Brigadier Andrews was born in New Plymouth on 11 January 1912. He was educated at Thames and New Plymouth Boys’ High School and Canterbury University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Engineering degree. A talented rugby player, Andrews represented Canterbury and had made the grade for selection as an All Black in 1934. However, as he was nearing the end of his studies, he made the difficult decision to forgo rugby and complete his studies.
Enlisted into the Permanent Force of the New Zealand Army as a cadet on 7 April 1936, Andrews was commissioned into the NZAOC as a Lieutenant on 17 June 1936. As Lieutenant S.B Wallace, the Officer in Charge of the Ordnance Workshops, was on course in England, Andrews was detached from the Main Ordnance Depot to take Charge of the Ordnance Workshops. From September 1937, Andrews was then appointed as the Temporary Ordnance Mechanical Engineer (OME) until Wallace’s return in June 1938. Returning to the Main Ordnance Depot as the Assistant Ordnance Officer, Andrews began work on updating equipment scales and developing plans to equip and support provide an expeditionary force.
On 11 December 1939. Andrews was seconded to the 2nd New Zealand Expeditionary Force (2NZEF) as the Senior OME (SOME), promoted to Captain, and embarked on active service the same day. He was promoted to Major and appointed Deputy Assistant Director Ordnance Services (DADOS) 2 NZEF on 1 August 1940. The appointment of Assistant Director Ordnance Services (ADOS) 2 NZ Division followed in January 1941.
Following the appointment of Colonel King, the ADOS 2 NZEF, as the Deputy Director Ordnance Services (DDOS) lines of Communication (L of C) for the 8th Army, Andrews assumed the responsibilities of ADOS 2 NZEF.
On the formation of the New Zealand Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (NZEME) as a unit of 2NZEF on 1 December 1942, Andrews was appointed to the position of Commander EME (CEME) 2 NZ Division.
Returning to New Zealand in July 1943, Andrews was appointed as the COME at MOD Trentham and promoted to Lieutenant Colonel. Based on his experience in the Middle East, he integrated All Arms Military training into the training schedule of the MOD Ordnance Workshops.
Andrews was soon overseas again, first undertaking a tour of duty with 3 NZ Division in the Pacific in early 1944 and in May was again posted back to 2NZEF (Middle East), where he served as CEME 2 NZ Division.
Early in the war, Andrews had been handpicked by General Freyberg to manage the 2nd NZEF Rugby Team on the cessation of hostilities. Under Andrew’s management, a team known as The Kiwis was selected from men completing active service in North Africa and Italy and included several men who had spent lengthy spells in prisoner of war camps in Italy, Austria and Germany.
Andrews completed his task as the manager of The Kiwis with much success, with the Kiwis becoming one of the most famous and successful Rugby teams produced by New Zealand who, in their tour of the United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany and France, played 33 matches for 29 wins, two draws and two losses. They scored 605 points and conceded just 185. They beat the full international sides of England, Wales and France and lost just one international to Scotland. The complete tour results were
07 October 1945 Swansea v New Zealand Army – NZEF Win 22-6
30 October 1945 Llanelli v New Zealand Army – NZEF Win 18-8
03 November 1945 Neath v New Zealand Army – NZEF Win 22 – 15
10 November 1945 Northern Services v New Zealand Army – NZEF Win 14-7
14 November 1945 Ulster v New Zealand Army – NZEF Win 10-9
17 November 1945 Leinster v New Zealand Army – Draw 10-10
24 November 1945 England v New Zealand Army – NZEF Win 18-3
01 December 1945 British Army v New Zealand Army – NZEF Win 25-5
08 December 1945 RAF v New Zealand Army – NZEF Win 11-0
15 December 1945 Royal Navy v New Zealand Army – NZEF Win 6-3
22 December 1945 London Clubs v New Zealand Army – NZEF Win 30-0
26 December 1945 Cardiff v New Zealand Army – NZEF Win 3-0
29 December 1945 Newport v New Zealand Army – Draw 3-3
05 January 1946 Wales v New Zealand Army – NZEF Win 11-3
12 January 1946 Combined Services v New Zealand Army – NZEF Win 31-0
19 January 1946 Scotland v New Zealand Army – NZEF Loss 11-6
24 January 1946 Scottish Universities v New Zealand Army – NZEF Win 57-3
26 January 1946 North Midlands v New Zealand Army – NZEF Win 24-9
31 January 1946 East Midlands v New Zealand Army – NZEF Win 14-0
02 February 1946 Northern Counties v New Zealand Army – NZEF Win 25-8
09 February 1946 Lancs, Cheshire & Yorks v New Zealand Army – NZEF Win 41-0
14 February 1946 Oxford University v New Zealand Army – NZEF Win 31-9
16 February 1946 Devon & Cornwall v New Zealand Army – NZEF Win 11-3
20 February 1946 Cambridge University v New Zealand Army – NZEF Win 15-7
23 February 1946 Gloucs & Somerset v New Zealand Army – NZEF Win 11-0
27 February 1946 Monmouthshire v New Zealand Army – NZEF Loss 0-15
02 March 1946 Aberavon v New Zealand Army – NZEF Win 17-4
10 March 1946 France v New Zealand Army – NZEF Win 14-9
13 March 1946 BAOR v New Zealand Army – NZEF Win 12-0
16 March 1946 Combined Services v New Zealand Army – NZEF Win 20-3
24 March 1946 France v New Zealand Army – NZEF Win 13-10
27 March 1946 France A v New Zealand Army – NZEF Win 38-9
31 March 1946 Ile De France v New Zealand Army – NZEF Win 24-13
Andrews returned to New Zealand in July 1946 to take up the Chief Ordnance Officer (COO) appointment at the MOD Trentham on completing the tour.
Appointed as the first post-war Director of Ordnance Services (DOS) on 1 October 1947. Relinquishing the appointment of DOS on 11 November 1949, Andrews then attended the Joint Services Command College (JSSC) in the United Kingdom.
On his return to New Zealand, he was appointed the Deputy Assistant Quartermaster General (DAQMG) at Army HQ. Promoted to Colonel, Andrews was then posted to Waiouru as the Camp Commandant in 1953.
In 1955, he was promoted to Brigadier as the Commander of the Central Military District.
Another overseas tour followed in late 1956 when he became Senior Army Liaison Officer at the New Zealand Embassy in London. Returning to New Zealand in 1960, Brigadier Andrews then took up the appointment of Commander Southern Military District.
In January 1963, he was again posted to Army HQ as the Adjutant General, an appointment he was to hold until his retirement in 1967.
Appointed as the Colonel Commandant of the RNZAOC on 1 April 1969, he served in that capacity until 30 September 1977.
Throughout his retirement, Andrews maintained a keen interest in all activities of the RNZAOC and published his autobiography, Allan Huia Andrews: a distinguished career, in 2002.
Brigadier Andrews passed away on 28 October 2002 and is buried at Okato Cemetery, New Plymouth, New Zealand.
Mentioned in Dispatches while serving with 2 NZ Division and further recognising his services, he was awarded the OBE in 1943. In the 1964 NewYears’ honours, Andrewes was awarded the CBE.
The core responsibility of the Royal New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps and its predecessors was the supply and maintenance of arms, ammunition, accoutrements, clothing, and field equipment to New Zealand’s Military Forces. From 1840 the principal posts of the RNZAOC and its predecessors were.
Colony of New South Wales, Colonial Storekeeper for New Zealand
Mr C.H.G Logie 15 Jan 1840 – 1 Oct 1840
Colony of New Zealand, Colonial Storekeeper
Mr H Tucker 1 Oct 1840 – 30 Dec 1843
From 1844 the needs of the Militia were facilitated on an ad-hoc basis by the Colonial Secretary based upon requests from provincial magistrates.
Colonial Secretaries of New Zealand (30 Dec 1843 to 28 May 1858)
Willoughby Shortland 3 May 1841 – 31 Dec 1943
Andrew Sinclair 6 Jan 1844 – 7 May 1856
Henry Sewell 7 May 1856 – 20 May 1856
John Hall 20 May 1856 – 2 Jun 1856
William Richmond 2 Jun 1856 – 4 Nov 1856
Edward Stafford 4 Nov 1856 – 12 Jul 1861
Supporting the Imperial Forces in New Zealand since 1840, the Board of Ordnance had established offices in Auckland during 1842, ensuring the provision of Imperial military units in New Zealand with munitions, uniforms and necessities. The Board of Ordnance was reorganised on 1 February 1857 into a new organisation called the Military Store Department. Headquartered at Fort Britomart in Auckland, the Military Store Department principal role alongside the commissariat was to support the Imperial Garrison; however, it would support colonial forces on a cost-recovery basis when necessary. With the departure of the British Military Storekeeper Joseph Osbertus Hamley in July 1870, the withdrawal of Imperial Forces was completed.
