The Royal New Zealand Artillery
Greetings Fellow Gunners. It is with great sadness that we record the passing of Brigadier (Rtd) Ray Andrews CBE, on Tuesday 29th March. Brigadier Andrews served as the Colonel Commandant of the Regiment and was a Life Member of the Association.
Upon graduating from RMC, he became an Instructor RNZA at CMT Battery at Papakura, followed by a posting to the RNZAF Flying School at Wigram, to complete AOP training. He then returned to 16 Field Regt at Papakura, which was reforming after its disbandment in South Korea.
1961 saw a posting to the British Army Flying Corps, flying operationally in Malaya, Brunei and Borneo. With Lt Chris Brown RNZA, they were the first of a number of RNZA pilots to be posted there. Brigadier Andrews spent 1967 at Staff College, Queenscliff in Australia.
A highlight of Brigadier Andrew's career was the year September 1969 - September 1970 he spent in Vietnam as BC of 161 Battery.
After Vietnam in 1971 - 1973 he was posted to the 28th Commonwealth Brigade in Singapore as Brigade Major.
During 1974-1976 he served as Chief of Staff of 3 Inf Bde Gp in Christchurch.
In 1977 he was appointed to Fiji as Chief of Staff of the Fiji Royal Military Forces for 2 years, during which time he oversaw the insertion of the first Battalion into Lebanon. He stayed with the Battalion in Lebanon for 3 months to ensure they were operationally sound.
On return to New Zealand in 1979 he took up the post of Director of Royal New Zealand Artillery at Army General Staff. From there in 1981 he was appointed as the Commander 2 Task Force at Palmerston North.
In 1983 – 1984 he spent an interesting year long course, seconded to the Canadian Defence College. After another year, as Assistant Chief of Defence Staff (Personnel), he was posted to Auckland as Commander Land Force Command.
From there, 1987-1990 his final posting was as Defence Head, Liaison Staff, London.
Brigadier Andrews was awarded the CBE in 1989
Retirement saw Brigadier Andrews busy with a period as Colonel Commandant RNZA during 1997 – 2003. From 1990 he has had honorary appointments in Old Comrades, Artillery Officers Messes and the RNZA Band. On 20 November 2013, Brigadier Andrews was made a Life Member of the Royal New Zealand Artillery Association.
Ray married Laurie in 1960 and they have three sons; Craig, Anthony and Hamish-all of whom have been gunners.
The Funeral will be held in the All Saints Purewa Chapel, 100 St John's Road, Meadowbank, Auckland on Wednesday 6 April at 1400hrs. Seating is limited and all mourners must be Double Vaccinated and be able to show a Vaccine Passport.
Maj (Rtd) John McNicol ED