However, at the time, the available orders of dress did not provide much opportunity to wear a Stable belt, and the preference of the RNZAOC was to adopt a coloured Lanyard. Approval for a Lanyard was not granted, so the Director of Ordnance Services submitted to the Amry Dress Committee on 4 April 1972 requesting authority for the RNZAOC to adopt a stable belt. Permission was granted due to the Army Dress Committee’s 4 April 1972 meeting. The RNZAOC Belt was to b the same pattern as the RAOC belt but had a rectangular chrome plate mounted with RNZAOC Badge.
RNZEME stable belt
With its distinctive dark blue background with red and yellow stripes, the stable belt of the Royal New Zealand Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (RNZEME)was introduced in 1967 and was based on the Royal and Electrical Mechanical Engineers (REME) stable belt. The upper portion of the right-hand buckle carried the Corps motto (Arte et Marte). The right-hand piece had the RNZEME badge.
RLC stable belt
In 1993, in the most significant reorganisation of its Logistic Support since 1965, the British Army formed the Royal Logistic Regiment (RLC) by combining the RCT, RAOC, Catering and Pioneer Corps into the new Regiment. Eager to retain the values and traditions of its foundation Corps and Regiments, the RLC retained many elements of its founding corps Regimental colours and the history they represented in the design of the RLC stable belt. The REME remained a separate Corps outside of the RLC.
RNZALR stable belt
In a similar initiative to the British Army’s formation of the RLC, the NZ Army also combined its logistic functions into a single Logistic Regiment. The significant difference between the British and New Zealand logistical changes was that the RNZEME was also disestablished and included in the NZ Logistic Regiment.
On 9 December 1996, the Officers and Soldiers of the RNZCT, RNZAOC and RNZEME marched onto parade grounds on each camp and base. Corps flags were lowered, headwear and stable belts exchanged, and the Officers and Soldiers marched off as members of the Royal New Zealand Army Logistic Regiment (RNZALR).
With the colourful stable belts of three RNZALR foundation corps and the collective history of service to New Zealand since 1840 that they represented retired, the RNZALR took a different approach to the RLC in selecting a new stable belt. While the RLC had embraced its foundation Corps’ values and traditions, the RNZALR divorced itself from the past and adopted a plain navy-blue stable belt.
As stock of the new RNZALR stable belt was not available on the formation of the New Regiment, a temporary belt was issued.
Consisting of a navy-blue belt with Web Belt clasps, the interim belt was retired within a year as new RNZALR Stable belts became available.
The only distinctive feature of the RNZALRs stable belt is locket style Chrome buckle, which includes the following features
The RNZALR Corps badge on the male side of the buckle
The RNZALR motto, “Ma Nga Hua Tu Tangata”, on the female side of the buckle.
The Royal New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps (RNZAOC) and its predecessor’s primary storekeeping responsibility was providing Clothing, Camp Equipment, Ammunition, Arms and Accessories to New Zealand’s Military Forces. From the Second World War, the technical nature of military Storekeeping evolved to include various military equipment such as vehicles, communications equipment, and mechanical plant. These new types of equipment were utilised in copious quantities, and all required accessories and a complex range of repair parts to keep them operational. To provide a comprehensive and optimal measure of control from 1963, RNZAOC Stores Sections were raised as part of Royal New Zealand Electrical and Mechanical Engineer (RNZEME) workshops. The Stores Sections were complimented by the standing up of the Auto Parts trade in 1965. This article provides an introductory overview of how the Motor Transport Branch (MT Branch) and the RNZAOC managed Motor Transport Stores (MT Stores) from 1939 to 1963.
As in the First World War, the New Zealand Army mobilised in 1939 and was equipped and organised to allow near-seamless integration into a larger British army. The British army of 1939 was one whose doctrine had embraced modern technology so ‘By the time of the invasion of Poland, the British Army in Europe was rather more motorised than the German Army.’ Aspects of the advanced British doctrine had filtered through to New Zealand in the later 1930s, with modern equipment such as Bren Guns and Universal carriers arriving in New Zealand and some rudimentary experiments in motorising the Army had taken place. However, as a legacy of interwar defence policies and financial constraints, the New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps (NZAOC), unlike the Royal Army Ordnance Corps (RAOC) in the United Kingdom, was not organised effectively and, as a result, unprepared to function effectively when the war began. It could be said that during the Second World War, New Zealand maintained two separate armies. First, the 2nd New Zealand Expeditionary Force (2nd NZEF), with its combat units, supporting arms and logistic units, organised against modified War Office Establishment tables with G1098 stores directly drawn from British Stocks. Secondly, there was the NZ Army at home. Although also organised against War Office Establishment tables, its equipment needs, and G1098 Stores were provided from a New Zealand Logistical base.
The NZAOC of 1939 was a Corps that had suffered under the defence restraints of the interwar years and was primarily concerned with the supply and maintenance of clothing, equipment, ammunition, and weapons. Although the army had 56 vehicles, the NZAOC had little experience supporting Motor Transport (MT) on a scale required by a growing army. A significant factor limiting the growth of the NZAOC in the critical early wartime years was that nearly all its senior leadership had been seconded to the 2nd NZEF. Given the need to rapidly expand and manage the capacity of the Army’s MT fleet, the Quartermaster General (QMG) decided in a significant break from the doctrine that to allow the NZAOC to focus on its key responsibilities, a separate MT Branch was established.
The MT Branch was established in late 1939 to manage and maintain the thousands of purchased or impressed vehicles required by the military. Taking a similar approach to the RAOC in the United Kingdom, the MT Branch leveraged off the experience of the New Zealand Motor industry. Many of the MT Branch’s staff were directly recruited from the motor industry into the New Zealand Temporary Staff (NZTS). By December 1942, the MT Branch consisted of,
1 MT Workshops, Trentham
2 MT Workshop, Waiouru
3 MT Workshops, Papakura
4 MT Workshops, Whangarei
5 MT Workshops, Palmerston North
6 MT Workshops, Wellington
7 MT Workshops, Blenheim
8 MT Workshops, Burnham
9 MT Workshop, Dunedin
MT Depots providing pools of vehicles
1 MT Depot, Auckland
2 MT Depot, Hamilton
3 MT Depot, Napier
4 MT Depot, Wanganui
5 MT Deport, Christchurch
MT Stores Depots providing MT spares, tools and equipment for MT Workshops and Depots
1 Base MT Stores Depot, Wellington
2 MT Stores Depot, Auckland
3 MT Stores Depot, Wellington
4 MT Stores Depot, Christchurch
7 MT Stores Depot, Blenheim
As most vehicles utilised by the NZ Military in the early years of the war were impressed from civilian service, initial scaling of MT spares was achieved by simply purchasing the existing stock held by New Zealand motor manufacturers and dealerships. As the war progressed, new vehicles, equipment and spares arrived from the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, and the United States, requiring further expansion of the MT Branch.
Freed from the burden of managing MT, the Chief Ordnance Officer (COO) with NZAOC, Territorial units of the New Zealand Ordnance Corps (NZOC) and personnel from the NZTS provided.
All natures of stores and equipment other than rations, forage, and fuel.
The repair and maintenance of armaments and equipment, including
Light Aid Detachments and mobile workshops providing 1st and 2nd line support across Field Force Units
Armament and General Engineering Workshops.
Main Ordnance Workshop, Trentham
11 Ordnance Workshop, Whangarei
12 Ordnance Workshop, Devonport
13 Ordnance Workshop, Blenheim
14 Ordnance Workshop, Burnham
15 Ordnance Workshop, Dunedin
Post War Developments
Before the war, the NZAOC had not been organised to carry out its functions effectively. The conclusion of the war provided the opportunity for the NZAOC to be reorganised to bring it into line with RAOC organisational structures and procedures, including the management of vehicles and MT Spares. The MT Branch, which had only been intended as a temporary wartime organisation, had its wartime responsibilities absorbed into a reorganised NZAOC and newly established NZEME.  When the MT Branch was established in 1939, it had sixty-two vehicles at its disposal. By the end of the war the Branch had handled over thirty thousand vehicles, with 21000 disposed of by March 1946.
The MT Branch Workshops along with the Ordnance Workshops, from 1 September 1946, was absorbed into a new organisation, the NZEME.
MT Vehicle Depots
With many of the vehicles impressed earlier in the war returned to their original owners or disposed of during the war, the MT Vehicle Deports still held thousands of military vehicles. From 1 September 1947, responsibility for the MT Vehicle Depots was transferred to the RNZAOC, establishing the RNZAOC Vehicle Depots at Sylvia Park, Trentham, and Burnham.
MT Spares Depots
Following several audits and stocktakes, spare parts, tools, and accessories were handed over from MT Stores to the RNZAOC on 1 April 1948. To continue the management of MT Stores, the RNZAOC established MT Spares Groups at the Main Ordnance Depot (MOD) at Trentham and at the Northern and Southern District Ordnance Depots. The system of supply for MT Stores was that the RNZEME workshops held a small stock managed by RNZEME Stores Staff. Replenishment was by either Local Purchase or through the supporting District Ordnance Depot, MT Group. The exception was that the Central Districts Workshops at Waiouru and Linton demanded off the MOD MT Stores Group at Trentham. This anomaly was rectified in 1954 when the Central Districts Ordnance Depot at Linton was authorised to establish an MT Stores Depot.
By 1961 the NZ Army vehicle fleet was in transition as the older World War Two era fleet of vehicles, including Chevrolets, Fords and GMCs, were being replaced with a fleet of modern Bedford’s and Land Rovers. As the vehicle fleet transitioned, the management MT Stores were also reviewed, and several changes were implemented during 1961 and 1962.
Workshop Stores Sections
RNZAOC Workshop Stores Sections were to be raised at the following RNZEME Workshops,
• Northern Districts Workshops,
• Central Districts Workshops,
• Central Districts Armament and General Workshops
• Central Districts MT Workshops
• Southern District Workshops
50% of the staff for the new Stores Sections were RNZEME personnel transferred into the RNZAOC.
Ordnance Deport MT Stores Groups
With raising the RNZAOC Stores Sections, the District Ordnance Depot MT Stores Groups were rerolled as Technical Stores Groups and ceased to hold MT Stores. Stock of MT Stores was redistributed to the new Stores Sections whose initial scaling for 1962 was to have six months of inventory; this was reduced to three months after January 1963. The balance of the District Ordnance Depots stock not required by the Stores Sections was to be transferred to the MOD.
By the end of 1963, RNZAOC Stores Sections had been firmly established as part of the RNZEME Workshops, providing not only MT Spares but the full range of repair parts and spares required by the workshops. Developing their own unique culture within the RNZAOC, the stage was set to introduce an RNZAOC Auto Parts and Accessories trade in 1965.
 Jonathan Fennell, Fighting the people’s war : the British and Commonwealth armies and the Second World War, Armies of the Second World War, (Cambridge University Press, 2019), Non-fiction, 32.
 Army Form G1098, the Unit Equipment Table giving the entitlement to stores and equipment.
 The Ordnance Manual (War) 1939 and mobilisation regulations stated that all A and B Vehicles less those driven by the RASC were to be maintained by the RAOC, RASC vehicles were to be maintained by the RASC. Ordnance Manual (War), ed. The War Office (London: His Majestys Stationery Office, 1939), 12.
 P.H. Williams, War on Wheels: The Mechanisation of the British Army in the Second World War (History Press Limited, 2016), 42-54.
 “Staff – Motor transport branch,” Archives New Zealand Item No R22438851 (1942).
 “Organisation – Policy and General – Royal New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps 1946-1984,” Archives New Zealand Item No R17311537 (1946).
 The NZEME gained royal status in 1947 as the Royal New Zealand Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (RNZEME).