Board of Ordnance, Military Storekeeper
Deputy Ordnance Storekeeper W Plummer 1842 – 1 February 1857
Military Store Department
Deputy Superintendent of Stores W. Plummer 1 February 1857 – 4 March 1879(Deceased in office)
Deputy Superintendent of Stores J.O Hamley 4 March 1858 – 30 July 1870
The passing of the Militia Act of 1858 saw the Militia reorganised, and Volunteer units were authorised to be raised. The Deputy Adjutant General of Militia and Volunteers oversaw the administration, including the supply and distribution of arms, ammunition, accoutrements, clothing, and field equipment to the Militia and Volunteers.
Deputy Adjutant General of Militia and Volunteers
Capt H.C Balneavis 28 May 1858 – 18 Sep 1862
On 18 September 1862, the Colonial Defence Act was passed, establishing the first regular military units in New Zealand. Under the Quartermaster General of the Colonial Defence Force, Captain Robert Collins, the Colonial Store Department under the Colonial Storekeeper, and the Militia Store Department under the Superintended of Militia Stores maintained a separation between the Militia/Volunteers and Regulars absorbing the rudimentary stores’ organisation of the Deputy Adjutant General of Militia and Volunteers. The two departments would be amalgamated into the Colonial Store Department in 1865.
Militia Store Department
Superintendent of Militia Stores, Capt E.D King 18 September 1862 – 30 October 1865
Colonial Store Department
Colonial Storekeeper Capt J Mitchell 18 September 1862- 1 April 1869
The Armed Constabulary Act was passed in 1867, which combined New Zealand’s police and military functions into a regular Armed Constabulary (AC) Force, supported by loyal natives, Militia and Volunteer units. The Inspector of Defence store appointment was created in 1869 to manage all New Zealand’s Defence Stores as the single New Zealand Defence Stores organisation.
Inspector of Defence Stores (Defence Stores)
Lt Col E Gorton 1 Apr 1869 – 9 Jan 1877
Defence Storekeeper (Defence Stores)
Capt S.C Anderson 9 Jan 1877 – 7 Dec 1899 (Deceased in office)
Mr J O’Sullivan 7 Dec 1899 – 1 Jan 1907
During the 1880s, New Zealand undertook a rearmament and fortification program that was also a technological leap forward in terms of capability. The Defence Stores armourers and Arms Cleaners had maintained the colony’s weapons since 1861. However, the new equipment included machinery that functioned through pneumatics, electricity and steam power, requiring a skilled workforce to repair and maintain, resulting in a division of responsibility between the Defence Stores and Permanent Militia. The Defence Stores would retain its core supply functions with its armourers remaining responsible for repairing Small Arms. With some civilian capacity available, the bulk of the repairs and maintenance of the new equipment would be carried out by uniformed artificers and tradespeople recruited into the Permanent Militia.
From October 1888, the Staff Officer of Artillery and Inspector of Ordnance, Stores and Equipment would be responsible for all Artillery related equipment, with the Defence Storekeeper responsible for all other Stores. However, during the late 1890s, the Defence Storekeeper would assume responsibility for some of the Artillery related stores and equipment of the Permanent Militia.
Inspector of Stores and Equipment
Maj A.P Douglas 24 Aug 1887 – 23 Jan 1891
In 1907 a significant command reorganisation of the Defence Forces defined the responsibilities of the Director of Artillery Services (Ordnance) and Director of Stores.
Director of Artillery Services (Ordnance): Responsible for:
Fixed coast defences,
Artillery ammunition, and
Supplies for ordnance.
Director of Stores: Responsible for:
Clothing and personal equipment,
Small-arms and Machine gun ammunition,
All other stores required for the Defence Forces.
Director of Military Stores (Defence Stores)
Capt J O’Sullivan 1 Jan 1907 – 30 Mar 1911
Director of Ordnance and Artillery
Maj G.N Johnston 28 Feb 1907 – 31 May 1907
Capt G.S Richardson 31 May 1907 – 31 Jul 1908
Director of Artillery
Maj J.E Hume 31Jul 1908 – 31 Mar 1911
In 1911, provisional regulations were promogulated further detailing the division of responsibilities between the Quartermaster Generals Branch (to whom the Defence Stores was subordinate) and the Director of Ordnance and Artillery. Based on these new regulations, the Director of Artillery (Ordnance) assumed overall responsibility for managing Artillery stores and ammunition on 2 August 1911.
Director of Equipment and Stores (Defence Stores)
Maj J O’Sullivan 30 Mar 1911 – 10 Apr 1916
Director of Ordnance and Artillery
Maj G.N Johnston 11 May 1911- 8 Aug 1914
To maintain and manufacture artillery ammunition, the Royal NZ Artillery established an Ordnance Section in 1915. The section immediately transferred to the NZAOC in 1917, with the RNZA maintaining technical control. By 1929, most artificers and tradespeople had been transferred from the RNZA into the NZAOC. The final RNZA store’s function would be transferred to the NZAOC in 1946 when the RNZA Ammunition and Equipment Section based in Army Headquarters handed over responsibility for artillery ammunition, explosives, coast artillery and specialist equipment and stores, including some staffing to the NZAOC.
The Defence Stores would remain as New Zealand’s military storekeepers until 1 February 1917 when the New Zealand Army Ordnance Department (NZAOD) and the New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps (NZAOC) were established as part of the Permanent Staff of the Defence Forces of New Zealand, assuming the responsibilities Defence Stores.
The NZAOD would be reconstituted into the NZAOC on 27 June 1924.
Director of Equipment and Ordnance Stores (Defence Stores & NZAOC)
Maj T McCristell 10 Apr 1916 – 30 Jan 1920
Director of Ordnance Stores (NZAOC)
Lt Col H.E Pilkington 30 Jan 1920 – 1 Oct 1924
Lt Col T.J King 1 Oct 1920 – 6 Jan 1940
Lt Col W.R Burge 6 Jan 1940 – 22 June 1940
Chief Ordnance Officer (NZAOC)
Maj H.E Erridge 22 Jun 1940 – 3 Aug 1941
Lt Col E.L.G Bown 5 Aug 1941 – 1 Oct 1947
In the Post-war era, the NZAOC would be granted Royal status on 12 July 1947, becoming the Royal New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps (RNZAOC). For the next forty-five years, the Director of Ordnance Services (DOS) would be responsible for the personnel, equipment and training of the RNZAOC.
Director of Ordnance Services (RNZAOC)
Lt Col A.H Andrews 1 Oct 1947 – 11 Nov 1949
Lt Col F Reid 12 Nov 1949 – 31 Mar 1957
Lt Col H Mck Reid 1 Apr 1958 – 11 Nov 1960
Lt Col E Whiteacre 12 Nov 1960 – 24 May 1967
Lt Col J Harvey 24 May 1967 – 28 Aug 1968
Lt Col G.J.H Atkinson 29 Aug 1968 – 20 Oct 1972
Lt Col M.J Ross 21 Oct 1972 – 6 Dec 1976
Lt Col A.J Campbell 7 Dec 1976 – 9 Apr 1979
Lt Col P.M Reid 10 Apr 1979 – 25 Jul 1983
Lt Col T.D McBeth 26 Jul 1983 – 31 Jan 1986
Lt Col G.M Corkin 1 Feb 1986 – 1 Dec 1986
Lt Col J.F Hyde 2 Dec 1986 – 31 Oct 1987
Lt Col E.W.G Thomson 31 Oct 1987 – 11 Jan 1990
Lt Col W.B Squires 12 Jan 1990 – 15 Dec 1992
During the early 1990s, the New Zealand Army underwent several “rebalancing” activities, which saw the formation of regional Logistic Battalions and included the demise of the individual Corps Directorates.
Filling the void left by the demise of the Corps Directorates, the post of Regimental Colonel was approved on 12 December 1992. The role of the Regimental Colonel of the RNZAOC was to.
Provide specialist advice when called for
Maintain an overview of Corps personnel matters, and
Provide a link between the Colonel Commandant of the RNZAOC and the Corps and support the Colonel Commandant.
Regimental Colonel (NZAOC)
Col T.D McBeth 15 Dec 1992 – 19 Sept 1994
Col L Gardiner 19 Sept 1994 – 9 Dec 1996
On 9 December 1996, the RNZAOC was amalgamated into the Royal New Zealand Army Logistic Regiment (RNZALR).
