Military Stores Department in New Zealand 1857-1870

During the New Zealand Wars that fell between 1840 and 1870, responsibility for the provision of Logistical support to the Imperial Forces in New Zealand fell to two organisations; The Commissariat whose duty was to keep the soldier well fed and the Military Store Department (MSD) whose function was to keep the soldier well and comfortably clad and amply supplied with the munitions of war. The smaller of the two organisations the activities of the MSD have been overshadowed by the much larger and more well-known Commissariat. With its origins with the Board of Ordnance representatives sent from New South Wales to the colony of New Zealand in 1840, the MSD would provide what is now known as Ordnance support to the Imperial Forces until their departure in 1869 and once the final administrative clean-up had been completed the final representative of the MSD departed New Zealand in 1870. This article is not intended to be a detailed history of the Military Store Department, but an introduction of the organisation and its personnel and a point of reference for further research.

Board of Ordnance

The Arms of the Board of Ordnance. UK national archives

The origins of the MSD  lie with the Board of Ordnance, which under the Master General of the Ordnance existed between 1597 and 1855. The Master General of the Ordnance had a dual civilian and military role; the military function as commander of the Artillery and the Engineers, and a civil role, as head of the Ordnance Department, with responsibility for stores, lands, geographical and geological survey, defensive works, barracks, military hospitals, factories and contracts. During 1792 the Board of Ordnance established two distinct departments to support the Army; the “Storekeepers” and the “Ordnance Field Train, the officers of the latter were called Commissaries of Ordnance, and as such was employed during the period of the Crimean war.[1] The Board of Ordnance had due to the logistical failures of the Crimean war, was abolished in 1855 and its functions placed under the supervision of the War Office while reformation of the British Army’s administrative system took place. In 1857 the two services were amalgamated to form the MSD.[2]

The story of the MSD  in New Zealand begins in the Colony of New South Wales when in 1836 the Board of Ordnance established a presence in the Australian Colony. At the time the commissariat (part of the civil administration) was responsible for general supplies and storekeeping with the Brigade Major (Military) accountable for the guns and gunpowder. On 1 January 1836, these functions were transferred from the Commissariat to the Board of Ordnance (Ordnance Storekeeper) and the Office of the Colonial Storekeeper. Although there was a separation of duties between the Board of Ordnance and the Colonial Storekeeper both had responsibility for guns and gunpowder and shared premises and personnel.[3]  Located in George Street North, The Ordnance Storekeeper’s Department under the leadership of storekeeper Richard Rogers; included as his staff his assistant, Percival Wilkinson; and five clerks; John MacDonald, Richard Rogers, William Plummer, Joseph Osbertus Hamley, and Thomas Lawry.[4]

With the establishment of New Zealand as a dependency of New South Wales, the New Zealand colonial administration came from within the ranks of the New South Wales administration, including the Colonial Storekeeper. The Colonial Storekeepers office was included in the First wave of administrators to arrive with Governor William Hobson in January 1840.[5] Mr Charles Hook Gordon Logie of the Sydney based Colonial Storekeepers was appointed on 15 January 1840 to hold the appointment of Colonial Storekeeper in Hobsons administration.[6] The Colonial Storekeeper reported to the Colonial Secretary and was responsible for providing the local colonial militia with arms and accoutrements but had no responsibility for Imperial troops. Imperial troops in New Zealand were the responsibility of the Board of Ordnance. Stores and services provided to the Colonial Storekeeper from Board of Ordnance stocks were on a “repayment” basis, an arrangement that would remain in place until the withdrawal of Imperial troops in 1870.

In April 1840 a detachment of 30 rank and file of the 80th Regiment of the British Army arrived from Sydney for service in New Zealand on board HMS Buffalo.[7] Accompanying them was a representative of the Board of Ordnance to cater for their logistical needs, establishing an Imperial Ordnance presence that would remain in New Zealand until 1870.[8] Detachments of the 80th Regiment later deployed to Auckland where under the direction of George Graham of the Ordnance Department they undertook construction of Fort Britomart.[9]

As the strength of Imperial Forces increased and became more of a permanent feature of the early New Zealand colonial landscape, the Board of Ordnance extended its reach into New Zealand in 1846. Establishing offices in Auckland and Wellington with the responsibility for the construction and maintenance of barracks and ensuring the maintenance of Imperial military units in New Zealand with munitions and that they remained comfortably furnished with uniforms and necessities.[10]

The Auckland Office of Ordnance located in Princes Street, was under the management of Mr William Plummer,[11] with storage facilities divided between a bombproof magazine at the Mount Albert Barracks and an ordnance store at Fort Britomart.[12]

The Wellington Office of Ordnance, with Mr Joseph Osbertus Hamley as the Acting Ordnance Storekeeper had a magazine at Mount Cook and stone warehouse on Lambton Quay and later a warehouse in Farish Street.[13]

Farish Street

[Park, Robert] 1812-1870. Attributed works: [Sketches showing the damage to buildings sustained in the 1848 Wellington earthquake] 1848. Reference number: PUBL-0050-01. Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand, must be obtained before any re-use of this image. The impact of the 1848 earthquake on rigid constructions of stone and brick may be seen from these sketches of that time.

The great earthquake of 1848 which changed the landscape of Wellington also severely damaged the ordnance stores located in the Manners/Farish Street area leading to the granting of 13 acres of land to the Board of Ordnance in what would become the military reserve of Mount Cook.[14]  After the earthquake, Hamley set up an office in Willis Street and continued to use the Farish Street warehouse until 1855 when advertised as the “largest and most capacious in Wellington, and being in the centre of the business part of the town” advertised the Farish Street premises for sale.[15]

Plan of Mount Cook Barracks, as planned c.1845 and largely as built by 1852.

In January 1852 it was announced that the Master General of Ordnance had made the following promotions and appointments in the Ordnance Department, In New Zealand; [16]

  • William Plummer, Esq, to be Deputy Ordnance Storekeeper and Barrack Master at Auckland; and
  • Joseph Osbertus Hamley, Esq, to be Deputy Ordnance Storekeeper and Barrack Master at Wellington.

