Major Joseph Seymour Bolton

Today we mark the passing of a major influence on this website,  Major Rtd Joseph Seymour Bolton (1947-2020).

Joe authored the History of the RNZAOC that was published 1992 and it was with his blessing and encouragement that I have continued on this webpage the expansion of his original research to unpack the history of the RNZAOC.

20171124_082624-166274243.jpg

Joe joined the New Zealand Army as a Regular Force Cadet in the Bennett class of 1963. On completion of his RF Cadet Training,  Joe graduated into the RNZAOC on 2 May 1965.

Joe would have a varied and interesting career as an RNZAOC Soldier and Officer, including;

  • Operational service in South Vietnam during 1970

Vietnam 1Vietnam 2

  • Service in the Solomon Island with the first Tranch of RNZAOC ATO’s and AT’s clearing the islands of WW2 munitions.

Solomons

  • Officer Commanding NZAOD, Singapore: 21 May 1982 to 10 May 1984

NZAOD

  • Chief Instructor, RNZAOC School: May 1985 to December 1986
  • Chief Ammunition Technical Officer: 1986 to 1988

In 1988 Joe was awarded the RNZAOC 20-year certificate for service from  2 May 1965 to 2 May 1988.

In Joe’s post-military career, he would continue to maintain an interest in the RNZAOC and manage the RNZAOC mailing list, sending out notifications on the passing of a Corps member or other such important information.

I never worked with Joe while he was serving, but got to know him when he was working a civilian in the CATO Branch. As I was working upstairs in Ops/Plans as the Policy WO,  I would often refer to Joe as the expert on ammunition policy issues. Often a short question on ammunition would turn into a lengthy conversation about RNZAOC History.  Many years later, as I was beginning to foray into RNZAOC research, we would catch up on the Rembermance Days in Palmerston North as the Poppy Places Charitable Trust, a passion of Joe’s in later years,  unveiled their distinctive street signs. It was at these brief meeting we would discuss the progress of my research and the future direction.

RIP Joe
Sua Tele Tonnti

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Major Joe Bolton Officer Commanding NZAOD receiving the Higgins Cup RFL Trophy form the New Zealand Director of Ordnance Services LtCol T.D McBeth.

 


The Gruber Ration Pack

Emperor Haile Selassie in 1935 before the Ethiopian Mobilisation order against Mussolini’s Invading Italian forces.

“Everyone will be mobilised and all boys old enough to carry a spear will be sent to Addis Ababa . Married men will take their wives to carry food and cook. Those without wives will take any woman without a husband.”

The supply of rations is not a traditional Ordnance responsibility, however with the rationalisation of New Zealand Army Logistics in 1979, the RNZAOC assumed responsibility from the RNZASC for the Supply of Rations and Fuel. Part of these responsibility’s was the manufacture of Ration Packs, which was carried out by the Ration Pack Production Section (RPPS) in Trentham. In addition to the ration packs produced by the RPPS, the New Zealand Advanced Ordnance Depot (NZAOD) in Singapore assumed  responsibility in 1979 for the production of the “Gruber Pack” a unique ration pack designed to supplement the standard ration packs in the tropical conditions of South East Asia. Never told before, this article provides the background on the “Gruber Pack”.

It it a necessity for rations to be provided to soldiers on the move or when situated away from their normal home base with the necessary to supply rations on the basis of :

  • the individual,
  • the small group (squad, section, platoon), and
  • the large group (company size or larger).

Dramatic improvements have occurred over the last two hundred years that have seen the improvement of military field rations. led by the the invention of the can and then preservation techniques including drying and freeze-drying to the modern retort pouches that now the staple of modern Military Ration packs.

New Zealand traditionally followed the British lead when it came to military field rations with the British army issue ration biscuit the ‘Huntley & Palmers Army No 4’ and tinned bully beef the staple during the First World War. The Second World War would provide a boost in the technology of military field rations with the United Kingdom developing military field rations for use across the world and the United States in parallel developing 23 different military field rations and ration supplements.

New Zealand would take its first steps in developing a military field ration in 1958 when trials were conducted to develop;

  • 24 hour, four man ration pack for armored units, and
  • a 24 hour, one man for infantry units.

The results of these trial were the development of the following Ration packs

  • One-Man 24 Hour Ration Pack (Canned) – (one man/one day) for use when individual feeding is necessary , e . g . patrols. Suitable for continuous use up to seven days . A combination of tinned and dry items designed for reheating although tinned food can be eaten hot or cold . There were are three different menus related to this ration pack
  • One-Man 24 Hour Ration Pack (Lightweight) – An individual ration (one man/one day) for use when individual feeding is necessary , e . g . patrols. Suitable for continuous use up to seven days . As the items in this pack are dehydrated, it should not be used in areas where water is not available. Designed to provide three meals per ration pack .
  • Ten Man Ration Pack – A composite ration of tinned foods. Designed for reheating in communal feeding in multiples of 10 .
Canned Ration Pack
1986 Individual Contents of the One Man, 24 Hour Ration Pack (Canned)

By 1976 these ration packs had been in service for a number of years with little work carried out in developing them further.  To supplement these rations packs, a habit had evolved where soldiers when deploying into the the field would take additional “Bits and Pieces” such as potatoes, onions, curry etc to supplement the meagre “ration pack”.

During 1976,  Warrant Officer Class Two J.A Gruber, the Catering Warrant Officer, 1 RNZIR in Singapore took note and decided to design a New Zealand supplementary pack based on tropical needs to enhance the 24 Hour Ration Pack used by soldiers living in the field for weeks on end and the “Gruber Pack” was developed.

The origins of the Gruber Pack date back to the Vietnam era where the idea of a supplementary ration pack originated. In those days the United States Army provided a Combat Composite Pack monthly to each company. The Combat Composite Pack contained extra “goodies” such as cigarettes, gum, fruit juice, tins of fruit, etc today termed jack rats.  The supplementary pack that WO2 Gruber designed was intended to supplement the existing 24-hour ration pack and was to be consumed on the ration of one Gruber to five 24-hour packs.

The actual components of the Gruber Pack would vary from time to time, but were a combination tinned and dry items and based on the daily nation allowance for Singapore which in 1986 was SDG $6.11.