New Zealand Ordnance Corps during wartime
During the Frist World War, a New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps was established as a unit of the 1st New Zealand Expeditionary Force (NZEF)
Officer Commanding NZEF NZAOC
Capt W.T Beck, 3 Dec 1914 – 31 Jan 1916
Lt Col A.H Herbert, 1 Feb 1916 – 31 Mar 1918
Lt Col H.E Pilkington, RNZA 30 Jun 1918- 22 Jan 20
Temp Capt W.H Simmons, 20 Feb 20 – 13 Oct 1920
The Second World War would see all the Ordnance functions of the 2nd NZEF organised as the New Zealand Ordnance Corps (NZOC).
Officer Commanding 2nd NZEF NZOC in the Middle East and Europe
Hidden in an alcove under some stairs at New Zealand’s Army’s Trade Training School is a surprising item of memorabilia not generally associated with the Army, a Ships Bell belonging to the M.V Rangitata.
With no labels or tags identifying its origins, its mounting cradle indicates that it was mounted in a social club or smoko room and used to call the room to attention for important announcements.
The journey of this bell and why it now rests at Trentham has long been forgotten. However, it does hold a surprising place in the whakapapa of the Royal New Zealand Army Logistics Regiment.
Established in 1873, the New Zealand Shipping Company (NZSC) helped pioneer the trade-in frozen goods from New Zealand to England and became one of New Zealand’s premier shipping companies with domestic and international routes.
In the late 1920s, the NZSC undertook a significant investment in its fleet for the Wellington to London route and had the three modern diesel-powered passenger/cargo ships built, the Rangitane, the Rangitiki and the Rangitata.
Known as the “Rangi” ships, from 1929, these 16,737-ton diesel-powered vessels would dominate the service between England and New Zealand with a four-weekly service, making the voyage via the Panama Canal and Pitcairn Island in 32 days.
All three Rangis would serve in various war-related roles from 1939.
whilst transiting from New Zealand to England, was sunk 300 miles east of New Zealand by the German surface raiders Komet and Orion on 27 November 1940.
In November 1940, as its sister was facing German raiders in the Pacific, as the largest vessel in the 38 vessel Trans-Atlantic convoy HX 84, the Rangitiki would encounter the German pocket battleship Admiral Scheer, and although eight merchant vessels were lost, the Rangitiki completed the voyage. In December 1940, as part of Trans-Atlantic convoy WS 5, the Rangitiki would survive an encounter with the German heavy cruiser Admiral Hipper. In 1945 the Rangitiki would return to the New Zealand -England route as it undertook repatriation voyages returning Servicemen and War brides home from Europe. Following 87 peacetimes return voyages between New Zealand and the United Kingdom, the Rangitiki was retired and broken up as scrap in 1962.
In 1937 the Rangitata would transport troops to England for the coronation of King George VI, and in 1939 would be requisitioned for war service. During the war, some of the Rangitata’s eventful voyages would include transporting 113 child evacuees from England to New Zealand and later in the war. It would transport United States soldiers from the USA to England. Following the war, the Rangitata would be fitted out as a war-bride ship and in 1947 would transport the first post-war draft of immigrants to New Zealand. Returning to peacetime service with its sister ship, the Rangitiki, the Rangitata would also be scrapped in 1962.
The wartime voyage of significance to the RNZALR is the Rangitata’s participation in carrying the First Echelon of the 2nd New Zealand Expeditionary Force (2nd NZEF) from Wellington to Egypt in January/February 1940.
Six merchant vessels would make up Convoy US.1 sailing from Wellington on 4 January 1940, carrying 345 Officers and 6175 other ranks of the Second Echelon of the 2nd NZEF.
As part of Convoy US.1, the Rangitata would transport the following units to Egypt.
Divisional Cavalry: A and B Sqns (369 men)
NZANS Nursing Sisters (3)
Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve ratings.
2 NZEF Overseas Base
13 Light Aid Detachment, New Zealand Ordnance Corps (1 Officer + 12 Other Ranks)
13 Light Aid Detachment, New Zealand Ordnance Corps (1 Officer + 12 Other Ranks)
The following members of the New Zealand Ordnance Corps have been identified as sailing on the Rangitata. As the war progressed, several of these men would hold significant positions in the NZOC, and from November 1942, the New Zealand Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (NZEME). A small number would continue to serve in the post-war NZ Army.
Lieutenant Donald Edward Harper, NZOC, Base Depot
Would finish the war as Lieutenant Colonel and the 2nd NZ Div Assistant Director of Ordnance Services.
2nd Lieutenant John Owen Kelsey, NZOC, 13 LAD
Would serve as an Ordnance Mechanical Engineer (OME), Senior Ordnance Mechanical Engineer (SOME), Assistant Director of Ordnance Services (ADOS) and acting Chief Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (CRÈME). Completed the war as a Colonel and was awarded an MBE and MID
2nd Lieutenant Robert Hassell England, NZOC, 14 LAD
Would be promoted to Captain and serve as OC 3 NZ Field Workshop and NZ Divsional Ordnance Field Park
Warrant Officer Class One Kevin Graham Keith Cropp, Base Depot
Would remain in the RNZAOC post-war and retire as a Major in 1955
Warrant Officer Class One Francis Reid, NZOC, Base Depot
Would be commissioned and serve throughout the war. Would remain in the RNZAOC after the war and as a Lieutenant Colonel would be the Director of Ordnance Services from November 1949 to March 1957.
Warrant Officer Class Two Andrew Gunn, NZOC, 13 LAD
KIA Greece. 18 April 1941
Corporal Randal Martin Holmes, NZOC, 14 LAD
Corporal Robert William Watson, NZOC, Base Depot
Private Rodger Langdon Ashcroft, NZOC, Base Depot
Private John Noel Shadwell Heron, NZOC, Base Depot
Private Mark Edwin Ivey, NZOC, Base Depot
Private Edward McTavish MacPherson, NZOC, Base Depot
Private Lionel Edward Campbell, NZOC, 14 LAD
Private Lionel John McGreevy, NZOC, 14 LAD
Although this list is not exhaustive, the few highlighted names indicate the logistical talent onboard the Rangitata during its voyage as part of Convoy US.1. Officers such as Harper, Kelsey and Reid would go on and play a significant role in shaping the future of New Zealand Military Supply and Maintenance Support trades.
Although the journey of the MV Rangitata’s Bell and how it ended up in Trentham may never be known, the hope is that given its relationship to the Logisticians of the First Echelon, in the future, the RNZALR will place and display this bell in a position of significance.
In British and Commonwealth military doctrine, there has long been a separation of responsibility for Supplies and Stores
Supplies – The provisioning, storing, and distributing of food for soldiers, forage for animals; Fuel, Oil and Lubricants (FOL) for tanks, trucks and other fuel-powered vehicles and equipment; and the forward transport and distribution of ammunition. In the NZ Army, Supplies were managed by the New Zealand Army Service Corps (NZASC) from 1911 to 1979.
Stores – The provisioning, storage and distribution of weapons, munitions and military equipment not managed by RNZASC. Stores were the Responsibility of the Royal New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps (RNZAOC) until 1996.
Despite the separation of responsibilities, the RNZASC and RNZAOC had a long and cooperative relationship.
During early colonial days, the early actions of the New Zealand Wars proved that the New Zealand bush and the elusive tactics of the Māori presented unfamiliar problems of supply and transport. An Imperial Supply and Transport Service was established and operated with the Imperial troops.
From the end of the New Zealand Wars until 1910, there was no unit of ASC in New Zealand, with the supply functions required by the New Zealand Military provided by the Defence Stores Department. However, in 1911 the formation of the Divisional Trains saw the beginnings of the NZASC as part of the Territorial Army. NZASC units served in World War One, during which the NZASC and NZAOC would, especially in the early years of the war, often share personnel, facilities, and transportation.
In 1917 the NZAOC was established as a permanent component of the New Zealand Military Forces, however, it would not be until 1924 that the Permanent NZASC was formed. The alliance between the NZASC and the Royal Army Service Corps (RASC) was approved in 1925.
The RASC has its roots much deeper in history. Up to the time of Cromwell, armies lived by plunder. The RASC came into being in 1888. but the work it would perform was being done long before that.
Cromwell and then the Duke of Marlborough, and later Napoleon organised a system of civilian commissaries. The Duke of York established the Corps of Royal Waggoners in 1794. This purely transport organisation continued until 1869 under various names, eventually, as the Military Train, fighting as light cavalry in the Indian Mutiny.
