Following the war in South Africa, the British Empire was at the height of its power and prestige. The Royal Navy ruled the oceans, and if British interests were threatened on land, Canada, Australia and New Zealand had proven their commitment to support the empire by contributing men and materiel. As the economic powerhouse of the empire, British India was the most significant jewel in the British Imperial crown. However, British India’s confidence that it had the support of British dominions was put to the test in 1909 when it was discovered that firearms from Australia and New Zealand were being provided to tribes on the North-West Frontier who were actively opposed to the interests of British India. So how did firearms from New Zealand end up in the hands of Pathan Tribesmen on the borders of modern-day Afghanistan and Pakistan?
As the New Zealand military reorganised and reequipped following the war in South Africa, new uniforms and equipment were introduced, and the .303inch cartridge adopted as the standard calibre for rifles, carbines and machine guns, resulting in the Defence Stores holding over 17,000 Snider, Martin-Henry and Remington Lee rifles, carbines and accoutrements and just under a million rounds of obsolete ammunition. The disposal of this stockpile was the most significant disposal of Arms and Ammunition undertaken by the Defence Stores throughout its existence which had the unintended consequence of arming Pathan tribesmen on the borders of British India.
Snider rifles were introduced into New Zealand service starting from 1868.
The Sniders served thru to 1890, when they began to be superseded by Martini-Henry rifles and carbines.
The introduction of cordite or smokeless powder ushered in the introduction of the .303 Martini-Enfield rifle leading to the progressive withdrawal of the Sniders and Martini-Henrys following the introduction of bolt action Lee Metford and Enfield rifles. With sufficient .303 calibre Martini-Enfield’s and an increasing amount of bolt action, magazine-fed Lee Metford and Enfield rifles available to arm the forces and provide a reserve, the Defence Council authorised a Board of Survey to be formed to investigate the disposal of the obsolete Sniders and Martinis in store. In addition to Sniders and Martinis, there was also a quantity of .340 Remington-Lee rifles. In a bold move to provide New Zealand’s forces with the most modern of rifles, these were imported into New Zealand in 1887. However, due to unsatisfactory ammunition, the Remington-Lees were withdrawn from service in 1888.
Sitting in early 1907 and consisting of three officers, the Board of Survey weighed up the options for the disposal of the stockpile of obsolete weapons. Dumping the entire stock at sea was considered, but an anticipated outcry from the New Zealand press, as this means of disposal, would have been seen as another example of needless government waste, and this option was ruled out. A small but guaranteed financial benefit resulted in sale by tender being decided upon as the most practical means of disposal.
The early 20th Century was a turbulent time in world history. The late 19th-century race by the European powers had left them all fighting colonial bush wars to suppress opposition and maintain control in their various colonial possessions. In Eastern Europe, the Balkans were aflame as the former European vassals of the Ottoman empire fought the Turks and each other as they struggled to gain their independence. Closer to New Zealand, as the emerging American and Japanese empires undertook colonial expansion in the Philippines and Korea, conflict and insurrection followed and were only quelled by the most brutal measures.
In this environment, the New Zealand Government was cognisant that there was a ready market for firearms, however as the Arms Act of New Zealand limited the bulk export of weapons from New Zealand, the conditions of the tender were clear that for any arms not purchased for use in New Zealand, the remainder were not to be exported to any country or place other than Great Britain.
The entire stock of firearms was stored at the Defence Stores at Wellington and packed 50 to 90 weapons per case. The tender terms allowed tenderers to quote for not less than 100 of any weapon. The quantities and types of weapons were,
.577 Snider rifles, short sword bayonets with scabbards – 6867
.577 Snider rifles, long – 978
.577 Snider carbines, artillery; sword bayonets with scabbards – 1957
.577 Snider carbines, cadet – 849
.577 Snider carbines, cavalry – 669
.577/450 Martini-Henry rifles, sword bayonets with scabbards – 4686
.577/450 Martini-Henry carbines – 520
Enfield carbines, Sword bayonets and scabbards – 103
.340 Remington Lee Rifles – 840
Swords, cavalry, with scabbards – 600
The ammunition was all of the black powder types, which, when fired, created a large amount of smoke exposing the rifleman’s position. An interesting ammunition type included in the tender was 106,000 rounds of Gardner-Gatling ammunition. This ammunition had been imported in the late 1880s as part of a demonstration lot, resulting in the purchase of a single Gardiner Machine Gun by the New Zealand Government. The ammunition was stored in the magazines at Wellington and Auckland, with the tender terms allowing bids of less than 50,000 rounds of any mixture of ammunition. The ammunition types tendered were.
.577/450 Martini-Henry, ball, rifle, solid case – 189000 rounds
.577/450 Martini-Henry, ball, rifle, rolled case – 170000 rounds
.577/450 Martini-Henry, ball, carbine, rolled case – 120000 rounds
.577/450 Martini-Henry, blank – 240000 rounds
.577 Snider Ball – 150000 rounds
.45 Gardner Gatling, ball – 106,000 rounds
Notice of the tender was published by the Director of Military Stores, Captain James O’Sullivan, in the New Zealand press from 4 June 1907, with 14 June set as the final day for bids.
The Tender Board accepted the highest tender in July 1907 with all the arms purchased by a Manchester firm through their New Zealand agents.
Much of the powder within the ammunition had caked and was unsuitable for use, leading to a significant part of the stocks being broken down into salvageable components in New Zealand. Under the supervision of Captain O’Sullivan, a record of each weapon was taken, recording the brands and serial numbers stamped on each weapon. As the weapons were packed into cases, the contents of each case were also recorded. The entire consignment was loaded onto the S.S. Mamari at Wellington, which sailed directly to London via the New Zealand Shipping Company’s usual route. Included in the mail carried on the same voyage was a notification to the War Office in England providing complete shipment details. Providing these details to the War Office was not obligatory and only made on Captain O’Sullivan initiative. Four months later, the War Office received a reply asking why they had been sent all that information.
Captain O’Sullivan’s attention to detail in dispatching the New Zealand firearms to England proved wise when in May 1909, the Calcutta Englishman, the leading daily newspaper in India, published an article stating that Weapons bearing Australian and New Zealand markings had been smuggled across the Pathan border.
While the Calcutta Englishman was accurate in its report that weapons bearing Australian and New Zeland Military markings had been found in the hands of Pathan tribesmen. The path the New Zealand weapons had taken to India was not the result of poor accounting by New Zealand’s Defence Stores, but rather the shady dealing of British second-hand arms dealers.
 “Defence Forces of New Zealand: Report by the Council of Defence and Extracts from the Report of the Inspector-General of the NZ Defence Forces, for the Year Ended 28th February 1908,” Appendix to the Journals of the House of Representatives, 1909 Session II, H-19 (1909).
 “The Smuggled Rifles,” Star (Christchurch), Issue 9546, 19 May 1909.
 “Obsolete Arms,” New Zealand Times, Volume XXIX, Issue 6231, 10 June 1907.
 “Australasian Arms Smuggled into India,” Evening News (Sydney, NSW ) 12 May 1909.
New Zealand’s first experience of Salvage units was during the 1914-18 war. Each British formation (including Dominion forces) was required as part of an army salvage plan to appoint a Salvage Officer for each brigade, and a Division Salvage Company, which in turn was supported a Corps Salvage Company.
Shortly after arriving in France, Lieutenant Colonel Herbert the DADOS of the New Zealand Division was directed to provide one officer, one sergeant and two corporals for the Divisional Salvage Company, with the OC of the Pioneer Battalion providing four Lance Corporals and 24 Other ranks.
Formed on 5 May 1916 the NZ Divisional Salvage Company was under the command of Lieutenant Macrae, NZAOC. The duties of the NZ Divisional Salvage Company were:
“The care and custody of packs of troops engaged in offensive operations; The care of tents and canvas of the Division; The salvage of Government property, and also enemy property, wherever found; The sorting of the stuff salved, and dispatch thereof to base.”
Headquarters New Zealand and Australian Division, “New Zealand Division – Administration – War Diary, 1 May – 26 May 1916,” Archives New Zealand Item No R23487546 (1916)
Although initially reporting to the Corps Salvage Officer, entries in the DADOS war diaries indicate that the Divisional Salvage Company was an integral part of the DADOS responsibilities. During April 1918 the NZ Div Salvage Company recovered the following items.
One Bristol Airplane
One Triumph Norton Motorcycle
Three Douglas Motorcycles
10 Bayonets and scabbards
25 Steel Helmets
Four Pistol Signal
Three Mountings MG
62 Belts MG
32 Belt boxes MG
95 Gas respirators
“Deputy Assistant Director of Ordnance Services (DADOS) – War Diary, 1 April – 30 April 1918.” 1918. Archives New Zealand Item No R23487665.
This talk examines the work of the British salvage system from its small beginnings at the battalion level to the creation of a giant corporation controlled by GHQ. It deals with salvage during hostilities and the colossal often forgotten task of the clean-up afterwards.