Designed to be eaten by an individual over 24 hours, Gruber Packs needed half a litre of water to reconstitute the beverages, and had a nutritional value of 2433Kcals. Given the climate and components used, a Gruber Pack had a shelf life to two years.

Gruber Packs were assembled on an as required basis from locally purchased components by work parties from 1RNZIR, initially under the control of the NZ Supply Platoon, RNZASC until 1979 and then by the NZAOD until 1989.

The components would be carefully packed into plastic bags to keep them dry and safe, with individual packs packed, ten to a fiberboard carton.

Technical Data for the Gruber pack was;

  • Gross weight 10.2 Kg per carton of ten.
  • Individual pack measurement 40.6mm x 21.4mm x 33mm.
  • Volume .028m3 or 1.14 cu ft.

MENU

  • Chicken Curry/Beef curry/Mutton Curry 170gm. Tin: 1
  • Pea/Mixed Vege 184gm Tin: 1
  • Fruit Cocktail 248gm Tin: 1
  • Cornflakes 60gm Pkt: 1
  • Instant Noodles 85gm Pkt: 1
  • Herring in Tomato sauce/Pork in Tin/Luncheon Meat 98gm Tin: 1
  • Tea Bags Bags: 2
  • Instant Coffee Sachet: 3
  • Milo Sachet: 2
  • Raisins 42gm Pkt: 1
  • Chewing Gum Packet: 2
  • Non-Dairy Creamer 3gm Pkt: 6
  • Toilet Paper Sheets: 5
  • Salt Sachet: 2
  • Pepper Sachet: 2
  • Sugar Sachet: 6
  • Fruit Drink Container: 1
  • Tomato Sauce Sachet: 2
  • Chilli Sauce Sachet: 2
  • Matches Packet: 1
  • Kleenex Tissues Packet: 1

The Gruber Pack was unique to the New Zealand Forces in Singapore. Following the withdrawal of New Zealand Forces from Singapore in 1989, the Gruber Pack disappeared from the New Zealand Military ration menu. However, trials to upgrade the in service ration packs had been underway since 1986, and many of the lessons learnt from the Gruber pack were absorbed into the new ration packs that began to be manufactured by the RNZAOC from 1990.

Copyright © Robert McKie 2020


Memories of Service – Ron Cross

Memories of Service

 

Lieutenant Colonel Ron Cross is a military man through and through, A Regular Force Cadet, Artilleryman, Infantryman, a Graduate of the Officer Cadet School, Portsea and RNZAOC Officer, including a stint as Chief instructor of the Ordnance School from November 1972 to August 1974 and Officer Commanding of the NZAOD from April 1976 to May 1978, Ron is a  proud soldier.

In this Memories of Service video produced by the New Zealand Returned Services Associaton.  Ron recounts the experiences that shaped his life. Joining up as a regular Army Cadet, Ron served in both the Malayan conflict and the Vietnam War. From the comedy of preparing for jungle warfare in snow-covered hills around Tekapo to the tension of being fired on at close range on the roads of Vietnam, Ron’s vivid recollections are captivating.

Click on the attached link to view the video:

https://www.nzonscreen.com/title/memories-of-service-ron-cross-2017


The Pātaka of Ngāti Tumatauenga: NZ Ordnance Corps Locations 1840 to 1996

The New Zealand Army evolved out of the British troops deployed during the 19th century New Zealand Wars into a unique iwi known as Ngāti Tumatauenga – ‘Tribe of the God of War’. While Ngāti Tumatauenga has an extensive and well-known Whakapapa,[1] less well known is the whakapapa of the New Zealand Army’s supply and warehousing services.

Leading up to 1996, the Royal New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps (RNZAOC) was the New Zealand Army organisation with the responsibility in peace and war for the provision, storage and distribution of Arms, Ammunition, Rations and Military stores. As the army’s warehousing organisation, the RNZAOC adopted the Pātaka (The New Zealand Māori name for a storehouse) as an integral piece of its traditions and symbology. On 9 December 1996, the warehousing functions of the RNZAOC were assumed by the Royal New Zealand Army Logistic Regiment (RNZALR).

Unpacked on this page and on the attached Web Application “the Pātaka of Ngati Tumatauenga” the evolution of New Zealand’s Army’s Ordnance services is examined. From a single storekeeper in1840, the organisation would grow through the New Zealand Wars, the World Wars and Cold War into an organisation with global reach providing support to New Zealand Forces in New Zealand and across the globe.

Description of Ordnance Units

In general terms, Ordnance units can be described as:

  • Main/Base Depots– A battalion-sized group, commanded by a lieutenant colonel. Usually a significant stock holding unit, responsible for the distribution of stock to other ordnance installations.
  • Central Ordnance Depots/Supply Company– Company-sized units, commanded by a major. Depending on the role of the unit, the following subunits could be included in the organisation:
    • Provision, Control & Accounts
    • Stores sub-depot/platoon
      • Traffic Centre
      • Camp Equipment
      • Technical Stores
      • Expendables
      • Clothing
      • Returned Stores & Disposals
        • Textile Repair
        • Tailors
        • Boot Repair
      • Ammunition Sub-Depot/Platoon
      • Vehicles Sub-Depot/Platoon
      • Services Sub-Depot/Platoon
        • Bath and Shower
        • Laundry
      • Rations Sub-Depot/Platoon (after 1979)
      • Fresh Rations
      • Combat Rations
      • Butchers
      • Petroleum Platoon (after 1979)
      • Vehicle Depots
    • Workshops Stores Sections – In 1962, RNZAOC Stores Sections carrying specialised spares, assemblies and workshops materials to suit the particular requirement of its parent RNZEME workshops were approved and RNZEME Technical Stores personnel employed in these were transferred to the RNZAOC.[2] [3]
    • Workshops. Before 1947, Equipment repair workshops were part of the Ordnance organisation, types of Workshop included:
      • Main Workshop
      • Field/Mobile Workshop
      • Light Aid Detachments

Unit naming conventions

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

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

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

In 1968 a regionally based numbering system was adopted

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

Some exceptions were:

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

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

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

Exceptions were:

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

Unit locations New Zealand, 1907–1996

Alexandra

9 Magazines Operational from 1943, closed1962.

Ardmore

20 Magazines operational from 1943

Auckland

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

RNZAOC units that have been accommodated at Auckland have been:

Stores Depot

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

Vehicle Depot

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

Ammunition Depot

  • Northern Districts Ammunition Depot, Ardmore

Other Units

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

Workshops

Located at the Torpedo Yard, North Head

  • Ordnance Workshop Devonport, 1925-1941
  • No 12 Ordnance Workshop, Devonport, 1941–1946

Workshop Stores Section

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

Belmont

Operational from 1943

  • MOD Trentham, Ammunition Group, Ammunition Section

Burnham

Stores Depot

1921 saw the establishment of a single Command Ordnance Depot to service all military units in the newly organised Southern Military Command. Before this, Ordnance stores had operated from Christchurch and Dunedin. The new Depot (later renamed the Third Central Ordnance Depot) was established in the buildings of the former Industrial School at Burnham. Re-structuring in 1979 brought a change of name to 3 Supply Company.[6] [7] [8]

  • Stores Depot titles 1921–1996
    • Area Ordnance Department Burnham, 1920 to 1939,
    • Southern Districts Ordnance Depot, 1939 to 1942,
    • No 3 Sub Depot, 1942 – 1948,
    • Southern Districts Ordnance Depot, 1948 – 1968,
    • 3 Central Ordnance Depot (3 COD), 1968 to 1979, [9]
    • 3 Supply Company, 1979 to 1993,
    • Burnham Supply Center,1993 to 1994,
    • 3 Field Supply Company, 1994 to 1996.

Vehicle Depot

  • Southern Districts Vehicle Depot, 1948-1961.

Ammunition Depot

  • Southern Districts Vehicle Ammunition 1954-1961.

Other Ordnance Units

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

Ordnance Field Parks

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

Workshops

  • No 14 Ordnance Workshop, until 1946.

Workshop Stores Section

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

Christchurch

Stores Depot

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

Workshop Stores Section

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

Dunedin

Stores Depot

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

Fairlie

Nine magazines Operational 1943.

Featherston

Featherston Camp was New Zealand’s largest training camp during the First World War, where around 60,000 young men trained for overseas service between 1916 – 1918. An Ordnance Detachment was maintained in Featherston until 1927 when it functions were transferred to Northern Districts Ordnance Depot, Ngaruawahia.[10]

Glen Tunnel

16 magazines Operational from 1943

Hamilton

Proof Office, Small Arms Ammunition Factory, 1943-1946

Kelms Road

55 Magazines Operational from 1943 to 1976

Linton Camp

RNZAOC units that have been accommodated at Linton have been;

Stores Depot

  • No 2 Ordnance Depot, 1 October 1946  to 1948,
  • Central Districts Ordnance Depot,  1948 to 1968,
  • 2 Central Ordnance Depot (2 COD), 1968 to 16 Oct 1978,[11]
  • 2 Supply Company,  16 October 1978 to 1985,
    • Static Depot
      • Tech Stores Section
    • Field Force
      • 22 Ordnance Field Park
        • General Stores
        • Bath Section
  • 5 Composite Supply Company, 1985 to 1990.
  • 21 Field Supply Company 1990 to 1996

Vehicle Depot

  • Central Districts Vehicle Depot, 1957-1961

Ammunition Depot

Ordnance Field Parks

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

Workshop Stores Section

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

Other Ordnance Units

  • 24 Supply Platoon
  • 23 Combat Supplies Platoon
  • 47 Petroleum Platoon 1984 to 1996
  • Ready Reaction Force Ordnance Support Group (RRF OSG), from Burnham in 1992 absorbed into 21 Field Supply Company. [12]

Lower Hutt

Ordnance Field Parks

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

Mangaroa

First used as a tented camp during the First World War and in the Second World War Mangaroa was the site of an RNZAF Stores Depot from 1943. The depot with a storage capacity of 25,000 sq ft in 8 ‘Adams type’ Buildings was Handed over to the NZ Army by 1949.[13] The units that have been accommodated at Mangaroa have been:

Supply Depot

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

Ordnance Field Parks

  • 2nd Infantry Brigade Ordnance Field Park Platoon, 1950–1963,
  • 1 Infantry Brigade Group, OFP, 1963–1968,
  • 1st Composite Ordnance Company (1 Comp Ord Coy), 1964–1977,
    1 Comp Ord Coy was the Ordnance Bulk Holding unit for the field force units supporting the Combat Brigade Group and the Logistic Support Group and held 60–90 days war reserve stock. 1 Comp Ord Coy was made up of the following subunits: [14]

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

Mako Mako

39 magazines operational from 1943

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

Mount Somers

10 Magazines operational from 1943, closed 1969

Ngaruawahia

Ngaruawahia also was known as Hopu Hopu was established in 1927, [15] and allowed the closure of Featherston Ordnance Depot and the Auckland Ordnance Depot and was intended to service the northern regions. During construction, Ngaruawahia was described by the Auckland Star as “Probably the greatest Ordnance Depot”[16] Ngaruawahia closed down in 1989, and its Ordnance functions moved to Papakura and Mount Wellington.
RNZAOC units that have been accommodated at Ngaruawahia have been:

Stores Depot

  • Area Ngaruwahia Ordnance Department 1927 to 1940,
  • Northern District Ordnance Depot, 1940 to 1968,
  • 1 Central Ordnance Depot (1 COD), 1968 to 1979,
  • 1 Supply Company, 1979 to 1989,
  • 1 Field Supply Company, 1984, from 1989, Papakura.  [17]

Ordnance Field Parks

  • 1st Infantry Brigade Ordnance Field Park Platoon, 1948 to 1955
  • 1 Infantry Brigade Group, Ordnance Field Park(OFP), 1968 to 1979, support to Combat Brigade Group

Workshop Stores Section

  • 1 Infantry Brigade Group LAD, Stores Section

Other Ordnance Units

  • Northern Districts Ammunition Depot, Kelms Road

 Palmerston North

  • Palmerston North Detachment, NZAOC, Awapuni Racecourse, 1914 to 1921.[18] [19] [20]
  • Depot Closed and stocks moved to Trentham.
  • Ordnance Store, 327 Main Street Circa 1917-1921.[21]
  • No 2 Ordnance Sub Depot, Palmerston North showgrounds, 1942 to 1946 when depot moved to Linton.