The birth of the Supplies and Transport Service dates from 1869. when the Commissariat and the officers of the Military Train along with the Military Stores Department came under one department called the Control Department, it remained for General Sir Redvers Buller, in 1888, to organise the first Army Service Corps. Since its formation, the RASC has been a combatant corps, trained and armed as infantry and responsible for its own protection. Considered a more technical Corps the NZAOC was not granted the status of a combatant Corps until 1942.
During World War Two, many units and establishments represented the NZASC in all the New Zealand Expeditionary Force (NZEF) theatres. Again, as in the earlier World War, the NZASC would have a cooperative relationship with New Zealand Ordnance Corps (NZOC) Ammunition Examiners (AEs) were on the establishments of the RNZASC Ammunition platoons, with NZASC Warrant Officers attached to the NZ Divisional Ordnance Field Park (OFP) to provide technical advice on vehicle spares. As a tribute to the service of the NZASC in WW2, the title, “Royal New Zealand Army Service Corps,’’ was bestowed in 1946.
In the post-war era, the NZASC and from 1946 the RNZASC would serve with distinction in J Force in Japan and then contribute the second-largest New Zealand contingent to K Force in Korea by providing 10 Transport Company.
Throughout the 1950s, 60s and 70s, the RNZASC would be an integral part of the New Zealand Army. Its functions ranging from the everyday task of cooking and serving food to the more spectacular operation of dropping supplies by air.
To purchase, store, rail, ship, and otherwise distribute the amount of food, fuels and oils needed to supply a modern army, the RNZASC maintained Supply Depots and employed many kinds of tradespeople, including Butchers. Supply Depots located in Papakura, Waiouru, Linton, Trentham, Burnham, and Singapore, holding supplies in bulk and distributing them as required. A section of the RNZASC would be a feature of every army camp with smaller Supply and Transport depots to handle goods received from the central supply depots and provide drivers and transport for many purposes at Devonport/Fort Cautley, Hopuhopu, Papakura, Waiouru. Linton. Trentham, Wellington/Fort Dorset, Christchurch/Addington, and Burnham.
Following the Macleod report that recommended the streamlining of logistic support for the British Army, the RASC merged in 1965 with the Royal Engineers Transportation and Movement Control Service to form the Royal Corps of Transport (RCT). This would see the RASC Supply functions transferred to the Royal Army Ordnance Corps (RAOC). In 1973, following the British lead, the Australians also reformed their Royal Australian Army Service Corps (RAASC) into the Royal Australian Army Corps of Transport (RAACT).
Acknowledging the British and Australian experience, the RNZASC would also undergo a similar transition, and on 12 May 1979, the RNZASC ceased to exist, and its Supply functions transferred to the RNZAOC, while the Transport, Movements and Catering functions were reformed into the Royal New Zealand Corps of Transport (RNZCT).
The RNZASC supply functions would be integrated into the RNZAOC, with the Camp Supply Depots becoming NZAOC Supply Platoons numbered as.
14 Supply Platoon, Papakura/Hopuhopu
24 Supply Platoon, Linton
34 Supply Platoon, Burnham
44 Supply Platoon, Waiouru
54 Supply Platoon, Trentham
NZ Supply Platoon, Singapore
In recognition of its long RNZASC service, 21 Supply Company was retained as a Territorial Force(TF) unit, initially as the TF element of 4 Supply Company in Waiouru and later as the TF element of 2 Supply Company, Linton. Today 21 Supply is the main North Island Supply unit of the Royal New Zealand Army Logistic Regiment (RNZALR).
For a brief period following the RNZAOC assumption of Supply functions, some RF and TF RNZAOC would periodically be employed within the RNZCT transport Squadrons Combat Supplies sections.
The RNZAOC Butcher trade inherited from the RNZASC would be discontinued in the mid-1980s, with the last of the butchers reclassifying as RNZAOC Suppliers. By the mid-1990s, it was decided as a cost-saving measure to allow the RNZCT catering staff to order directly from commercial foodstuff suppliers, effectively ending the RNZAOC foodstuffs speciality. The only RNZASC trade speciality remaining in the RNZAOC on its amalgamation into the RNZALR was that of petroleum Operator.
The RNZASC and RNZCT like the RNZAOC, have passed their combined responsibilities to the RNZALR. However, the RNZASC and RNZCT maintain a strong association that provides many benefits and opportunities for comradeship to RNZASC/CT Corps members and past and present members of the RNZALR. Another role of the RNZASC/CT association is to ensure that the rich and significant history of the RNZASC/CT is not lost to the future generations of the RNZALR.
Copies of the RNZASC/CT association newsletter from issue 92 can be viewed here
Serving the nation for 44 years, Henry Erridge would see service at Gallipoli before being invalided back to New Zealand. Continuing to serve throughout the interbellum, Erridge would assist in shaping the New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps for the Second World War. During the war, Erridge would play a significant role in providing New Zealand’s contribution to the collective logistics effort of the British Commonwealth
Henry Earnest Erridge was born in Dunedin on 18 December 1887 to Henry and Jane Erridge. The fifth of seven children, Henry would be educated in Dunedin and received commercial training. A keen military volunteer Erridge had joined the Dunedin Engineer Volunteers as a Cadet in 1904, transferring into the Otago Hussars in 1909, gaining Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO) Rank. On 6 April 1914, Erridge joined the New Zealand Permanent Staff (NZPS) with the rank of Staff Sergeant Instructor as the Orderly Room and Quartermaster (QM), No 15 Area Group, Oamaru.
On the outbreak of war in August 1915, Erridge was seconded for duty with the NZEF and left New Zealand with the Main Body, Otago Infantry Battalion. As a Signals Sergeant in the Otago’s, Erridge saw service during the Turkish attack on the Suez Canal in February 1915 and later took part in the landings at Gallipoli. Stuck down with enteric fever, Erridge would be evacuated from Gallipoli to Alexandria in June, and in August, invalided back to New Zealand for further convalescence.
Returning to duty as a Warrant Officer in the QM Department at Featherston Camp on 10 Jamuary 1916, Erridge was appointed Stores Forman responsible for managing the QM Stores accounts for Featherston and its subsidiary camps. Reclassified as Class “A” fit for overseas service on 5 July 1918, it was intended to attach Erridge to a reinforcement draft and returned to the front. Deemed as essential, the Director of Equipment and Ordnance (DEOS) Stores appealed to the Chief of the General Staff, stating that
The accounts of the Camp Quartermaster, Featherston Camp, have not been completed and balanced. The principle causes for this state of affairs are:
(1) The inferior class of clerks posted for Home Service duties. (2) And ever-changing staff, thus throwing the bulk of work on SSM Erridge, who has been employed in the capacity of foreman.
It is essential that SSM Erridge be retained until 1 November at least
Director of Equipment and Ordnance Stores to Chief of the General Staff. 14 August 1918
The DEOS appeal was successful, and Erridge was granted authority to delay his placement into a reinforcement draft until November on the proviso that every endeavour was to be made to have all accounts in connection with the QM Branch Featherston and subsidiary camps completed to the satisfaction of the proper authority. Following the Armistice of 11 November 1918, Enridges employment was reassessed, and he was provided orders to remain with the QM Department at Featherston. Seconded to the Ordnance Stores in Wellington in June 1919, Erridge was permanently transferred into the New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps (NZAOC) with Conductor rank on 1 October 1919.
Recommended for the Supplies and Purchasing Officer position with the civil administration in Samoa, Erridge was accepted for service with the Samoan Administration for three years from 24 May 1920. Due to a misunderstanding of the secondment rules, Erridge was discharged from the New Zealand Military. However, this was reviewed, and the discharge was rescinded, allowing Erridge to retain his rank and seniority on return to New Zealand.
Completing his service in Samoa in August 1923, Erridge returned to New Zealand and, following three months leave, resumed duty with the NZAOC, where he was posted to the Main Ordnance Depot (MOD) and placed in charge of the Stores on 1 December 1923. In an example of his experience and utility, Erridge would temporally relieve Captain F.E Ford, the Ordnance Officer of Featherston Camp, over the period 4-31 Jan 1924.
During the 1920s, the Quartermaster General (QMG) vested command of the NZAOC to the Director of Ordnance Service (DOS). Assisted by the Chief Ordnance Officer (COO), the Inspecting Ordnance Officer (IOO), and the Ordnance Mechanical Engineer (OME), the DOS was responsible to the for:
The provision, receipt, storage, distribution, repair, examination, and maintenance of small-arms, machine guns, vehicles, clothing and necessaries, equipment and general stores (including medical and veterinary), and camp and barrack equipment,
The inspection and repair of armament and warlike stores, and the inspection of gun ammunition.