On 4  March 1859, at the age of 39 years, Plummer passed away, resulting in Hamley moving from Wellington and assumed charge of all Ordnance operations in New Zealand.[17]

Following the panic of the Crimean war, and the abolishment of the Board of Ordnance, the Board’s civil officers, were absorbed into a new organisation called the MSD, under the title of Military Store Officers, the gradings been:[18]

  • Principal Military Storekeeper and Military Storekeeper, both ranking as Lieutenant Colonel,
  • Deputy Military Storekeeper ranked as Major, and
  • Assistant ranked as Captain.

The formation of the MSD was one of many organisational reforms were undertaken to modernise and make the administration of the army more effective.[19] The changes soon filtered through to the colonies and the existing Ordnance organisations adapted to the new structures accordingly. Further changes occurred on 23 April and 12 June 1861 with the issuing of two Royal Warrants reorganising the MSD and improving the position of the officers. The Royal Warrants granted commissions to the officers of the MSD, [20]  organised into five grades:[21]

  • Principal Superintendent of Stores, ranked as Colonel,
  • Superintendent of Stores; ranked as Lieutenant Colonel,
  • Deputy Superintendent of Stores; ranked as Major,
  • Assistant Superintendent of Stores; ranked as Captain,
  • Deputy Assistant Superintendent of Stores; ranked as Lieutenant.

After some initial conflict in the mid-1840’s New Zealand settled into a period of relative peace, with underlying tensions between Maori and the settlers remaining, resulting in conflict erupting in the Taranaki in 1860. The dispute led to an escalation of Imperial troop levels so that by Mach 1864 the strength of Colonial and Imperial forces in New Zealand had grown from a few hundred in the 1840’s to a force of ab0ut 14000, including; [22][23]

  • ten Infantry Regiments,
  • two Batteries of Field Artillery,
  • Royal Engineers,
  • Military Train,
  • Commissariat Transport Corps,
  • Military Stores Department,
  • Purveyors Department,
  • Colonial Defence Force
    • Cavalry
    • Forest Rangers
  • Auckland Militia
  • Waikato Militia

Expanding from 1860 the New Zealand branch of the MSD  included the following staff;[24]

  • Assistant Superintendent of Stores and Barrack master – Major Joseph Osbertus
    • Served in New Zealand from 1847 until 1870 and retired after more than forty-two years of service as Commissary General with the honorary rank of Major General.[25]

      Joseph Osbertus Hamley

      Joseph Osbertus Hamley, circa 1860s. Photographer unidentified. Alexander Turnbull Library Reference Number: PA1-q-250-25-1 http://mp.natlib.govt.nz/detail/?id=27060

  • Assistant Superintendent of Stores – A.C. Macduff, Esq,
    • Second in command of the department who volunteered his services for New Zealand at the beginning of the war. Served from February 1861 until May 1866
  • Deputy Assistant Superintendent of Stores – J. Ramsford, Esq,
  • Deputy Assistant Superintendent of Stores – E. P. Holden, Esq
  • Deputy Assistant Superintendent of Stores – William Marvin,
    • In 1864 was employed in the demands office, responsible for maintaining the proper proportion of stores to meet the requirements of the army, either by obtaining the stores from England or purchasing them in the local market. Left the department in 1866 and returned to the UK.[26][27]
  • Deputy Assistant Superintendent of Stores – R. Tribe
    • Departed Chatham to take charge of the military stores outward April 1861.[28]
  • Deputy Assistant Superintendent of Stores – W D. Haldane,
    • Arrived March 1864.[29]
    • Completed service with the department in 1868,[30]
  • Deputy Assistant Superintendent of Stores -Timbell
    • Arrived March 1864.[31]
  • Deputy Assistant Superintendent of Stores -White
    • Arrived March 1864.[32]
  • Deputy Assistant Superintendent of Stores – J. F. Beatson
    • completed service with the department in 1868,[33]
  • Deputy Assistant Superintendent of Stores – W. Le Gyt
    • In charge Whanganui Depot[34]
  • Mr Henry Potter,
    • in charge of Issues, joined the department from Tasmania at the beginning of the war, completed service with the department in 1867.[35]
  • Mr Field,
    • In control of the finance department.
  • Mr Gorrio,
    • Department ledger keeper
  • Sergeant Alexander Stewart, Royal Artillery,
    • In charge of the powder magazine at Albert Barracks from 1961 to 1964
  • Armourer Sergeant John Smith,
    • Armourer MSD at Britomart Barracks.
  • Edward Smith.[36]
    • Armourer MSD at Britomart Barracks 1863
  • David Evitt [37]
    • Gunsmith, MSD at Britomart Barracks 1863

Store conductors

Store Conductors were Non-Commissioned Officers selected from the Royal Artillery and units of the line based on their superior intelligence and exemplary conduct. [38] Reinforcing their knowledge of stores duties and procedures by attending a six-week course at the Tower and Woolwich Arsenal prepared and confirmed their appointment as Stores Conductors.[39] Known Stores Conductors in New Zealand were;[40]

  • 3242 Sergeant -Master Gunner John Bates, Royal Artillery, 5 Mar 1861 – 20 Jun 1866, Served: Waitara, Te Arei Pa and Auckland,
  • 3153 Sergeant 3rd Class Benjamin Evans, Royal Artillery, 1861 – 1866, Transferred to MSSC 29 Jun 68
  • 687 Sergeant Caleb Bell, Royal Artillery, 1861 – 1866,
  • 2787 Sergeant John Brown, Royal Artillery,1 Aug 1861 – 14-Nov-66,
  • 1439 Sergeant William Brunkard, Royal Artillery, 1861 – 1866,
  • 3074 Sergeant Hugh Carlin, Royal Artillery, 5 Mar 1864 – 1866, Served Waikato and Wanganui,
  • 1080 Sergeant Archie Hood, Royal Artillery, 1861 – 1866, Served Taranaki,
  • 1313 Sergeant Master Gunner Walter Kelsall, Royal Artillery, 1861 – 1866, Served Auckland and Shepard Bush,18th Regt