Trentham

Stores Depot

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

Ordnance School

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

Workshops

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

Workshop Stores Section

  • 1 Base Workshop, Stores Section

Ordnance Field Parks

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

Vehicle Depot

  • Central Districts Vehicle Depot, 1948 – 1957

Ammunition Units

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

Waiouru

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

RNZAOC units that have supported Waiouru have been;

Stores Depot

  • Main Ordnance Depot, Waiouru Sub-Depot, 1940–1946, Initially managed as a Sub-Depot of the Main Ordnance Depot in Trentham, Ordnance units in Waiouru consisted of:
    • Artillery Sub Depot
    • Bulk Stores Depot
    • Ammunition Section
  • Central Districts Ordnance Depot, Waiouru Sub Depot (1946–1976).[24] In 1946 Waiouru became a Sub-Depot of the Central Districts Ordnance Depot in Linton, consisting of:
    • Ammo Group
    • Vehicle Group
    • Camp Equipment Group.
  • 4 Central Ordnance Deport, (1976–1979) On 1 April 1976 became a stand-alone Depot in its own right. [25]
  • 4 Supply Company, (1979–1989)
    when the RNZASC was disbanded in 1979 and its supply functions transferred to the RNZAOC, 4 Supply gained the following RNZASC units:[26]

    • HQ 21 Supply Company,(TF element)(1979–1984)
      21 Supply Company was retained as a Territorial unit for training and exercise purposes and was capable of providing a Supply Company Headquarter capable of commanding up to five subunits.
    • 47 Petroleum Platoon (1979–1984)
    • 44 Supply Platoon
  • Central Q, (1989–1993)
  • 4 Field Supply Company, (1993–1994)
  • Distribution Company, 4 Logistic Regiment, (1994–1996)

Workshop Stores Section

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

Wellington

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

Stores Depot

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

 Workshops

  • Armament Workshop, Alexandra Military Depot.[29]

Unit locations overseas, 1914–1920

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

Egypt

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

Fiji

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

Germany

  • Ordnance Depot, Mulheim, Cologne

 Greece

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

Samoa

  • 1 Base Depot

 Turkey

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

 United Kingdom

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

Unit locations overseas, 1939–1946

Egypt

Headquarters

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

Base Units

Supply

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

Workshops (until Sept 1942 when transferred to NZEME)

  • NZ Base Ordnance Workshop

Laundry

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

Training

  • Engineer and Ordnance Training Depot, Maadi Camp

Field Units

Supply

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

Workshops (until Sept 1942 when transferred to NZEME)

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

Greece

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

Italy

Headquarters

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

Base units

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

Field units

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

Fiji

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

New Caledonia

  • Base Ordnance Depot
  • Division Ordnance Workshop
  • 20th Light Aid Detachment
  • 36th Light Aid Detachment
  • 37th Light Aid Detachment
  • 42 Light Aid Detachment
  • 64 Light Aid Detachment
  • 65 Light Aid Detachment
  • 67 Light Aid Detachment

Solomon Islands

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

Tonga

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

Unit locations overseas, 1945–1996

Japan

  • Base Ordnance Depot, Kure (RAOC unit, NZAOC personnel attached)
  • 4 New Zealand Base Ordnance Depot, November 1945.
  • 4 New Zealand Advanced Ordnance Depot, November 1946.
  • 4 New Zealand Ordnance Field Park – August 1947 to July 1948 when closed.

ADO Gate

Korea

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

Malaya

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

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

Singapore

Stores Depot

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

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

Workshops Stores Section

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

Somalia

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

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

South Vietnam

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

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

Copyright © Robert McKie 2018

Notes

[1] Whakapapa is a taxonomic framework that links all animate and inanimate, known and unknown phenomena in the terrestrial and spiritual worlds. Whakapapa, therefore, binds all things. It maps relationships so that mythology, legend, history, knowledge, Tikanga (custom), philosophies and spiritualities are organised, preserved and transmitted from one generation to the next. “Rāwiri Taonui, ‘Whakapapa – Genealogy – What Is Whakapapa?’, Te Ara – the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, Http://Www.Teara.Govt.Nz/En/Whakapapa-Genealogy/Page-1 (Accessed 3 June 2019).”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[9][9] “NZ P106 Dos Procedure Instructions, Part 1 Static Support Force. Annex F to Chapter 1, Rnzaoc Director of Ordnance Services,”  (1978).

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

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

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

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

[14] “1 Comp Ord Coy,” Pataka Magazine, February 1979.

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

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

[17] “1st Field Supply Company Standing Operating Procedures, 1st Supply Company Training Wing, Dec “,  (1984).

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

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

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

[21] “NZ Army Ordnance Stores, ,”  https://manawatuheritage.pncc.govt.nz/item/c7681d2d-c440-4d58-81ad-227fc31efebf.

[22] “Pataka Magazine. RNZAOC, P. 52,,”  (1994).

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

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

[25] Ibid.

[26] Ibid.

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

[28] “H-19 Defence Forces of New Zealand, Report of the General Officer Commanding the Forces from 25th June 1914 to 26th June 1915.”

“, Appendix to the Journals of the House of Representatives  (1915).

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

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

[31] Ibid.

[32] Ibid.

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

[Limited Leather Bound Edition], 2015), Bibliographies, Non-fiction.

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

[35] Ibid.

[36] Ibid.

[37] New Zealand War Histories – Italy Volume Ii : From Cassino to Trieste,  (Victoria University of Wellington, 1967).

[38] Ibid.

[39] Ibid.