The provision, receipt, storage, and distribution of small arms ammunition.
The receipt, storage, issue, and repair of fixed armament, field armament, and artillery vehicles.
The organisation and control of ordnance workshops
The preparation and periodic revision of Equipment Regulations and barrack and hospital schedules
The organisation, administration, and training of the NZ Army Ordnance Corps Forces
The maintenance of statistics of the Ordnance Department.
The DOS was also the Commanding Officer (CO) of the NZAOC and was responsible for the interior economy, including enlistment, training, pay, promotion, postings transfers, clothing, equipment, and discharges within the unit.
In 1924 the incumbent DOS, Lt Col Pilkington, was appointed QMG in Army Headquarters. Major T.J King, then acting COO, was appointed DOS, with Major William Ivory acting as the IOO and OME. By 1925 King recognised that he could not provide complete justice to both the DOS and COO posts, but with no Ordnance Officers immediately available to fill the COO position, he recommended that the QMG give some relief by granting Erridge an officer’s commission. In his recommendation to the QMG, King noted that
Conductor Erridge is a man of wide experience in Ordnance duties and stores works generally and is eminently fitted for appointment as Ordnance Officer with the rank of lieutenant. He is a man of unblemished character, with a very high regard for the interests of the Corps and the services, and in the last few months gained sufficient insight into the duties I propose transferring him to.
Director of Ordnance Stores to Quartermaster General 11 December 1925
The QMG supported King’s recommendation on the proviso that Erridge pass all the required commissioning examinations. On passing the examinations needed, Erridge was commissioned as a Lieutenant in the NZAOC on 23 July 1926. However, the question then arose of where to place Erridge on to the Army List. Technically the COO appointment was still vacant with Erridge for all intents acting as King’s assistant and only performing part of the COO duties with the work of the COO divided between King and Erridge. It was not desired to add to the establishment an Assistant COO, so it was decided to show Erridge as Ordnance Officer (Provision). Following several years as the Ordnance Officer (Provision), Erridge was appointed to the dual roles of Ordnance Officer MOD and Ordnance Officer Central Military District (CMD) on 14 May 1929.
In December 1930, the incumbent Ordnance Officer Southern Military District (SMD)and Camp Commandant of Burnham Camp, Captain A.R.C White, faced compulsory retirement. To allow some continuity while White’s replacement was decided, Erridge was temporarily sent to Burnham. Although initially only a temporary posting, Erridge would remain at Burnham until 1934 in the dual roles of Ordnance Officer SMD and Officer in Charge Burnham Camp (Camp Commandant).
By 1935 in his role of DOS, King was looking forward and preparing his organisation for war. In a submission to the General Headquarters, King requested authority to reorganise his staff. Regarding Erridge, King started.
Owing to the large amount of new equipment that is on order and is likely to be ordered soon, it is essential that the staff of the Ordnance Depot, Trentham, be strengthened to the extent that I should again have the assistance of my most experienced Ordnance Officer.
There is a great deal of work of a technical nature in connection with mobilisation, rewriting of Regulations, etc., which I am unable to find time to carry out myself, and which Mr Erridge, by virtue of his long experience and training, is well qualified to undertake. This work is most necessary and should be put in hand as soon as possible; I have no other Officer to whom I could delegate it.
Again, King’s recommendations were accepted, and on 30 June 1934, Erridge relinquished his Burnham appointments and was appointed as the Ordnance Officer (Provision) at the MOD, with promotion to Captain following on 1 December 1934.
When the war was declared in September 1939, the NZAOC would undergo significant transformation as its mobilisation plans were implemented. The DOS, Lieutenant Colonel King, would be seconded to the 2nd NZEF as the Deputy Director of Ordnance Services (DDOS). Accompanying King would be a small staff drawn from the military and civilian staff of the NZAOC who would form the nucleus of the Ordnance Corps in the 2nd NZEF. Kings’ responsibilities of DOS and COO would be handed over to the Ordnance Officer CMD, Lt Col Burge.
On 2 December 1939, Erridge relinquished the appointment of Ordnance Officer (Provision), was granted the Rank of temporary Major and posted to Army HQ with substantive Major confirmed in February 1940. In June 1940, the NZAOC would undergo further reorganisation when Lt Col Burge relinquished the appointment of DOS when he was appointed as Deputy QMG in Army HQ with the position of DOS placed into abeyance for the duration of the war. Appointed as Staff Officer Ordnance and CO of the NZAOC, Erridge would take over responsibility for the NZAOC.
With the national economy transitioning from a peacetime to a war footing, the Government would undertake a series of initiatives to ensure international trade and commerce security. Representing the New Zealand Military, Erridge would accompany the New Zealand Minister of Supply and a small entourage of officials of the New Zealand Munitions and Supply Delegation on a tour of Australia for a series of talks with their Australian counterparts in July/August 1940.
While the mission of the New Zealand Munitions and Supply Delegation to Australia was focused on strengthening cooperation between New Zealand and Australia, the Eastern Group Conference held in Delhi in October 1940 had the broader goal of organising a joint war supply policy for the countries of the “Eastern Group.” The countries represented at the Eastern Group Conference included the United Kingdom, Australia, India, South Africa, New Zealand, East Africa, Palestine, Ceylon, Burma, Malaya, and Hong Kong, with the Government of the Netherlands East Indies attending as observers. The New Zealand delegation would include.
The Chief of the General Staff, Major-General Sir John Duigan,
Major H. E. Erridge,
Mr F. R. Picot, Director of the Internal Marketing Department,
Mr J. R. Middleton, assistant-Secretary of supply,
Mr B. Taylor, assistant to the chief investigating officer of the Treasury Department.
As a result of the October conference, the Eastern Group Supply Council (EGSC) was established to coordinate and optimise the production and distribution of war materiel in the British colonies and dominions in the Eastern Hemisphere. The New Zealand members of the council who would be based in New Delhi were.
Mr F.R Picot, Director of Internal Marketing and Food Controller,
Mr W.G.M Colquhoun (Munitions Department).
Mr R.J Inglis (Supply Department).
Mr R.H. Wade (of the Treasury).
A Central Provisions Office (Eastern) was also set up in Delhi, with national offices established in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, East Africa, Southern Rhodesia and the Middle East. The Central Provision Office (Eastern) was a military organisation consisting of about 40 to 50 Army officers from all countries constituting the Eastern Group. Headed by the Controller-General of Army Provisions, who was also the military member of the EGSC and acted as the agent of the Imperial General Staff and various Commanders in Chief. The role of the Central Provision Office (Eastern) was coordinating with the controllers of the national provision offices to obtain military stores to maintain the British and Commonwealth war effort. From March 1941, Two NZAOC Officers, Temporary Major D. L. Lewis and Lieutenant D.I Strickland, would be attached to the Central Provision Office (Eastern) staff in New Delhi.
Before the Central Provision Office (Eastern) assumed complete provision control, it would be necessary for all the controllers of the national provision offices to meet to ensure that uniform procedures were adopted. A coordination conference for the various Provision Group Controllers was held at New Delhi in July 1941, with Erridge attending as New Zealand’s military representative. Based on this conference, on 5 August 1941, the New Zealand War Cabinet approved the establishment of the New Zealand Defence Servicers Provision Officer (DSPO), with Erridge appointed as its Controller with the rank of Temporary Lieutenant Colonel. Relinquishing the appointment of Staff Officer Ordnance and handing over the Commanding Officer NZAOC duties to Major E.L.G Bown, the COO MOD.
By April 1945, the DSPO thought Central Provision Group (Eastern) had shipped for the British Ministry of Supply equipment to the value of £10,000,000 (2021 NZD $8,988,577,362.41) with additional equipment to the value of £8,520,761 (2021 NZD $765,895,194.35) that was surplus to the requirements of NZ Forces overseas transferred to the War office. During a visit to New Zealand in January 1946, Major-General R.P Pakenham-Walsh, CB, MC., a member of the Eastern Group Supply Council and the Central Provision Office(Eastern), stated that “Stores from New Zealand which had been made available to the Eastern Group Supply Council had been of great importance in the prosecution of the war” adding that “the Dominion’s contribution had compared more than favourably with that of various larger countries.” Following the surrender of Germany in April and Japan’s defeat in August 1945, the Eastern Group Supply Council and Central Provision Office, although serving their purpose well, had become irrelevant and were dissolved on 31 March 1946. However, it would take two years for the DSPO to transition to a peacetime footing. Seconded to the War Asset Realisation Board (WARB) on 1 May 1947, Erridge would start to wind down the work of the DSPO while also coordinating the disposal of equipment through the WARB. On 17 December 1948, Erridge handed over the remaining stocks to the WARB and closed the DSPO.