From 1857 the military establishment of the MSD was only officers, with civilians and soldiers seconded from other Corps or Regiments as required. The formation of a Military Store Staff Corps as an unformed branch of the British military had been under discussion for some time, with Major Hamley strongly recommending the creation of such as Corps in 1864.[41] Established by royal warrant in 1865 the Military Store Staff Corps created an establishment of soldiers to complement the officers of the MSD.[42] Given that by the time of the granting of the royal warrant, and the establishment of the Military Stores Staff Corps in 1866,[43] the Imperial forces in New Zealand were starting to wind down operations and depart New Zealand; it is currently unknown if Major Hamley was able to have his staff transferred to the Military Stores Staff Corps.

ourheritagemediaoriginalfc5f46c2afbfb5e53b76cef5c40974d2

Williams, E. A. (Edward Arthur), 1824-1898, “Fort Britomart. Auckland.,” ourheritage.ac.nz | OUR Heritage, accessed July 28, 2018, http://www.otago.ourheritage.ac.nz/items/show/4884.

Commensurate with the growth of the Imperial Forces, The MSD, alongside the much larger Commissariat [44] [45] had kept pace and by 1864 Fort Britomart and Albert Barracks in Auckland had become the central storage and distribution depot (Logistic Hub in modern terms) for all the Imperial troops stationed throughout New Zealand.[46] The MSD  infrastructure in Fort Britomart consisted of the following; [47]

Fort Britomart 1860s

A Scene at Fort Britomart, Auckland, 1860s. Shows soldiers from the Imperial; the Sir George Grey Special Collections in the Auckland City Library

  • No 1 Store – A large 65ft x 60ft building with an estimated storage capacity of 1000 Utilised at the “Receiving Store,” it is the store that all inwards goods are received, sorted and classified before distribution to customer units or placed into storage into other stores for later use.
  • No 2 Store – A bulk store for all manner of goods from scythes to swords, including in-numerable bales of grey blankets
  • No 3 Store – Clothing and necessities store for regimental for the 13 different corps in the colony. At the time uniforms were provided to men at one-third of the cost for which they were available from civilian vendors.
  • No 4 Store – Hospital stores and manner of necessaries, comforts or luxuries for sick soldiers.
  • No 5 Store – The delivery store where goods as pocked and addressed for the delivery to customers. Also serving as a store for trophy weapons captured during the war. Captured weapons were all carefully labelled, waiting to be claimed by the men who secured them when the war was over.
  • No 6 Store – Armoury for artillery stores and small arms such as rifles.
  • No 7 Store – Used for artillery fittings for 6Lb and 12Lb Armstrong batteries of the Imperial forces.
  • No 8 Store – The packing store, where tradesmen such as carpenters and painters prepare and pack goods for delivery.
  • No 9 Store – Reception store for camp equipage returned from regiments, and for its inspection and refurbishment to make it ready for reissue. This store also included an armourers workshop responsible for the repair and cleaning of rifles, swords, and other warlike implements. This building also included quarters for the twenty-five men of the MSD staff.
  • Magazines – Located in Albert Barracks and consisting of several buildings surrounded by a stone wall, the magazines held the entire supply of ammunition for the army in New Zealand. Stocks were held as either prepared cartridges (four and a half million rounds in March 1864) or as components such as shot and powder. Constructed of arched brick the magazines resembled strong rooms with the ammunition packed in cases and barrels on racks on each side with a narrow passage between the stock. Designed to be intrinsically safe within the walls of the magazine, with all nails and tools were made from copper so that every precaution was taken to prevent sparks and explosions. Magazine keepers were hand-picked, and the slightest sign of unsteadiness or neglect of duty resulted in instant dismissal.

Fort Britomart Map

MSD operations were not only restricted to Auckland but across the country were ever Imperial troops were serving. Embedded in Regiments, Stores Conductors provided the link between Regimental Quartermasters and the Store Department.  Hamley and his deputy Macduff would spend a considerable time in the field supervising stores distribution. An example being in March 1864 when McDuff personally oversaw the distribution of blankets, clothing and necessities to troops and Te Awamutu during the Waikato campaign.[48] During the Taranaki Campain, the strength of the MSD in New Plymouth in June 1863 was 1 Staff and 3 Sergeants.[49]

By 1866 the conflict in New Zealand had reached a stage where colonial forces were conducting the bulk of military operations, resulting in a drawdown and withdrawal of Imperial units. As the Imperial commitment decreased with the departure of five Imperial Regiments in 1866, the MSD also had to reduce and optimise its operations. The reduction of troops necessitated the closing of its provincial Depots such as the Depot in Whanganui in March of 1867, and its stores returned to Auckland.[50] [51] With the departure of four more regiments in 1867, the closure of the Tauranga Depot soon followed.[52]  The final Imperial Regiment would depart New Zealand in February 1869.[53] [54]

The dismantling of Fort Britomart had commenced in January 1969, with all the military content of Fort Britomart and Albert Barracks belonging to the Imperial Government, such as guns, ammunition and stores shipped to the United Kingdom on the SS Himalaya. [55] With the withdrawal of Imperial Forces completed by July 1870,[56] and the full responsibility for defence matters handed over to the New Zealand Colonial Defence Force.[57] Defence store-keeping responsibility was handed over to the Colony’s Defence Stores under the control of the Colonial Storekeeper, Captain John Mitchell.[58] [59]  Transfers of equipment on a cost recovery basis to the New Zealand Forces was facilitated, with the surplus was either disposed of by tender or redistributed around the empire. [60] [61]

Sam Stuart 1869

1869, an artists impression of Fort Britomart, Auckland City Library special collection

After 32 years of Colonial service Hamley, the last remaining Imperial Officer in New Zealand returned to England,[62] where he continued to be employed in Ordnance related services, serving in Ireland, Chatham. The War Office, Dover, and Aldershot retiring with the honorary rank of Major General.

