A question has been raised as to who was the first Warrant Officer in the RNZN?
Tony Bullock Remembers – the rank of WO was introduced to match Air and Army. We turned all Chief Artificer posts into Warrant Artificers and created Warrant posts in other branches. The Chief Artificer had always been something of a problem – you will recall artificers had ‘classes’. Art 3rd class = leading rank, Art 2nd class = PO, Art 1st class = CPO – and then Chief Art also = CPO but senior to Art 1. So we call Chief Arts warrant officers! (I was in Navy Office Pers Branch when all this was being done.) I seem to recall that the total number of WOs when the rank was introduced was in the order of 70, but I’m not sure how that was distributed between Artificers and others. Tony reports that in effect there was no ‘first’ warrant officer because all the Chief Tiffs would have been ‘promoted’ on the same day, together with all or most of the non-tech WOs. On reflection there might have been around 44 non-techs.
Any other theories. I think Tug Wilson may have been the first Communications Warrant Officer but cannot be sure.