 Peter Cooke, Warrior Craftsmen, RNZEME 1942-1996 (Wellington: Defence of New Zealand Study Group, 2017), 189.
 “Organisation – Policy and General – Royal New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps 1946-1984.”
From the turn of the twentieth century, the New Zealand Army had transformed from small permanent militia and volunteer force, into a modern citizen army, organised for integration with a much larger British Imperial Army. When New Zealand entered the First World War, the New Zealand Army did not have a Regular or Territorial Army Ordnance Corps from which to expand into a wartime Ordnance organisation. The creation of a New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps had remained a topic of discussion and indecision. Still, appetite to make a decision lacked until the war necessitated the formation of a New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps as a unit of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force (NZEF).
Ordnance functions in support of the New Zealand Forces had since 1907 been a civil/military responsibility under the control of the Defence Council with duties divided between the civilian Defence Store Department and the Royal New Zealand Artillery;
The Director of Artillery Services (Ordnance): Responsible for Artillery armament, fixed coast defences, and supplies for Ordnance, and
The Director of Stores: Responsible for clothing and personal equipment, accoutrements, saddlery, harness, small-arms and small-arms ammunition, machine guns, material, transport, vehicles, camp equipment, and all stores required for the Defence Forces.
As this created a division of roles and responsibilities, there were many calls for the establishment of a New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps along the lines of;
The Army Ordnance Corps, established in Britain in 1895,
The Australian Army Ordnance Department, established in 1902, and
The Canadian Ordnance Corps, established in 1907.
On 27 December 1907, James O’Sullivan head storekeeper of the Defence Sores Department was confirmed as the Director of Stores, with the Rank of Honorary Captain in the New Zealand Staff Corps. Further progress was made on the creation of an Army Ordnance Corps in 1913 with the selection and appointment of Brigade Ordnance Officers (Territorial) in each district with the intent of forming a Central Ordnance Depot to support each Brigade Camp during the 1913 camping season. Under the Director of Equipment and Stores, a fortnight course of instruction on Ordnance duties was conducted at Alexandra Barracks in January 1913 for the selected Brigade Ordnance Officers. In the field during the 1913 Annual Camps, each Brigade Ordnance Officer was allocated a staff of 2 clerks and 4 issuers, who were also selected before the camps and had undertaken training on Ordnance duties.]
From an Ordnance perspective, the1913 camps were a revolution in New Zealand’s Ordnance planning. For the first time, The issue of camp equipment was effectively managed with issues direct from Brigade Ordnance Depots directly to Regiments as they marched in. Issues were based against set scales, removing any doubt as to quantities taken into use and ensuring units were not holding excessive equipment and obviating any losses that were a feature of the previous system of direct consignment in small lots. On the completion of the camps, Regimental Quartermaster Sergeants assembled all equipment for return or made the necessary arrangements to rectify deficiencies without any delay. To facilitate the closing of camp stores accounts, Regimental Quartermaster Sergeants were placed under the orders of the Brigade Supply Officer. They would if necessary remain post the departure of their Regiments, remaining until the completion of checking and adjusting of accounts for rations and equipment. The Brigade Ordnance Officers would then ensure the return of all camp equipment to the respective mobilisation stores. An organisational success, the 1913 Ordnance Depot concept was carried over for use in the 1914 camps. The significant difference between the 1913 and 1914 camp’s was that they were to be much larger Divisional camps. To manage the increase of dependency, the size of the Ordnance Depot Staff was increased to 6 clerks and twelve issuers. Moreover, some of the regional Defence Storekeepers participated as the camp Ordnance Officers.
Based on many of the logistical lessons learned by the British Army in the Anglo/Boer war, the British Army published their doctrine for the provision of Ordnance Services to the British Army in the 1914′ Ordnance Manual (War)’. The concept of operations for British Ordnance Services was that they were to be organised depending upon the general nature of operations and lines of communication. Arranged within convenient distances of Corps and Divisions, Ordnance Depots would be located to allow units to draw their stores and ammunition from that source. If lines of communication became extended, the establishment of intermediate, advanced, and field depots on the lines of communication was authorised. The composition of Ordnance Depots was to consist of personnel of each trade, of sufficient numbers necessary for the operation of a small ordnance depot and workshop. Assistant Directors Ordnance Services (ADOS) would be responsible for each Corps, with Deputy Assistant Directors Ordnance Services (DADOS) accountable for each Division.
The doctrine Britain had in place at the beginning of the First World War was for forces to be fully equipped with everything necessary to enable them to undertake operations.  Included in the plan was the daily maintenance of Combat Supplies, but no provision for the replacement of weapons, equipment or clothing was allowed. Re-equipment would happen upon the withdrawal of forces for rest. New Zealand’s contribution as part of the British Empire was to be the NZEF based around an Infantry Division and a Mounted Infantry Brigade. Given the doctrine, New Zealand’s Ordnance requirements were minimal and would initially consist of no more than a DADOS, A Senior NCO clerk and a box of Stationary.
Detailed in Section 5 of General Order 312 of August 1914, the initial establishment of the NZEF was; 1 Officer, 1 Clerk and a horse. The NZEF DADOS was New Zealand Staff Corps Honorary Captain William Thomas Beck, Defence Storekeeper for the Northern Districts.  Beck was an experienced military storekeeper, who had been a soldier in the Permanent Militia before his appointment as Northern Districts Defence Storekeeper in 1904. Beck was the Officer in charge of the Camp Ordnance for the Auckland Divisional Camp at Hautapu near Cambridge in April 1914 so was well prepared for the role of DADOS.
The Senior Non-Commissioned Officer assisting Beck was Norman Joseph Levien. A general storekeeper, Levien enlisted into the 3rd Auckland Regiment immediately on the outbreak of war, appointed as a Temporary Sergeant and transferred to the Ordnance Department as the I.C. of Stores and Equipment, assisting in equipping troops for overseas service. Beck and Levien embarked with the main body of the NZEF, departing Wellington for England on the troopship TSS Maunganui on 3 December 1914.
The main body of the NZEF was initially destined for England, but the Canadian Expeditionary Force had suffered an exceptionally bitter winter on Salisbury Plain resulting in a change of plans for the main body of the NZEF to spare them the rigours of an English winter. Diverted to Egypt and disembarking on 3 December 1914. The New Zealanders would join with the Australians as the ‘Australasian Army Corps’. The Corps comprised two divisions; the 1st Australian Division, and the New Zealand and Australian Division. Based at Based Zeitoun Camp on the outskirts of Cairo, the New Zealanders trained and acclimatised to the local conditions, with preparations made for potential operations against the Ottoman Empire. The New Zealanders would see their first action in February 1915 when Ottoman forces raided the Suez Canal.
By 10 December Beck had established himself as the DADOS of the NZEF with an Ordnance office and a shared depot with the Army Service Corps at Zeitoun Camp. NZEF Order No 9 of 10 December 1914 stated that all indents for Ordnance Stores, including petrol and lubricants were to be submitted to the DADOS Ordnance Depot. Beck and had much to work ahead to bring the New Zealand units to scale and come to terms with the British Ordnance Systems. Britain had maintained occupation forces in Egypt since the 1880s and as such had peacetime Ordnance depots in Alexandra and Cairo. To understand the British systems and how best to utilise them Sergeant Levien was attached to the British Ordnance Corps Depot at the Citadel in Cairo to study the Ordnance systems in use and the Ordnance procedures the New Zealand Forces would have to adopt.
Divisional Order 210 of 28 December transferred the following soldiers to the Ordnance Depot;
By March 1915 Levien had secured premises for a New Zealand Ordnance Depot and warehouse at No. 12 Rue de la Porte Rosette and a warehouse at Shed 43, Alexandra Docks. From these premises, the New Zealand Forces would be provided support before and during the Dardanelles campaign. The Australians established a similar Depot at Mustapha Barracks and in No 12 Bond Store on Alexandra Docks.
On 3 April 1915, Beck received a boost to his DADOS organisation. Commissioned to 2nd Lieutenant, Thomas Joseph King, a qualified accountant, transferred into the New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps. King was appointed as the Officer in Charge of the Ordnance Depot at Zeitoun Camp, and Levien, also promoted to 2nd Lieutenant assumed the position of Officer in Charge of Equipment, Small Arms and Accoutrements (SAA) and Clothing.
Early in January 1915 planning began for operations in the area around the Dardanelles, with the ambitious goal of forcing the Ottoman Empire out of the war. Now well known as the Gallipoli Campain, the Australians and New Zealanders were committed to being critical participants in the planned amphibious assault and ground offensive. The Ordnance plan for the campaign included the establishment of an Ordnance Base Depot in Alexandria, and a floating Ordnance Depot set up on the cargo ship the ‘SS Umsinga’. The Umsinga was fitted out in the U.K. with all the Ordnance Stores required, all carefully laid out by vocabulary with detailed plans produced to locate the stock quickly. With Lieutenant Colonel McCheane in command as the Chief Ordnance Officer, he had a complement of one hundred and fifty men of the AOC to manage the stocks.
The invasion fleet loaded with the ANZAC, British and French concentrated off the Island of Lemnos from 10 April. The assault would be at two locations on the morning of 25 April. The British 29th Division would land at Cape Helles on the southern tip of the Gallipoli Penisula, and the ANZACs at locations on the west coast of the Peninsular that would become known as ANZAC Cove. The Division of the landing force made the concept of having the ‘Umsinga’ as the offshore ordnance Depot unworkable. To rectify the situation, the ‘S.S. Anglo Indian’ became the second floating Ordnance Depot. Half the stocks of the ‘Umsinga’ were cross-loaded to the ‘Anglo Indian’ on the night of 23/24 April, with British Ordnance Officer Major Basil Hill appointed as Chief Ordnance Officer on the Anglo Indian, along with haft the AOC men from the “Umsinga”.
The 1st Australian Divison started landing at around 4 am on the morning of 25 April, followed by the Australian and New Zealand Division several hours later. Soon after the beachhead was secured but still under considerable enemy fire, the ‘Anglo Indian’ drew close to the shore and started to cross-load Ammunition and other Ordnance Stores for transfer to an Ordnance dump established at the southern end of the beach. Lt Col J.G Austin, the 1st Australian Division DADOS, supervised the unloading of the lighters into the Ordnance dump and established forward ammunition dumps close to the front lines.
As DADOS of the Australian & New Zealand Division, Beck landed with Godley’s Headquarters at ANZAC Cove at Gallipoli on 25 April 1915. Lieutenant Colonel Fenwick, ADMS, another New Zealander, was part of the Headquarters landing party describes the events on that day: 
“We were all ready to land but were kept waiting and waiting until about 9.00 a.m. Some barges were moored alongside and a string of boats outside of these on the starboard side. Colonels Braithwaite, Chaytor and Manders, Major Hughes and Captain Beck and I got into the first boat. We were frightfully hampered by our kit – overcoat, revolver, glasses, map case, haversack, three days rations, firewood, Red Cross satchel, water bottle – like elephants. It was a certainty that we would drown if we got sunk. After waiting, a steam picket boat came along in charge of a very fat rosy midshipman. He took our string of boats in tow, and we were off. Our boat grounded about 50 feet from the shore and we all hopped out. Of course, I fell into a hole up to my neck. I could hardly struggle ashore and when I did the first thing I saw was Beck sitting on a stone, roaring with laughter at us. Billy Beck was the first New Zealander of Godley’s force (New Zealanders were serving in the Australian Division) to get onto Gallipoli”.