In 1870 the Military Store Department, the Commissariat and the Transport Department were amalgamated into one organisation called the Control Department. A disastrous and ill thought out experiment in combined logistics, the amalgamation was reversed in 1876 with the MSD renamed the Ordnance Store Department, which in turn would after several name changes became the Royal Army Ordnance Corps in 1918.[63]

In conclusion, the MSD served with distinction during the New Zealand wars. The story of the MSD is the story of Major Joseph Osbertus Hamley. Hamley progressed through the ranks from being an 18-year-old in the Ordnance Department in Sydney to Deputy Ordnance Storekeeper in Wellington in 1847 and then the head of the MSD during the crucial war years of the 1860’s. Newspaper articles of the period are full of praise for Hamley and his skilful leadership of his department and few if any articles find any fault with him. This article provides an introduction into Hamleys MSD, which as an organisation unfairly overshadowed by the much larger and more well-known Commissariat is deserving of having its story told and further research is required to understand the full story of this exceptional man and the organisation he managed.

© Robert McKie, 2018

Notes

[1] Robert Curran, “Ordnance Stores and the Ordnance Storekeeper in the Colony of New South Wales,”  http://users.tpg.com.au/borclaud/ranad/ordnance_storekeeper.html#imp.

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

[3] Curran, “Ordnance Stores and the Ordnance Storekeeper in the Colony of New South Wales”.

[4] ” Old Sydney,” Truth (Sydney, NSW : 1894 – 1954), 4 August 1912.

[5] “Government Notice, Sydney Herald (Nsw: 1831 – 1842), 03 July 1840 “.

[6] “Letter from Charles Logie Colonial Storekeeper, Bay of Islands to Willoughby Shortland, Esquire, Acting Colonial Secretary Item Id R23629593, Record No 1840/76 (Wellington: Archives New Zealand),”  (1840).

[7] MNZM  Gerald J Ellott, “British Regiments in New Zealand 1840-1847,”  http://ellott-postalhistorian.com/articles/80th-96th-99th-Regiments.pdf.

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

[9] Una Platts, The Lively Capital, Auckland 1840-1865 (Christchurch: Avon Fine Prints, 1971), Non-fiction, 24.

[10] 158Adam Davis, “The Imperial Garrison in New Zealand, 1840-1870 with Particular Reference to Auckland” (University of Bedfordshire, 2004).

[11] , New Zealander,  Volume 1, Issue 41, 14 March 1846.

[12] “Communication with the Interior “, New Zealander, Volume 2, Issue 69, 26 September 1846.

[13] , Wellington Independent, Volume II, Issue 149 1847.

[14] “Pukeahu National War Memorial Park, Law and Order and the Military,”  https://mch.govt.nz/pukeahu/park/pukeahu-history-7.

[15] “Page 8 Advertisements Column 2,” Lyttelton Times, Volume V, Issue 259,, 25 April 1855.

[16] , New Zealand Spectator and Cooks Strait Guardian, Volume VIII, Issue 772, 25 December 1852

[17] “Projected Departure of Mr Hamley,” Wellington Independent, Volume XXV, Issue 3017, 9 July 1870.

[18] Arthur Forbes, A History of the Army Ordnance Services (London: The Medici society, ltd., 1929), 149.

[19] Brigadier A H Fernyhough, A Short History of the Royal Army Ordnance Corps (First Edition)  (RAOC Trust 1965), 14.

[20] Fernyhough, History of the Royal Army Ordnance Corps 1920-1945, ix.

[21] Forbes, A History of the Army Ordnance Services, 41.

[22] James Belich, The New Zealand Wars and the Victorian Interpretation of Racial Conflict (Auckland, New Zealand: Auckland University Press, 2015 This edition 2015, 2015), Bibliographies, Non-fiction, 125-26.

[23] Davis, “The Imperial Garrison in New Zealand, 1840-1870 with Particular Reference to Auckland,” 79.

[24] “Matters Military “, New Zealand Herald, Volume I, Issue 247, 27 August 1864.

[25] Una Platts, Nineteenth Century New Zealand Artists: A Guide & Handbook (Christchurch, N.Z.: Avon Fine Prints, 1980, 1980), Bibliographies, Non-fiction, Collective biography.

[26] , The Daily Southern Cross.Volume XXII, Issue 2851,, 14 September 1866.

[27] “Military Items,” Daily Southern Cross, Volume XXII, Issue 3101, 25 June 1867.

[28] “English Shipping,” Wellington Independent Volume XVI, Issue 1518, 30 April 1861.

[29] “Naval and Military Extracts,” Colonist, Volume VII, Issue 665, 11 March 1864.

[30] “Military Items,” Daily Southern Cross, Volume XXIV, Issue 3390, 28 May 1968.

[31] “Naval and Military Extracts.”

[32] Ibid.

[33] “Military Intelligence,” Taranaki Herald, Volume XVI, Issue 816, 14 March 1868.

[34] “Military Movements,” New Zealand Herald, Volume II, Issue 404, 28 February 1865.

[35] “Military Items.”

[36] “Police Court,” New Zealander, Volume XIX, Issue 1897, 18 June 1863.

[37] Ibid.

[38] “Matters Military “.

[39] Bolton, A History of the Royal New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps, 38.

[40] Terry Shattock, “Unpublished Work on New Zealand War Medals,” (2018).

[41] “Matters Military “, New Zealand Herald, Vol 1 Issue247, 27 August 1864.

[42] Fernyhough, History of the Royal Army Ordnance Corps 1920-1945, ix.

[43] “The New Military Store Staff Corps,” Daily Southern Cross, Volume XXII, Issue 2713, 28 March 1866.

[44] Julia Millen, Salute to Service: A History of the Royal New Zealand Corps of Transport and Its Predecessors, 1860-1996 (Wellington: Victoria University Press, 1997, 1997), Bibliographies Non-fiction, 24-25.