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


DOS visit to NZAOD – January 1986

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

NZAOD Entrance

The main entrance to NZAOD. Robert McKie Collection

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

NZAOD View 3

The NZAOD building. Robert Mckie collection

NZAOD View 5

Northwest view of NZAOD Building. Robert McKie Collection

navaldockyard-1962

HM Naval Base Singapore C1962

 

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

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

 

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

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

Part One

Tour of NZAOD January 1986, Part 1

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

The single NZAOD Computer10550078_10152647755912867_7799335649563261586_o10550037_10152647797377867_539603964594090354_o10560366_10152647757222867_6895249663581160794_o10636461_10152647759762867_1401822615340289789_o10636514_10152647758262867_4703075205560893586_o10636631_10152647759112867_3843140255294397404_o10636565_10152647760262867_4172306291580047666_o10629284_10152647759537867_5391386835928625288_oAccomadation Stores 1Ammo SectionWO2 Le Gros10644566_10152647760102867_1081196340042601763_o10644542_10152647760747867_7854169441387760209_o10626310_10152647754592867_2521608283835253088_o10457673_10152647798152867_6508320381834276107_o1926165_10152647758022867_6712424884025133082_o1891427_10152647753807867_2598060697845645015_o1800172_10152647762257867_6593236161189896606_o906658_10152647754132867_3621628787069737802_o

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

Part Two

Tour of NZAOD January 1986, Part 2

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

Part Three

Tour of NZAOD January 1986, Part 3

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

10551457_10152647779252867_4584731409712621041_oCold StoreCold Store (2)

Part Four

Tour of NZAOD January 1986, Part 4

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

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

Part Five

Tour of NZAOD January 1986, Part 5

DOAZN Room

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

Part Six

Tour of NZAOD January 1986, Part 6

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

 

NZAOD Farewell parade for DOS

NZAOD Farewell parade for DOS, January 1986

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

DOS VISIT NZAODDOS VISIT NZAOD_0002DOS VISIT NZAOD_0003DOS VISIT NZAOD_0004

 

Social Function

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

NZAOD Social Function, Jan 1986

 

Copyright © Robert McKie 2018

Notes:

[1] I. C. McGibbon and Paul William Goldstone, The Oxford Companion to New Zealand Military History (Auckland; Melbourne; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000, 2000), Bibliographies, Non-fiction, 495.

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


Captain William Thomas Beck, DSO MID

Unlike Ordnance Depots in New Zealand, the New Zealand Advanced Ordnance Depot (NZAOD) in Singapore had little affiliation with Henry Tucker, the first New Zealand Storekeeper. Given its location in Singapore and small numbers, it was decided that instead of having a Henry Tucker Club, which was an Officer, Warrant Officer and Senior Non-Commissioned Officer gathering, that some other type of social gathering was required for the Singapore based RNZAOC Personnel. The solution was found in 1986, when a small club for RNZAOC Military members was established and named “Billy Becks’ in tribute of Captain William Thomas (Billy) Beck, attributed as the first New Zealander of Godleys Force ashore at Gallipoli on the 25th of April 1915.

Meeting once a month on the rooftop of RSDS from August 1986, the “Billy Beck” club soon became an RNZAOC institution where all ranks could meet for a barbeque lunch and a few drinks until 1989 when the NZAOC closed and the name “Billy Beck” was soon forgotten.

Who was Billy Beck?

William Thomas (Billy) was the son of Sarah Beck (Taylor) and her husband Richard Beck and was born in Castlemaine, Australia on 7 May 1865.  shortly after his birth, the Beck Family including his two brothers and sister migrated to New Zealand, Settling at Kanieri, Hokitika on the West Coast of the South Island. Becks father was a butcher and his mother was in 1895 appointed as the first full-time Police Matron at Wellingtons Lampton Quay Headquarters, where she was responsible for handling female prisoners. She was also involved in enforcing the Infant Life Protection Act in New Zealand.

Beck Family

1917 Portrait of the Beck Family. Auckland Libraries Heritage Collections, 1054-584

At the age of 31, Beck married Edith Chick on 8 June 1896, in Port Chalmers, New Zealand and would have three children;

  • Ellen Edith, born 8 September 1895
  • Thomas Nathan, born 1 January 1897
  • Olive Ivy, born 10 March 1903.

spar topedo boat

Thorncroft Spar Torpedo bat of the type used by the NZ Permnant Millita, which as a torpedoman, something Beck would have been familiar with.

Serving in the New Zealand Permanent Militia during the 1890s, Beck was a Torpedoman Second Class with No 2 Service Company, Permanent Militia, based at Port Chalmers.

By 1904 Beck had relocated to Auckland and was employed as a civilian by the Defence Stores Department as the Defence Storekeeper for the Northern Military District, located at  Goal Reserve, Mount Eden. Around 1907 Beck was granted the rank of Honorary Lieutenant in the New Zealand Staff Corps followed soon afterwards by promotion to Honorary Captian.

Starting with the annual camps of 1913, a new management system for Camp Equipment was implemented. Temporary Ordnance Stores Depots were established prior to the camps and stores assembled based on the strength and role of the units attending the camps. The initial trial of the new system was a success and was to be refined and repeated for the 1914 camps. For the 1914 camping season, Beck was the Officer in charge of the Camp Ordnance for the Auckland Divisional Camp at Hautapu near Cambridge in April 1914. The Camp ran from 28 April to 11 May. With a staff of 6 clerks and 12 issuers he was responsible for managing store issued from the Auckland Defence Stores, including;

  • 66 indicating Flags,
  • 80 Axes,
  • 100 picks and handles,
  • 800 water buckets,
  • 800 wash basins,
  • 82 picket ropes,
  • 81 brooms,
  • 5000 groundsheets,
  • 13 Roberts cookers,
  • 13 horse troughs,
  • 20 overall suits,
  • 1320 yards galvanised iron piping,
  • a 2000gal water tank,
  • 1 large swimming bath,
  • 11 flagstaffs,
  • 500 nose-bags,
  • 566 pairs of boots,
  • 455 Mattress covers,
  • 500 blankets”.

On the 21st of August 1914, Beck was enlisted in the Auckland Infantry Battalion with the rank of Honorary Captian. After a short mobilisation period, Beck departed Wellington on 3 December 1914  with the main body of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force, on the troopship TSS Maunganui.

Arriving in Suez, Egypt on the 3rd of December 1914 and was soon attached as the Deputy Assistant Director of Ordnance Services to the New Zealand & Australian Headquarters Ordnance (NZ & Aust HQ Ordnance) of the New Zealand and Australian Division.