The landings were not as successful as planned with the Ottoman troops providing a more robust defence than expected; the campaign soon developed into stalemated trench warfare. By July the Island of Lemnos 40 miles from the peninsula had become the logistics hub supporting the campaign. The Ordnance command structure underwent a shakeup, the DOS for the entire campaign was Colonel Perry of the AOD, ADOS’s were made responsible for Ordnance support in the individual Corps areas of Helles and ANZAC Cove, Lt Col Austin assumed the position of the ANZAC Corps ADOS. The much larger “S.S. Minnetonka” was charted to act as depot ship, making regular round trips from Lemnos, Helles and ANZAC. The “‘ Umsinga’ and ‘Anglo Indian’ continue to support their respective areas as ammunition tenders.
Beck remained as the DADOS of the Australian & New Zealand Division with staff Sergeant Major Elliot Purdom, Regimental Quartermaster Sergeant of the Auckland Mounted Rifles transferred into the division headquarters to be his assistant. For the next three months, Purdom would assist Beck with the strenuous work of landing and organising stores and managing the depot staff. It would appear that he was also a bit of a character and The Hawera & Normanby Star, 24 June 1916 had this to say about Captain Beck’s service at Gallipoli:
“Finally, there was Captain William Beck, an ordinary officer. “Beachy Bill” was in charge of the store – a miserable little place – and whenever he put his nose out of the door bullets tried to hit it. The Turkish gun in Olive Grove was named after him, “Beachy Bill.” The store was simply a shot under fire, and Bill looked out and went on with his work just as if no bullets were about. He was the most courteous and humorous, and no assistant at Whiteley’s could have been more pleasing and courteous than the brave storekeeper on Anzac Beach. General Birdwood never failed to call on Captain Beck or call out as he passed on his daily rounds, asking if he were there, and they all dreaded that someday there would be no reply from a gaunt figure still in death. But Captain Beck was only concerned for the safety of his customers. He hurried them away, never himself.
Back in Egypt, with reinforcements arriving from New Zealand, King remained fully occupied at the Zeitoun Ordnance Depot. Ensuring new drafts of troops were brought up to scale and troops departing for ANZAC cove were fully equipped, on 2 May, King received additional assistance in the form of Trooper Reginald Pike. Pike 39 years old and a veteran of the Boer war was promoted to Temporary Sergeant and appointed as Ordnance Clerk. Pike would remain with Ordnance for the duration of the war.
By mid-July, illness was taking its toll on Beck and Purdom. During August both men were transferred to the hospital in Alexandria, after some time in Alexandra, both would be invalided back to New Zealand. Levien embarked for the Dardanelles on 2 August to replace Beck as DADOS, with King taking over the management of the Alexandra Depot on 12 August. At ANZAC Cove Private Arthur Gilmour transferred into the NZAOC as acting Sergeant on 24 August.
On 6 October Levien and King, both received promotions to Lieutenant. King took over as DADOS of the Division and Levien was appointed the Chief Ordnance Officer at Sarpi camp, with responsibility for re-equipping the depleted Australian & New Zealand Division. Having been in action since April, the Division required some rest and reorganisation. From mid-September 1915, most of the depleted division withdrew to the Island of Lemnos. Spending seven weeks at Sarpi Camp, the Division returned to the Gallipoli peninsula in early November with King remaining as DADOS. November also saw the promotion of Acting Sergeant Gilmour to Sergeant.
By mid-October, it was apparent that the situation in the Dardanelles had become hopeless, with operations against the enemy reaching a stalemate and offensive options exhausted. After extensive planning, evacuation orders were issued on 22 November. Starting on 15 December, withdrawing under cover of darkness, the last troops departed ANZAC Cove and Suvla Bay by dawn 20 December, with the final evacuations of the French and British forces at Helles completed by 9 January.
Returning to Egypt the Australians and New Zealand Division regrouped, and with enough New Zealand reinforcements now available to form a third Brigade, the NZEF became a standalone New Zealand Division. The bulk of the Australian and New Zealand forces separated, but the Mounted Rifle Brigade joined with the Australians to establish the Australian and New Zealand Mounted Division, which would remain in the Middle East for the remainder of the war. Elements of the New Zealand Division detached for operations against the Senussi in Western Egypt, returned to the Division in February and by March the New Zealand Division started to depart for France, joining the British Expeditionary Force on the Western Front.
From late 1915 the need for a more robust NZAOC was recognised, and expansion of the NZAOC as a unit of the NZEF began in December with Private Frank Percy Hutton and Sergeant Kenneth Bruce MacRae transferred into the NZAOC. On 1 February 1916 Lieutenant-Colonel Alfred Henry Herbert, who had previously served as Commanding Officer of the Pioneer Battalion was transferred into NZAOC and appointed New Zealand Division, DADOS and Officer Commanding of the NZEF NZAOC. Also on 1 January Staff Sergeant Geard who had been with Ordnance since December 1914 formally transferred into the NZAOC.
The NZAOC would officially become a unit of the NZEF in February, with a commensurate influx of personnel transferred into the NZAOC, including;
On 22 March Sergeant MacRae was commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant
King and Levien would not travel with the Division to France. King was struck down with Enteric (typhoid) fever and would be invalided back to New Zealand on 10 May. King would remain in the Military, initially taking up a posting in the Defence Stores and transferring into the NZAOC on its formation in New Zealand in 1917. Levien oversaw the closing down of the Alexandra depot, disposing of the vast stockpile of stores that had accumulated over the year. Levien would embark for England in May 1916, taking up the post of NZEF Chief Ordnance Officer in the U.K.
 “Defence Forces of New Zealand Report by the Council of Defence and by the Inspector-General of the New Zealand Defence Forces for the Year 1907.,” Appendix to the Journal of the House of Representives ( 1907).
 “The Hautapu Camp,” Waikato Argus, Volume XXXV, Issue 5575, 4 April 1914.
 “Camp Preparations,” Evening Post, Volume LXXXVII, Issue 22 27 January 1914.
 “Norman Joseph Levien,” Personal File, Archives New Zealand 1914-1924.
 “William Thomas Beck,” Personal File, Archives New Zealand 1914.
 the ‘Australasian Army Corps’. The designation; Australian and New Zealand Army Corps’ was soon adopted and abbreviated to ANZAC, but would not enter the common vernacular until after the Gallipoli landings.
 “Appendices to War Diaries, I – Lxii,” Item ID R23486739, Archives New Zealand 1914-1915.
 Arthur Forbes, A History of the Army Ordnance Services (London: The Medici society, ltd., 1929), Page 211.
This period would see the RNZAOC. Continue to support Regular, Territorial and Compulsory Military Training. This period would see the winding down and cessation of direct RNZAOC support to Kay Force.
Director of Ordnance Services
Lieutenant Colonel F Reid, OBE, relinquished the appointment on 31 march 1957.
Commanding Officer Main Ordnance Depot
Major O.H Burn.
Compulsory Military Training
During this period four CMT intakes marched in with the RNZAOC recruits posted to 1 (NZ) Division Ordnance Field Park on completion of initial training;
20th intake of 2475av recruits on 5 April 1956
21st intake of 2475av recruits on 28 June 1956
22nd intake of 1775av recruits on 20 September 1956
23rd intake of 1775av recruits on 3 January 1957
Emergency Force (Kayforce)
The RNZAOC concluded its commitment to Kayforce with the final Ordnance men’s return in the latter half of 1956.
Out of Kayforce
204459 Temporary Sergeant Gordon Winstone East, 31 August 1956
204702 Temporary Sergeant Ernest Radnell, 31 August 1956
30419 Captain John Barrie Glasson, 3-Sep-56
206870 Staff Sergeant James Russell Don, 29 December 1956
Depot Commanders to visit MOPD for local discussions,
DOS Conference March 1957
The Director of Ordnance Services hosted a conference of the Officer Commanding of the District Ammunition and Ordnance Depots and the District DADOS at Trentham Camp over 26 to 28 March 1957.
Ammunition Examiners Course
From April to September 1956, Warrant Officer Class Two David Gwynne Thomas attended and passed with excellent results the Ammunition Examiners Course at the RAAOC Corps School at Broadmeadows in Victoria, Australia.
Metal from Condemned Ammunition
Valuable metal was to be recovered from condemned non-high explosive ammunition drawn from Army ordnance depots in the North and South Islands over the next two or three years. The Colonial Ammunition Company was awarded a contract with the Government for the breaking down of the ammunition, which was to be done in New Plymouth. Work will start in the next three months, and the brass and copper extracted will be sent to a large brass extrusion mill to be prepared for further use in industry. Any steel that is recovered and not wanted in New Zealand will be sent overseas.
During 1956 the Royal Army Ordnance Corps in the United Kingdom established the RAOC Museum at the RAOC Training centre at Blackdown. The museum’s concept was to establish a Commonwealth Section to illustrate the links between the various commonwealth Ordnance Corps and the RAOC. In August 1956 the Director of Ordnance (UK) put out a call to the DOS’s or Australia, Canada, Ceylon, India, Pakistan and New Zealand to contribute material for the planned exhibit.
New Zealand replied on 24 January 1957 that as the RNZAOC had only been in existence for a short period, items of historical interest were not available and the RNZAOC would be unable to contribute to this project.
Honours and Awards
Long Service and Good Conduct
31234 Warrant Officer Class One Athol Gilroy McCurdy, 12 April 1956.
Appointments, Promotions, Transfers, Resignations, and Retirements of Officers of the RNZAOC
Captain F.A Bishop to be temp. Major. Dated 16 April 1956.
Lieutenant and Quartermaster FG Cross is transferred to the Reserve of Officers, General List, The RNZAOC, with Lieutenant and Quartermaster’s rank. Dated 27 April 1956.
Captain W.G Dixon is transferred From the Royal New Zealand Artillery to the RNZAOC· in his present rank and seniority. Dated 14 May 1956.
Captain W.G Dixon, M.B.E., to be Major. Dated 15 May 1956.
The under-mentioned are appointed to regular commissions in the rank of Lieutenant and Quartermaster (on probation):
31002 Warrant Officer Class One, Louis Eric Autridge, from The Royal NZ Artillery.
36643 Staff Sergeant Oliver Cedric Prouse, from the New Zealand Regiment.
33842 Staff Sergeant David Halsel Rollo, M.B.E., from The Royal NZ Artillery.
31028 Warrant Officer Class Two, William Neil Stephenson, from The Royal NZ Artillery.
Captain D Sharpe is posted to the retired list with the Rank of Major. Dated 25 July 1956.
Captain R.T Marriott to be Major. Dated 29 August 1956.
Lieutenant and Quartermaster Frederick George Cross, Reserve of Officers, General List, RNZAOC is appointed to a short-service Regular commission for a term of three years, in the rank of Lieutenant, with seniority from 13 August 1951. Dated 13 August 1956.
The appointment of Lieutenant and Quartermaster (on probation) W. N. Stephenson lapsed Dated 21 September 1956.
Captain N.L Wallburton is transferred to the Reserve of Officers, General List, RNZAOC, in the rank of Captain. Dated 7 September 1956.
Captain E.F.L Russell is re-engaged for a period of five years as from 26 November 1956.
Lieutenant L.C King is re-engaged in the NZ Regular Force for the period 16 November 1956 to 3 October 1958 and promoted to Captain from 16 November 1956.
Major K.G Scott, from the Reserve of Officers, Supplementary List, to be Major. Dated 1 November 1956.
Temp. Captain D.R. Alexander, from the Reserve of Officers, Supplementary List, to be Captain. Dated 1 November 1956.
Captain Donald MacKenzie Robson, M.B.E., from the Regular Army Reserve of Officers, Royal Australian Army Ordnance Corps, to be Captain. Dated 7 December 1956.
Temp. Lieutenant A.A Burrows, from the Reserve of Officers, Supplementary List, to be Lieutenant. Dated 1 November 1956.
Temp. Lieutenant M.J Goodson, from the Reserve of Officers, Supplementary List, to be Lieutenant. Dated 1 November 1956.
Regular Force (Supernumerary List)
Captain and Quartermaster R.P Kennedy, E.D, is granted a further extension of his engagement for one year from 13 April 1956.