[45] “The Role of the Commissariat During the Waikato Campaign, 1863 – 1864,” http://www.soldiersofempire.nz/the-role-of-the-commissariat-during-the-Waikato-campaign-1863—1864.html.

[46] Davis, “The Imperial Garrison in New Zealand, 1840-1870 with Particular Reference to Auckland,” 131.

[47] “Fort Britomart,” New Zealand Spectator and Cook’s Strait Guardian, Volum XIX, Issue 1942, 12 March 1864.

[48] “Te Awamutu,” New Zealand Herald, Volume I, Issue 124, 6 April 1864

[49] “Taranaki. The Kaitake Pa Shelled, Abandonment of Tataraimaka, Withdrawal of the Troops (from Our Special Correspondent) New Plymouth June 29,” Daily Southern Cross, Volume XIX, Issue 1885, 1 August 1863.

[50] “Wanganui,” Daily Southern Cross, Volume XXIII, Issue 3003, 11 March 1867.

[51]  The Whanganui Depot had been established by Assistant Superintendent of Stores A.C. Macduff in 1864.   , New Zealand Herald, Volume II, Issue 344, 19 December 1864.

[52] “Page 2 Advertisements Column 5,” New Zealand Herald, Volume IV, Issue 1079, 30 April 1867.

[53] from An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand ‘BRITISH TROOPS IN NEW ZEALAND’, edited by A. H. McLintock, originally published in 1966., Te Ara – the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, and URL: http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/1966/british-troops-in-new-zealand (accessed 27 Jul 2018).

[54] “The Troops and the Home Government,” Daily Southern Cross, Volume XXV, Issue 3643, 23 March 1869.

[55] “Dismantling of Fort Britomart,” Daily Southern Cross, Volume XXV, Issue 3616, 19 February 1869.

[56] “Projected Departure of Mr Hamley,” Daily Southern Cross, Volume XXVI, Issue 4007, 25 June 1870.

[57] Garry Clayton, The New Zealand Army : A History from the 1840’s to the 1990’s ([Wellington, N.Z.] : New Zealand Army, 1990, 1990), Non-fiction, 26.

[58] “Militia and Volunteer Appointments,” Daily Southern Cross, Volume 2075, Issue XX, 14 March 1864 1864.

[59] Bolton, A History of the Royal New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps, 49.

[60] “Page 1 Advertisements Column 5,” Daily Southern Cross, Volume XXV, Issue 3596, 27 January 1869.

[61] “The Daily Southern Cross,” Daily Southern Cross, Volume XXV, Issue 3595, 26 January 1869.

[62] “Projected Departure of Mr Hamley.”

[63] Fernyhough, A Short History of the Royal Army Ordnance Corps (First Edition) 16-17.

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Colonial Storekeeper 1840-1871

The Office of the Colonial Storekeeper was the government apparatus responsible for the provision of logistic services to the early Colonial Government of New Zealand. Established in 1840, the appointment of Colonial Storekeeper was discontinued in 1844 only to be reestablished in the early 1860’s until falling into disuse in 1871. Having Military and civilian responsibilities the Colonial Storekeeper and can be considered as the foundation of New Zealand’s Military Stores services. Providing an overview and background this article provides a brief history of the Colonial Storekeepers of New Zealand.

The establishment of New Zealand as a British Colony in 1840 saw the adoption of the British system of colonial government which was already in use across the 40 colonies of the British Empire. The system consisted of a Governor and a range of administrative departments; such as Survey, Surgeon, Customs, Police/Militia, Stores etc. As New Zealand was initially annexed as part of the Colony of New South Wales the laws and institutions of New South Wales were duplicated in New Zealand utilising individuals seconded from New South Wales institutions until November 1840 when New Zealand became a separate colony[1].

The Office of the Colonial Storekeeper has its origins with the Colonial administration of New South Wales, which from 1836 had two distinct supply organisations;

  • The Ordnance Board which was responsible for British Government (Imperial) Stores, and
  • The Colonial Storekeeper, which was responsible for “Colonial stores”.

Although having separate roles, the two organisations overlapped as they shared the same magazines and storehouses and between 1836 and 1844 the position of Ordnance Storekeeper and Colonial Storekeeper was held by the same individual[2].

The Colonial Storekeepers office was included in the First wave of administrators to arrive with Governor William Hobson in January 1840[3]. Mr Charles Hook Gordon Logie of the Sydney based Colonial Storekeepers was appointed on the 15th of January 1840 to hold the appointment of Colonial Storekeeper in Hobsons administration[4].

Charles Logie(1810-1866) was a 29-year-old English immigrant then working for the Colonial Storekeeper in Sydney. Establishing the Office of the Colonial Storekeeper at Old Russell[5] with stocks dispatched from Sydney on HMS Herald[6], Logie would hold the position of Colonial Storekeeper until October 1840. The Colonial Storekeeper was only responsible for the provision of stores and supplies to Colonial entities and not for the Imperial troops stationed in New Zealand. Imperial forces such as the 8oth Regiment who arrived in early in 1840, had their immediate logistic requirements met by a Staff Sergeant from the Ordnance Board[7]. Following echelons of Imperial troops would have the logistic needs met by the Commissariat Transport Corps and the Ordnance Board[8] (Military Stores Department from 1855).

In October 1840 it was time for Logie to move on and approval was given on the 30th of October 1840 by the Colonial Secretary of New South Wales for Henry Tucker to replace Logie as Colonial Storekeeper, with Tucker taking up the appointment in November. Tucker was a Royal Navy Officer and purser aboard HMS Buffalo who had been stranded in New Zealand as a result of that ship coming to grief and sinking in the Coromandel on the 28th of July 1840[9]. During Tucker’s tenure, the capital was transferred from Russell to Auckland from March 1840[10], and in July 1841 New Zealand was granted the status as a full colony separating it from New South Wales[11].