The role of the New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps (NZAOC) during the First World War is one that has remained untold, if not forgotten. While the contribution of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force (NZEF), its commanders, battles and significant units is well recorded, the narrative on the Logistic Services of the NZEF has been universally biased towards the larger of the Logistic Services; the New Zealand Army Service Corps (NZASC), with the contribution of the NZAOC, seldom mentioned. The significance of the NZAOC is that from 1914 to 1919, the NZAOC was the body charged with supplying and maintaining the weapons, ammunition, clothing and equipment of the NZEF and, as such, was a key enabler towards the success of the NZEF. The main NZAOC functions were within the NZ Division under the control of the NZ Division Deputy Assistant Director of Ordnance Services (DADOS). Additionally, as part of the NZEF Headquarters in London, the NZAOC managed a range of ordnance functions in support of the NZEF. This article examines the role of the NZAOC as it grew from an initial mobilisation strength of two men in 1914 into a small but effective organisation providing Ordnance services to the NZEF.
Unlike the Australians, who were in the early stages of establishing their Ordnance Corps under with the assistance of a British Ordnance Officer in 1914, New Zealand was without a uniformed Ordnance Corps on the declaration of war in 1914. The formation of the NZAOC had been a topic of discussion and indecision from as early as 1900, and despite the transformational reforms of the New Zealand Defence Act of 1909, there was little appetite to decide on formation of the NZAOC. However, the need for personnel trained in Ordnance duties was understood, with some training and experimentation in the provision of Ordnance Services carried out in the Brigade and Divisional Camps of 1913 and 1914, laying the foundation for the mobilisation of August 1914.
Section 5 of General Order 312, issued in August 1914, established Ordnance Services as part of the NZEF. This order authorised as part of the Division Headquarters establishment; a DADOS, one clerk and a horse. Appointed to the position of DADOS was Honorary Captain William Thomas Beck of the New Zealand Staff Corps, with the position of Clerk filled by Sergeant Norman Joseph Levien, a general storekeeper who had enlisted into the 3rd Auckland Regiment on the outbreak of war. Beck and Levien both assisted in equipping troops for overseas service at the Avondale camp before embarking with the main body of the NZEF.
Disembarking in Egypt on 3 December 1914 and armed with The Ordnance Manual (War) of 1914, Beck was provided with the following guidance on his role as DADOS;
“To deal with all matters affecting the Ordnance services of the division. The DADOS would manage the state of the clothing and equipment on the charge of the units composing the division and would from time to time advise the officers in charge of the stores which in all probability would be required for operations”.
One of Becks first tasks was to establish a shared depot with the NZASC at Zeitoun, with NZEF Order No 9 of 10 December 1914 detailing the instructions for submitting demands to the DADOS Ordnance Depot. Working alongside their Australian and British counterparts, Beck and Levien had their staff enhanced with the addition of six soldiers from 28 December 1914. With no experience of the British Ordnance systems and procedures, Levien was attached for a short period to the British Army Ordnance Corps Depot at the Citadel in Cairo to study the ordnance systems in use and adapt them for use by the New Zealand Forces. As the preparations for the Dardanelles campaign began to unfold, the NZAOC begin to take shape with Levien, and Sergeant King from the Wellington Regiment commissioned from the ranks to be the first NZAOC officers on 3 April 1915.
To support the upcoming Dardanelles operation and ensure the flow of stores forward, Alexandra was to be the main Ordnance Base Depot. The cargo ship ‘SS Umsinga’, which had been fitted out in the United Kingdom with many of the Ordnance Stores anticipated to support the operation, acted as the forward Ordnance Depot. As part of the New Zealand preparations, Beck was the DADOS for the New Zealand & Australian Division (NZ & A Div). At Alexandra, Levien secured premises at No. 12 Rue de la Porte Rosette and Shed 43, Alexandra Docks, for a New Zealand Ordnance Depot. The Australians also established a similar Depot at Mustapha Barracks and at No 12 Bond Store on Alexandra Docks. King remained at Zeitoun as the Officer in Charge of the Ordnance Depot at Zeitoun Camp to manage the reception of reinforcements and bring them up to theatre scales as they arrived from New Zealand.
Concentrating off the Island of Lemnos from April 10, the ANZAC, British and French invasion fleets invaded Turkey at three locations on the morning of April 25. The 1st Australian Division landed first at around 4 am on 25 April, with Godley’s Headquarters leading the NZ & A Div ashore at around 9 am, with Beck, according to Christopher Pugsley, the first New Zealander ashore as part of Godley’s Force.
As Beck landed, the 1st Australian Division DADOS Lt Col J.G Austin was supervising the cross-loading of ammunition and Ordnance stores in a rudimentary Logistics Over-the-Shore (LOTS) operation using a small fleet of lighters. As the lighters unloaded and the stores transferred to a hastily established ordnance dump just off the beach, issues of ammunition had begun to be issued to replenish the men fighting in the hills, and Beck was immediately committed to establishing his domain as DADOS of the NZ & A Div. Under Austin, who had taken control of the Ordnance operations in the ANZAC sector, Beck remained as the DADOS of the NZ & A Div until August.
Assisting Beck with the more onerous physical work and the management of the depot staff was Staff Sergeant Major Elliot Puldron. Beck’s service at Gallipoli was reported in the Hawera & Normanby Star on 24 June 1916.
“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”.
As a result of the rigours of the campaign, Beck was evacuated from Gallipoli in August, with Levien replacing him as DADOS. From mid-September, the exhausted New Zealanders withdrew to Lemnos for rest and reconstitution. King and Levien switched roles, with Levien appointed the Chief Ordnance Officer (COO) of Sarpi camp with the responsibility for re-equipping the depleted NZ & A Div. Returning to Gallipoli in November, King remained with the NZ & A Div as the DADOS and Levien remained on Lemnos. Both men returned to Egypt in December after the NZ & A Div withdrew from Gallipoli.
Now with sufficient New Zealand reinforcements available, the NZEF was expanded and reorganised into an Infantry Division, which served on the Western Front and a Mounted Rifle Brigade, which remained in the Middle East. As a consequence of the logistical lessons learnt on the Western Front by the British Army Ordnance Corps(AOC), the existing NZ Ordnance cadre expanded into a modest unit of the NZEF. In the NZ Division, the Staff of the DADOS expanded from the original officer, clerk and horse in 1914 into a staff of several officers, warrant officers, SNCOs, men and dedicated transport. The NZAOC in the Mounted Rifle Brigade worked under the Australian DADOS of the ANZAC Mounted Division, with the Ordnance establishment for each Mounted Brigade Headquarters consisting of a warrant officer, sergeant clerk and corporal storeman.
Beck had been identified to continue as the NZ Division DADOS, but continual ill-health had resulted in his return to New Zealand in November. Godley selected Lieutenant-Colonel Alfred Henry Herbert as an officer with the right business acumen to replace Beck. Herbert was the first Mayor of Eketahuna and a successful business owner who ran a chain of general stores in north Wairarapa, the challenge of managing the NZAOC well suited to his experience. Herbert had previously commanded the Maori Contingent and then the Otago’s on Gallipoli, and in January 1916, was transferred into NZAOC as the NZ Division, DADOS and Officer Commanding of the NZEF NZAOC. As Herbert took command, additional officers and soldiers were transferred to the NZAOC to complement the men already serving in the NZAOC.
As Herbert prepared his men for the move to France, he had the formidable task of instructing them in the necessary ordnance procedures and duties that they were expected to carry out in France. Almost all of Herbert’s men had seen service on Gallipoli and adapted themselves to their new circumstances to provide their mates on the front with the best possible service. Not all the original NZAOC officers remained with the NZ Division; King became ill with enteric fever and was invalided back to New Zealand to become a foundation member of the NZAOC in New Zealand on its formation in 1917. Levien (and two Other Ranks) remained in Egypt attached to NZEF Headquarters, where he closed the Alexandra Depot and disposed of the vast stockpile of stores that the NZEF had accumulated over the past year. Departing Egypt in May 1916, Levien did not rejoin the NZ Division but remained with the Headquarters NZEF as the NZEF COO in the United Kingdom.
A significant duty of the DADOS and his staff was to vet all indents submitted by NZ Division units. Herbert and his staff were to check on these indents and keep records of the receipt and issues of stores to prevent placing excessive demands. Herbert’s role was not to obstruct legitimate demands but to accelerate their processing and see that the stores, when received, were issued without delay. Herbert later reminisced at a Returned Servicemen’s meeting that his role was “to see that all units were properly equipped, at the same time endeavouring to ensure that no one ” put it across him ” for extra issues”. The DADOS did not typically hold stocks of any kind, but as experience grew, the DADOS held a small reserve of essential items. An example of the items held by the DADOS were gumboots and socks.