At 62 years of age and following 45 years of volunteer, Territorial and Regular service, Erridge retired from the New Zealand Army and was placed onto the Retired List with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel on 29 May 1949. Never marrying, Erridge spent his retirement in his hometown of Dunedin. On 30 March 1962, a resident of the Dunedin’s Ross Home, Erridge, passed away at 74. Following his wishes, he was cremated, and his ashes scattered.
Throughout his service, Erridge was awarded the following decorations
NZ Long Service and Efficient Service (1925)
British War Medal
War Medal 1939-45
NZ War Medal, 193-45
 Archives New Zealand, “Henry Earnest Erridge- Ww1 8/1004, Nzaoc 888, Ww2 800245, 30293,” Personal File, Record no R24097640 (1904-1948): 2708.
 “Regulations for the Military Forces of the Dominion of New Zealand,” New Zealand Gazette, May 19 1927.
 “Appointments, Promotions, Resignations and Transfers of Officers of the NZ Military Forces,” New Zealand Gazette No 61, 19 July 1926.
 “Appointments, Promotions, Resignations and Transfer of Officers of the New Zealand Military Forces,” New Zealand Gazette No 48, 27 June 1929.
 “Appointments, Promotions, Transfers and Retirements of Officers of the NZ Forces “, New Zealand Gazette No 16, 5 March 1931.
 “Appointments, Promotions, Transfers and Retirements of Officers of the NZ Forces “, New Zealand Gazette No 55, 19 July 1934.;”Appointment, Promotions, Transfers and Retirements of Officers from the NZ Forces,” New Zealand Gazette No 87, 29 November 1935.
 “Appointments, Promotions, Transfers and Retirements of Officers of the NZ Forces “, New Zealand Gazette No 1, 11 Jan 1940.;”Appointments, Promotions, Transfers and Retirements of Officers of the NZ Forces “, New Zealand Gazette No 75 (1940).
 “Appointments, Promotions, Transfers and Retirements of Officers of the NZ Forces “, New Zealand Gazette No 70 (1940).
 “Unity in War Effort,” Evening Star, Issue 23622, 8 July 1940.
 East Africa consisting of the territories of (Kenya, Uganda, Tanganyika, Zanzibar, Northern and Southern Rhodesia, Nyasaland; Bertram Stevens, “The Eastern Group Supply Council,” The Australian Quarterly 13, no. 3 (1941).
 “Eastern Group Supply Council,” Otago Daily Times, Issue 24640, 23 June 1941.
 “Appointments, Promotions, Transfers, and Retirements of Officers of the New Zealand Military Forces.,” New Zealand Gazette, No 30, 9 April 1941.
 “Appointments, Promotions, Transfers, and Retirements of Officers of the New Zealand Military Forces.,” New Zealand Gazette, No 74, 11 September 1941.
 “War Supplies,” Evening Post, Volume CXXXIX, Issue 126, 30 May 1945.
 “Production Problems,” Evening Star, Issue 25690, 14 January 1946.
 “Supplies – the Eastern Group Supply Council,” Northern Advocate, 1 April 1946, 1 April 1946.
 “Appointments, Promotions, Transfers, and Resignations, of Officers of the New Zealand Army “, New Zealand Gazette No 37, 16 June 1949.
Today Tikao Bay is a calm, peaceful little bay with a laid-back holiday vibe hidden away in Akaroa Harbour with few clues remaining of its military use and the tragic drowning of two Ordnance soldiers.
During World War Two, with the threat of invasion by Japan just over the horizon, the isolated Akaroa Harbour would be fortified to deny its use by the enemy. However, by the time the battery of 6-inch guns, Naval Armament Depot and controlled minefield was completed in 1943, the threat had diminished, with the defences becoming an expensive white elephant. In early 1944 The controlled minefield was fired, and all the navy stores at the Tikao Bay Naval Armament Depot were transferred to other installations and facilities offered to the army.
The extensive facilities at Tikao Bay, including a mine magazine, examination room, primer magazine wharf and accommodation buildings, were taken over by the Southern District’s Ordnance Depot at Burnham Camp in 1944 as a satellite storage depot for Gun and Artillery Equipment. With an initial establishment of seven men in 1944, this had been reduced by 1955 to two soldiers responsible for the storage and maintenance of the equipment held at Tikao Bay.
Staff Sergeant Frederick Hastings Kirk aged 52, was married with three children and had been the Non-Commissioned Officer in charge of the Tikao Bay depot since 1950. Staff Sergeant Kirk had joined the Ordnance Depot at Burnham in 1939 as a civilian before enlisting into the 2nd NZEF early in 1940. As a Temporary Warrant Officer Class Two in 23 Battalion, Kirk was taken prisoner at Crete in 1941 and would remain a Prisoner of War for four and a half years. On his return to New Zealand, he joined the temporary staff and was posted to the Ordnance Depot at Burnham. In 1948 he became a member of the Regular Force and transferred to Tikao Bay in 1950.
Private Donald George Dixon was aged 28 and was married with three children. Private Dixon would initially serve with the ammunition inspection branch after his 1953 enlistment and was transferred to the Tikao Bay Depot in October 1953.
On Tuesday, 10 March 1955, on completion of their daily duties, Kirk and Dixon left the depot at about 7 pm to check a set net approximately 200 yards (183 Meters) from the Tikao bay jetty. Having not returned by 11 pm, the police were notified, and Constable Egan of Akaroa and Mr G Brasell undertook an initial search. At 3 am Wednesday, Egan and Brasell located the missing men’s upturned dingy at the high-water mark near the set net, which was still in position. Reinforced with a party from Burnham Camp, local residents, and the police, the search for the missing men, would continue for the rest of the week.
Private Dixon’s body was located and recovered from the harbour on Saturday morning. The search for Staff Sergeants Kirks body would continue with his body found on 18 March. It was assumed that a southerly wind had risen after the two men left the depot, causing the dingy to capsize with the coroner’s report ruling the deaths as asphyxia by drowning due to misadventure.
Tikao Bay would remain as an Army installation and training area into the early 1970s; however, its role as a storage depot would cease in the 1960s as the army progressively disposed of the remaining artillery equipment held there.
 Sydney D. New Zealand Department of Internal Affairs War History Branch Waters, The Royal New Zealand Navy (Wellington, N.Z.: War History Branch, Dept of Internal Affairs, 1956), 229-36.
 “Establishments – Ordnance Corps “, Archives New Zealand No R22441743 (1937 – 1946).
As New Zealand’s Army’s central stock holding unit, 1 Base Supply Battalion(1BSB) was responsible for managing and providing depot-level storage of New Zealand’s Military’s stock of land equipment and spares. Despite having this responsibility since 1920, 1BSB and its predecessors had always struggled with providing suitable warehousing infrastructure and made do with the available storage infrastructure.
With no purpose-built storage accommodation, from 1920 to 1940, the NZAOC Main Ordnance Depot (MOD) would utilise up to one hundred camp administrative and accommodation structures as its primary means of warehousing. Relief was provided in 1938 when contracts were issued to construct a modern warehouse utilising the most modern of methods and materials. The New warehouse, later known as Building 73, would be constructed using reinforced concrete and designed with nine bays that allowed the loading and unloading of Trains on one side and Motor Transport on the other. The design and layout of building 73 would be utilised as the model for new warehouses that would later be constructed at Burnham and Waiouru.
Although Building 73 provided a considerable increase in storage capability, wartime demands soon necessitated further increases in storage infrastructure, resulting in the construction of Building 74. Building 74 and the warehouses constructed in Burnham and Waiouru were close facsimiles of building 73, with the main exception that it was constructed out of wood instead of reinforced concrete due to wartime constraints.
The wartime expansion of the New Zealand military would see the MOD exponentially expand to cope with the influx of military material with additional buildings constructed in Trentham and sub-depots also established a Mangere, Wanganui, Linton Camp, Gracefield and Wellington.
Peace in 1945 would bring little respite as stocks were centralised at the MOD, requiring further expansion of the MOD warehousing infrastructure. To meet this need, five warehouses that were built for the United States Forces at Lower Hutt, were disassembled and re-erected at Trentham by September 1945. Additionally, the RNZAF Stores Depot constructed at Mangaroa in 1943 was handed over to the MOD in 1949.
Over the next forty years, the warehousing infrastructure at Trentham would change little, with a 1985 NZDF report identifying many deficiencies leading to significant upgrading of Trentham’s warehousing infrastructure.