Captain and Quartermaster G.A Perry, E.D., is given an extension of his engagement for a further period of one year from 1 April 1956.
Captain A.W Wilkin, RNZAOC, relinquished the appointment of Brigade Ordnance Officer, Headquarters, 3rd Infantry Brigade and was posted to the Retired List on 4 November 1954.
Graduates, Royal Military College, Duntroon
Lieutenant Malcolm John Ross, 12 December 1956.
Appointments, Promotions, Transfers, Resignations, and Retirements of Warrant Officers, Senior Non-Commissioned Officers and men of the RNZAOC
Corporal J.T Skeddan from SMD was selected to attend the year long course at Portsea Officer Training establishment in Australia starting in January 1957.
31257 Temporary Warrant Officer Class Two Murray Alexander Burt promoted to substantive Warrant Officer Class Two, 10 October 1956.
W920917 Corporal George Thomas Dimmock promoted to Sergeant, 1 June 1956.
31004 Warrant Officer Class One William Galloway, retired 1 January 1957
1185 Staff Sergeant Albert Edward “Abbie” Shadbolt retired on 25 October 1956. SSgt Shadbolt retired at the age of 69 after 49 years and ten months of service to the military in uniformed and civilian roles.
Enlisted into RNZA 26 November 1907.
Transferred to NZAOC in 1922
Transferred to civilian Staff 1931, remaining employed at the Main Ordnance Depot as a Clerk.
8 January 1942 commissioned as a Lieutenant into the NZ Temporary Staff as Ordnance Officer Main Ordnance Depot, Placed on to the retired list on 21 October 1948
Re-engaged as a Warrant Officer Class Two in 1948, Shadbolt would latter attain Warrant Officer Class One rank as the 2 I/C of the Central Districts Vehicle Depot at Trentham.
Due to his age was reverted to the Rank of Staff Sergeant on 1 April 1956 and placed on less onerous duties for his last year of service, retiring 0n 10 October 1956.
Besides his military responsibilities, Shadbolt was an outstanding Rugby Union and Rugby league player with the following credentials.
He represented Canterbury XV in 1909 and 1910
Switched to Rugby League in 1912 and would play for the St Albans and Federal Clubs
Played for the Canterbury Rugby League side from 1912 to 1920
Represented New Zealand in the Rugby League tours to Australia in 1913 and 1921
 “H-19 Military Forces of New Zealand Annual Report of the General Officer Commanding, for Period 1 April 1954 to 31 March 1955 “, Appendix to the Journals of the House of Representatives (1955).
 Peter Cooke, Fit to Fight. Compulsory Military Training and National Service in New Zealand 1949-72 (Auckland: David Ling Publishing, 2013), 539.
Conferences – Ordnance Officers, Item Id R17188101 (Wellington: Archives New Zealand, 1950).
 Howard E. Chamberlain, Service Lives Remembered : The Meritorious Service Medal in New Zealand and Its Recipients, 1895-1994 ([Wellington, NZ.]: H. Chamberlain, 1995), 466.
 “Organisation – Policy and General – Rnzaoc “, Archives New Zealand No R17311537 (1946 – 1984).
 Chamberlain, Service Lives Remembered : The Meritorious Service Medal in New Zealand and Its Recipients, 1895-1994.
 “Appointments, Promotions, Transfers, and Resignations, of Officers of the New Zealand Army,” New Zealand Gazette No 29, 17 May 1956.
ANZUK Force is something that has a familiar ring about it, but unless you served in Singapore in the 1970s or 1980s, knowledge of it is likely to be limited. Forty-five years after its closure, Colin Campbell a former Australian Army Officer who served in the Headquarters of the ANZUK Support Group in 1971-72 has published ANZUK What was it?, providing a long-overdue addition to the New Zealand /Australian/U.K. Military history narrative with the first comprehensive history of the ANZUK Force of 1971-74.
Since 1945 Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom have cooperated in providing military Forces in Japan, South Korea, Malaya, Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore, playing an essential role in helping to stabilise the region during a time of political tension and national policy upheaval. ANZUK Force was the culmination of this post-war cooperation that for the final time in Southeast Asia, saw the Forces of these nations unified under a single tri-Service command.
Information on the ANZUK Force is sparse, for example, the New Zealand’s contribution to the ANZUK Force compressed to a single paragraph in The Oxford Companion to New Zealand Military History which acknowledges membership of ANZUK Force, however, provides few other details.
One of the few military histories dedicated to the era is H.B Eaton’s history of 28 Commonwealth Brigade, Something Extra. Eaton’s works provide a detailed history of 28 Commonwealth Brigade from 1951 to 1974, providing a chapter on the 1971-74 ANZUK, which due to the nature of Eaton’s book is focused on the 28 ANZUK Brigade which was the land component of ANZUK Force.
In telling the story of ANZUK Force, Campbell sets the scene on the ANZUK Force by providing background on the circumstances that led to the formation of the ANZUK Force. With a comprehensive but concise of the history and politics of the region, Campbell then unwraps the Commonwealth Far East Strategic Reserve, the establishment of the Five Power Defence Arrangement between Australian, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore and the United Kingdom and the short-lived Australian and New Zealand Force that preceded the ANZUK Force. With three nations, each with different and at times conflicting motivations, Campbell details the planning, compromises and the final organisation and command arrangements of the ANZAC Force.
In Part Three, Campbell examines the four components of the ANZUK Force.
the Maritime element,
the Land element,
the Air element, and
the ANZUK Support Group.
Here Campbell breaks down each component and provides a useful overview of each component, their command-and-control arrangements and most importantly, their composition, roles and tasks and exercises they conducted. In describing the composition of each component, Campbell provides a roster of naval vessels Air Force Squadrons and elements assigned to the Martine and Air Components and explains the makeup of the land component, 28 ANZUK Brigade, with is Tri-nation Brigade Headquarters, Artillery and Engineer Regiments and National Infantry Battalions.
Not forgetting the Administrative and Logistic Elements, Campbell also dedicates space to the composition of the ANZUK Support Group and the wide ranges of services it managed and provided including, Stores and Supplies, Workshop, Transport, Provost, Police Force, Post Office, Hospitals and schools for dependent children.
With a posting to ANZUK Force, an accompanied posting with families included as part of the experience, Campbell also dedicates space to highlighting the lifestyle and sports opportunities that life in the ANZUK Force provided.
ANZUK What was it? It could have been a bland assessment of the ANZUK Force, but Campbell has skilfully included many interesting and, at times, amusing anecdotes from the men and women who served in ANZUK Force providing a personal context to the narrative. Campbell has also ensured that the text is robustly supported by maps, tables, illustrations, Annexes and eight pages listing the sources of his extensive research.
As the first work dedicated the ANZUK Force, Campbell has resurrected the memory if this short live but significant force and although here are gaps, they are few and do not detract from the overall narrative. ANZUK What was it? is a useful addition to the Military History narrative of Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom and a must-read for those with interest in this area.
Copies of ANZUK What was it? can be purchased directly from the Author through his website at https://anzukbook.com
The first intake of CMT consisted of 1846 recruits marched into the three district training camps on 3 May, followed by the second intake of 4053 recruits on 4 January 1951.
For the First CMT intake Captain S.M King from the Main ordnance depot at Trentham was seconded to Burnham Camp to act as an instructor.
Emergency Force (Kayforce)
Following the North Korean invasion of South Korea in June 1950, the New Zealand Government announced on 26 July 1950 the commitment to raise a force for Service in Korea. With a brief recruiting period closing on 5 August 1950, 5982 men volunteered their service, with those selected marching into the District Training Camps on 29 August 1950. On completing the four-week basic training, the majority of the Force concentrated at Waiour to continue training, with the specialist of Signals, EME and Ordnance competing their trader specific training at Trentham.
The Ordnance Section of the Force would be small and consist of one Officer and five Other Ranks. Commanded by Captain Geoffrey John Hayes Atkinson, an officer with recent operational Ordnance experience gained in J-Force during the post-war occupation of Japan, the five OR’s would all be serving RNZAOC Soldiers;
Lance Corporal Neville Wallace Beard,
Lance Corporal Bruce Jerome Berney,
Private Keith Robert Meynell Gamble,
Lance Corporal James Ivo Miller,
Private Thomas Allan (Tom) Hill.
Private Desmond Mervyn Kerslake
The Ordnance effort on equipping the forces was considerable two sets of equipment for Kayforce had to be concentrate and issued from existing stocks or withdrawn from regular units;
One set of approximately 1000 tons for loading on the freighter SS Ganges, including;
35 Twenty Five Pounder guns,
62 Gun trailers
10 Tones of tentage
170 Tones of Ammunition
Various other stores to support initial operations
A second set of equipment in equal proportions was also prepared and issued to the contingent to facilitate its training.
Lance Corporal Berney represented the RNZAOC as part of Advance Party No 2 of 1 officer and 14 OR’s that accompanied the stores on the SS Ganges, which departed Wellington on 25 November 1950.
Captian Atkinson and Lance Corporal Miller departed for Korea by RNZAF Dakota as part of Advance Party No 1 on 7 December 1950
The main body, Including Lance Corporal Beard and Privates Gamble and Hill, departed from Wellington on 10 December 1950 on the SS Ormonde.
The main body arrived at Pusan, Korea, on 31 December 1950. The Ganges had arrived some days earlier and already discharged much of Kay Forces equipment onto the Pusan docks. HQ K Force and the advance party had wasted little time and acquired accommodation for the Headquarters in downtown Pusan and had shelter for the main body prepared at an abandoned school on the city’s outskirts.
New Zealand Army Act, 1950
The New Zealand Army Act received Royal assent on 1 November 1950. This Act replaced the outdated Defence Act 1909, the Army Board Act 1937, the Army Act (Imperial) and the King’s Regulations. The NZ Army Act established the New Zealand Army as a Military Force independent of United Kindom legislation and under the legislative control of the New Zealand Government in both peace and war, serving within and beyond New Zealand.
Ordnance Conference 24 -26 May 1950
The Director of Ordnance Services hosted a conference of the Districts DADOS and the Officer Commanding Main Ordnance Depot(MOD) at Army Headquarters over 24-26 May 1950.
Items discussed at the conference included;
Ordnance staff establishments
CMT intakes 1,2 and 3 anticipated Ordnance problems in supporting and improvements
Payment of Accounts
Combined Indent and Voucher forms
Sizing for CMT
Vehicles A & B
Army estimates in relation to Ordnance
Equipment for TF Units
Distribution of Artillery Stores
Ordnance Conference 26 -28 September 1950
The Director of Ordnance Services hosted a conference of the Districts DADOS and the Officer Commanding Main Ordnance Depot(MOD) at Army Headquarters over 26-28 September 1950.
Items discussed at the conference included;
General Ordnance Policy
A Vehicles and spares
B Vehicles and spares
Authorisation of expenditure
Early in March, the Army, Navy and the Air Force were called upon to assist in maintaining essential services as a consequence of the waterside industrial dispute. Ordnance Soldiers played their part and assisted in the continual operation of the wharves.
Routine Ordnance Activities
Over this period, the RNZAOC, in addition to its regular duties of provision, holding, and the issue of multitudinous stores required by the Army and Kayforce, had undertaken several other significant tasks;
The relocation of stores from Waiouru and Seaview to Mangaroa.
As Waiouru was to be used more extensively for training, the large quantities of stores held in troop accommodation were rationalised and relocated to the newly established depot at Mangaroa. This depot also received large amounts of stores from the wartime warehouses at Seaview, resulting in 48000 Square feet (4460 Square meters) of space at Seaview released to other Government Departments.