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Capt. Beck, DADOS, the first New Zealander ashore at Gallipoli, at daily ablutions. Auckland War Memorial Museum Tamaki Paenga Hira

Deploying to the Dardanelles in April 1915, Beck as a key member of  General Godley’s Headquarters was amongst those in the initial landings at ANZAC Cove on the Gallipoli Peninsular on 25 April 1915. The Assistant Director Medical Services, Lieutenant Colonel Fenwick, another New Zealander, was also part of the Headquarters landing party and describes the events of that day:

“we were all ready to land but were kept waiting and waiting until about 9.00am. 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 certainly 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.”

Although there were New Zealanders serving with the Australian Division and in other roles as part of the landings,  Billy Beck was the first New Zealander of Godley’s New Zealand and Australian Division to land on Gallipoli.

 

Beck ANZAC Cove

Captain Beck and Lieutenant Lawless- Gallipoli 1915. Auckland War Memorial Museum

So not only was Beck one of the first New Zealanders ashore 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 the that some day 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.”

The 14th of June 1915 saw Beck commissioned as a Captian into the New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps. On the 13th of July 1915, Beck was listed as a casualty on Casualty list No 50. Replaced as DADOS on 1 August 1915 by Lieutenant Norman Levien, NZAOC, Beck left Galliopi for duty in Alexandria.

Mentioned in Dispatches by the Commander in Chief, Mediterranean, Sir Ian Hamilton on the 26th of August 1915, this was followed up with the awarding of the Distinguished Service Order for distinguished service in the field during operations in the Dardanelles, which was recorded in the London Gazette of 8 November 1915

With a Medical Board finding him “incapacitated for military duty” Beck was invalided back to New Zealand on the RMS Tahiti 20 November 1915 and struck off the strength of the NZEF on 19 February 1916, and transferred to the reserve list of officers with the rank of Captain. Resuming his pre-war duties at the Northern District Ordnance Depot as the District Storekeeper and in 1917 with the formation of the Home Service NZAOC, Beck became the Assistant Director of Equipment and Ordnance Stores for the Northern Military District, a position he held until his resignation in March 1918.

BeckWT

William Thomas Beck Circa 1921

Taking up employment with the Public Works Department in Apia, Samoa, Beck remained there until his retirement in 1922.

Divorcing his first wife Edith in the mid-1930s, Beck remarried in the late 1930s.

Retiring in Wellington, Beck passed away on the 15th of  January 1947 and is interned in the soldiers’ section of the Karori Cemetery, Wellington, New Zealand.

Beck’s medals are now on display in the Gallipoli Room of the Maryborough Military and Colonial Museum, Queensland, Australia.

beck display

Captian W.T Beck whose medals and memorabilia, belonging to the Maryborough Military & Colonial Museum, Maryborough, Queensland, Australia

20171115_142112-1496398472.jpg

The first meeting of the Billy Beck Club August 1986. Back Row: Hiroti, Finlay, Marshall, Rangi, Canton, Newton, Ellis Middle Row: Sweetman (PTI), Brit exchange Officer, Crafts, Goddard, Juno, Pook, Le Gros. Front: McIntosh, Haewera, Clarke, Govan, Christie, Madgwick.

 

20171115_143333-645022912.jpg

The Final Billy Becks, 1989 Back Row: Watmuff, Kearney, Davis, Ngatai, Tombleson, Tyler, Bourne Middle Row: Tamehana, Wiersma, McKie, Coleman, Carver. Front Row: Thomas, Clarke, Simonsen, Theyers, Reid

 

Sources

New Zealand, Marriage Index. 1896.

“Gunner W T Beck”. archway.archives.govt.nz.

New Zealand, Electoral Rolls. Waikouaiti Otago. 1896.

New Zealand, Electoral Rolls. Waikouaiti Otago. 1900.

Glackin, Rusell (2009). In Defence of our land. Penguin. p. 71. ISBN 9780143011866.

“W T Beck Defence Storekeeper,”. archway.archives.govt.nz.

New Zealand, Electoral Rolls. Eden Auckland. 1905–1906.

“AUCKLAND TERRITORIALS” (VOLUME LI, ISSUE 15594). NEW ZEALAND HERALD,. 28 April 1914.

Bolton, Major J.S (1996). History of the Royal New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps. p. 53. ISBN 0477015816.

Pugsley, C (1998). Gallipoli: the New Zealand Story. Reed New Zealand. ISBN 9780790005850.

Harper, Glyn (2015). JOHNNY ENZED: The New Zealand Soldier in the First World War 1914–1918. Exisle Publishing. ISBN 9781775592020.

“Brave New Zealanders”. The Hawera and Normanby Star. 24 June 1916. p. 5.

Stowers, Richard (2015). Heroes of Gallipoli. John Douglas Publishing. ISBN 9780994105950.

“Military personnel file”. archives.govt.nz.

“TERRITORIAL NOTES” (VOLUME XLVII, ISSUE 100,). AUCKLAND STAR,. 27 April 1916.

Reports of the Defence Committee. 1 January 1922. p. 4.

Beck, William Thomas. “Cemeteries Search”. wellington.govt.nz/.

“New Zealander Decorated and Mentioned in Despatches”. nzetc.victoria.ac.nz/.

The London Gazette. 4 November 1915.

“Maryborough Military & Colonial Museum”. maryboroughmuseum.org.

RNZAOC Pataka Magazine. December 1986. p. 38.

 

Copyright © Robert McKie 2017


5 Advanced Ordnance Depot

5 Advanced Ordnance Depot (5 AOD) was a short-lived  Australian and New Zealand Ordnance Depot located in Singapore from 9 March 1970 to August 1971.

Created as a direct result of Australia’s and New Zealand’s commitment to the Five Power Defence Arrangements between Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Singapore and the United Kingdom, 5 AOD was established to support the Australian and New Zealand Forces remaining in Singapore after the planned British withdrawal.