Old Russell

Russell, Bay of Islands in 1858. [Moresby, Matthew Fortescue]. Attributed photographer: Reference Number: E-309-q-1-017 Alexander Turnbull Libary

The role of the colonial storekeeper in early colonial New Zealand was a critical position attempting as much as possible to meet the store’s needs of the expanding colonial administration. Stocks were either provided from the Colonial Storekeepers office in Sydney, purchased on the local market or obtained from the Board of Ordnance representatives in New Zealand. The Colonial Storekeeper was responsible for providing the local militia with arms and accoutrements but had no responsibility for Imperial troops. Imperial troops in New Zealand were the responsibility of the Board of Ordnance. Stores and services provided to the Colonial Storekeeper from Board of Ordnance stocks were on a “repayment” basis, an arrangement that would remain in place until the withdrawal of Imperial troops in 1870.

65th Regiment

Soldiers of the Light Infantry Company, 65th Regiment Ref: 1/2-025608-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand

In late 1843 the Colonial Secretary of New Zealand under pressure to reduce expenditure from the Colonial Office in London deemed the positions of Colonial Surgeon, Harbourmaster and Colonial Storekeeper as unnecessary and had them cancelled[12]. By February 1844 the duties of the Colonial Storekeeper had been divided between the Colonial Secretary and the Superintendent of Public Works[13][14]

From 1844 there is little evidence of the existence of a Colonial Storekeeper for New Zealand.  The passing of The Militia Act of 1845[15] established the Militia that was administered by the Colonial Secretary and equipped directly by stocks provided by the Imperial Military Stores Department or purchased from the Colonial Storekeepers in Sydney, New South Wales.colonial storekeeper

The outbreak of hostilities in the Taranaki in the early 1860’s saw the calling out of the Militia across the country and the large-scale use of Imperial troops. The conflict in the Taranaki led to the passing of the Colonial Defence Act of 1862[16] on the 15th of September 1862 and the formation of the Colonial Defence Force (the first Regular Force in New Zealand) with detachments throughout the country.

Superintendent Militia Stores,Under the Quartermaster General Office of the Colonial Defence Force, the Superintendent of Militia Stores was responsible for supplying the Colonial Forces from 1863 to 1865. During 1865 the responsibilities of the Superintendent of Militia Stores was transferred to the new Colonial Storekeeper, Captian John Mitchell. The exact date that the Office of Colonial Storekeeper had been reinstated is unclear, but correspondence originating from the Colonial Storekeeper shows that the position was existing from March 1862[17].Colonial Defence Force

Lieutenant Colonel Edward Gorton

Lieutenant Colonel Edward Gorton

Capitan John Mitchell had been a long-serving member of the 58th (Rutlandshire) Regiment of Foot which had arrived in New Zealand in 1854. A Corporal in the Bay of Islands in 1846[18], Mitchell, then a Sergeant took his discharge on the 31st of August 1853[19]. Entering government service in October 1856[20], Mitchell joined the Auckland Rifle Volunteers and had advanced to the rank of Captain in 1864 when he was placed on the unattached list of officers[21]. Mitchell was suspended as Colonial Storekeeper in May 1869 due to a dispute about some absences. Resigning on the 5th of July 1869[22] Mitchell was replaced by Major William St Clair Tisdall, who assumed the position as acting Colonial Storekeeper[23]. Tisdall would only remain as acting Colonial Storekeeper for a short time as Lieutenant-Colonel Edward Gorton, Acting Quartermaster-General was appointed as the Inspector of Defence Stores and Colonial Storekeeper in 1869[24]. With the passing of the Public Stores Act 1871[25], all Colonial Government stores were brought under his audit and inspection. The Public Stores Act 1871 defined the responsibilities of Storekeepers and Sub-Storekeepers, and the term “Colonial Storekeeper” fell into disuse.

 

Although existing for only just over ten years between 1840 and 1971 the Office of the Colonial Storekeeper is important for a number of reasons. The first iteration under Logie and Tucker established the first Civil/Military stores organisation in New Zealand, and given that Logie was under the employ of the Government of New South Wales it can be said with some certainty that Henry Tucker was the first New Zealand Colonial Storekeeper. The second iteration under Mitchell and then Gorton is just as notably important because the Colonial Storekeeper was the head of the first full-time Defence Stores organisation in New Zealand. The Defence Stores organisation of 1865 would remain a constant fixture of the New Zealand Defence Forces for the next 51 years before becoming the New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps in 1917.

Copyright © Robert McKie 2018

Notes

[1] Malcolm McKinnon, “Colonial and Provincial Government – the Crown Colony, 1840 to 1852,”  https://teara.govt.nz/en/colonial-and-provincial-government/page-1.

[2] “Ordnance Stores and the Ordnance Storekeeper in the Colony of New South Wales,”  http://users.tpg.com.au/borclaud/ranad/ordnance_storekeeper.html.

[3] “Government Notice,” Sydney Herald (NSW: 1831 – 1842), 03 July 1840 1840.

[4] Letter From Charles Logie Colonial Storekeeper, Bay of Islands To Willoughby Shortland, Esquire, Acting Colonial Secretary Item Id R23629593, Record No 1840/76 (Wellington: Archives New Zealand, 1840).

[5] Jack Lee, Old Russell : New Zealand’s First Capital: A History of the Opanui and Kahikatearoa Blocks at Okiato, Bay of Islands, on Which, in 1840, Lieutenant-Governor William Hobson Established the Town of Russell, His First Seat of Government in New Zealand (Russell, N.Z.: The Society, 1998, 1998), Bibliographies

Non-fiction.

[6] Way Bill of Stores to Be Conveyed to New Zealand Item Id R23629569 Record No 1840/30 (Wellington: Archives New Zealand, 1840).

[7] Joseph S. Bolton, A History of the Royal New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps (Wellington: RNZAOC, 1992), 43.