Inspection of Ammunition
The inspection and repair of Small Arms and Gun ammunition conducted by the Inspection Ordnance Officers Group (IOO Gp) had continued as staffing levels permitted. However, due to staff restrictions, much repair work on Gun Ammunitions and the disposal of unserviceable rounds led to the deferral of this work.
Staff Sergeant Arthur James from Trentham Camp attended a five month Ammunition course at the RAAOC School at Broadmeadows, Melbourne from July to December 1950. The only New Zealander on the course, SSgt James topped the course.
Break-in in at Belmont
On 18 May, the police were called in following the discovery that two magazines at the Belmont Ammunition Depot had been broken into and two more interfered with. It was believed that the break-in had occurred between the end of March and 18 May. Five live 40mm Anti-Aircraft shells were thought to be missing from a steel box of 24, which had been in a magazine that was entered by removing a padlock. In another magazine entered through a ventilator, a box of grenades was opened, but none of these was removed. An officer and 20 men permanently staffed the depot, and regular tours were made with close inspections of the buildings conducted less at less frequent intervals. Following the discovery of interference to one store on 18 May, all others were subjected to scrutiny.
Enlistments into the RNZAOC
Robert J Sontgen – 15 July 1950
Sergeant Alick Dick Doyle to Staff Sergeant – 1 April 1950
Sergeant Maurice Sidney Phillips to Staff Sergeant – 23 May 1950
Sergeant Murry Alexander Burt to Staff Sergeant – 8 January 1951
 “H-19 Military Forces of New Zealand Annual Report of the General Officer Commanding, for Period 1 April 1954 to 31 March 1955 “, Appendix to the Journals of the House of Representatives (1955).
 Peter Cooke, Fit to Fight. Compulsory Military Training and National Service in New Zealand 1949-72 (Auckland: David Ling Publishing, 2013), 539.
 “Instructors Fr Trainees,” Press, Volume LXXXVI, Issue 26086, , 13 April v.
 “H-19 Military Forces of New Zealand Annual Report of the General Officer Commanding, for Period 1 April 1954 to 31 March 1955 “.
The 2nd NZEF Base Ordnance Depot (BOD) was the primary Ordnance organisation supporting the 2nd NZEF in its operations from Egypt to Italy from 1940 to 1946. Unlike the Infantry, Artillery, Engineers and even the Army Service Corps, New Zealand did not have an Ordnance component in the Territorial Army to draw upon when establishing the Ordnance services of the 2nd NZEF. This led to the NZ BOD having to be built from scratch. The two senior ordnance officers, King and Andrews were from the regular Army. Some of the personnel were drawn from the civilian staff of the New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps (NZAOC), with others having a clerical or warehousing background. With this diversity of experience, the men of the NZ BOD, with the assistance of the Royal Army Ordnance Corps (RAOC) Depots in Egypt, underwent a crash course in the intricacies of British military stores accounting, warehousing and distribution operations. Initially based at Maadi Camp on the outskirts of Cairo in Egypt, the NZ BOD eventually grew into two Depots, one in Egypt and one in Italy. Not entirely a Base organisation, the NZ BOD also deployed an Advanced Ordnance Depot and conducted stores convoy operations. This article introduces the NZ BOD, a forgotten New Zealand Ordnance unit of the Second World War.
When given command of the NZDF, General Freyberg as the General Officer Commanding had been given a mandate and authority to “establish such administrative headquarters and base and line of communication units as are necessary for the functions of command, organisation, including training, and administration with which he has been invested”, with “the authority to procure equipment (shown on equipment tables) that cannot be supplied through official channels. Such equipment to be bought through Ordnance channels where possible”,This included the establishment of a Base Ordnance Depot to support the growing New Zealand Force
As the New Zealand Forces arrived in Egypt, the logistical situation was dire. The Middle East Command was in a period of transition from a peacetime to a wartime footing. The German victories in the low countries and France, which saw the loss of much of the British Armies equipment in the subsequent evacuation resulted in the Middle East placed on a low priority for personnel and resources as the United Kingdom rearmed and prepared for invasion. The RAOC resources which the NZEF could draw upon were limited and consisted of;
A combined Ordnance Depot and Workshop at Abbassia
A Clothing and mobilisation sub-depot at Kasr-el-Nil
A sub-depot at Alexandra
Forward dumps of tentage, accommodation stores and ammunition at El Daba and Mersa Matruh.
The first Director of Ordnance Services (DOS) for the Middle East was not appointed until late 1940, when Colonel W.W Richards was transferred from France to Egypt as a Brigadier. Cognisant of the supply situation and also the international composition of the Middle East Command, Brigadier Richards oversaw the rapid upgrade of infrastructure, personnel and capability of the combined Ordnance services of the United Kingdom, Australia, South Africa ,India and New Zealand, creating effective Ordnance Field Force units supported by robust base facilities, shaped to meet the national requirements of each contributing nation.
Known as the New Zealand Ordnance Corps (NZOC), The embryotic New Zealand Ordnance organisation that arrived in Egypt with the 1st Echelon included
NZOC tradesmen, Clerks, Storemen and Drivers held under the Base Depot organisation.
The initial Base Depot found in the embarkation rolls was not the Base Ordnance Depot but a convenient use of the War Establishment to place personnel who were not allocated to existing units on the establishment. On mobilisation, Army headquarters anticipated that a base function was required, and the Base Depot was the only suitable unit that could be found in British War Establishments that could be used for the personnel filling many of the anticipated base roles in the NZEF. Under General Freyberg’s mandate to “establish such administrative headquarters and base and line of communication units” The Base Depot was disestablished in April 1940 and Headquarters NZEF Base formally established as a unit of the NZEF with personnel distributed to functional subunits, including NZOC Stores and clerical staff to the NZ BOD. At this stage, NZ BOD also managed some of the Base Workshop functions in conjunction with 31 LAD (Base)
View of the working area of the Ordnance Depot at Maadi Camp in 1941. Photo H.J Gilbertson
View of the working area of the Ordnance Depot at Maadi Camp in 1941. Photo H.J Gilbertson
The 2nd NZEF had arrived in Egypt with the bare minimum of equipment, but by August 1940 the NZ BOD was in the routine of receiving and issuing new equipment to the force; and in fact, the equipping of New Zealand Forces was proceeding far better than with comparable United Kingdom units in the area. As the accounting system was still a peacetime system, the British authorities were most generous in providing what equipment was available to the Commonwealth. At this time issues of equipment had to be checked and signed for, with the arrangement with the United Kingdom that the initial issues to the New Zealand Forces were to be paid for at the actual value.
The 2nd NZEF had arrived in Egypt with the same uniforms and web equipment as the NZEF of 1918. As stocks became available the NZ BOD began to issue the new 1937 pattern ‘Battledress’ and ’37 pattern webbing’ to all New Zealand Troops. Additionally, as each draft arrived issues of theatre specific clothing and equipment had to be issued to each soldier.
This was a considerable amount of clothing and equipment to bring into stock for issues and for stockholding, not forgetting that the old uniforms and equipment that was been exchanged had to be sorted, stored and disposed of. To manage the workload, infrastructure was required, along with additional personnel. To supplement the NZOC military personnel, civilian labour was utilised. Under the control of a supervisor know as a Rais (Arabic: رئیس; also spelled Raees), teams of workers known as Fellaheen (Arabic: فلاحين, fallāḥīn) came into the BOD each day, Over time locally employed civilians not only carried out labouring work but also more complex warehousing and clerical functions providing a level of continuity that soldiers because of the demands of soldiering are often unable; to maintain.
Liaison with the RAOC depots was the key to the success of the NZ BOD. Held on the establishment of the NZ BOD, NZOC Liaison staff were attached to RAOC depots for the duration of the war, NZOC liaison staff served in both clerical and store positions. First, the NZOC had no combined corporate history of ordnance procedures, so the attachment enabled NZOC members to become familiar with current RAOC procedures, and secondly, it allowed NZOC staff in RAOC depots to directly manage and process New Zealand demands.
In June 1940, Lt Col King departed for England, where he facilitated the Ordnance support for the 2nd Echelon of the 2NZEF, which had been diverted to England rather than Egypt, leaving Major Andrews managing all the NZOC maintenance and supply functions in Egypt. With the 3rd Echelon arriving in Egypt in September 1940 planning on the future of the NZ BOD and the overall NZOC commitment to the NZEF with the drafting of new establishments underway. Correspondence between Andrew and King describes the growth of the NZ BOD into a quite large depot.
Base Ordnance Depot Staff, Maadi, October 1940. Back Row clerks: Geoffrey Gilbert-Smith, LCpl Walter William Thomas, G Duane, O McKibbon. Front Row Storemen: Mark Edwin Ivey, R Watson, W Mooney. Photo W.W Thomas
By March 1941, the 2nd Echelon had arrived in Egypt from the United Kingdom, and the New Zealand Division was complete for the first time. Although some units had been involved in operations against the Italians, the Division first real taste of battle was the disastrous Greek and Crete campaigns. Although ad hoc NZOC workshops were sent to Greece to support the LADs, the NZ BOD only played a supporting role in these campaigns. In the months after the Greek and Crete campaign, the NZ Division retrained and reorganised.
From April 1942, the DOS for the Middle East was weighing up the option of pooling all British and Dominion Base Ordnance units into one organisation under the DOS GHQ Middle East. Whilst retaining their national identities, they serviced all units regardless of nationality on a geographic basis. Stocks of common items were demanded from the main British BOD, provisioned for, and demanded by the DADOS (P) from the United Kingdom or the Eastern Supply Group. Items peculiar to each nation were demanded independently by each national BOD. The NZEF replied that the NZ BOD at Maadi Camp had materially reduced the work of the RAOC Depots and that excellent liaison between the RAOC and NZOC existed, and the proposed system was in effect the system in place and working quite satisfactorily.
Because of the NZ Divisions reorganisation, Divisional NZOC units were to be formed, with personnel from the NZ BOD, NZOC reinforcements and transfers from within the 2nd NZEF transferred to the following NZOC Field Force units before their formation; 
The New Zealand Divisional Ordnance Field Park (NZ OFP) was formed on 28 July 1941,
The NZ Divisional Salvage unit was formed on 16 August 1941.
The New Zealand Divisional Mobile Bath Unit was formed on 6 September 1941,
The New Zealand Divisional Mobile Laundry and Forward Decontamination unit was formed on 22 September 1941.
Concurrent with the reorganisation of the 2nd NZEF after the Greek Campaign, the NZOC maintenance services started to be formalised into a fully functional workshop system of Base, Divisional and field workshops. Following closely behind the British, who, with the increased mechanisation of the battlefield, reformed its maintenance and repair organisations and form them into a single Corps of Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (EME) on 1 October 1942, assuming responsibility for all RAOC, ASC and Royal Engineer Workshops, Recovery Sections and LADs. New Zealand and Australia followed suit on 1 December 1942, followed by India on 1 May 1943 and Canada on 22 February 1944.
An Italian trailer was used in the NZ BOD at Maadi in 1941. The soldier is Jack Thompsom. Photo: H.L Gilbertson
In addition to the Divisional NZOC units, a New Zealand Advanced Ordnance Depot (NZAOD) was formed as a sub-unit of the NZ BOD to facilitate the holding of stock closer to the forward areas. No additional personnel were authorised for the NZAOD, so when raised, its personnel and equipment were drawn from NZ BOD resources.
The NZ AOD was initially located with an RAOC AOD at El Daba during Operation Crusader,  with the NZ Division withdrawn back to Egypt in December 1941, the NZAOD had just unloaded its stock at the Tura caves when it was ordered to move with the Division to Syria where it set up in the vicinity of Baalbek.
March 1942 saw the establishment of the NZ BOD increased to five Officers and ninety-five other ranks.