A crucial role of the DADOS was to ensure that all damaged or worn stores that were fit for repair were exchanged for new or refurbished items and the damaged items returned to the appropriate repair agency. Under the responsibility of the DADOS, an Armourer Staff Sergeant was attached to each infantry battalion in the early years of the war. It was later found to be a much better plan to remove the armourers from Battalions and form a division armourers shop equipped with all the tools and accessories necessary for the repair of small arms, machine guns, bicycles, primus stoves, steel helmets and other like items, allowing them to be repaired and reissued with much higher efficiency than if left with an individual Battalion armourer. Also under the supervision of the DADOS were the Divisional boot repair shop and Divisional Tailors shops. These shops saved and extended the life of hundreds of pairs of boots and clothing suits.
In May 1916, shortly after arriving in France, the DADOS was directed to provide one officer, one sergeant and two corporals for the Divisional Salvage Company, with the OC of the Pioneer Battalion providing four Lance Corporals and 24 Other ranks. The duties of the NZ Divisional Salvage Company were;
“The care and custody of packs of troops engaged in offensive operations; The care of tents and canvas of the Division; The salvage of Government property, and also enemy property, wherever found; The sorting of the stuff salved, and dispatch thereof to base.”
Although initially reporting to the Corps Salvage Officer, entries in the DADOS war diaries indicate that the Divisional Salvage Company was an integral part of the DADOS responsibilities.
The appointment of Divisional Baths and Laundry Officer was another DADOS responsibility from December 1916. The Division endeavoured to maintain facilities to provide the entire Division with a Bath and a change of clothing every ten days. The Divisional Baths and Laundry provided a welcome respite for soldiers from the front; soiled clothing was handed in as soldiers arrived and undressed, provided a hot bath or shower, and soldiers were then issued a clean uniform. The soiled uniform was inspected, cleaned and repaired if necessary and placed into stock, ready for the next rotation of soldiers to pass through.
Herbert remained as DADOS until 31 March 1918, when he relinquished the appointment of OC NZAOC and DADOS NZ Division to be the Assistant Director of Ordnance Services (ADOS) of XI Army Corps. Herbert was replaced as DADOS by Lieutenant Gossage, who had recently completed an Ordnance course at Woolwich and was granted the rank of Temporary Captain while holding the position of DADOS. The appointment of OC NZAOC was taken up by Lieutenant Colonel Herbert Edward Pilkington. Pilkington was a New Zealand Artillery Officer with a flair for administration. Pilkington had acquitted himself well as the ADOS of XIX Corps during the retreat of the British 5th Army in March 1918 and was considered the most experience Ordnance Officer in the NZEF and was appointed NZEF ADOS on 30 June 1918.
Before the arrival of Pilkington as NZEF ADOS, the headquarters of the NZEF in London had evolved into a self-contained administrative unit, with capably managed departments providing the full range of medical, pay, postal, and other administrative services to maintain the NZEF training camps in the United Kingdom as well as the NZEF units in France and the Middle East. In his role as the NZEF COO, Levien undertook several initiatives to improve the logistical situation of the NZEF. Levien’s initial work included the establishment of the Sling Ordnance Depot and smaller sub-depots at all of the NZEF Training Camps and Hospitals throughout the United Kingdom. Levien also established an Ordnance Depot at Farringdon Road, London to support these Depots. Levien was always keen to reduce costs, and an example of his cost-saving efforts is that by a combination of switching clothing suppliers from the Royal Army Clothing Department (RACD) at Pilimlco to commercial suppliers and by repairing damaged clothing, these changes resulted in savings of 2019 NZD$9,788,232.00 in the period leading up to December 1917.
Levien also studied the stores accounting procedures employed by the Australians and Canadians, and after discussions with Battalion Quartermasters and the Ordnance Officer at Sling, Levien submitted a modified stores accounting system that was adopted across the NZEF to provide a uniform and efficient method of accounting for stores. So successful was this system that it was adopted by the post-war NZAOC and proved very successful, with losses becoming comparatively negligible against the previous systems. Levien also instigated the establishment of an independent NZEF audit department and a purchasing board to supervise purchasing by the NZEF. Levien, who finished the war a Major, was awarded an MBE and OBE for his efforts.
The armistice of 11 November 1918 brought a sudden end to the fighting on the Western Front leading to the NZ Division marching into Germany to take up occupation duties at Cologne soon afterwards. Gossage and his staff were initially concerned with closing down or handing over the ordnance stores and infrastructure in France and Belgium and establishing the ordnance mechanisms required to support the NZ Division in Germany. The New Zealand occupation was short, and the NZ Division had disbanded by 26 March 1919. With all of the NZ Division’s equipment requiring disposal, Gossage and his men were ordered to remain in Germany to manage the handing back of the Divisions equipment to British ordnance and dispose of the items unable to be returned by sale or destruction. Gossage eventually marched out for England on 2 May 1919. Concurrent with the mobilisation activities undertaken by Gossage in Germany, the NZAOC in the United Kingdom swiftly switched activities from equipping the NZEF to demobilising the NZEF and all the ordnance activities associated with that task.
Additionally, the NZAOC managed the return to New Zealand of the considerable amount of war trophies that the NZEF had accumulated  and the indenting of new equipment to equip the New Zealand Army into the early 1940s. Under Captain William Simmons, the final OC Ordnance from 20 Feb 1920, the final remnants of the NZEF NZAOC were demobilised in October 1920, closing the first chapter of the NZAOC.
In conclusion, this article provides a snapshot of the role of the NZAOC and its place within the NZEF. Charged with the responsibility of supplying and maintaining the weapons, ammunition, clothing and equipment of the NZEF, the NZAOC provided the NZEF with a near-seamless link into the vast Imperial ordnance system. The responsibilities of the NZAOC as part of the NZ Division extended from the traditional ordnance supply and maintenance functions to the management of the Divisional Baths, Laundries and Savage. In the United Kingdom, the NZAOC not only provided ordnance support to the troops undertaking training and casualties in hospitals but, under a process of continual improvements, streamlined logistics procedures and processes to enable the NZEF to make considerable savings. However, despite its success as a combat enabler for the NZEF, the legacy of the NZAOC was one of anonymity. The anonymity of the NZAOC was a consequence of its small size and its place in the organisational structure as part of the NZEF and Division Headquarters.
Australia & New Zealand Army Corps [2ANZAC], Assistant Director of Ordnance Services (ADOS) – War Diary, 1 December – 31 December 1916.” Archives New Zealand Item No R23487340 (1916). “An Account of the Working of the Baths Established in the Divisional Areas in France.” Archives New Zealand Item No R24428508 (1918). Allied and Associated Powers, Military Board of Allied Supply. Report of the Military Board of Allied Supply. Washington: Govt. Print. Off., 1924. “Appendices to War Diaries, I – Lxii.” Item ID R23486739, Archives New Zealand, 1914. “Beck, William Thomas.” Personal File, Archives New Zealand, 1914. Bond, Alfred James.” Personal File, Archives New Zealand, 1914.| “Brave New Zealanders.” The Hawera and Normanby Star, Volume LXXI, Issue LXXI, , 24 June 1916. “Coltman, William Hall Densby “. Personal File, Archives New Zealand, 1914. “Crozier, Lewis “. Personal File, Archives New Zealand, 1914. “Deputy Assistant Director of Ordnance Services (DADOS) – War Diary, 1 April – 30 April 1918.” Archives New Zealand Item No R23487665 (1918). Drew, H. T. B. The War Effort of New Zealand: A Popular (a) History of Minor Campaigns in Which New Zealanders Took Part, (B) Services Not Fully Dealt with in the Campaign Volumes, (C) the Work at the Bases. Official History of New Zealand’s Effort in the Great War: V.4. Whitcombe & Tombs, 1923. Non-fiction. Equipment and Ordnance Depot, Farringdon Road, London – Administration Reports Etc., 18 October 1916 – 8 August 1918 Item Id R25102951, Archives New Zealand. 1918. “Geard, Walter John.” Personal File, Archives New Zealand, 1914. “Gilmore, Arthur “. Personal File, Archives New Zealand, 1914. “Gossage, Charles Ingram.” Personal File, Archives New Zealand, 1914. “Grants of Temporary Rank, Appointments and Promotions of Officers of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force.” New Zealand Gazette 8 July 1915. “H-19 Defence Forces of New Zealand, Annual Report of the General Officer Commanding the Forces from 1 July 1922 to 30 June 1923.” Appendix to the Journals of the House of Representatives (1923). “H-19 Report on the Defence Forces of New Zealand for the Period 28 June 1912 to 20 June 1913.” Appendix to the Journal of the House of Representives (1 January 1913). “Hamilton, Gavin “. Personal File, Archives New Zealand, 1914. “The Hautapu Camp.” Waikato Argus, Volume XXXV, Issue 5575, 4 April 1914. Headquarters New Zealand and Australian Division. “New Zealand Division – Administration – War Diary, 1 May – 26 May 1916.” Archives New Zealand Item No R23487546 (1916). “Henderson, Joseph Roland.” Personal File, Archives New Zealand, 1914. “Herbert, Alfred Henry “. Personal File, Archives New Zealand, 1914. “Hutton, Frank Percy.” Personal File, Archives New Zealand, 1914. “King, Thomas Joseph.” Personal File, Archives New Zealand, 1914. “Levien, Norman Joseph “. Personal File, Archives New Zealand, 1914. “Little, Edward Cullen “. Personal File, Archives New Zealand, 1914. “Lofts, Horace Frederick “. Personal File, Archives New Zealand, 1914. “Macrae, Kenneth Bruce “. Personal File, Archives New Zealand, 1914. “New Zealand Army Ordnance Department and New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps Regulations.” New Zealand Gazette No 95, June 7 1917, 2292. “New Zealand Expeditionary Force – Army Ordnance Corps Daily Order No. 1 “. Archives New Zealand Item No R25958433 (1916). “O’brien, John Goutenoire “. Personal File, Archives New Zealand, 1914. “Oldbury, Charles Alfred.” Personal File, Archives New Zealand, 1914. Ordnance Manual (War). War Office. London: His Majesties Printing Office, 1914. “Pilkington, Herbert Edward “. Personal File, Archives New Zealand, 1914. “Puldron, Elliot “. Personal File, Archives New Zealand, 1914. “Returned Soldiers.” Evening Post, Volume CIII, Issue 136, 12 June 1922. “Road to Promotion.” Evening Post, Volume XCI, Issue 29, 4 February 1916. “Seay, Clarence Adrian “. Personal File, Archives New Zealand, 1914. “Simmons, William Henchcliffe “. Personal File, Archives New Zealand, 1914. “Territorials.” Evening Star, Issue 15018, 29 October 1912. “Troopships; Embarkation Orders; Daily Field States; and a Large Chart of ‘New Zealand Expeditionary Forces – Personnel’ as at 1 June 1915).” Item ID R23486740, Archives New Zealand, 1914. “Trophies and Historical Material – [War] Trophies – New Zealand Expeditionary Force [NZEF] – Shipment of to New Zealand, 21 September 1917 – 24 November 1919.” Archives New Zealand Item No R25103019 (1919).