5AOD 1970

5 Advanced Ordnance Depot Plaque. Courtesy of Peter Cox

5 AOD was officially raised on 9 March 1970 with an advance party made up of:

  • Major N.W  Spenser  RAAOC    OC
  • Capt J.H Short RAAOC   OC BKS SVCS
  • Capt D.J Spreadbury RAAOC ATO
  • Capt L.G Gittins RAAOC LPO
  • WO2 A.J Morton RAAOC Chief Clerk
  • WO2 A.C Phillips RAAOC Control Office
  • WO2 W.s Eaglesham RAAOC Traffic
  • WO2 R.R Robertson RAAOC AT
  • WO2 J Twiss RNZAOC Control Office
  • SSgt J.A Green RAAOC LP
  • Sgt K.L Dodds RAAOC Documentation
  • LCpl S Shepherd RNZAOC Machine Operator

Set up from scratch in March 1970, initially finding working accommodation was a priority and problematic. The Singapore authorities were unwilling to provide suitable accommodation in any of the recently vacated British facility’s, so as a temporary measure 5 AOD was housed with the Royal Army Ordnance Corps, 3 Base Ordnance Depot (3 BOD) at Alexandria and Keat Hong.  A lack of accommodation plus political wranglings forced a change of location to the H.M Naval Base at Sembawang where the unit occupied Transit Shed No 4 on 15 July 1970.

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Transit Shed 4

Transit shed 4 was an iron framed Building with corrugated iron walls with a concrete floor. The total area of the building was 112500SqFtt, of which 70500 sq ft was initially available to 5AOD.

The building was located on the dockside in very close proximity to the water, with a circuit for vehicles around the building with access to the east and west sides, Sliding walls made up the West side with one door available on the east side.

The ceiling clearance was 25ft, and the building was served with natural lighting from skylights, electrical lighting was available but not suitable for detailed tasks.

on the establishment off 5 AOD the temporary Control, Stores and traffic Office and Orderly Room was a curtained area in the main warehouse set up for the clerical and administrative functions.

 

 

In-scaling of stores was achieved by assuming the responsibilities of the Australian Cell of 3 BOD and their existing stocks. Additional stocks were delivered directly from Australia by HMAS Jeparit. By October 1970 5 AOD was functioning as a unit.

 

The Strength of 5 AOD in September 1970 was:

  • 10 Officers
  • 38 Other Ranks
  • 58 Locally Employed Civilians (LECs)

Although 5 AOD was established in March 1970, the New Zealand contribution would not start to be in place until June/ July/August 1970 with the arrival of the advance party, including;

  • Captain Ian Ross
  • WO2 Jim Twiss
  • Sgt B Kukutai
  • Cpl Neilson
  • Cpl TT Smith
  • LCpl PP Reti
  • LCpl Shepard

During its short existence, New Zealand strength within 5 AOD averaged two Officers and 18 Other Ranks, including members of the advance party, soldiers such as:

  • Peter Cox
  • Ray Bennseman
  • Max Mclean
  • Terence Sharpe

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Officer Commanding Board, Now located at the NZ Army Trade Training School Trentham. Robert McKie collection

Due to elections in the United Kingdom in 1971, the UK decided to not wholly withdraw as initially planned, but to retain reduced forces in Singapore as part of the newly constituted ANZUK Force.  Succeeding the Far East Strategic Reserve which had been in place since the 1950’s, ANZUK Force was a tripartite force based in Singapore and was formed by Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom to provide military support in the Asian Pacific region while the nations of Malaysia and Singapore grew their Armed Forces.

As a valid economy measure, a combined Australian, New Zealand and UK Ordnance Depot are later known as the ANZUK Ordnance Depot was organised to take over the responsibility’s of the UK 3BOD and 5 AOD.

Ceasing to exist in Aug 1971 5AOD  responsibility’s, personnel and stock were absorbed by the new ANZUK Ordnance Depot.

Copyright © Robert McKie 2017


ANZUK Ordnance Depot 1971-1975

ANZUK Flag

ANZUK Flag. Wikipedia Commons

The ANZUK Ordnance Depot was the Ordnance component of the ANZUK Support Group supporting the Singapore Based ANZUK Force from August 1971 to September 1974.

The last of several post-war Commonwealth Ordnance Depots, the ANZUK Ordnance Depot was comprised of service personnel from the RAOC, RAAOC and RNZAOC, supported by a large complement of locally employed civilians. The ANZUK Ordnance depot was located in the premises vacated by the Royal Navy Victualling Depot on the dockside at Sembawang Naval Base.

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Command and Organisation of the Depot

During its short duration as a unit, the Depot had four Commanding officers, two from the RAOC and two from the RAAOC, it was planned to rotate the command amongst all the nations, but the Depot would close before New Zealand had the opportunity to command.

ANZUK CO

ANZUK Ordnance Depot, Commanding Officers Aug 1917-Mar 1975. Robert McKie collection 2017.

Command of the Subunits was a shared by the three counties with New Zealand officer Captain Ian Ross commanding the Vehicle Sub Depot in the early years of the Depot.

In 1971 the Depot was organised into functional groups and Sub Depots, and had a Staff of more than 440 from the contributing and host nations as follows;

  • RAOC – 60 pers.
  • RAAOC – 60 pers.
  • RNZAOC – 20 pers.
  • LEC’s – 300 pers.

ANZUK ORG CHART

ANZUK Ordnance Depot 1971

ANZUK Ordnance Depo7 1973

ANZUK Ordnance Depot, April 1973. Robert McKie Collection

ANZUK Stores Sub Depot 1973

ANZUK Stores Sub Depot, April 1973. Robert McKie Collection

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Vehicle Sub Depot, ANZUK Ordnance Depot, Singapore – 25th June 1972 (Left to Right) Sitting: SGT Matthews RAEME, SGT Carr REME, SSGT Slater RAAOC, CAPT Ross RNZAOC, WO2 Chapman RAOC, SGT Ball RAAOC, SGT Holmes RAOC Middle row: CPL Harrison REME, CPL McDonald RAOC, PTE Bensemann RNZAOC, LCPL McLean RNZAOC, CPL ? RAAOC, CPL Leach REME Top row: LCPL Peters RAOC, CPL Williams (?) RAAOC, CPL Picket RAOC, PTE Richmond RAAOC, CPL Ferris RAOC

ANZUK ORD DEPOT PLAQUE

ANZUK Ordnance Depot Plaque. Peter Cox Collection

Stockholding

The initial stocking of the ANZUK Ordnance depot was achieved by the transferring of stocks from the soon to be closed 3 Base Ordnance Depot, RAOC and from 5 Advanced Ordnance Depot,  the combined Australian and New Zealand Ordnance depot established a year earlier. In 1972 the depot had a stock holding of around 45000 line items spread over the different sub-depots.