In one of the most significant warehousing infrastructure investments since 1939 and the first modern warehouse built for the RNZAOC since 1972, Building 75, a high stud warehouse capable of holding 3700 pallets, opened in 1988. Although a significant advancement in warehousing capability, the new warehouse had limited space for outsized items. Additionally many other warehousing functions such as packing and traffic remained in Building 73, so further work was required to enhance the functionality of 1BSBs entire warehousing capability.
With trains no longer utilised for the delivery and dispatching of stores, the rail lines between Building 73 and 74 had long been redundant. By removing the rail line and raising the ground level between the two buildings, additional storage spect of almost two square kilometres, protected from the elements by a 200 x 13-meter roof, was created. At the southern end, a loading ramp was constructed to allow the loading and unloading of trucks, with angled ramps at either end allowing the movement of vehicles along the length of the new storage area. Opened on 2 November 1989, the new warehouse was christened as “the Cave.” The Cave allowed the more efficient transfer of stores to and from the storage areas in Buildings 73, 74 and 75 to the receipt, selecting, packing and issue bays in Building 73.
The additional storage space allowed the storage of outsized items which had previously been stored at the Mangaroa Depot, which was subsequently decommissioned and handed over to NZDF Property Services.
The optimisation of storage space between the two buildings was so successful a similar modification would be constructed between two of 21 Supply Company’s 1950s era Warehouses at Linton, creating much-needed storage and office space.
 “New Army Ordnance Block Now under Construction at One of the Military Camps,” Evening Post, Volume CXXVIII, Issue 65, 14 Sept 1939.
 F Grattan, Official War History of the Public Works Department (PWD, 1948).
 “Organisation – Policy and General – Royal New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps 1946-1984,” Archives New Zealand Item No R17311537 (1946).
 “Assessment and Audit – Audit Files –  – Nzdf Bulk Warehousing,” Archives New Zealand Item No R24596003 (1985).
Of all the Ammunition magazine areas constructed in New Zealand during the Second World War, the Belmont magazine area was nestled in the hills north of Wellington between the Hutt and Porirua was the largest and closest to a large population area. In the early 1970s, following the removal, disassembly for scrap, and destruction of its stocks, Belmont’s life as an magazine area concluded with the land was reverting to civilian use. As with any retired military facility kept out of the public eye during its operational life, urban legends and rumor’s thrive about secret tunnels and forgotten caches of buried military material. In this respect, Belmont is no different as items such as empty 3.7-inch Anti-Aircraft projectiles are occasionally discovered, fueling such rumor’s. Although there is little evidence to support the stories and urban legends, Belmont does have some secrets from its wartime past. The most significant is that Belmont was the home to the bulk of New Zealand’s chemical weapon stockpile.
As the threat of war with Japan became inevitable in 1940, the New Zealand Government would begin a progressive mobilisation of New Zealand’s home defence forces. By early 1942 this mobilisation would see two Infantry Brigades deployed to Fiji and Three Divisions and several independent Brigades mobilised for home defence.
This massive mobilisation initiated a rearmament program resulting in vast amounts of war material from the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States being delivered to New Zealand. Included as part of the infusion of new weapons and equipment was the required scales of ammunition required for each type of weapon system. Ammunition scales used by New Zealand were based upon the standard British scales. They included all the ammunition natures needed by New Zealand for use in the Pacific and home defence, including Anti-Tank, High-Explosive, Smoke and a stockpile of Chemical rounds consisting of,
112,770 25-Pounder Chemical rounds, and
10,300 4.2-inch B4 (Tear) and Y4(Blister) chemical mortar bombs.
With consignments of ammunition due to arrive in New Zealand from late 1942, construction of the new ammunition magazine areas had been initiated in 1940, with the construction of the Belmont Magazine Area beginning in September 1942. The Belmont Magazine Area would consist of sixty-two Magazine buildings, with buildings 28 and 29 dedicated to holding chemical rounds from late 1943.
All the 4.2inch Bombs were stored at Belmont with the recommended distribution of the 25-Pounder chemical rounds been,
30,000 rounds to the Northern Military District
30,000 rounds to the Southern Military District
52,770 rounds to the Central Military District Belmont Depot
However, records are uncertain if this distribution occurred, so it is quite probable that the entire stock of 25-Pounder ammunition was held at Belmont.
The New Zealand Stockpile was significant as a lethal percutaneous dose of mustard was 4.5 gm. With 300 tons of the agent in the NZ stockpile, the potential lethal doses held in Belmont was approximately 60 million. To put the size of the stockpile in context, it was equal to 5% of the United States Stockpile in 1993.
The use of Chemical Weapons was highly controlled and only to be used in retaliation if the enemy used it first. Although US forces on Guadalcanal had captured some Japanese Chemical Weapons, the NZ Deputy Chiefs of Staff was confident that there did ‘not appear to be any other or greater evidence that the Japanese propose to use gas in this area’. However, it is believed that 3 NZ Div did deploy with Chemical rounds for their 25-pounders just in case.
If Chemical rounds were deployed with the 3 NZ Div, they would have been returned to New Zealand in 1944 and stored at the Kelms Road Depot at Ngaruawahia alongside the other natures of ammunition utilised by the Division.
Following the war, the disposal of wartime ammunition would become a standing task for the RNZAOC Ammunition functions as damaged, obsolete, and surplus stocks were disposed of by a variety of methods.
Ammunition that was damaged would often be disposed of by demolition, with, for example, the destruction of 3.7-inch Anti-Aircraft ammunition issued to units and returned to Depots would take up to 1957 to complete.
The stockpile of chemical munitions would be dumped at sea, with two dumping operations found in archival sources.
Two hundred tons of chemical shells scuttled on the tug Maui Pomare at the 100-fathom line in the Hauraki Gulf in April 1946.
One thousand five hundred tons of 25-Pounder chemical shells and twenty tons of bombs had been dumped by the Marine Department steamer Matai off the Wellington coast by October 1946.
Stock from the Belmont magazine area was delivered by Army personnel to the wharf at the RNZAF base at Shelly Bay in lots of 250 Tons and loaded onto the Marine Department steamer Matai. All possible safety precautions were applied with each crew member was issued protective capes, respirators and gloves. With special chutes constructed, cases of shells were jettisoned fifty Nautical miles off the Wellington coast in the Cook Strait Canyon, which reaches depths of three kilometres.
The dumping of the Chemical munitions was well publicised with newspaper articles describing the disposal operation;
Stored since 1943, 1500 tons of gas shells are to be dumped at sea by the Matai. Fuses have been removed from the 25lb shells that contain the gas, but to ensure that there is no risk to those carrying out the work, full Admiralty and War Office safeguards will, be taken. The gas is of the blister variety. The boxes containing the shells will be filled with sand to guard against possible leakages. Each box is painted with a substance that will indicate even a pinpoint of escaped gas.
Northern Advocate, 18 September 1946
Although the archival records that at least 15,220 tons of Chemical munitions had been dumped at sea by the end of 1946, there is no accurate reconciliation of the actual number of rounds disposed of. However, it would be a reasonable assumption that New Zealand had no desire to maintain a contingency stock of Chemical weapons and that all wartime stocks were disposed of by the end of 1946.
 F Grattan, Official War History of the Public Works Department (PWD, 1948).
 “Defence Works – Magazine – Belmont Hills,” Archives New Zealand Item No R22435088 (1942).
 “H-19 Military Forces of New Zealand Annual Report of the General Officer Commanding, for period 1 April 1957 to 31 March 1958,” Appendix to the Journals of the House of Representatives (3 July 1958 1958).
 “Ammunition – Disposal of unserviceable ammunition 1945-1952,” Archives New Zealand Item No R21465842 (1945).
 A Hubbard, “Chemical War: Our seabed legacy,” New Zeland Listner, 16 January 1993.
The Royal New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps (RNZAOC) and its predecessor’s primary storekeeping responsibility was providing Clothing, Camp Equipment, Ammunition, Arms and Accessories to New Zealand’s Military Forces. From the Second World War, the technical nature of military Storekeeping evolved to include a host of military equipment such as vehicles, communications equipment and mechanical plant. These new types of equipment were utilised in large quantities, and all required accessories and a complex range of repair parts to keep them operational. To provided a comprehensive and optimal measure of control from 1963, RNZAOC Stores Sections were raised as part of Royal New Zealand Electrical and Mechanical Engineer (RNZEME) workshops. The Stores Sections were complimented by the standing up of the Auto Parts trade in 1965. This article provides a broad and introductory overview of how the Motor Transport Branch (MT Branch) and the RNZAOC managed Motor Transport Stores (MT Stores) from 1939 to 1963.