Australian Army. “Logistics.” Land Warfare Doctrine 4.0 (2018). Bolton, Major J.S. A History of the Royal New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps. Trentham: RNZAOC, 1992. Cooke, Peter D. F. Won by the Spade: How the Royal New Zealand Engineers Built a Nation. Exisle Publishing Ltd, 2019. Bibliographies, Non-fiction. Drew, H. T. B. The War Effort of New Zealand: A Popular (a) History of Minor Campaigns in Which New Zealanders Took Part, (B) Services Not Fully Dealt within the Campaign Volumes, (C) the Work at the Bases. Official History of New Zealand’s Effort in the Great War: V.4. Whitcombe & Tombs, 1923. Non-fiction. Forbes, Arthur. A History of the Army Ordnance Services. London: The Medici society, ltd., 1929. Harper, Glyn. Johnny Enzed: The New Zealand Soldier in the First World War 1914-1918. First World War Centenary History. Exisle Publishing Limited, 2015. Non-fiction. McGibbon, I. C. New Zealand’s Western Front Campaign. Bateman, 2016. Non-fiction. McDonald, Wayne. Honours and Awards to the New Zealand Expeditionary Force in the Great War 1914-1918. 3rd edition ed.: Richard Stowers, 2013. Directories, Non-fiction. Pugsley, Christopher. Gallipoli: The New Zealand Story. Auckland [N.Z.] : Sceptre, 1990, 1990. Soutar, M. Whitiki! Whiti! Whiti! E!: Māori in the First World War. Bateman Books, 2019. Tilbrook, John D. To the Warrior His Arms: A History of the Ordnance Services in the Australian Army Royal Australian Army Ordnance Corps Committee, 1989. Williams, P.H. Ordnance: Equipping the British Army for the Great War. History Press, 2018.
 Arthur Forbes, A History of the Army Ordnance Services (London: The Medici society, ltd., 1929), 229.  Major J.S Bolton, A History of the Royal New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps (Trentham: RNZAOC, 1992), 52-53.  Under the Director of Equipment and Stores, a fortnight course of instruction on ordnance duties was conducted at Alexandra Barracks in January 1913 to train selected Officers in Ordnance Duties. During the Brigade and Divisional camps of 1913 and 1914, each Brigade Ordnance Officer was allocated a staff of 2 clerks and 4 issuers, who had also undertaken training on Ordnance duties. , “Territorials,” Evening Star, Issue 15018, 29 October 1912.; “H-19 Report on the Defence Forces of New Zealand for the Period 28 June 1912 to 20 June 1913,” Appendix to the Journal of the House of Representives (1913).  “Troopships; Embarkation Orders; Daily Field States; and a Large Chart of ‘New Zealand Expeditionary Forces – Personnel’ as at 1 June 1915),” Item ID R23486740, Archives New Zealand 1914.  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 he was well prepared for the role of DADOS “Beck, William Thomas,” Personal File, Archives New Zealand 1914.; “The Hautapu Camp,” Waikato Argus, Volume XXXV, Issue 5575, 4 April 1914.  “Levien, Norman Joseph “, Personal File, Archives New Zealand 1914.  “Beck, William Thomas.” Ordnance Manual (War), War Office (London: His Majesties Printing Office, 1914).  “Appendices to War Diaries, I – Lxii,” Item ID R23486739, Archives New Zealand 1914. Divisional Order 210 of 28 December transferred the following soldiers to the Ordnance Depot;
• Private Walter John Geard, Geard remained with Ordnance for the duration of the war • Private Arthur Gilmore, Gilmour remained with Ordnance for the duration of the war| • Private Gavin Hamilton, Worked At Alexandra Depot until returned to New Zealand in October 1915 • Private Lewis Crozier, Promoted to Sergeant 18 Feb 16, returned to NZ August 1917 • Private Horace Frederick Lofts, Transferred to NZASC October 1917 • Private Joseph Roland Henderson, Transferred to NZASC 25 February 1916
“Geard, Walter John,” Personal File, Archives New Zealand 1914; “Hamilton, Gavin “, Personal File, Archives New Zealand 1914; “Crozier, Lewis “, Personal File, Archives New Zealand 1914; “Lofts, Horace Frederick “, Personal File, Archives New Zealand 1914; “Henderson, Joseph Roland,” Personal File, Archives New Zealand 1914; “Gilmore, Arthur “, Personal File, Archives New Zealand 1914. “Levien, Norman Joseph “. Thomas Joseph King was a qualified accountant and was to be the Corps Director in the interwar period and served in the 2nd NZEF as ADOS, “King, Thomas Joseph,” Personal File, Archives New Zealand 1914.: “Grants of Temporary Rank, Appointments and Promotions of Officers of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force,” New Zealand Gazette 8 July 1915.  Forbes, A History of the Army Ordnance Services, 221-23. “Levien, Norman Joseph “; John D Tilbrook, To the Warrior His Arms: A History of the Ordnance Services in the Australian Army (Royal Australian Army Ordnance Corps Committee, 1989), 43.  Christopher Pugsley, Gallipoli: The New Zealand Story (Auckland [N.Z.]: Sceptre, 1990, 1990), 111.  Australian Army, “Logistics,” Land Warfare Doctrine 4.0 (2018): 7.  Lt Col Austin was a British Army Ordnance Department officer on secondment to the Australian Army as DOS before the war and served with the AIF on Gallipoli as the DADOS 1st Australian Division and later ADOS of the ANZAC Corps. Tilbrook, To the Warrior His Arms: A History of the Ordnance Services in the Australian Army 45.  Forbes, A History of the Army Ordnance Services, 229-30.  “Puldron, Elliot “, Personal File, Archives New Zealand 1914.  “Brave New Zealanders,” The Hawera and Normanby Star, Volume LXXI, Issue LXXI, 24 June 1916.  I. C. McGibbon, New Zealand’s Western Front Campaign (Bateman, 2016), Non-fiction, 30-31.  “Road to Promotion,” Evening Post, Volume XCI, Issue 29, 4 February 1916.; Forbes, A History of the Army Ordnance Services, 151. The NZAOC Establishment was published in the NZEF Orders of 18 Feb 1916. “New Zealand Expeditionary Force – Army Ordnance Corps Daily Order No. 1 “, Archives New Zealand Item No R25958433 (1916).  Tilbrook, To the Warrior His Arms: A History of the Ordnance Services in the Australian Army 55.  “Herbert, Alfred Henry “, Personal File, Archives New Zealand 1914.  M. Soutar, Whitiki! Whiti! Whiti! E!: Māori in the First World War (Bateman Books, 2019), 185.  The officers and men transferred into the NZAOC in the period January/March 1916 included;
• Private Frank Percy Hutton • Sergeant Kenneth Bruce MacRae • 2nd Lieutenant Alfred James Bond • Company Sergeant Major William Henchcliffe Simmons • Company Sergeant Major William Hall Densby Coltman • Temp Sergeant Edward Cullen Little • Corporal John Goutenoire O’Brien • Corporal John Joseph Roberts • Private Clarence Adrian Seay • Sergeant Charles Ingram Gossage • Armourer Charles Alfred Oldbury
“Gossage, Charles Ingram,” Personal File, Archives New Zealand 1914; “Oldbury, Charles Alfred,” Personal File, Archives New Zealand 1914; “Seay, Clarence Adrian “, Personal File, Archives New Zealand 1914; “O’Brien, John Goutenoire “, Personal File, Archives New Zealand 1914; “Little, Edward Cullen “, Personal File, Archives New Zealand 1914; “Coltman, William Hall Densby “, Personal File, Archives New Zealand 1914; “Simmons, William Henchcliffe “, Personal File, Archives New Zealand 1914; “Bond, Alfred James,” Personal File, Archives New Zealand 1914; “Macrae, Kenneth Bruce “, Personal File, Archives New Zealand 1914; “Hutton, Frank Percy,” Personal File, Archives New Zealand 1914.