[8] Due to the Ordnance Boards poor performance during the Crimean War, the British Army administration system was reformed in 1855, and the Military Stores Department was formed as a result. Brigadier A.H Fernyhough C.B.E. M.C., A Short History of the Raoc (London: RAOC, 1965).

[9] P. Owen Wheatley Chas Ingram, Shipwrecks New Zealand Disasters 1795 to 1950. , 2 ed. (Wellington: AH & AW Reed., 1936).

[10] Stephen Levine, “Capital City,”  http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/capital-city.

[11] “Crown Colony Era,” Ministry for Culture and Heritage, https://nzhistory.govt.nz/politics/history-of-the-governor-general/crown-colony-era.

[12] “Symptoms of Reform,” Daily Southern Cross, Volume I, Issue 29, 1 November 1843.

[13] “Parliamentary Papers for 1843. Encolsure to No 11 Copy of Treasury Minute, Dated March 10, 1843,” Daily Southern Cross, Volume 1, Issue 41, 27 January 1844.

[14] Bolton.

[15] “Militia Act 1845,”  (1845).

[16] “Colonial Defence Force Act 1862,” ed. General Assembly of New Zealand (Wellington1862).

[17] Reporting That the Whole of the Ammunition Has Been Removed from the “Glance” to the Magazine at the Albert Barracks, Item Id R24477365, Record No Dag1862/133 (Wellington: Archives New Zealand, 1862); Rain Coming in through Roof of Armoury, Item Id R24477407, Record No Dag1862/186 (Wellington: Archives New Zealand, 1862).

[18] Pandora Research http://www.nzpictures.co.nz/pandoraresearchANZ-AJCP3828-58thRegt-1846JunQt-WO12-6747.pdf.

[19] “John Mitchell,” Victoria University of New Zealand, http://heurist.sydney.edu.au/h4-alpha/?recID=17838&fmt=html&db=SoE_NZmedals.

[20] “Nominal Roll of the Civil Establishment of New Zealand on the 1st July 1868,” AJHR D-13 (1868).

[21] “Militia and Volunteer Appointments,” Daily Southern Cross, Volume 2075, Issue XX, 14 March 1864.

[22] John Mitchell, Captain Mitchell, Auckland Resigning His Appointment as Colonial Storekeeper, Item Id R24175549 Record No R24175549 (Wellington: New Zealand Archives, 1869 ).

[23] Suspension of Captain Mitchell Colonial Storekeeper for Absence from Duty. Major Tisdall Is Placed in Temporary Charge of Stores, Item Id R24175550 Record No Cd1869/2824 (Wellington: New Zealand Archives, 1869).

[24] “Arrival of Colonel Gorton in Wellington,” Wanganui Herald, Volume III, Issue 589, 23 April 1869.

[25] “The Public Stores Act 1871,” ed. General Assembly of New Zealand (Wellington1871).


20th Century Commonwealth Ordnance Badges

Ordnance badges of the United Kingdom and most present and former Commonwealth countries all trace their origins to the Coat of Arms of the Board of Ordnance.

Coming into use in the seventeenth century, but not given royal approval until 1806 when the Arms of the Board of Ordnance was confirmed by a grant from the College of Arms in 1823.

The description of the original grant of arms describes the coat of arms as;

  • The blazon is as follows:
    • Arms: Azure – 3 Field Pieces in pale, or; on a chief, argent, three cannonballs, proper.
    • Crest: Out of a mural crown, argent, a dexter cubit arm, the hand grasping a thunderbolt, winged and inflamed, proper.
    • Supporters: On either side, a Cyclops, in the exterior hand of the dexter a Hammer, and in that of the sinister a pair of Forceps, resting on the shoulder of each respectively, all proper.
    • Motto: ‘sua tela tonanti’ (‘To the Thunderer his weapons’); also more loosely translated as (‘To the warrior his arms’].

Board of Ordnance details

Translated into modern English it reads as:

Shield: Blue background with 2 Field Pieces in Gold, on the Top portion of the shield 3 Silver/White cannonballs,

Crest: rising from a
Silver/White crown, a right arm grasping a thunderbolt, wings against a flaming background.

Supporters: Two cyclops on either the right-hand cyclops holding a hammer, the left-hand cyclops a pair of Forceps, resting on the shoulder of each respectively.

Motto: In the riband, the motto ‘sua tela tonanti’ loosely translated as ‘To the warrior his arms’

The shield with three cannons and three cannonballs is the standard component of the Coat of Arms used on Ordnance cap badges; variations include a riband with either the Corps motto or a descriptor of the corps the insignia belongs to.

Early Australian and New Zealand Ordnance badges had annulus surrounding the shield with the name of the respective Corps inside it.

Many international variations of Ordnance badges have also had national identifiers affixed to the top of the shield, for example, Canada had a Beaver on their 1903 badge, and New Zealand had the letters NZ on various versions of their badge.

The common direction for the cannons is that they always face to the right (Dexter in heraldic terms), the exception is the New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps 1917-23 and South Africa Ordnance Corps 1923-33 badges where the cannons face to the left (Sinister in heraldic terms).

On granting of Royal status, two features were added to most badges:

  • Permission was granted to affix the Royal garter in a buckled circle or oval, with the motto “Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense”. Its translation from “Old French” is “Shame be to him who thinks evil of it.” It is sometimes re-interpreted as “Evil (or shame) be to him that evil thinks” or “shame on anyone who thinks ill of it.”
  • Crowns of the reigning Regents were worn.
    • The Tudor or “Kings Crown” on badges from 1918 to 1953
    • The St Edwards or “Queens crown” from 1953 

Listed below are examples of some of the various ordnance badges of the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, India and South Africa. Examples of new Zealand pages can be found at Ordnance Badges of New Zealand 1916-1996.