Returning to Egypt with the NZ Division in June 1942, the NZAOD gradually morphed into a mobile depot and accompanied the NZ Division in pursuing the Axis forces into Tunisia. On three occasions, it grounded its stocks at Bardia, Tripoli and Enfidaville. Due to its mobile nature, the NZAOD ended up utilising many of the NZ BOD’s limited holding of vehicles
Replenishment for the NZAOD was direct from the NZ BOD for NZ-specific supply items. For items of a generic nature, replenishment was from the closest supporting RAOC AOD, Forward Depot or Dump; if those units could not satisfy the indent, it was pushed to the supporting RAOC BOD. New Zealand liaison staff in the RAOC depots processed the New Zealand indents and forward on the next available transport for delivery.
An example of the efficiency of the replenishment system is that when at Enfidaville, the NZAOD sent a signal to RAOC 557 AOD, then at Tripoli, over 600km away. Within five days, those stores were being issued to units of the Division.
Kaye, George Frederick, 1914-2004. 11 July 1943, A NZ Ordnance Unit at Maadi, Egypt, World War II – Photograph taken by G Kaye. New Zealand. Department of Internal Affairs. War History Branch: Photographs relating to World War 1914-1918, World War 1939-1945, occupation of Japan, Korean War, and Malayan Emergency. Ref: DA-04228-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. /records/22621647
October 1943 saw the NZEF begin operations in Italy as part of the 8th Army. The NZAOD remained deployed forward in support of the NZ Division. Major Donald Harper, the DADOS of the NZ BOD, also deployed into Italy to conduct an appreciation of the future NZ Ordnance Support required. At the time of Major Harper’s appreciation, there was only one RAOC depot operating in support of the 8th Army. This was an ad hoc organisation called Eight Army Field Stores and was operating using stocks from the initial Ordnance Beach Detachments. The RAOC 500 AOD was in the process of getting organised at Bari on the Adriatic coast. With its limited stocks steadily being built up, few demands could satisfactory be met. To improve the situation for the NZ Division and the NZEF, Harper recommended that rather than rely on already stretched RAOC depots, the NZ BOD be reformed into two Depots;
One part to service the NZEF in Egypt and to hold reserves of clothing for the whole NZEF,
The other part to be in Italy to service the NZ Division and other NZEF units in Italy, such as hospitals and the advance base.
Major Harper envisaged only a small increase in personnel and that the liaison staff with RAOC Depts remain incorporated in the new establishment.
One of the factors of the NZ Division’s good equipment state was that it had always had its own BOD, which was now located far away in Egypt, and to maintain the NZ Division in a comparable manner as it had been in North Africa, Harper’s recommendation that the BOD be split into two sections was approved by the GOC 2 NZEF on 4 Nov 1942. Major Harper was instructed to make arrangements to obtain the required buildings and store accommodation in Bari and then return to Egypt to assist in the arrangements to split the NZ BOD for the move to Italy.
From 10 November 1943, the NZ BOD split into three distinct sections
Ordnance Depot at Base (Egypt)
Ordnance Depot at Advance Base (Italy), and
The significant change is that the NZAOD was established as a standalone section, whereas in the previous year, its personnel and equipment had been taken out of the establishment of the NZ BOD, the NZAOD was now recognised separate section with its own personnel and equipment.
A change in the boot repair contract in Maadi had also necessitated an increase in the establishment of Shoemakers and Bootmakers to enable the NZ BOD to become self-sufficient in the area of boot repair.
The NZ BOD also became the reinforcement depot for the NZOC. Reinforcements from NZ or individuals injured in units and withdrawn to the rear to convalesce were be held in the reinforcement depot until appropriate vacancies became available in forward units.
NZOC personnel on liaison duties with ROAC depots also cease to be held on the establishment of the NZ BOD.
Main Office Staff, 1 Base Ordnance Depot, Maadi, Egypt, December 1943. Standing: Ike Dabscheck, Stone, Lieutenant Stroud, Major Cordery, Lieutenant Barwick, Unidentified. In front: Jack Picot, Geff Rees, Falloon. Photo: J.D Picot
Early in 1944, it was decided that given the distance between Egypt and Italy that the NZ BOD Ordnance Depot at Advance Base in Bari should be upgraded to full Base Depot Status. With effect of 16 February, the following changes to establishments were made;
NZ BOD was renamed 1 NZ Base Ordnance Depot (1 NZ BOD)
2 NZ Base Ordnance Depot was formed as a unit of the NZEF (2 NZ BOD)
The NZAOD was disbanded.
Changing from NZ BOD to 1 NZ BOD, this unit’s establishment was reduced to two Officers and 37 Other ranks, retaining responsibility as the bulk holding depot for items peculiar to NZ and the reaming base units in Egypt. No1 NZ BOD was the NZOC Reinforcement Depot and also included an Officers shop detail. An officer’s Shop detail was also added to the responsibilities of 1 NZ OFP. 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.
The NZAOD was disbanded, and its functions were absorbed into the NZ OFP mobile AOD section.
From the existing NZ BOD Ordnance Depot at Advance Base in Bari, 2 NZ BOD was formed as a unit of the NZEF. Carrying out the same role as the NZ BOD in North Africa, 2 NZ BOD was also a Reinforcement Depot for the NZOC in Italy and also included a Stores Convoy Unit.
Stores Convoy Units were a capability that was generated by the early lessons of the desert war, and although utilised by both the NZ OFP and NZAOD during 1942/43, the system was not formally organised as a unit in the NZEF until 1944. The supply and transportation of Ordnance Stores is something which was not always understood and more complex than the supply and transportation of Rations, Fuel and Ammunition. Except for a small range of fast-moving items, Ordnance stores consist of a very large range of stores for which the actual need of the users cannot be anticipated with any certainty. It is impractical to hold stocks close to the forward units as the assets required to move these stocks were unrealistic. Therefore, reliable and fast service was required to supply urgent requirements from the nearest stock holding unit – often the BOD. Rail had many limitations, which made urgent deliveries impactable, as was the use of Army Service Corps (ASC) assets that, on regular runs, failed to meet the delivery requirements. Therefore, it became necessary to introduce a road convoy service dedicated to transporting Ordnance Stores. Originally operated by using reserve vehicles from the RAOC 1 OFP and 1st Cavalry Division OFP, the system originally operated between Cairo and Mersa Matruh, supplementing the existing rail system. The system proved successful and was extended to delivering vehicles and other urgent fighting stores direct to divisional OFP’s across the Middle East theatre from Persia to Tunisia.  The New Zealand Stores Convoy Unit operated from 1944 into 1945 along the entire axis of New Zealand’s Divisions advance through Italy from Bari to Trieste.
A group of NZAOD personnel in Italy in 1944. Front Row: H.D Bremmer, R.G James, 2nd Lieutenant H.J Mackridge, N.G Hogg, G.P Seymour. Back Row: WO2 Worth, D.S Munroe, G Caroll, Charles Joseph Moulder, Francis William Thomas Barnes, H Rogers, C.W Holmes, W Wallace, N Denery Photo: Defence Archive Collection, Alexander Turnbull Library.
As the NZ Division advanced up the Italian peninsular, HQ, 2 NZEF also wised to shorten the lines of communication and remain close to the Division, and on 11 September, HQ 2 NZEF relocated to Senigallia. The headquarters move to Senigallia was soon followed by many of the administrative units, including 2NZ BOD, which established an Advanced Section of Depot of one Officer and 20 Other Ranks.
Although the Officer’s shop details have been active since February 1944, formal approval for the establishment of Officers’ shops was not granted in April 1945, with the following officer’s shops to be added to establishments;
1 NZ BOD – One Officer Shop Detail
2 NZ BOD – Two Officer Shop details, (Bari and Senigallia)
NZ OFP, AOD Section – One Officer Shop Detail.
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. In June 1945, 103 personnel from Divisional NZOC units were placed on the establishment of 2 NZ BOD but attached to RAOC units, the bulk to the RAOC 557 BOD at Naples to facilitate the handing back of the equipment and also the distribution of new equipment for the force been raised for operations 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 was to be occupied by allied forces, with New Zealand contributing a Brigade group (J Force) based on the 9th Infantry Brigade of the 2nd NZEF.
By November, the 2 NZ BOD Advanced Section of Depot at Senigallia had been disbanded and the establishment of 2 NZ BOD reduced to five Officers and 42 Other ranks. The personnel of the 2 NZ BOD Advance Section of Depot were transferred to Florence, where they married up with the NZ OFP to form a final NZAOD to support the demobilisation of the 2nd NZEF. The liaison staff to the RAOC depots had also been reduced from the original 103 to five Officers and thirty-eight Other Ranks.
Both 1 and 2 NZ BOD spent the remaining months of 1945 packing and returning equipment to New Zealand, clearing Depots and returning stocks to the ROAC. By 1 February 1946, after close to six years of providing Ordnance support to the 2nd NZEF, the Base Ordnance Depots and the NZAOD of the NZOC were formally disbanded, and the final NZOC troops headed for home or to Japan for service with J Force.
Like all of the NZOC units of the 2nd NZEF, the role that the NZ BOD played in supporting the 2nd NZEF has hardly rated a mentioned in many of the contemporary histories of the 2nd NZEF. But considering that it was a unit that started from scratch and had to learn its trade on the job under wartime conditions, it is a unit worthy of recognition. Providing the 76000 New Zealand Troops that passed through Maadi Camp and maintaining the NZ Division over vast distances with all manner of war material was a huge achievement and one never to match in the history of the New Zealand Army.
 Short cellular drawers or underwear were issued to British and Commonwealth troops for wear in summer and for general wear in tropical areas. They were white open-weave ‘cellular’ fabric, featuring a two-button fastening to the front opening and a pair of horizontal cloth loops to either side of the front waistband.
 Major J.S Bolton, A History of the Royal New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps (Trentham: RNZAOC, 1992), 106.
Warrant Officer Class One, Conductor Badge 1915-1918. Robert McKie Collection
The Honourable and Ancient Appointment of Conductor has origins dating back to 1327 where they are mentioned in the Statute of Westminster as the men whose job it was to conduct soldiers to places of assembly. The “Conductor of Ordnance” is also mentioned in the records of the siege of Boulogne in 1544. Surviving as an appointment directly related to the handling of stores in the British army until the late 19th century, the appointment was formalised by Royal Warrant on 11 January 1879 which established conductors of supplies (in the Army Service Corps) and conductors of stores (in the Ordnance Stores Branch) as warrant officers, ranking above all non-commissioned officers.
The need for a New Zealand Ordnance Corps had been discussed since the turn of the century, so when war came in 1914, New Zealand was without an Ordnance Corps. Once the lead elements of the NZEF disembarked and established itself in Egypt, a New Zealand Ordnance Organisation was hastily created from scratch. Growing from the New Zealand DADOS staff the embryonic New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps (NZAOC) was created as an NZEF unit during 1915 and was formally established as a unit of the NZEF establishment in January 1916.
Following the British model, the NZAOC included Warrant Officers Class One appointed as Conductors and Sub-Conductors as part of its organisational structure. Drawn from across the units of the NZEF and with an average age of 23, many of the men who were NZAOC Conductors had seen service at Gallipoli during the Dardanelles Campaign. Learning the hard lessons because of the administrative failures during that campaign, there is little doubt that these men understood the importance of their appointments in assuring that Ordnance stores were sourced and pushed directly forward to the frontline troops of the NZ Division.
The wide recognition in many historical sources that the New Zealand division was one of the best organised, trained and equipped Divisions in the British Army during the war in Europe is in part due to the contribution of the NZAOC and its conductors, with at least 4 four Conductors awarded Meritorious Service Medals for their work.
