RNZALR Supply Technician Badge

Traditionally the New Zealand Army has not been an army that has embraced trade embellishments. The Royal New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps (RNZAOC) and its predecessors, despite a variety of trades, only issued trade embellishments for the Ammunition Trade in the form of a stylised “Flaming A” in 1971.

AT original
1st pattern Ammunition Technician Badge. Dave Theyers Collection

It was not until ten years after the passing of the RNZAOC that the Supply Trade of the Royal New Zealand Army Logistic Regiment (RNZALR) moved to adopt a Top of Trade badge for its Supply personnel.

Pre WW1 Badges

The only supply trade embellishment authorised for use prior to the introduction of the RNZALR Supply Badge was an eight-pointed star that was worn by Regimental or Company Quartermaster Sergeants from 1905.[1] These Quartermaster Stars were discontinued in 1917.

Regimental Quartermaster Sergeant-Major, 1905-1915. Robert McKie Collection
Company Quartermaster Sergeant, 1905-1915. Robert McKie Collection

1960’s Recommendations

Based on the recommendations of the 1960 District and Formation Commanders conference, the New Zealand Army carried out a comprehensive review of Dress Embellishments, including trade badges for each of the army trade groups. In examining the British and Canadian systems of trade badges, it was determined that the British system of grouping unlisted trades under an “A” of “B” badge was an unsatisfactory system that provided no incentive for soldiers. In examining the Canadian system, it was found the Canadians had departed from traditional lines and produced designs that better represented the individual trades, for example, the Canadian storemans “Crossed Keys” badge was more indicative of the trade the British “Star” badge for drivers.

As a result of this study, the recommendation was made that trade badges based on the Canadian design be adapted for wear by the New Zealand Army, including for Storemen and Storekeepers (all corps), Crossed Keys Badge.

Canadian Army Storeman’s Badge 1958 to late 1960s. Robert McKie Collection

However, due to financial constraints and pushback from traditionalists, the recommendation for adopting trade badges made in 1960 was not followed through, and the New Zealand Army missed the opportunity to provide a practical means of identifying individual tradesmen.

Progression in the 2000s

Until 1994 the New Zealand Army supply system consisted of two trade steams.

  • Quartermaster Staff (Storeman All Arms), and
  • RNZAOC Suppliers

Because of the 1993 re-balancing of the New Zealand Army, the All Arms Store-man trade and the RNZAOC Supplier trade were merged into one trade known as the Supply-Quartermaster Trade (Sup/QM).[2] In 1996 all members of the Sup/QM Trade were transferred into the RNZALR on its formation.

Cap and collar badges of the RNZALR. Robert McKie Collection

Given the diverse nature of the Sup/QM Trade, with members drawn from each Corps and represented in every unit of the New Zealand Army, the amalgamation of the two trades was difficult and took time to consolidate.

In an effort to ease the transition and bring together senior trade members, the Trade Training School at Trentham hosted an annual seminar each year. By 2005 this annual seminar had become a one-way forum of presentations on supply matters with much discussion between participants but little action happening on moving the trade forward with the value of the seminar being questioned and its future in doubt.

Late in 2006, prior to the annual seminar, the S4 of 2 Logistic Battalion (2 Log Bn), Staff Sergeant Rob Mckie and the Officer Commanding of 21 Supply Company, Major Patricia Hilliam-Kareko prepared the 2 Log Bn contribution to the seminar on behalf of the 2 Log Bn Sup/QM Pers and initiate the change of the Sup/Q trade name and the creation of a Supply Trade Top of Trade Badge.

The 2 Log Bn presentation to the seminar included a brief on the following:[3]

  • A submission was raised by 2 Lon Bn on changing the Sup/QM trade name.
  • Submission of proposed changes to the Jnr Sup/QM Course
  • A proposal to instigate a trade newsletter/magazine amongst the trade
  • A proposal and discussion on a Sup/QM Managers badge to be issued when a per qualifies on the Sup/QM RNZALR Managers Course.

Of all the items briefed by 2 Log Bn, the proposal to change the trade name was endorsed by the seminar participants. The 2 Log Bn submission was submitted and approved through the command chain, and the Supply-Quartermaster Trade was renamed as the RNZALR Supply Technician (Sup Tech) Trade in October 2007. Additionally, the proposal for a Sup/QM Top of Trade dress embellishment was endorsed by the seminar, to be followed up by the Trade Training School.

During the 2007 Seminar Staff Sergeant Wagstaff of the Trade Training School briefed the seminar participants on the dress embellishment and the proposed course of action with a vote conducted amongst the Twenty-Seven seminar participants to determine whether a Top of Trade embellishment was a promising idea with draft designs to also be submitted. Votes for the top of trade embellishment were [4]

  • 23 Yes
  • 4 No

With the vote concluded and the majority in favour, Staff Sergeant Wagstaff then displayed the Twenty-Two designs that had been submitted as follows.