 The New Zealand Army Ordnance Department and Corps were established as a permanent unit of the New Zealand Military Forces from 1 Feb 1917 “New Zealand Army Ordnance Department and New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps Regulations,” New Zealand Gazette No 95, June 7 1917.  “Levien, Norman Joseph “; “New Zealand Expeditionary Force – Army Ordnance Corps Daily Order No. 1 “.  “Returned Soldiers,” Evening Post, Volume CIII, Issue 136, 12 June 1922.  Military Board of Allied Supply Allied and Associated Powers, Report of the Military Board of Allied Supply (Washington: Govt. Print. Off., 1924).  Peter D. F. Cooke, Won by the Spade: How the Royal New Zealand Engineers Built a Nation (Exisle Publishing Ltd, 2019), Bibliographies, Non-fiction, 199.  P.H. Williams, Ordnance: Equipping the British Army for the Great War (History Press, 2018).  Headquarters New Zealand and Australian Division, “New Zealand Division – Administration – War Diary, 1 May – 26 May 1916,” Archives New Zealand Item No R23487546 (1916).  Items Salved by the NZ Div Salvage Company in April 1918 included:
• One Bristol Airplane, • One Triumph Norton Motorcycle, • Three Douglas Motorcycles, • The following enemy stores; • 285 Rifles, • 10 Bayonets and scabbards, • 25 Steel Helmets, • Four Pistol Signal, • Three Mountings MG, • 62 Belts MG, • 32 Belt boxes MG, • 95 Gas respirators
“Deputy Assistant Director of Ordnance Services (Dados) – War Diary, 1 April – 30 April 1918,” Archives New Zealand Item No R23487665 (1918).
 “2nd Australia & New Zealand Army Corps [2anzac], Assistant Director of Ordnance Services (Ados) – War Diary, 1 December – 31 December 1916,” Archives New Zealand Item No R23487340 (1916).  Ideally, baths were established for each Brigade and one for the remainder of the Division; these baths were supported by a central Laundry “An Account of the Working of the Baths Established in the Divisional Areas in France,” Archives New Zealand Item No R24428508 (1918).  Glyn Harper, Johnny Enzed: The New Zealand Soldier in the First World War 1914-1918, First World War Centenary History (Exisle Publishing Limited, 2015), Non-fiction, 351-54.  “Herbert, Alfred Henry “.  “Pilkington, Herbert Edward “, Personal File, Archives New Zealand 1914.  H. T. B. Drew, The War Effort of New Zealand: A Popular (a) History of Minor Campaigns in Which New Zealanders Took Part, (B) Services Not Fully Dealt with in the Campaign Volumes, (C) the Work at the Bases, Official History of New Zealand’s Effort in the Great War: V.4 (Whitcombe & Tombs, 1923), Non-fiction, 248.  “Levien, Norman Joseph “. Equipment and Ordnance Depot, Farringdon Road, London – Administration Reports Etc., 18 October 1916 – 8 August 1918 Item Id R25102951, Archives New Zealand (1918).  Ibid.  “H-19 Defence Forces of New Zealand, Annual Report of the General Officer Commanding the Forces from 1 July 1922 to 30 June 1923,” Appendix to the Journals of the House of Representatives (1923).  Wayne McDonald, Honours and Awards to the New Zealand Expeditionary Force in the Great War 1914-1918, 3rd edition ed. (Richard Stowers, 2013), Directories, Non-fiction, 146.  McGibbon, New Zealand’s Western Front Campaign, 355.  “Gossage, Charles Ingram.”  “Trophies and Historical Material – [War] Trophies – New Zealand Expeditionary Force [Nzef] – Shipment of to New Zealand, 21 September 1917 – 24 November 1919,” Archives New Zealand Item No R25103019 (1919).  “O’brien, John Goutenoire “.  Simmons had served on the Samoa Advance party in 1914 and demobilised in October 1920, possibly one of the longest-serving members of the NZEF. “Simmons, William Henchcliffe “.
In the period between the world wars, Britain analysed the lessons of the Great War and, looking forward, realised that the next war was not to be one of attrition-based warfare but a war of speed, mobility and surprise utilising modern technologies such as armoured vehicles, motorised transport and communications. By 1939 the British Army had transformed from the horse-drawn army of the previous war into a modern motorised force fielding more vehicles than their potential opponents, the Germans. Britain’s modernisation was comprehensive with new weapons and equipment and robust and up-to-date doctrine, providing the foundation for the employment of the army. The modernisation of the British Army included Logistical services, with both the Army Service Corps and the Army Ordnance Corps on the path to becoming doctrinally prepared, equipped and organised for the upcoming conflict. New Zealand took Britain’s lead and, from the mid-1930s, began reorganising and reequipping New Zealand’s Military in tune with emerging British doctrine. New Zealand’s entry into the war in September 1939 initiated a massive transformation of New Zealand’s Ordnance Services with new units raised and personnel recruited to support New Zealand’s forces at home and overseas. In addition to Ordnance Deports and Workshops, the most numerous Ordnance unit was the Light Aid Detachments (LAD). Providing first-line repair to formations and Units, LADs provided the backbone of New Zealand repair and maintenance services keeping the critical material of war operational in often extreme conditions. This article provides background on the role and function of the LAD in overseas and home defence roles between 1939 and 1945.
Throughout the interwar years, the British Military establishment analysed the lessons of the previous war and interpreted contemporary developments. Updating doctrine throughout the 1930s, the British Military progressively transformed into a mechanised force armed with some of the era’s most advanced weapons and equipment. The tactical bible of British Commonwealth armies, the Field Service Regulations (FSR), was updated with at least four editions issued, proving that the British Army was willing to learn from the mistakes learned in the previous war. Concurrent to the tactical doctrine of the FSR Anticipating, the Royal Army Ordnance Corps (RAOC) spent the 1930s creating the infrastructure and doctrine to support the mechanisation of the British Army by creating essential relationships with the British motor industry that smoothed the path to mobilisation. In addition to the doctrine published in the FSRs, the wartime doctrine for the operation of British and Commonwealth Ordnance Services was detailed in the Ordnance Manual (War) 1939.
Authorised for use from 13 September 1939, the Ordnance Manual (War) 1939 was intended to “Guide all concerned and particularly to assist, at the beginning of a campaign, those who have no previous war experience of the duties that they are called upon to undertake.” The Ordnance Manual (War) 1939 detailed all the responsibilities that were expected of the British and Commonwealth Ordnance Services, with the repair and maintenance responsibilities as follows;
8. The organisation for carrying out, in the field, repairs (including replacement of component and complete assemblies) to units’ equipment (other than ammunition) consists of:- (a) Light aid detachments, which are attached to certain units and formations to advise and assist them with their
“first line” repair and recovery duties. (b) Mobile workshop units, equipped with machinery, breakdown and store lorries, which are allotted to certain
formations for carrying out “second line” repairs and recovery. (c) Stationary base ordnance workshops, which are established on a semi-permanent basis at, or adjacent to, the
base ordnance depot or depots. (d) Ordnance field parks from which replacement of components and complete assemblies can be effected. These
ordnance field parks also hold a proportion of replacement vehicles.
The Ordnance Manual (War) 1939 then details the role of the Light Aid Detachment:
2. In order to assist units with their first line repair and recovery work, and to provide- expert diagnosis and technical experience, light aid detachments are permanently attached to certain formations and units, for example: • Artillery regiments. • Cavalry regiments and Tank battalions, Royal Armoured Corps. • Infantry brigades. • Machine-gun battalions. • Tank battalions. • Royal Engineer field parks. • Divisional Signals. The LADs. attached to RE field parks and to divisional signals (whose establishments of vehicles are comparatively small) are required to look after other small mechanised units not provided with LADs.
3. The personnel of a LAD consists of an Ordnance Mechanical Officer (OME), an armament artificer (fitter), an electrician, and a few fitters, and the necessary storemen, driver mechanics, drivers, etc., for their vehicles. Its transport usually consists of two lorries (one store and one breakdown), a car and a motorcycle.