Warrant Officer Class One, Sub-Conductor Badge. 1915-1919 Robert McKie Collection
12/1025 Acting Sub-Conductor William Hall Densby Coltman, NZAOC. Auckland Weekly News/Public Domain
The first New Zealander to hold a Conductor appointment was Company Sergeant Major William Coltman. Enlisting into the Auckland Infantry Regiments in Sept 1914, Coltman served in the Dardanelles where he was injured. Transferring into the NZAOC in February 1916 as a Company Sergeant Major with the appointment of Acting Sub-Conductor. Coltman remained in this role with the NZAOC until March 1917 when he was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant and spent the rest of the war as an Infantry Quartermaster officer in the New Zealand Machine Gun Corps.
Charles Gossage enlisted in the Otago Mounted Rifles in September 1914. Serving in the Dardanelles, Gossage transferred into the NZAOC in February 1916. On the 24th of July 1916 with the rank of Company Sergeant Major, Gossage was promoted to Warrant Officer Class 1 with the Appointment of Conductor. Gossage would hold this appointment until the 24th of Jan 1917 when he was commissioned as a Lieutenant. Gossage would remain on the New Zealand Division DADOS staff, finishing the war as a Major and NZ Div DADOS. Awarded the OBE, Gossage would continue to serve in the Home Service NZAOC as an Accounting Officer until December 1922.
Arthur Gilmore enlisted in the Auckland Infantry Regiment in September 1914. Serving as part of the DADOS Staff at Gallipoli. Gilmore was formally placed on the strength of the NZAOC on the 8th of April 1916. In Dec 1916 Sergeant Arthur Gilmore was promoted to Warrant Officer Class 1 with the appointment of Conductor. Gilmore would remain as a Conductor in the NZEF until Feb 1919 when he was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant. For his services as a Conductor, he was awarded the MSM.
Walter Geard enlisted in the Auckland Infantry Regiment in August 1914. Seeing Service in the Dardanelles. Staff Sergeant Geard was attached to the New Zealand Mounted Brigade Headquarters for Ordnance duties where he was promoted to Warrant Officer Class 1 with the appointment of Conductor on 1 Jan 1917. Geard’s tenure as a Conductor was short as he was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant on 20 June 1917. Transferred from Egypt to France in August 1918, Geard spent the rest of the war on the staff of the NZ Division DADOS, demobilising as a Lieutenant in 1919.
William Henchcliffe Simmons was a railway clerk who enlisted in D Battery of the New Zealand Field Artillery in August 1914. Seven days later Quartermaster Sergeant Simmons embarked as part of the NZEF Samoa Advance Force. Returning to New Zealand in March 1915, Quartermaster Sergeant Simmons was transferred into the 1st Battalion of the New Zealand Rifle Brigade which was then training a Trentham Camp. In October 1915 Quartermaster Sergeant Simmons deployed with the 1st Battalion of the New Zealand Rifle Brigade to Egypt. Disembarking in Egypt in November 1915 Quartermaster Sergeant Simmons was attached to Brigade Headquarters with the acting rank of Warrant Officer as the clerk NZAOC. Transferring into the NZAOC on the 26th of February 1916 with the rank of Company Sergeant Major. Promoted to Warrant Officer Class 1 with the appointment of Conductor on the 1st of January 1917. Simmons tenure as a Conductor was short as he was promoted to 2nd Lieutenant in June 1917. Simmons remained in the NZAOC filling various staff roles in France and England for the duration of the war, finally being appointed Honorary Captain in Feb 1920 when he was appointed as the Officer in Charge of NZ Ordnance in England, a post he held until October 1920 when he was demobilised. For his services as a Conductor, Simmons was awarded the MSM.
6/3459 Warrant Officer Class 1 (Conductor) Clarence Adrian Seay, MSM. NZAOC Archives New Zealand/Public Domain
Clarence Seay was a farm cadet who enlisted in C Company on the 8th Reinforcements on the 20th of August 1915. Arriving at the New Zealand Base depot in Egypt in November 1915, Seay was transferred into the NZAOC in February 1916. With the pending promotion of Conductor Simmons, Sergeant Seay was promoted to Temporary Warrant Officer Class 1 with the appointment of acting Sub-Conductor on the 23 Mar 1917. Attaining substantive rank as a Warrant Officer Class 1 with the appointment of Sub-Conductor on 28 April 1917. Seay was promoted to full Conductor on the 22nd of September 1917. Seay remained with the NZ Division for the remainder of the war. In May 1918 Seay suffered a personal loss when his younger brother Gordon Seay, was killed in action. Sadly Seay died of Influenza on the 20th of February 1919 in Cologne, Germany. Interred in the Commonwealth War Cemetery in Cologne. Based on his performance Seay was awarded the MSM
“For long and valuable service. This NCO has done continuous good work and has performed his duties in a most excellent manner. As Senior Warrant Officer, with the New Zealand Ordnance Department, his work has been of a most arduous character and has frequently involved him in situations which have called for a display of energy and initiative. In an advance, the necessity of clean clothing and socks, etc, for the fighting troops is sometimes very acute. Conductor Seay on his energy and ability has at times been of the greatest assistance to the DADOS in administrating a very important branch of the service.”
Enlisting into the Canterbury Infantry Regiment in August 1914. Injured in the Dardanelles, Smiley was evacuated to Malta, then England returning to ANZAC Cove on the 7th of December 1915,, where he was transferred into the NZAOC and attached to the Canterbury Battalion. Sergeant Walter Smiley was promoted to Temporary Warrant Officer Class 1 with the appointment of acting Sub-Conductor on the 23 April 1917. Gaining Substantive rank as a Warrant Officer Class 1 with the appointment of Conductor on the 20th of December 1917. Smiley would carry out his role as a Conductor first in France, then England from October 1918 until he was demobilised in October 1919.
Frank Hutton enlisted in the Otago Infantry Regiment in August 1914. After service in the Dardanelles, Hutton was promoted to Sergeant and transferred to the NZAOC on the 1st of December 1915. Sergeant Frank Hutton was promoted to Warrant Officer Class 1 with the appointment of Sub-Conductor on the 1st of December 1917. Remaining with the NZ Division for the remainder of the war, Hutton was demobilised in September 1919.
Hutton was re-enlisted into the NZAOC as a Lance Corporal on the 14th of December 1942 as an Ammunition Examiner in the Inspecting Ordnance Officer Group in the Northern Military district based at Ngaruawahia. Hutton was discharged from the RNZAOC on the 6th of June 1948 when he was 69 years of age.
Enlisting in the 5th Wellington Regiment on the 9th of August 1914, Little was transferred into the Otago Infantry Battalion on the 23rd of March 1915. Injured in the buttocks and shoulder in the Dardanelles after a recovery period Little was transferred into the NZAOC on the 17th of February 1916, moving with he NZ Divison to France. On the 15th of April 1917, Sergeant Edward Little was promoted to the rank of Warrant Officer Class 1 with the appointment of Sub-Conductor. Promoted to the rank of Warrant Officer Class 1 with the appointment of Conductor on the 31st of August 1918. Transferred to the Middle East in October 1918, Conductor Little spent the remainder of the war attached to the New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade Headquarters and was demobilised in October 1919.
John Goutenoire O’Brien
Private John O’Brien left New Zealand with the 6th Reinforcements on the 14th of August 1915. After service in the Dardanelles, O’Brien was transferred into the NZAOC in February 1916. Serving in France for 2 years O’Brien was assigned to London Headquarters in March 1918 as the Chief Clerk. Staff Sergeant John O’Brien was Promoted to Temporary Warrant Officer Class 1 with the Appointment of Acting Sub-Conductor on the 18 October 1918. Gaining Substantive rank as a Warrant Officer Class 1 with the appointment of Sub-Conductor on the 25th of November 1918. O’Brien was appointed as a Conductor on the 1st of Feb 1919. O’Brien was awarded the MSM and was the senior Warrant Officer NZAOC EF when he was demobilised in March 1920. His final duties included the indenting of new equipment for two divisions and a Mounted brigade that would equip the New Zealand Army until the late 1930s.
After a short stint serving in the NZAOC in New Zealand, O’Brien would return to his pre-war trade of banker. Immigrating to the United States, O’Brien attended De Paul University Law School in Chicago from 1921 to 1924. In 1926 O’Brien took up the position of vice-president of the Commercial National Bank in Shreveport, Louisiana. During the Second World War, O’Brien then a US Citizen served in the United States Army Air Force as a Lieutenant Colonel in the South-West Pacific Theatre of Operations.
8/1484 Sub Conductor Edwin Stanley Green, NZAOC. Auckland Weekly News/Public Domain
Enlisting into the Otago Infantry Regiment in December 1915, Green served in the Dardanelles where he was wounded. Transferring into the NZAOC in December 1916, Staff Sergeant Edwin Green was Promoted to Temporary Warrant Officer Class 1 with the Appointment of Acting Sub-Conductor on the 20 October 1918. Gaining Substantive rank as a Warrant Officer Class 1 with the appointment of Sub-Conductor on the 26th of November 1918. Green was demobilised in Dec 1919.
A member of the Royal New Zealand Artillery since February 1898, Charles Slattery was transferred into the New Zealand Permanent Staff as a Quartermaster Sergeant for the Wellington Railway Battalion on the 7th of October 1913. Joining the 2nd Battalion of the Wellington Regiment as part of the 37th Reinforcements in November 1918. Slattery was then transferred to the NZEF New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps on the 6th of January 1919 and promoted to Warrant Officer Class One with the appointment of Conductor. Sadly Slattery died of Influenza on the 25th of February 1919 in Cologne.
Enlisting into the Wellington Infantry Regiment in February 1915, Hill would see service in the Dardanelles before transferring into the NZAOC in February 1916. Promoted to Corporal in April 1916 and then Sergeant in September 1916. Sergeant Hill was promoted to Warrant Officer Class 1 with the appointment of Sub-Conductor on the 21st of Feb 1919. Hill was demobilised in October 1919.
Initially enlisting in the Royal New Zealand Artillery in 1913. Serving with the NZEF from June 1917 to August 1919, Sergeant Artificer Richardson was temporarily transferred from the New Zealand Artillery into the NZAOC in Feb 1918. Promoted to Temporary Warrant Officer Class 1 with the appointment of Acting Sub-Conductor on the 3rd of Feb 1919. Richardson was demobilised from the NZEF on the 13th of Feb 1919 and returned to service with the Royal New Zealand Artillery. In 1928 Richardson was Transferred back into the NZAOC counting to serve until the creation of the New Zealand Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, retiring in 1951.
Enlisting into the New Zealand Field Artillery in August 1914, Wilson was wounded in the thigh while serving in the Dardanelles. Remaining with the Artillery for several years, Staff Sergeant Wilson Transferred into the NZAOC in October 1918. Promoted to Warrant Officer Class 1 with the appointment of Acting Sub-Conductor on the 3rd of March 1919. Wilson was demobilised from the NZEF in May 1920. For his actions before joining the NZAOC Wilson was awarded the Military Medal.
Authorised in Army Dress Regulations for 1912 , shoulder titles were to be affixed to the shoulder strap (Epaulette) of the Service jacket. Shoulder titles were to be metal denoting the Corps or Regiment of the wearer. With the establishment of the NZEF, New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps (NZAOC) in 1916 and the Home Service NZAOC and New Zealand Army Ordnance Department in 1917, the introduction of brass NZAOC and NZAOD shoulder titles soon followed.
The Dress Regulations of 1923 further clarified their use “The shoulder titles of the unit or corps, in brass letters will be worn by Officers, Warrant Officers, Non-Commissioned Officers and men on the shoulder straps of jackets (service and blue) and great coats. They will not be worn on mess jackets”. The approved Ordnance shoulder titles were, 
New Zealand Army Ordnance Department – NZAOD
New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps – NZAOC.
With the disestablishment of the NZAOD on the 27th of June 1924 , and official use of the NZAOD shoulder title was discontinued, and the NZAOC shoulder title remained in use for all ranks, its use confirmed in the 1927 Dress regulations. 