  • Staff Sergeant Read – Board of Ordnance Badge, (2 x variations)
  • Staff Sergeant Cook – Pataka, (Māori Storehouse) (3 x variations)
  • Warrant Officer Class 2 Whitton – Board of Ordnance/Pataka combo
  • Staff Sergeant McKie – Steyr/Taiaha/Key combo
  • Warrant Officer Class 2 Donaldson – Combat Supplies design
  • Sergeant Tawhara – Taiaha/Key/Southern Cross combo, (2 x variations)
  • Staff Sergeant Murphy – Distribution/Rickshaw/Acorn combo, (8 x variations)
  • Staff Sergeant Pullen – Fern/Key/Sword/Quill combo, (3 x variations) and
  • MR Dennistoun–Wood – Star/Flower emblem.

Following a series of votes, the design by Sergeant Tawhara was selected as the Top of Trade Badge. The winning design consisted of a taiaha and brass key diagonally crossed, with the four stars of the Southern Cross between each point. The badge is to be worn by any senior NCO, Warrant Officer or Officer qualified at the Supply Technician Management Course or an equivalent course previously such as the Band 5 Senior Supply course.

Sup Tech

Submitted through the Army Dress committee, the Supply Technician Badge was approved in 2009 to wear with Service and Mess Dress uniforms.[5]

Copyright © Robert McKie 2020


[1] New Zealand Military Forces Dress Regulations, ed. New Zealand Military Forces (Wellington1905), Para 601.

[2] Gary Ridley, “Quartermaster Origins,” Pataka Magazine (1993): 51.

[3] “1180/1 Minutes of the Meeting of Supply/Quartermaster Trade Seminar Held at the Trade Training School on 14-16 November 2006,”  in ( 2006).

[4] “1180/1 Minutes of the Meeting of Supply/Quartermaster Trade Seminar Held at the Trade Training School on 13-15 November 2007,”  (2007).

[5] Part 2 New Zealand Army Orders for Dress NZ P23, Chap 6, Sect 3, Supply Technician Badge (2018).

New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps Puggaree

From 1914 to 1958 the sight of New Zealand Soldiers in felt slouch hats was commonplace. In addition to providing a practical form of headdress, by the use of a coloured headband, it became easy to identify the Regiment or Corps of the wearer.

This article will provide a brief background on the use and history of Puggarees in New Zealand service with a focus on their use by the New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps.

rnzaoc puggaree

RNZAOC Puggaree. Robert McKie Collection


The Puggaree origins lay in the Hindu word, ‘Pagri’ which is used to describe a wide range of traditional headdress worn by men and women throughout the Indian Sub-Continent, one of the most recognisable being the Dustaar or Sikh turban.

Soldiers, by their nature, are creatures of innovation and British troops serving India soon found that by wrapping a thin scarf of muslin around their headdress, not only could additional protection from sword blows be provided, but the thin cloth scarf could also be unravelled to provide insulation from the heat of the sun. Like many Indian words, “Pagri” became anglicised into Puggaree.

By the 1870s, the functional use of the puggaree had become secondary, and the puggaree evolved into a decorative item on British Army headdress, which, when used with a combination of colours, could be used to distinguish regiments and corps. First used by New Zealanders in the South African war, the use of puggaree on slouch hats was formalised in the New Zealand Army 1912 Dress Regulations. These regulations detailed the colours of the distinctive puggaree used to indicate different branches of the service; [1] [2]

World War One

When the first New Zealand Troops went overseas in 1914, the NZ Slouch hat was one that had been first used in the South Africa War and had a crease running down the crown from front to rear. From 1914 the Wellington Battalion wore their hats with the crown peaked, and after a brief period where cork helmets were also worn, General Godley issued a directive that all troops, other than the Mounted Rifles, were to wear the slouch hat with the crown peaked, in what became known as the “Lemon Squeezer”.[3]




New Zealand felt “lemon Squeezer” hat with Ordnance Puggaree and NZEF Ordnance Badge. Robert McKie Collection

Worn with both the Mounted Rifles Slouch hat and the Lemon Squeezer, the puggaree became a distinctive mark of the New Zealand soldier, identifying them as distinct from soldiers from other parts of the Empire who, in general, used only plain puggaree on their headdress.[4]  [5] From 1917, the New Zealand puggaree also proved useful in distinguishing New Zealand troops from the Americans, who wore headdress similar to the New Zealand Lemon Squeezer hat.[6]

As the war progressed, additional units that did not exist in the pre-war New Zealand Army were created, both as part of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force (NZEF) and as part of the Home Service forces in New Zealand. This included the New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps (NZAOC), which was formed as a unit of the NZEF in early 1916 and as part of the New Zealand Permanent Forces in 1917.[7]

It is assumed that as a new unit, a distinctive puggaree was adopted for the NZAOC, but the limited photographs of NZAOC personnel are black and white, making identification of colours difficult. The following photo of NZ Army Service Corps staff at Zeitoun Camp in Egypt taken in either later 1915 or early 1916, shows a soldier wearing a Lemon Squeezer hat with a coloured Puggaree with a British Army Ordnance Corps (AOC) Badge, possibly the first example of an NZ Ordnance Puggaree.

