The New Zealand Dental Services
This was a decentralisation of command on lines similar to the original appointment of an Assistant Director of Dental Services in each Military District headquarters. The Assistant Directors' positions could still be filled if required, but it was not intended to do this except on direct instructions from Army Headquarters, so the officers commanding the three depots really acted in those capacities. No. 1 Depot was in the Northern District, No. 2 in the Central and No. 3 in the Southern. As has been already pointed out, the depot was a phantom organisation staffed by mobilisation camp personnel. In other words, the Principal Dental Officer of the page 49 district was officer commanding the depot, principal dental officer of the mobilisation camp and Assistant Director of Dental Services at district headquarters combined in one person. It was a strange position, reminiscent of Pooh Bah in The Mikado, for by a strict observance of the correct channels of communication there were occasions when he carried on a correspondence with himself.
Each depot was responsible for the staffing and maintenance of camp dental hospitals, maxillo-facial injury sections, static and mobile sections, and for the dental health of the army troops, divisional troops, area troops and fortress troops in the district. The establishment was eight:
Officer Commanding in the rank of major.
Adjutant, a captain or subaltern, who was not a dental officer.
Regimental Sergeant-Major in the rank of Warrant Officer first class. His duties were to take charge of general military training for the Corps.
Staff-sergeant in charge of the district store.
Three clerks. One a sergeant and one a corporal.
An orderly, general duties, who would act also as a batman.
A five-seater car was allotted to the depot, with the exception of Depot No. 2 which shared that provided for Dental Headquarters and had none of its own.
The Adjutant and the Regimental Sergeant-Major were not appointed owing to the difficulty in procuring suitable men at a time when this type of officer could not be spared from duty with combatant units.