Early in World War Two saw the establishment of the NZEF and Territorial Army ‘New Zealand Ordnance Corps’, again as in the case of the NZAOC 24 years earlier, shoulder titles were soon provided.
Worn early in the war, the adoption of new uniforms and universal “New Zealand” flashes saw that existing stocks of brass shoulder titles, including the NZAOC and NZOC shoulder titles, were wasted out until stocks were exhausted. 
The adoption of cloth shoulder titles was first proposed in 1948. Screen printed samples like the current British pattern were proposed in 1949.
Desiring something more durable and presentable, it was decided that embroidered shoulder titles were the way ahead. After much deliberation, the Army Board approved the introduction of shoulder titles in 1954. After much bureaucratic discussion over costings and developing requirements, it was not until 1961 that the first samples were approved. The shoulder titles for the Royal New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps were to have a Post Office red background with purple navy lettering in “Serif” Font. Over time there were variations in colour and size of lettering due to manufacture variations, with the final versions featuring lettering in a “Sans Serif” font and an overlocked edge. 
As part of a significant overhaul of New Zealand’s Army Service Dress, corps shoulder patches, including the RNZAOC pattern, were replaced with a universal “NEW ZEALAND” shoulder title from 1 January 1996.
Dress Regulations 1912, GHQ Circular No 5, Wellington: General Headquarters, 1912.
M. Thomas and C. Lord, NZ Army Distinguishing Patches 1911-1991, Wellington: Malcolm Thomas and Cliff Lord, 1995.
“NZAOD and NZAOC,” New Zealand Gazette, p. 1605, 3 July 1924.
“Shoulder Titles,” New Zealand Gazette, p. 1599, 19 May 1927.
G. Oldham, Badges and Insignia of the New Zealand Army, 2 ed., Auckland: Milimen Books, 2011.
B. O’Sullivan and M. O’Sullivan, New Zealand Army Uniforms and Clothing 1910-1945, Christchurch: Wilson Scott, 2009.
During its 79 year existence as a Corps, the NZAOC/RNZAOC was mainly a peacetime organisation and only actively engaged in supporting the army on warlike operations for approximately half its life. 1919 to 1939 and 1972 to 1992 were two long periods where the country was at peace, and the NZAOC/RNZAOC focus was on supporting training and managing stocks for potential mobilisations while struggling to remain relevant in climates of financial restraint.
This article will provide an overview of the NZAOC during the period 1919 to 1938
On the cessation of hostilities in 1918, the New Zealand Army Ordnance organisation consisted of the New Zealand Army Ordnance Department (Officers) and the New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps (Other Ranks) collectively referred to as the NZAOC.
During the interwar period, the strength of r the NZAOC fluctuated from a high of 493 in 1919 to a low of 20 in 1932 ending the period with a force of 34 in 1939
Directors of Ordnance Services
Major T McCristell – 10 Apr 1916 to 30 Jan 1920 (Director of Equipment and Ordnance Stores)
Lt Col H.E Pilkington – 30 Jan to 1 Oct 1925 (Director of Ordnance Stores)
Having only being Gazetted by regulations published in 1917, the NZAOC had only been established as part of the permanent staff of the Defence Forces of New Zealand for just over a year on the cessation of Hostilities.
Under the control of the Director of Army Ordnance and Supplies, Major T McCristell. The NZAOC was Organised with Ordnance Stores under four District Ordnance Officers located at;
Mount Eden in Auckland
Alexandra Barracks, Mount Cook, Wellington, with detachments at
Palmerston North, and
King Edward Barracks, Christchurch
St Andrews St, Dunedin
With the cessation of Hostilities operations swiftly switched from supporting the NZEF and training replacements to the demobilisation of the NZEF, the closing of camps and the downsizing of the army to peacetime levels
The NZAOC was under pressure to reduce manning levels. This was not possible owing to the significant amount, of work, still required to be carried out in connection with the war. In addition to the ordinary ordnance work in support of the Territorial Force, the NZAOC was required to;
maintain extra personnel for the handling, storage and accounting of hospital equipment for the hospitals under the Defence Department,
retain additional staff for the educational and vocational establishments,
Handle the large quantity of military material arriving from overseas.
Approved by His Majesty King George V at the end of 1920, General Order No 95 of 1 March 1921 granted formal approval of an alliance between the RAOC and the Ordnance Corps of;
The RAOC motto ” SUA TELA TONANTI” formally adopted as the motto of the NZAOC.
During this period the NZAOC had been considerably reduced but was still considered more than the strength required for its regular peace duties which consisted of the accounting, storage, issue, receipt, and care of all Ordnance stores for the N.Z. Military Forces, including the following in addition to ordinary routine duties;;
Receipt, accounting, and storage of abundant supplies of military equipment from the United Kingdom,
Ordnance issues and accounting in connection with military hospitals and sanatoria,
Sale of surplus stores
Marking of new rifles and equipment and reissuing to Territorial Force and Cadets. Nearly all of the new army equipment had arrived, and distributed as under;
Training equipment to units,
Mobilisation equipment to depots in each command,
Reserve equipment at the main Ordnance depot.
As a result of the Army reorganisation, Military districts were reduced from 4 to 3 and renamed as Commands. This resulted in the Education Department Industrial School at Burnham been taken over for use as an NZAOC depot for the Southern Military Command. This led to the Ordnance Store located at King Edward Barracks and the Dunedin Ordnance Store situated in St Andrews Street, Dunedin closing and relocating to Burnham Camp as the Southern Command Ordnance Depot.
The current Ordnance Store at Mount Eden was unsuitable, and until suitable storage accommodation was provided, mobilisation stores for Auckland command were to be housed at Featherston Camp which resulted in the delayed demolition of this camp.
The NZAOC Palmerston North Detachment had closed during this period and had transferred its stores to Featherston and Trentham Camps.
The Ordnance Stores located in Buckle Street in Wellington had been relocated to Trentham.
With Ordnance Depots established at Burnham for the Southern Command, and at Trentham for the Central Command. The site for the Northern Command Depot at Ngaruawahia had been obtained in an exchange with the Railway Department for land at Frankton Junction. The mobilisation stores for the Northern Command were held at Trentham and Featherston, so it became a priority to incur some expenditure for the erection of buildings at Ngaruawahia. Plans were also on the table for the provision of suitable fireproof buildings to replace the contemporary temporary accommodation at Trentham and Burnham. At Trentham all available buildings, including the gymnasium used by the School of Instruction, were utilised for storage; many of the older hutments were not suitable for storing the equipment stores within them, and the risk of fire was a very grave one.
Based on the lessons learned during the war, a new The cost accounting system was introduced in 1921.
Due to financial constraints work on the construction of the Ordnance Stores for the Northern Command had not yet been commenced, and work that was proposed to be carried out at Trentham and Burnham depots had been delayed. This had made the provision of proper Ordnance Depots at all three locations an urgent matter.
At Ngaruawahia work commenced on the large Ordnance Store building, which when completed would absorb the stores located at Mount Eden and at Featherston Camp and enable the temporary structures in those camps to be dismantled. Five magazines for gun-ammunition and high explosives and the earthwork for five others were also completed at Ngaruawahia Camp. Five additional magazines for gun-ammunition and one for small-arms ammunition were planned to be constructed in 1927. Further building forecasted for the next year included;
The development of Ngaruawahia Camp was continuing satisfactorily. The large Ordnance Store, a large building 322 ft by 100 ft divided into seven bay’s four 25ft by 100 ft, three 74ft by 100 ft, was nearing completion with the building walls up and two of the smaller bays roofed in. Other buildings projected to be constructed were an Ordnance workshop, 61ft by 50ft, and a vehicle shed, S2oft by 25ft.
The railway-siding serving the Ordnance buildings has been completed. The construction of the Ordnance Office and small-arms ammunition magazine has been commenced, and two high-explosive magazines and three married quarters will be put in hand immediately.
The entire inventory previously held at Featherston Camp had been removed. Several buildings were transferred to Fort Dorset to provide accommodation there, and, except for six retained for possible similar transfer elsewhere, and two brick buildings kept on the site, the whole of the buildings had been sold to the general public for removal. The land was retained and was leased for grazing purposes.
On account of the disastrous earthquake that struck Napier and Hastings on the 3rd February 1931, the NZAOC was called upon at short notice to supply tents, blankets, bedding, cooking and eating utensils, for use in the stricken areas. The total value of the stores issued from the Ordnance Stores at Trentham was £35,000. The Ordnance staff did particularly good work in dispatching these stores and equipment.
The Ordnance workshop located at Mount Cook was relocated to Trentham Camp.
With the Depression affecting the New Zealand economy, the NZAOC was forced to retrench many of its staff including;
Seventy-six officers and other ranks of the NZAOC were retired on superannuation as from the 31st March 1931.
Seventy-four NZAOC staff (excluding officers and artificers) who were not eligible for retirement were transferred to the civil service to work in the same positions but at a lower rate of pay.
Equipment and stores required for the Territorial Force had been maintained during the year in serviceable condition. Meticulous attention had been paid to the inspection and testing of small-arms ammunition.
NZAOC personnel has been engaged throughout the year in the following activities :
Care, preservation, turnover, and accounting for all stores, arms, equipment, and clothing held in Ordnance Depots.
Receipt and classification of clothing returned from Territorials and Cadets. Allocation of apparel for dry-cleaning and renovation, and examination on return from dry-cleaning contractors.
Examination of new clothing supplied by contractors.
The annual inspection of rifles and light machine guns on the charge to Territorial Units and Cadets, and half-yearly examination of Vickers guns.
The issue of camp equipment and training stores for camps, bivouacs, and courses of instruction throughout the Dominion, also hire of stores to various organisations.
Sales of rifles and barrels to gunsmiths, to rifle clubs, and to the general public, and sales of S.A.A. to rifle clubs.
The everyday issues of clothing, arms, equipment, S.A.A. and expendable stores. No progress has been made during the year with the stripping, cleaning, and preservation of the balance of the rifles, S.M.L.E. Mark III, held in store, and which have not been examined since receipt from the United Kingdom in 1920. Authority had been obtained, however, for the engagement of four arms-cleaners, and the work has now started.
As the guest of the Commonwealth Government of Australia, The Director of Ordnance Services paid a six-week visit to Australia at the end of 1936
The constant changes in the organisation of units and in equipment generally, as adopted in England, had very much complicated and increased the Ordnance work in New Zealand. Much remained to be done in the repair, maintenance, and the modernisation of arms and equipment, in the receipt, storage, and issue of stores and equipment from abroad, and in preparation for mobilisation.
A contract for the first section of the large Ordnance Store required at Trentham was let, and it was proposed to accelerate the construction of the remainder of the buildings. Plans were prepared for the structures needed for the Ordnance Depots at Ngaruawahia and Burnham, and for the rebuilding of the Ordnance Workshop, Devonport.
There had been a considerable increase in Ordnance work during the last eight months. Equipment tables for all Territorial units except Artillery had been prepared, and the issue of equipment was proceeding. Camp-equipment stocks have been thoroughly revised in the light of the altered establishments, and essential purchases have been affected.
The first section of the large Ordnance store building at Trentham was nearing completion, and a contract had been let for the second section. The construction of this store would alleviate the severe shortage of storage space at Trentham, and will at the same time make available additional barrack-rooms for the accommodation of troops attending the Schools of Instruction. A contract had also been let for the first section of a similar Ordnance store at Burnham with clearing operations on the site commenced.
The Southern Ordnance Depot assisted the Southern Military School at Burnham. The school conducted a unique course for quartermasters, drawn from the various Territorial units of the Southern Military District. The Southern Ordnance Depot provided instruction on the are and preservation of clothing and ordnance equipment.