The cost management of the force was on a percentage basis, 40% each for the United Kingdom and Australia with the remaining 20% of costs picked up by New Zealand. The reimbursement process was very complicated and managed by the ADOS staff in HQ ANZUK Support Group.   All stock received into the Ordnance Depot was costed, billed with the reimbursement arranged with the participating countries as items were issued.

National billing was only affected for principle items such as vehicles, controlled stores, major unit assemblies and the like, and reimbursement would only be made if the items were issued to a national unit (e,g, 1RNZIR). This resulted in 1RNZIR demanding routine stocks from the Depot at no extra charge, but if major items were issued New Zealand would only pay 80% of the cost. There was no cost involved when an item was issued to an integrated ANZUK unit.

Uniforms and Dress Embellishments

Troops from contributing nations wore their standard national uniforms with the addition of the ANZUK Force patch, which was worn on each shoulder.

ANZUK Force patch

ANZUK Force patch. Robert McKie Collection.

By 1973 the political climate was changing in both Australia and the United Kingdom, and the ANZUK force days were numbered.  By mid-1974 the remaining British element had split and became RAOC Ordnance Services Singapore for the duration of the final British Withdraw.

The New Zealand component of the ANZUK Force would become New Zealand Force South East Asia,  with the New Zealand Advanced Ordnance Depot coming into being on 31 January 1974 and the ANZUK Ordnance Depot ceased to exist on the 30th of Sept 1974.

By 1977 NZFORSEA was the sole remaining foreign presence in Singapore until its departure in 1989.


ANZUK Supply Platoon

 

These are a series of photos from an album I was surprised to discover in a Wellington second-hand shop. The collection spans from 1971 to 1979 and provides a photographic history of the ANZUK Supply Depot (1971-74) and the New Zealand Supply Platoon (1974-89).

 

RFA Tideflow

RFA Tideflow. Robert McKie collection

ANZUK Supply Platoon

The ANZUK Supply Platoon was the ANZUK unit responsible for the provision of foodstuffs and POL (petrol oil lubricants) to the ANZUK Force (1971-1974). Under the command of the Commander Royal Australian Army Service Corp (CRAASC), it was a tri-nation unit, with members drawn from Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

It was formed at a time when the three different armies were rationalising their Supply functions from an Army Service Corp Responsibility to an Ordnance Corp responsibility, and as a result, the unit was a mix of Royal Army Ordnance Corp and Australian and New Zealand Army Service Corp personnel. The United Kingdom had made the change in 1965, Australia would follow in 1973 and New Zealand in 1979.

With the withdrawal of the British and Australians form Singapore, the ANZUK Supply Depot would change ownership and become the NZ Supply depot In 1974, continuing under RNZASC control until 1979 and then RNZAOC control until 1989 when the New Zealand withdrew its forces from Singapore.

Located in the northeastern section of the former HM Naval Dockyard, Sembawang, Singapore, the ANZUK Supply Depot occupied the cluster of buildings that were the former Royal Navy Victualling and Storing Office and Victualling Depot (SVSO and Vict Depot).

Originally announced in 1923, construction of the Naval Dockyard was completed in 1939, at a staggering cost of £60 million – equivalent to £2½ billion in 2006 paid for by the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand. The base covered 21 square miles (54 km2) and had the most significant dry dock in the world, the third-largest floating dock, fuel tanks to support the entire British Navy for six months and a host of workshops, warehouses and accommodation. With the withdrawal of British forces from Singapore starting in 1968, most of the Naval Base was handed over to the Singapore government, with the area adjacent to the Stores basin retained for use by the residual Commonwealth, then New Zealand Forces

Royal Navy Dockyard, Singapore

Map of Royal Navy Dockyard, Singapore. Robert McKie Collection

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Map of Store Basin, Royal Navy Dockyard, Sembawang, Singapore. Robert McKie Collection

 DRY STORE

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Dry provision store 1971. Robert McKie collection

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Current dry store area, proposed as office accommodation, 1971. Robert McKie collection

Cold Store

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Aerial view of ANZUK Supply Depot Cool-store, 1971. Robert McKie Collection

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Cool-store area entrance, 1971. Robert McKie Collection

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Cool-store area and waiting area, 1972. Robert McKie collection

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Cool-store refrigeration plant and operators, 1972. Robert McKie Collection

POL Store

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Main bulk dry store – POL Store, proposed new petrol point site, 1971. Robert McKie collection

4

The site for proposed area for petrol pumps, 1971. Robert McKie collection

ANZUK Supply Depot 1972

ANZUK SUPPLY DEPOT STAFF 1972

ANZUK SUPPLY DEPOT STAFF 1972 Robert McKie Collection

Standing L to R: Cpl Parker, RAASC. Cpl Olderman, RAASC, Cpl Mcintyre, RAOC. Sgt Frank, RAOC. Cpl Rangi, RNZASC. Sgt Locke, RNZASC. Sgt Bust, RAOC. Pte Mag, RAASC. Cpl David, RAASC.

Sitting L to R: Sgt Kietelgen, RAASC. WO2 West, RAOC. Capt Mcnice, RAOC. Maj Hunt, RAASC. Lt Fynn, RAASC. WO2 Cole, RAASC. WO2 Clapton. RAASC

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WO2 John West (Master Butcher) RAOC, Inspecting live goats before issue to Gurkha Regt at Nee Soon for Sacrificial Purposes. 1972 . Robert McKie Collection

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Checking fresh fish consignment, 1973, Left to right: Cpl Mcintyre, RAOC; WO2 John West, RAOC; Cpl Olderman, RAASC, 1973. Robert McKie collection

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Supply of provisions to RFA Tideflow, 1973. Robert McKie collection

Checking ‘Live’ consignment of produce to issue to Gurkha Regt at Nee Soon,

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Sgt Bill Donaghue, RNZASC; Cpl Mcintyre, RAOC: Cpl Olderman, RAASC; WO2 John West RAOC. Robert McKie collection

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Cpl Mcintyre, RAOC; WO2 John West, RAOC. Robert McKie collection

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WO2 John West, RAOC; Locally Employed Civilian; Cpl Mcintyre, RAOC. Robert McKie collection

HMY Britannia

Robert McKie Collection

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Robert McKie Collection