As in the First World War, the New Zealand Army mobilised in 1939 would be equipped and organised to allow near-seamless integration into a larger British army. The British army of 1939 was one whose doctrine had embraced modern technology so that. ‘By the time of the invasion of Poland, the British Army in Europe was rather more motorised than the German Army.’ Aspects of the advanced British doctrine had filtered through to New Zealand in the later 1930s, with modern equipment such as Bren Guns and Universal carriers arriving in New Zealand and some rudimentary experiments in motorising the Army had taken place. However, as a legacy of interwar defence policies and financial constraints, the New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps (NZAOC), unlike the Royal Army Ordnance Corps (RAOC) in the United Kingdom, was not organised effectively and, as a result, unprepared to function effectively when the war began. It could be said that during the Second World War, New Zealand maintained two separate armies. First, the 2nd New Zealand Expeditionary Force (2nd NZEF), with its combat units, supporting arms and logistic units, organised against modified War Office Establishment tables with G1098 stores directly drawn from British Stocks. Secondly, there was the NZ Army at home. Although also organised against War Office Establishment tables, its equipment needs, and G1098 Stores would be provided from a New Zealand Logistical base.
The NZAOC of 1939 was a Corps that had suffered under the defence restraints of the interwar years and was primarily concerned with the supply and maintenance of clothing, equipment, ammunition, and weapons. Although the army had 56 vehicles, the NZAOC had little experience supporting Motor Transport (MT) on a scale required by a growing army. A significant factor limiting the growth of the NZAOC in the critical early wartime years was that nearly all its senior leadership had been seconded to the 2nd NZEF. Given the need to rapidly expand and manage the capacity of the Army’s MT fleet, the Quartermaster General (QMG) decided in a significant break from the doctrine that to allow the NZAOC to focus on its key responsibilities, a separate MT Branch would be established.
The MT Branch was established in late 1939 to manage and maintain the thousands of purchased or impressed vehicles required by the military. Taking a similar approach to the RAOC in the United Kingdom, the MT Branch would leverage off the experience of the New Zealand Motor industry. Many of the MT Branch’s staff would be directly recruited from the motor industry into the New Zealand Temporary Staff (NZTS). By December 1942, the MT Branch consisted of,
1 MT Workshops, Trentham
2 MT Workshop, Waiouru
3 MT Workshops, Papakura
4 MT Workshops, Whangarei
5 MT Workshops, Palmerston North
6 MT Workshops, Wellington
7 MT Workshops, Blenheim
8 MT Workshops, Burnham
9 MT Workshop, Dunedin
MT Depots providing pools of vehicles
1 MT Depot, Auckland
2 MT Depot, Hamilton
3 MT Depot, Napier
4 MT Depot, Wanganui
5 MT Deport, Christchurch
MT Stores Depots providing MT spares, tools and equipment for MT Workshops and Depots
1 Base MT Stores Depot, Wellington
2 MT Stores Depot, Auckland
3 MT Stores Depot, Wellington
4 MT Stores Depot, Christchurch
7 MT Stores Depot, Blenheim
As most vehicles utilised by the NZ Military in the early years of the war were impressed from civilian service, initial scaling of MT spares were achieved by simply purchasing the existing stock held by New Zealand motor manufacturers and dealerships. As the war progressed, new vehicles, equipment and spares arrived from the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, and the United States, requiring further expansion of the MT Branch.
Freed from the burden of managing MT, the Chief Ordnance Officer (COO) with NZAOC, Territorial units of the New Zealand Ordnance Corps (NZOC) and personnel from the NZTS would provide.
All natures of stores and equipment other than rations, forage, and fuel.
The repair and maintenance of armaments and equipment, including
Light Aid Detachments and mobile workshops providing 1st and 2nd line support across Field Force Units
Armament and General Engineering Workshops.
Main Ordnance Workshop, Trentham
11 Ordnance Workshop, Whangarei
12 Ordnance Workshop, Devonport
13 Ordnance Workshop, Blenheim
14 Ordnance Workshop, Burnham
15 Ordnance Workshop, Dunedin
Post War Developments
Before the war, the NZAOC had not been organised to carry out its functions effectively. The conclusion of the war provided the opportunity for the NZAOC to be reorganised to bring it into line with RAOC organisational structures and procedures, including the management of vehicles and MT Spares. The MT Branch, which had only been intended as a temporary wartime organisation, would, as a result, have its wartime responsibilities absorbed into a reorganised NZAOC and newly established NZEME.  When the MT Branch was established in 1939, it had 62 vehicles at its disposal. By the end of the war the Branch had handled over 30000 vehicles, with 21000 disposed of by March 1946.
The MT Branch Workshops along the Ordnance Workshops would, from 1 September 1946, be absorbed into a new organisation, the NZEME.
MT Vehicle Depots
With many of the vehicles impressed earlier in the war returned to their original owners or disposed of during the war, the MT Vehicle Deports still held thousands of military vehicles. From 1 September 1947, responsibility for the MT Vehicle Depots was transferred to the RNZAOC, establishing the RNZAOC Vehicle Depots at Sylvia Park, Trentham, and Burnham.
MT Spares Depots
Following several audits and stocktakes, spare parts, tools, and accessory s were handed over from MT Stores to the RNZAOC on 1 April 1948. To continue the management of MT Stores, the RNZAOC established MT Spares Groups at the Main Ordnance Depot (MOD) at Trentham and at the Northern and Southern District Ordnance Depots. The system of supply for MT Stores was that the RNZEME workshops held a small stock managed by RNZEME Stores Staff. Replenishment was by either Local Purchase or through the supporting District Ordnance Depot, MT Group. The exception was that the Central Districts Workshops at Waiouru and Linton demanded off the MOD MT Stores Group at Trentham. This anomaly was rectified in 1954 when the Central Districts Ordnance Depot at Linton was authorised to establish an MT Stores Depot.
By 1961 the NZ Army vehicle fleet was in transition as the older World War Two era fleet of vehicles, including Chevrolets, Fords and GMCs, where been replaced with a fleet of modern Bedford’s and Land Rovers. As the vehicle fleet transitioned, the management MT Stores were also reviewed, and several changes would be implemented during 1961and 1962.
Workshop Stores Sections
RNZAOC Workshop Stores Sections were to be raised at the following RNZEME Workshops,
• Northern Districts Workshops,
• Central Districts Workshops,
• Central Districts Armament and General Workshops
• Central Districts MT Workshops
• Southern District Workshops
50% of the staff for the new Stores Sections would be RNZEME personnel transferred into the RNZAOC.
Ordnance Deport MT Stores Groups
With raising the RNZAOC Stores Sections, the District Ordnance Depot MT Stores Groups were rerolled as Technical Stores Groups and ceased to hold MT Stores. Stock of MT Stores was redistributed to the new Stores Sections whose initial scaling for 1962 was to have six months of inventory; this was reduced to three months after January 1963. The balance of the District Ordnance Depots stock not required by the Stores Sections was to be transferred to the MOD.
By the end of 1963, RNZAOC Stores Sections had been firmly established as part of the RNZEME Workshops, providing not only MT Spares but the full range of repair parts and spares required by the workshops. Developing their own unique culture within the RNZAOC, the stage was set to introduce an RNZAOC Auto Parts and Accessories trade in 1965.
 Jonathan Fennell, Fighting the people’s war : the British and Commonwealth armies and the Second World War, Armies of the Second World War, (Cambridge University Press, 2019), Non-fiction, 32.
 Army Form G1098, the Unit Equipment Table giving the entitlement to stores and equipment.
 The Ordnance Manual (War) 1939 and mobilisation regulations stated that all A and B Vehicles less those driven by the RASC were to be maintained by the RAOC, RASC vehicles were to be maintained by the RASC. Ordnance Manual (War), ed. The War Office (London: His Majestys Stationery Office, 1939), 12.
 P.H. Williams, War on Wheels: The Mechanisation of the British Army in the Second World War (History Press Limited, 2016), 42-54.
 “Staff – Motor transport branch,” Archives New Zealand Item No R22438851 (1942).
 “Organisation – Policy and General – Royal New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps 1946-1984,” Archives New Zealand Item No R17311537 (1946).
 The NZEME would gain royal status in 1947 as the Royal New Zealand Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (RNZEME).
 Peter Cooke, Warrior Craftsmen, RNZEME 1942-1996 (Wellington: Defense of New Zealand Study Group, 2017), 189.
 “Organisation – Policy and General – Royal New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps 1946-1984.”
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