The BOURNEMOUTH branch of the association meets at the WINTON & MOORDOWN Royal British Legion Club.
The aim of the association is to foster the comradeship, loyalties and bonds formed by fellow soldiers to the Corps and units.
These bonds of friendship often last a lifetime.
The history of transport of military goods in all shapes and sizes can be traced back to 1794 and the Royal Waggoners.
Royal Waggoners 1794-1795
Royal Waggon Corps 1799-1802
Royal Waggon Train 1802-1833
Land Transport Corps 1855- 1856
Military Train 1856- 1869
Army Service Corps 1869- 1881
Control Department and Army Service Corps 1869- 1875
Commissariat and Transport Department and Army Service Corps 1875 – 1880
Commissariat and Transport Staff and Army Service Corps 1880 – 1881
Commissariat and Transport Corps 1881- 1888
Army Service Corps 1888- 1918
Royal Engineers (transportation) 1916- 1965
Royal Army Service Corps 1918- 1965
Royal Corps of Transport 1965 – 5 April 1993
For centuries, army transport was operated by contracted civilians. The first uniformed transport corps in the British Army was the Royal Waggoners formed in 1794. It was not a success and was disbanded the following year. In 1799, the Royal Waggon Corps was formed; by August 1802, it had been renamed the Royal Waggon Train. This was reduced to only two troops in 1818 and finally disbanded in 1833.
A transport corps was not formed again until the Crimean War. In 1855, the Land Transport Corps was formed. This was renamed the Military Train the following year.
In 1869, there was a major re-organisation of army supply and transport capabilities. Before 1869, supply duties had been the responsibility of the Commissariat, a uniformed civilian body. In 1869, the commissaries of the Commissariat and the officers of the Military Train amalgamated into the Control Department. The following year the other ranks of the Military Train were re-designated the Army Service Corps (A.S.C), officered by the Control Department. In November 1875, the Control Department was divided into the Commissariat and Transport Department and the Ordnance Store Department (which developed into the Royal Army Ordnance Corps). In January 1880, the Commissariat and Transport Department was renamed the Commissariat and Transport Staff and the Army Service Corps was renamed the Commissariat and Transport Corps. Finally, in December 1888, these two bodies amalgamated with the War Department Fleet to form a new Army Service Corps, and for the first time officers and other ranks served in a single unified organisation. The ASC subsequently absorbed some transport elements of the Royal Engineers. In 1918, the corps received the “Royal” prefix for its service in the First World War and became the Royal Army Service Corps. It was divided into Transport and Supply Branches. Before the Second World War, RASC recruits were required to be at least 5 feet 2 inches tall and could enlist up to 30 years of age (or 35 for tradesmen in the Transport Branch). They initially enlisted for six years with the colours and a further six years with the reserve (seven years and five years for tradesmen and clerks, three years and nine years for butchers, bakers and supply issuers). They trained at Aldershot.The Royal Corps of Transport. Was formed in 1965 from the transport (land, water and air) elements of the Royal Army Service Corps (R.A.S.C) and the movement control element of the Royal Engineers (RE). The Royal Army Service Corps’ functions of supply and transport were separated. The R.C.T became responsible for transport whilst supplies became the responsibility of the Royal Army Ordnance Corps.
Victoria Cross Holders
Acting Assistant Commissary General James Langley Dalton, Commissariat and Transport Corps. London Gazette 17/11/1879. ‘For his conspicuous gallantry during the attack on Rorke’s Drift post by the Zulus on the night of the 22nd January 1879, when he actively superintended the work of the defence, and was amongst the foremost of those who received the first attack at the corner of the hospital, where the deadliness of his fire did great execution, and the mad rush of the Zulus met with its first check, and where, by his cool courage, he saved the life of a man of the Army Hospital Corps, by shooting the Zulu who having seized the muzzle of the man’s rifle, was in the act of assuaging him. This officer, to whose energy much of the defence of the place was due, was severely wounded during the contest, but still continued to give the same example of cool courage.
Second Lieutenant Alfred Cecil Herring, A.S.C Attached 6th (Service) Battalion Northamptonshire London Gazette 07/06/1918.
‘For most conspicuous bravery, initiative and devotion to duty when, after severe fighting, the enemy gained a position on the south bank of the canal. His post was cut off from the troops on both flanks and surrounded. Second Lieutenant Herring, however, immediately counter-attacked, and recaptured the position, together with twenty prisoners and six machine guns. During the night the post was continually attacked, but all attacks were beaten off. This was largely due to the splendid heroism displayed by Second Lieutenant Herring, who continually visited his men and cheered them up. It was entirely due to the bravery and initiative of this officer that the enemy advance was held up for eleven hours at an exceedingly critical period. His magnificent heroism, coupled with the skilful handling of his troops, were most important factors leading to success’ This officer, to whose energy much of the defence of the place was due, was severely wounded during the contest, but still continued to give the same example of cool courage.’
Private Richard George Masters, Army Service Corps (Motor Transport), attached 141st Field Ambulance. London Gazette 08/05/1918. ‘For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty. Owing to an enemy attack, communications were cut off and wounded could not be evacuated. The road was reported impassable, but Private Masters volunteered to try to get through, and after the greatest difficulty succeeded, although he had to clear the road of all sorts of debris. He made journey after journey throughout the afternoon, over a road consistently shelled and swept by machinegun fire, and was on one occasion bombed by an aeroplane. The greater part of the wounded cleared from this area were evacuated by Private Masters, as his was the only car that got through during this particular time.’ His magnificent heroism, coupled with the skilful handling of his troops, were most important factors leading to success’.
Private Samuel Morley, Military Train. London Gazette 07/08/1860. On 15th April 1858, Kooer Singh’s Army were pursued by a squadron of the Military Train and some troops of the Horse Artillery at Azimgurh, India. Lieutenant Hamilton, of the 3rd Sikh Cavalry, became unhorsed and was surrounded by the enemy, who cut and hacked at him as he lay on the ground. Private Morley, seeing the Officers predicament, and despite the fact that his own horse had been shot from under him, immediately, with the aid of Farrier Murphy, cut down one of the Sepoys, and continued fighting over the Lieutenants body until assistance arrived. This action saved Lieutenant Hamilton from being killed on the spot.
Farrier Michael Murphy, Military Train. London Gazette 27/05/1859. ‘For daring gallantry on the 15th April 1858, when engaged in the pursuit of Koer Singh’s Army from Azimghur, in having rescued Lieutenant Hamilton, Adjutant of the 3rd Sikh Cavalry, who was wounded, dismounted and surrounded by the enemy. Farrier Murphy cut down several men, and, although himself severely wounded, he never left Lieutenant Hamilton’s side until support arrived.’