Great Britain

From 1896 the United Kingdom maintained two Ordnance entities;

  • The Army Ordnance Department, Comprising of Officers, and
  • The Army Ordnance Corps, Comprising of other ranks

In July 1896 on the recommendation of the War Office, Queen Victoria approved the use of the of the arms of the Board of Ordnance in that the shield, less the crest and the supporters be incorporated into the badge of the Army Ordnance Department and Corps (AOC). The two cap badges were of similar design, differing only in the wording on the scroll and became the parents of all the Imperial, then Commonwealth Ordnance Corps, its pattern of badges would be utilised at some stage by all.

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UK Army Ordnance Department. 1896-1918

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UK Army Ordnance Corps. 1896-1918. Robert McKie collection

The Army Ordnance Department and Corps were combined in 1918 to form the ‘Royal Army Ordnance Corps‘ which would remain in existence until 1993 when it was disestablished to form the ‘Royal Logistic Corps

 

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Royal Army Ordnance Corps Badge, 1918-1947. Robert McKie collection

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Royal Army Ordnance Corps Badge, 1947-1949

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RAOC 1947-1953 Badge. Robert McKie Collection

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Royal Army Ordnance Corps Badge, 1953-1993. Robert McKie Collection

Australia

Formed as the ‘Australian Army Ordnance Stores Corps’ on 1 July 1902 at the same time as the civilian-staffed Civil Service run ‘Australian Army Ordnance Department’.

Entirely placed under military control in 1942 and renamed the ‘Australian Army Ordnance Corps’ and granted Royal status in 1948. The current design of badge with a King’s crown was approved in 1948 but only worn as a collar badge until 1956 when a cap badge with a Queens Crown was introduced which remain in service today.

1930 AAOC

RAOC 1930 – 1942

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RAAOC 1948-1956

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RAAOC 1956 – Present. Robert McKie collection

Canada

Created as the ‘Ordnance Stores Corps‘ in 1903. It was renamed the ‘Canadian Ordnance Corps‘ in 1907. Granted Royal designation in 1919 it became the ‘Royal Canadian Ordnance Corps‘. Serving until 1968 when the ‘Logistic Branch‘ was formed by combining the ‘Royal Canadian Ordnance Corps’ and the ‘Royal Canadian Army Service Corps‘.

 

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Canadian Ordnance Corps badge, 1903-1922. Robert McKie collection

RCAOC Badge 1922

Royal Canadian Ordnance Corps 1922-1926. RCOC Association

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Royal Canadian Ordnance Corps 1926-1953. Robert McKie Collection

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Royal Canadian Ordnance Corps, 1953-1961. Robert McKie collection

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Royal Canadian Ordnance Corps, 1961 -1968.

India

The history of the Indian Army Ordnance Corps is traced back to the 15-century formation of the three Presidencies of the East India Company – Bengal, Madras and Bombay, with the formal recognition of the Indian Army Ordnance Corps with the establishment of ‘Board of Ordnance‘ in 1775.

With the global disestablishment of the Board in 1855, the Ordnance State Department and Corps were created which was in turn in 1885 organised into the Army Ordnance Department for officer and the Army Ordnance Corps for men.

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1901-1922 badge of the Indian Army Ordnance Department

IAOC pre 1922

WW1 period Pagri (Turban) Badge of the Indian Army Ordnance Corps

In 1922 the Army Ordnance Department and Army Ordnance Corps were reorganised and renamed ‘Indian Army Ordnance Corps‘. A similar corps badge to the previous badge was introduced but with the scroll bearing the words ‘Indian Army Ordnance Corps’ This badge continued in use until 1954 when the current badge came into use. The IAOC badge should have been discontinued after India became a republic in 1950, but a delay in finalising the new crest led to its continued usage till 1954.

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Indian Army Ordnance Corps cap, collar badges 1922-1950 and shoulder title. Robert McKie Collection

With Independence in 1950, the “Indian” prefix was dropped, and the corps is now only known as the ‘Army Ordnance Corps’.

iindia ordnance post 1947

India Army Ordnance Corps- post-1947

Other known Indian Ordnance badges were:

  • 1884-1922
    • Pagri (Turban) Badge – Ordnance shield surmounted by fist rising from coronet grasping lightning rods, scroll bellow inscription SUA TELA TONANI
    • Waist Belt Clasp – Kings Crown) over Ordnance shield in centre, ORDNANCE around top, INDIA around bottom
    • Pagri (Turban) Badge – WW1 period – fist rising from coronet grasping
      lightning rods surmounted by two wings, no scroll

Pakistan

On the partition of India and Pakistan in 1947, the Ordnance badge adopted by Pakistan was a modified IAOC badge where the crown was replaced by the Pakistan ensign of Cresent and Star and the word Indian was replaced by Pakistan.

On the 15th of August 1954, a redesigned badge was adopted. Based on the RAOC Pattern badge, this badge consisted of;

  • the Ordnance shield of three cannons and three cannonballs
  • Pakistan ensign of a 5 pointed Star.
  • Annulus inscribed with the words ‘Pakistan Army Ordnance Corps’
  • The Ordnance Motto ‘Sua Tela Tonanti’ Translated into English reading ‘To the Thunder his Weapons’ inscribed onto the Riband.

 

Hyderabad

A princely state during the British Raj. After India gained independence in 1947, Hyderabad remained independent with the Indian Army taking control of Hyderabad after an invasion codenamed Operation Polo bringing Hyderabad in the Indian union in 1948.

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Hyderabad Army Ordnance Corps.

Burma

Burma

South Africa

Following the British model, the South African Ordnance Department for officers and the South African Ordnance Corps for men was established in 1923. Combining into a single Corps in 1933 and finally reorganising in 1939 when the Technical Services Corps and the ‘Q Services Corps’ was created.

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South African Ordnance Department 1923-1933

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South African Ordnance Corps 1923-1933

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South African Ordnance Corps badge 1933-1949

Bibliography

J.L. Chapple Indian Army Collection catalogue, Part II – Arms and Services, AFI, IST-ISF. (2017). Retrieved from Indian Military History Society: http://durbaronline.co.uk/PDF/PDF6arms-svces.pdf

Copyright © Robert McKie 2017