4. Its functions are: – (a) To advise units how best to keep their equipment and vehicles in a state of mechanical efficiency; to help them to
detect the causes of any failures or breakdowns, and to assist them in carrying out first line repairs up to their full
capacity. (b) To assist units with first-line recovery of breakdowns. (c) To maintain a close liaison between the unit and formation workshop.
During rest periods LADs may be able to carry out more extensive repairs. If the time is available, the necessary parts and material can be brought up from the ordnance field park to enable them to carry out jobs which would normally be beyond their capacity when on the move.
In such circumstances, repair detachments of recovery sections may be brought up to assist them).
5. LADs do not form part of the workshops in any sense. They are definitely an integral part of “B” echelon of the unit to which they are attached, and the OME. is directly under the orders of OC unit, in the same way as the regimental medical officer. The OC unit is the accounting officer for the vehicles and stores of the LAD. When an LAD serves more than one unit, as in the case of an infantry brigade, the OME. is the accounting officer for all purposes.
The New Zealand LADs
When New Zealand committed forces to the war effort in 1939, the New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps, despite having the doctrinal foundations provided by the Ordnance Manual (War), did not have the Regular or Territorial Force personnel available to provide LADs immediately. Therefore, like the United Kingdom, New Zealand relied on its civilian motor industry to provide the bulk of the tradesmen for the LADs. However, despite the challenges in forming a specialised unit from scratch, the New Zealand Army raised fifty-six LADs in three distinct tranches between 1940 and 1943, consisting of
2nd New Zealand Expeditionary Force – Eighteen LADs
2nd New Zealand Expeditionary Force in the Pacific – Seven LADs
Home Defence – Thirty-One LADs.
Created as part of the newly constituted 2NZEF in 1939, the 2NZEF NZOC was described in the Evening Post newspaper as consisting of “11 Light Aid Detachments of the New Zealand Ordnance Corps. These are numbered 9 to 19, and their part is to render assistance and effect repairs to mechanic transport and the anti-tank units”.
The was initially some confusion between the use of the designation NZAOC and NZOC in the context of the NZEF. This was clarified in NZEF Order 221 of March 1941, which set NZOC as the title of Ordnance in the NZEF.
1942 saw the separation of maintenance and repair functions from the Royal Army Ordnance Corps (RAOC) with the formation of the Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (EME) in the Brutish Army. The New Zealand Division followed suit and formed the New Zealand Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (NZEME) on 1 December 1942, separating the repair, maintenance and ordnance stores functions of the NZOC.
The New Zealand Tank Brigade was an NZEF unit formed at Waiouru in October 1941 to be deployed to the Middle East after Training in New Zealand for six months. The entry of Japan into the war in December 1941 necessitated the rerolling of the NZ Tank Brigade into a home defence role. After reorganisations, the Brigade was ordered to be redeployed in April 1942, with its Headquarters and Battalions dispersed to the South Island, Northland, Manawatu and Pukekohe.
November 1942 saw further changes which saw the gradual disestablishment of the NZ Tank Brigade.
No 1 Tank Battalion and 32 LAD remained in the home defence roll in the Auckland/Northland area.
No 2 Tank Battalion, the Army Tank Ordnance Workshop and Ordnance Field Park were dissolved and became part of the 3 NZ Division Independent Tank Battalion Group for service in the Pacific.
No 3 Tank Battalion and 33 LAD were deployed to the Middle East for service with the 2nd NZ Division, where it was dissolved, forming the nucleus of the 4th NZ Armoured brigade and 38, 39 and 40 LADs.
34 LAD was stationed with the Independent Tank Squadron at Harewood in the South Island.
By June 1943, the final units of the 1st NZ Army Tank Brigade, including 32 LAD and 34 LAD, were disbanded.
NZOC units also were formed for service with the NZEF in the Pacific (NZEFIP). Initially, 20 LAD was formed to support the 8 Infantry Brigade Group in Fiji in November 1940. 14 Infantry Brigade Group reinforced the force in Fiji with 36 and 37 LAD formed to provide additional support. With the redeployment of the New Zealand Brigade from Fiji in late 1942, 36 LAD remained as the LAD for the new Fiji Brigade that was about to be formed. In March 1943, eight members of 36 LAD deployed with the Fijian Brigade to Bougainville. On 1 May 1944, 36 LAD was renamed the Recovery Section, Brigade Mobile Workshops, Fiji Military Forces.
The bulk of the NZEFIP was reorganised as the 3rd New Zealand Division, with the NZOC commitment expanding into 23 units and detachments, including six LADs serving in operations in New Caledonia, The Solomon Islands and Tonga. The formation of the Electrical and Mechanical Engineers in 1942 was not followed through in New Zealand and the Pacific, with repair and Maintenance functions remaining part of the Ordnance Corps for the duration of the war.
On concluding successful campaigns in the Solomon Islands in 1944, 3 NZ Division and its equipment were returned to New Zealand and formally disbanded on 20 October 1944. On return to New Zealand, many NZOC members were graded unfit due to the rigours of the tropical campaign and returned to their civilian occupations. Those fit enough were redeployed as reinforcements to 2NZEF in Italy, with the LAD men joining NZEME units.
With the NZAOC and the New Zealand Permanent Army Service Corps (NZPASC) existing as part of the Permanent Army, only the NZPASC had a Territorial Army component, known as the New Zealand Army Service Corps (NZASC). From the 1930s, workshop sections had been included on the establishments of ASC unit for activation on mobilisation. With the onset of war in 1939 and the mobilisation of the Territorial Army in 1940, the Quartermaster General, Col H.E Avery, made the decision that LADs were an Ordnance responsibility, and the NZOC was established as the Ordnance Component of Territorial Army in December 1940.
By late 1943 the mobilisation of the Territorial Forces had ceased to be necessary, and most units had been stood down and placed on care and maintenance status with a small RF Cadre. By 1 April 1944, all wartime home defence units had been disbanded. Although not part of the pre-war Territorial Army, the NZOC remained on establishments. In 1946 a Reorganisation of New Zealand Military Forces removed the distinction between Regular and non-Regular soldiers, and the NZOC ceased to be a separate Corps with the supply functions amalgamated into the NZAOC and the Workshops functions, including the LADs (21, 23, 25, 28, 30 and 53) amalgamated into the NZEME.
 This compared with the two editions of German and French doctrine produced during the same period. 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.
 P.H. Williams, War on Wheels: The Mechanisation of the British Army in the Second World War (History Press Limited, 2016).
Ordnance Manual (War), ed. The War Office (London: His Majestys Stationery Office, 1939), 9.
 Robert A. Howlett, The History of the Fiji Military Forces, 1939-1945 (Published by the Crown Agents for the Colonies on behalf of the Government of Fiji, 1948), Non-fiction, Government documents, 257-8.
 Oliver A. Gillespie, The Tanks : An Unofficial History of the Activities of the Third New Zealand Division Tank Squadron in the Pacific (A.H. and A.W. Reed for the Third Division Histories Committee, 1947), Non-fiction, 137-227.
 Peter Cooke, Warrior Craftsmen, Rnzeme 1942-1996 (Wellington: Defense of New Zealand Study Group, 2017), 55.
 “H-19 Military Forces of New Zealand Annual Report of the General Officer Commanding, for Period 1 June 1949 to 31 March 1950 “, Appendix to the Journals of the House of Representatives (1950).;”Reorganisation of the Territorial Force,” New Zealand Gazette No 55, 21 October 1948.
 “Formation of New Units, Changes in Designation, and Reorganization of Units of the Territorial Force. ,” New Zealand Gazette, No 127, 19 December 1940, 3738-39.
To sustain and maintain the New Zealand Division on the Western Front during the First World War, New Zealand established a network of training camps, hospitals and other administrative facilities in the United Kingdom. At Sling Camp in the centre of Salisbury Plain, the New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps (NZAOC) established an Ordnance Depot to provide Ordnance Support to all the Units of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force (NZEF) located in the Southern Command area of the United Kingdom. Comprised of a small number of NZAOC soldiers, the Sling Ordnance Depot performed all its duties from its inception in 1916 until final demobilisation in 1920.
Officially called the 4th New Zealand Infantry Brigade Reserve Camp, Sling Camp is the most well-known of the NZEF training camps in England. Throughout the war, Sling Camp housed up to 5000 men undergoing training and recuperation at any one time. To provide ordnance support to Sling Camp, the NZEF Chief Ordnance Officer, Captain Norman Joseph Levien, established the Sling Ordnance Depot during the period May-July 1916 The Sling Ordnance Depot was not only responsible for NZEF units in Sling Camp but also for all the NZEF units located in the Southern Command Area, including;
the New Zealand Command Depot and No 3 General Hospital at Codford,
the Artillery and Medical Corps at Ewshot;
the Signals at Stevenage;
the Engineers, Tunnellers and Māori’s at Christchurch,
The Sling Depot was under the command of the Ordnance Officer NZEF in Southern Command, aided by a small staff of NZAOC Non-Commissioned Officers (NCOs). Additional manpower to assist in the handling and management of stores was provided by supported units, with up to eighty other men attached to the depot during periods of high activity. Eighteen miles from Sling and with over three thousand men based at Codford, an auxiliary ordnance depot was also established there under the control of an NCO.
