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The New Zealand Dental Services

Headquarters Dental Services

Headquarters Dental Services

On 16 October 1942 the Adjutant-General authorised an establishment for this headquarters to administer the NZDC for the Navy, Army and Air Force. It comprised:


Director of Dental Services in the rank of colonel.


Assistant Director of Dental Services, stores and equipment, in the rank of lieutenant-colonel.


Assistant Director of Dental Services, administration, in the rank of major.


Staff Officer in the rank of captain (or subaltern). This officer was not a dentist and it is interesting to note that this appointment, together with that of the officer in charge of the dental store, was the first authorisation for commissioned rank in the NZDC for a non-professional. Although authorised in October 1942, it was not until 15 December 1943 that F. D. Sheppard1 and G. A. Hay2 were gazetted as second-lieutenants in the appointments of Staff Officer and Quartermaster respectively. They were promoted to lieutenants on 15 December 1944, the highest rank to be achieved by a layman in the NZDC in the war.


Administrative Warrant Officer. There was authority for the rank of first class, but only second class was granted.


Four clerks for general duties. One of these was a staff-sergeant and the other three were WAACs, one of whom was a corporal.


One WAAC orderly.


Two civilian typists.

For transport a five-seater car was allotted.

The organisation had grown to such an extent that even this seemingly generous allocation was not enough and should be regarded as the minimum rather than a satisfactory precedent to follow. Asked to comment on it at the time, the DDS wrote in characteristic fashion:

Officers—No argument. Four is the irreducible minimum. Even this involves them in long and arduous hours to the point of real risk to health. page 48 Staff Officer dental services has recently been graded three and this is undoubtedly due to pressure of responsibilities and hours aggravating a physical disability of long standing origin.

His detailed comments in the same report on the duties of noncommissioned officers and other ranks show that there were no drones in the headquarters hive.

Reference to the diagram will show that the following were under the direct command of this headquarters:

  • Base Dental Store

  • No. 2 NZDC Depot

  • Mobile Dental Caravan Group

  • Army Headquarters Dental Section

  • Trentham Camp Dental Hospital

  • Waiouru Camp Dental Hospital

  • Northern, Central and Southern Military Districts

1 Lt F. D. Sheppard, MBE; Christchurch; born Dover, Kent, 23 May 1907; manufacturing chemist's representative.

2 Lt G. A. Hay; Christchurch; born Christchurch, 1916; accountant.