British Army Ordnance Corps 1915_zpsaibxjzox

New Zealand Supply Depot Staff at Zeitoun Camp, 1915. Note Ordnance solder front row 3rd from left. National Army Museum of New Zealand

British Army Ordnance Corps_zpshkmjkhxu

Ordnance Soldier with Lemon Squeezer, Puggaree and AOC Badge, New Zealand Supply Depot Staff at Zeitoun Camp, 1915. National Army Museum of New Zealand.

A Newspaper article from December 1918 does provide evidence that an Ordnance puggaree of red/blue/red existed. The article published in the Press on 5 December 1918 states the following:[8]There are only two units in the New Zealand Division with red in the puggaree. They are the Artillery and Ordnance, and in both units, the colours are red and blue”. Although slightly incorrect in that only two units of the NZEF wore red in the puggaree, The Infantry also had red in their Puggaree; this sentence does identify that the Ordnance Puggaree was red and blue.

In a later photograph of the NZAOC at taken at Buckle Street in 1918, the Puggaree are distinctive.

Ordnance 1918

The New Zealand Ordnance Corps 1918, Buckle Street Wellington. RNZAOC School


Taken from the 1918 Buckle Street picture, this blown-up image shows two soldiers, one with a Lemon Squeezer Hat and the other with a Mounted Rifles slouch hat; both puggarees could be of the NZ Ordnance pattern.

In a 1919 Photo of the NZAOC staff taken in Germany, the Puggaree of the Ordnance Staff are less distinctive and look to be a single colour, possibly red or Blue.

NZ Ordnance Staff 1919

New Zealand Ordnance Corps demobilisation Staff at Mulheim, Germany, February 1919. Alexander Turnbull Library/Public Domain

t falvey

Ordnance Corporal (Possibly TY Falvey) London 1918

The Inter-War Years

The red/blue/red Puggaree was formally be adopted as the Puggaree of the NZAOC in 1923 when the New Zealand Army updated its Dress Regulations for the first time since 1912.[9]

The Ordnance Puggaree became a common sight around New Zealand Military establishments up to 1931, where with the virtual disestablished of the NZAOC their use shrunk to twenty or so remaining NZAOC Soldiers.

World War Two

The onset of war in 1939 saw explosive growth of the New Zealand Army from a few hundred personnel to thousands, with articles published in newspapers to educate the public on the different coloured puggaree and which units they belonged to.[10] The red/blue/red Ordnance puggaree was worn throughout the war years by the NZAOC and the New Zealand Ordnance Corps, the Ordnance component of the NZEF and the Territorial Army.[11]


Lemon Squeezer as worn by members of the 2nd NZEF NZOC, Middle East, Italy 1939-44.


Ordnance soldier of the NZOC, New Zealand 1942-44.

Post War

The Lemon Squeezer Hat and puggaree remained a fixture of the New Zealand Army until 1958 when the Lemon Squeezer was withdrawn from services and replaced with a new Battle Dress cap, and the use of puggaree within the Ordnance Corps faded from memory.

tf 3rd intake waikato camp 1951

RNZAOC Territorial Force 3rd intake Ngaruawahia Camp 1951. RNZAOC School Collection

camp commandants bodyguard 1954

RNZAOC Camp Commandants Bodyguard, Trentham Camp 1954. RNZAOC School Collection

Copyright © Robert McKie 2019


[1] The original MZ Slouch hat had been first used in the South Africa War and had a crease running from front to rear. From 1914 the Wellington Battalion wore their hats peaked

[2] Malcolm Thomas and Cliff Lord, New Zealand Army Distinguishing Patches, 1911-1991 (Wellington, N.Z.: M. Thomas and C. Lord, 1995, 1995), Bibliographies, Non-fiction, Part One, 128-29

[3] D. A. Corbett, The Regimental Badges of New Zealand: An Illustrated History of the Badges and Insignia Worn by the New Zealand Army (Auckland, N.Z.: Ray Richards, 1980

Revised end. edition, 1980), Non-fiction, 47-48.

[4] Australia and Canada both use coloured puggaree on their respective headdress, just not to the same extent as New Zealand.

[5] “Local and General,” Dominion, Volume 9, Issue 2610, 4 November 1915.

[6] “Visit to Paris,” North Otago Times, Volume CV, Issue 14001, 11 December 1917.

[7] “New Zealand Army Ordnance Department and New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps Regulations,” New Zealand Gazette, No 95, June 7 1917.

[8] “Soldiers and Dress – Ordnance Puggaree,” Press, Volume LIV, Issue 16387, 5 December 1918.

[9] Thomas and Lord, New Zealand Army Distinguishing Patches, 1911-1991, 35.

[10] “New Zealand Troops Wear Turbans,” Evening Star, Issue 23432 (1939).

[11] The NZOC was formed as a unit of the NZED in 1939 and a unit of the Territorial Army in 1941.