Second Lieutenant A.J Bond
Second Lieutenant Alfred James Bond was appointed as the first Ordnance Officer at Sling in July 1916. Bond had been attached to the NZ Ordnance Depot at Alexandra from 30 April 1915 and was promoted to Second Lieutenant on19 January 1916, followed by his transfer into the NZAOC on 2 March 1916. Moving with the NZ Division to France, Bond was eventually transferred to the HQ of the NZEF in June 1916 and appointed as the Ordnance Officer for NZEF Units in the Southern Command in July 1916. Bond remained at Sling until June 1917, when he was seconded for duty with No 5 Light Railway Section in France. Bond had been under scrutiny since March 1917 when a court of inquiry had found fault with his leadership, which had led to the death of NZAOC Armourer Sergeant John William Allday as the result of a self-inflicted gunshot wound on 9 January 1917.
Bond was replaced as Ordnance Officer by Second Lieutenant William Henchcliffe Simmons. Simmons had initially served in the Samoa Expeditionary Force after which he saw service at Gallipoli before transferring to the NZAOC. At the time of Bonds secondment to the Light Railway Section, Simmons was serving as a Conductor in the NZ Division in France. Promoted to Second Lieutenant, Simmons served as the Ordnance Officer at Sling until August 1917, when Bond returned from his secondment.
Captain H.H Whyte
Bond remained as Sling Ordnance Officer until January 1918, when Captain Herbert Henry Whyte, MC arrived for temporary duty as the Sling Ordnance Officer. Whyte was an NZ Artillery officer who along with NZAOC Officer Lieutenant Charles Ingram Gossage had completed a course of instruction in Ordnance duties at the Woolwich Arsenal. Whyte alternated between the Sling depot and Headquarters in London until 8 May 1918, when he took up the full-time appointment of Sling Ordnance Officer. Whyte remained as the Ordnance Officer of the Sling Depot until January 1920 when he was appointed as the acting NZEF Assistant Director of Ordnance Services.
All units in the NZEF Southern Command raised indents on the Sling Depot, which after checking by the Ordnance Officer, were satisfied from existing stock or sourced from the appropriate supply source for direct delivery to units. The primary source of supply for general ordnance stores was the British Ordnance Depot at Tidworth, which was conveniently located only five miles from Sling. Occasionally stores were drawn from the British Ordnance Depots at Hilsea and Warminster. The relationship with the Tidworth Depot was close, with an NZAOC SNCO seconded there to manage the New Zealand indents. Clothing and Textiles were drawn from the New Zealand Ordnance Depot at Farringdon Road in London, or directly for the Royal Army Clothing Department (RACD) Southampton Depot.
In addition to the provision of general ordnance stores, clothing and textiles, the Sling Ordnance Dept also managed an Armourers Group and a Salvage Depot. The Armourers Group was equipped with all the tools and accessories necessary for the repair of small arms, machine guns, bicycles, primus stoves, steel helmets and other like items 
The Salvage Depot had developed during 1917as a measure to recycle unserviceable stores to minimise waste and ensure financial savings. All UK NZEF units returned their part-worn and unserviceable clothing and textile items to the Salvage Depot for sorting and further action.
All Serviceable and repairable Service Dress Clothing was sent to the Farringdon Road Depot in London for cleaning, repair, and holding for further issues. Serviceable garments such as socks and underwear were sent to the Steam Laundry Company at Salisbury, where, after cleaning were returned to the Sling Depot and held as stock. Unserviceable textile stores, such as web gear, were forwarded to the Imperial Salvage Depot at Dewsbury.
The Salvage Depot graded Boots as either repairable or unserviceable. Repairable boots were sent to either the Farringdon Road Depot or the Southern Command Boot Repair Depot at Southampton for repair and reintegration back into stock. Unserviceable boots were sold by auction in Southampton.
Unserviceable general stores that were not repairable on-site were placed onto a Board of Survey, of which the Ordnance Officer was a member, classed as unserviceable and returned to the British ordnance Depot from where they were initially sourced, either Tidworth, Hilsea or Warminster.
In addition to the processing of clothing, textiles and general stores, the Salvage Dept also collected wastepaper and tin cans for recycling.
On the signing of the armistice, Sling switched from training camp to a demobilisation centre for all “A Class” men, and the role of the Ordnance Depot became one closing units and disposing of equipment, while also equipping men returning to New Zealand. The demobilised plan called for little equipment used by the NZEF during the war to be backloaded to New Zealand. The exception was rifles and web equipment. Ordnance inspected, overhauled and reconditioned the Rifles with the best twenty thousand returned to New Zealand as transports became available. Web Equipment was cleaned, reconditioned and returned to New Zealand as space became available. The NZAOC Staff in NZEF Headquarters in London oversaw the purchase of enough equipment to equip two Infantry Divisions and One Mounted Rifle Brigade. Again, as transport became available, this was dispatched to New Zealand. The plan was for key NZAOC men to accompany each consignment to assist with its receipt in New Zealand. In addition to closing units and disposing of equipment, the primary role of the NZAOC was to issue men returning to New Zealand with New Uniforms.
The demobilisation process required holding a larger stock of clothing. On 23 November 1918, the existing Sling Ordnance Depot was closed and relocated to larger premises a short distance away in the middle area of Bulford Camp. The NZ Ordnance Depot at Bulford became the central reception depot for all Ordnance and Salvage for NZEF units in the UK. The Salvage Depot became the busiest and most important branch of the Bulford Depot, with up to eighty additional men added to its staff. In the six months leading up to June 1919, the Bulford disposal depot enabled credits of £38000 (2019 NZD$ 4,12,9535.50) to be made on behalf of the NZEF.
Ceasing activities with the departure of the last New Zealand soldiers repatriated to New Zealand. The Sling Ordnance Depot ceased operations after three years of service. Its final administrative functions were taken over by the NZAOC Headquarters in London, which from February 1920 were under the command of Captain William Simmons, who remained as the Officer in Charge of NZ Ordnance in England until October 1920.
No nominal roll of NZAOC soldiers who served in the Sling Depot has survived, but the following men are now known to have served at the depot.
23/1318 Armourer Sergeant John William Allday
12/689 Lieutenant Alfred James Bond
2/3001 Sergeant Herbert William Grimes
10/1251 Staff Sergeant Henry Richard Harnett
10/921 Sergeant Leslie Vincent Kay
23/659 Temporary Capitan William Henchcliffe Simmons
2/284 Captain Herbert Henry Whyte
6/572 Sergeant Henry Wilkinson
 H. T. B. Drew, The War Effort of New Zealand: A Popular (a) History of Minor Campaigns in Which New Zealanders Took Part, (B) Services Not Fully Dealt within the Campaign Volumes, (C) the Work at the Bases, Official History of New Zealand’s Effort in the Great War: V.4 (Whitcombe & Tombs, 1923), Non-fiction, 249-53.
 “Levien, Norman Joseph “, Personal File, Archives New Zealand 1914.
 “New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps – War Diary, Summary, 23 November 1918 – 9 June 1919 “, Archives New Zealand Item No R23856659 (1919).
 “Bond, Alfred James,” Personal File, Archives New Zealand 1914.
 “Allday, John William “, Personal File, Archives New Zealand 1914.
 “Simmons, William Henchcliffe “, Personal File, Archives New Zealand 1914.
 Gossage went on to be the NZ Division DADOS “Gossage, Charles Ingram,” Personal File, Archives New Zealand 1914.
 “Whyte, Herbert Henry,” Personal File, Archives New Zealand 1914.
 “Harnett, Henry Richard,” Personal File, Archives New Zealand 1914.
 “New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps – War Diary, Summary, 29 July 1918 “, Archives New Zealand Item No R23856657 (1918).
 P.H. Williams, Ordnance: Equipping the British Army for the Great War (History Press, 2018).
 “New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps – War Diary, Summary, 23 November 1918 – 9 June 1919 “.
 The Ordnance Depot occupied buildings that had formally been used by the NZEF Base Kit Stores which had vacated the premises a few weeks previously. Ibid…
During the Second World War, the New Zealand Ordnance Corps (NZOC) provided a variety of Ordnance Services to the 2nd New Zealand Expeditionary Force (2NZEF). The most well know of the Ordnance Service proved are those of the Base Ordnance Depot, Advanced Ordnance Depot, Ordnance Field Park, Laundry and Bath Units, and up to the end of 1942, the Base and Field Workshops and Light Aid Detachments which separated from the NZOC to form the New Zealand Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (NZEME). However, there remains one Ordnance unit which, although appearing on the 2nd NZEF Order of Battle, only rates a very obscure mention in only one of nine official campaign histories published after the war and has mostly been forgotten; this is the NZ Divisional Salvage Unit.
World War One Origins
New Zealand’s first experience of Salvage units was during the 1914-18 war. Each British formation (including Dominion forces) was required as part of an army salvage plan to appoint a Salvage Officer for each brigade, and a Division Salvage Company, which in turn was supported by a Corps Salvage Company. Formed on 5 May 1916, the NZ Divisional Salvage Company was under the command of Lieutenant Macrae, NZAOC. The duties of the NZ Divisional Salvage Company were:
The care and custody of packs of troops engaged in offensive operations.
The care of tents and canvas of the Division.
The salvage of Government property, and enemy property, wherever found.
The sorting of the stuff salved and dispatch thereof to base.
An indication of the type of work carried out by the NZ Division Salvage Company can be found in the work of the British Army’s 34th Divisional Salvage Company, which was active on the Somme during July 1916. During this period, the 34th Divisional Salvage Company recovered,1
American author Isaac F Marcosson, writing in 1918, described this recycling operation in some detail.2
“At the ‘sharp end,’ there was “Battle Salvage, which deals with the debris of actual fighting and includes all trench materials such as wood and iron, shell-cases, guns, rifles, equipment, clothing, tools and other stores that have been damaged in actual fighting.” There was also “so-called Normal Salvage, which is material such as empty packing cases, [fuel] cans and other articles which never reach the battlefield.”
The Salvage system proved to be a success, with statistical records published of what each unit had recovered, with competition between units not uncommon. To outdo the New Zealand Division, one of the Australian Divisions went to the effort of stealing copper appliances and hardware from a derelict brewery to accrue additional credits.3 Following the success of the Salvage system in the First World War, provision was made on war establishments for Salvage units on a ratio of one Salvage unit per Division and one Salvage unit as Corps troops.
Western Desert 1941
As the New Zealand Division became established in Egypt in early 1941, General Headquarters (GHQ) of the Middle East requested information on 2 April 1941 on the establishment of the New Zealand Divisional Salvage Unit and when its equipment would be ready. With no Salvage Unit yet formed, an establishment for an NZ Salvage Unit, consisting of 1 Officer and 43 Other Ranks, was published on 18 April 1941, with no further action towards the formation of the NZ Divisional Salvage Unit taken until August of 1941.4
The role of Field Salvage Units was to sort salvage. All RASC motor transport units serving divisions and corps were tasked with carrying salvage on the return journey. This included containers which could be reused, small equipment which could be recycled and ammunition that had been unpacked but not used. T
With Australian and South African Salvage units already operating in the Middle East and with Indian and New Zealand units expected to begin operating shortly, GHQ Middle East called a conference to define the relationship of these units with the Salvage Directorate GHQ.
At the conference held on 13 August 1941, it was established that the Dominion Divisions were formed with a war establishment of one Salvage unit per Division and one per Corps troops. No Salvage units were provided at present for British Divisions, or Corps, although they were allowed for in the War Establishment.
The pressing question of the conference was if the Dominion Salvage units were to be part of the Middle East Salvage Organisation or regarded as separate units working under their own headquarters.
The Australians were satisfied with existing arrangements and stated that full cooperation from the AIF could be expected.
The representatives of the 1st and 2nd South African Divisions stated that they were willing to cooperate and that the available Salvage units should be used for the common good but wished that the SA Salvage units remain administered by their Headquarters and the units should accompany their divisions into action.
The Representatives of the 4th and 5th Indian Divisions stated that when formed, they favoured using them as a GHQ asset rather than as Div troops.
New Zealand, represented by its DDOS Colone King, stated that a New Zealand Salvage unit was not yet formed, but could be if requested. As a Divisional unit, it was expected that the unit remained with the Division, with the Salvage Directorate assured of the cooperation of the NZ Division in every conceivable way.
Base Salvage Depots under the control of GHQ received all Salvage irrespective of the unit that it was collected from. GHQ conducted all sales with the proceeds credited to His Majesty’s Government. The War Office was approached to consider the value of salvage collected in the future when setting capitation rates for equipment.
The consensus was that Salvage Units remain with their divisions but that the Salvage Directorate exercise technical control.
Armed with the knowledge that the Salvage unit was to remain with the New Zealand Division, approval for the formation of the NZ Divisional Salvage unit as a unit of the NZEF was granted by Headquarters 2 NZEF on 16 August 1941. The NZ Divisional Salvage unit was to be a unit of the NZOC with the NZEF DDOS in conjunction with the Military Secretary, HQ NZEF and HQ Maddi Camp arranging for a suitable officer and Other Ranks to be posted to the unit and equipment to be assembled.
On 12 September 1941, the New Zealand Division begun to move into Baggush in the Western Desert as it began to assemble for the upcoming Operation Crusader. On 11 November, the New Zealand Division together for the first time joined at an assembly point near the Matruh-Siwa road. On 18 November Operation Crusader began with the New Zealand Division crossing the Libyan frontier into Cyrenaica and after some hard fighting linking up with the garrison at Tobruk on 26 November. It is in Tobruk that the Salvage unit get sits only mention in the New Zealand War history series of books in the volume “The Relief of Tobruk” it stares: 5
“The NZASC companies provided working parties at the ammunition depot, and the docks, Workshops and Ordnance Field Park overhauled vehicles, and the Salvage Unit for the first time found plenty of work to do.”
On 23 December 1941 the NZ Salvage Unit lost a member of the unit when Private Leo Gregory Narbey died as the result of an accident. Private Narby now rests in the Commonwealth War Grave Commission Alamein cemetery.6
Operation Crusader was a success but one that inflicted heavy losses on British and Dominionarmour and Infantry, as the Axis forces withdrew under pressure, large quantities of enemy equipment and war material was abandoned leaving the battlefield to the battered 8th Army. Due to the magnitude of the Salvage work to clear the battlefield, GHQ request that all Divisional Salvage units be placed under 8th Army control as Army troops to allow their coordinated use. This request was agreed to by the GOC 2 NZEF on 1 January 1942 on the condition that the Salvage unit was released back to the NZ Divison if required. As the NZ Salvage unit was at Baggush, its transfer to 8th Army control was immediate.
Libya and Syria 1942
Badly mauled in Operation Crusader and the subsequent operations, the New Zealand Division had suffered 879 dead, and 1700 wounded and was withdrawn from Libya back to Egypt and then at the instance of the New Zealand government moved to Syria during February to recover but also prepare defences for a possible German offensive through Turkey.
As the NZ Divison rebuilt itself in Syria the NZ Divisional Salvage unit remained in Libya under 8th Army command. During March the delay in receiving reinforcements from New Zeland hastened the need to make estimates for replacement drafts, and HQ 2NZEF approached GHQ Middle East with an enquiry on the expected release dates of 2NZEF units including the NZ Salvage Unit who were under direct 8th Army command. The presumption was that the detached units remain under 8th Army control until the operational situation allowed their release.
Remaining detached from the Division, the NZ Salvage units establishment was increased to a strength of 1 Officer and 45 Other Ranks, its transport assets were also increased to include one car and five trucks and given the tactical situation, ammunition allocation per man was increased from 20 rounds of .303 to 50 rounds per man.
With the NZ Divison rushed back into the fight in the Western Desert in June 1942, the NZ Salvage unit remained detached. August 1942 found the NZ Salvage Unit in Syria and under the command of the 9th Army and operating as Army Troops rather than a Divisional unit as initially intended. On 24 August 1942, the ADOS of 2 NZ Div sent a submission to HQ 2NZEF recommending the disbanding of the NZ Salvage unit. The main point of the submission was that the NZ Salvage Unit since its formation had always been employed as Arny troops outside of the Division. Also given the reinforcement situation its personnel could be better employed within the main NZOC Divisional organisation. The GOC 2NZEF approved the proposal in principle but felt that the NZ Salvage Unit might still be usefully employed by the 8th Army in the current theatre. 8th Army rejected the offer, and the decision was made by HQ NZEF to recall the unit from Syria to Maadi Camp while a decision could be made on its future employment or disbandment.
Rolling through to September 1942 the NZ Salvage Unit was still detached to the 9th Army in Syria when on 19 Sept HQ NZEF sent a warning order to Headquarters 9th Army of the intent to recall the NZ Salvage unit to Egypt for disbandment. Final Order instructing the Unit to return to Egypt was issued on 3 October 1942, with the NZ Divisional Salvage Unit formally disbanded as a unit of the NZEF on 20 October 1942.7
After 15 months of service, the NZ Divisional Salvage Unit was disbanded and its men distributed to other NZEF and NZ Divison Ordnance Units. The Salvage units contribution to the war effort in the Middle East alongside the other Dominion Salvage Units provided an essential function, collecting, sorting and dispatching battlefield salvage, captured allied and enemy equipment to Workshops and Salvage Depots for repair, recycling and redistribution fighting units. It is unfortunate that this crucial administrative war work carried out by one of New Zealand forgotten Ordnance units have been forgotten, and it is hoped that future research into this unit will expand on their story.
British Pathe Newsreel providing an example of Salvage work carried out in the Western Desert. Desert Salvage