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Searching for MT ASC France locations


Argyll8
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My father William McCallum (or similar spelling) served in MT Army Service Corps in France. His army number (from his dog tag) was 114270. I have drawn a blank on Army Service records. Maybe they were among the ones destroyed by fire in 1940. I just want to know where he would have been posted to in France. That is the areas where he would have served. Can anyone help or direct me to alternative searches?

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Hello Argyll8, and welcome to the Forum!

There were two or three hundred different ASC MT Companies, which doesn't help you much, I'm afraid. What I can say is that most of them were employed on the Lines of Communication, bridging the gap between the most forward places served by railways, and the horse-drawn units which served with divisions and took supplies and ammunition up to the front. They were still subject to enemy attack by air or heavy artillery, so it was far from a safe occupation. Some of these companies served as Motor Ambulance Convoys, taking casualties to hospitals.

Ron

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Hello, and thanks for replying. My father didn't talk much about his time in France. Unfortunately, I was quite young when he died so I didn't get the chance to ask him about it when I had more of an interest in the subject. I do know he could drive at the time of ww1 as he had been employed as a chauffeur. It is a pity about the destroyed records. Is there any way I could find out anything from his Army number?

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Only a very small thing, but his full number was M2/114270. The M2 prefix indicates mechanical transport. Possibly with his background as a chauffeur, he was a mechanic or fitter.

If you knew which MT company he was in, it's possible that you could obtain the unit war diary from the National Archives. Presumably, you don't have any family papers which may provide a clue? Sadly, his medal roll entry doesn't seem to specify a unit, but says that he embarked 17/5/1915, and was discharged 27/3/1919.

Was M2/114268 Donald McCallum a relative?

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Its worth checking local archives for absent voters lists and newspapers of the time, also local rolls of honour may hold some clues.

May 1915 saw three new army divisions of K1 land in France with the 9th, 12th and 14th Divisions, all of which had a MT element to their respective divisional supply columns.

Jon

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If he was from Scotland, then he could have been in either 9th Divisional Supply Column or 9th Divisional Ammunition Park. There are other unit possibilities, including the corresponding units for 12th and 14th Divisions, but at least it gives you a start.

Ron

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The service number of one of my g/fathers was M2/114475, fairly close to yours. His service papers, somewhat burnt indicate that he served in 405 MT Coy which went overseas on 20 Sept 15. Like your g/father he was a driver

before the war and as far as I can gather drove lorries in France until 1919 when he was discharged.

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Only a very small thing, but his full number was M2/114270. The M2 prefix indicates mechanical transport. Possibly with his background as a chauffeur, he was a mechanic or fitter.

If you knew which MT company he was in, it's possible that you could obtain the unit war diary from the National Archives. Presumably, you don't have any family papers which may provide a clue? Sadly, his medal roll entry doesn't seem to specify a unit, but says that he embarked 17/5/1915, and was discharged 27/3/1919.

Was M2/114268 Donald McCallum a relative?

As far as I know Donald McCallum was not a relative.

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Hej Argyll8

Had a brief look on Ancestry and found him on the 1914-15 Star Medal Roll

[ http://interactive.ancestry.co.uk/5119/41804_611411_5996-00097/1946988?backurl=http%3a%2f%2fsearch.ancestry.co.uk%2fcgi-bin%2fsse.dll%3fMS_AdvCB%3d1%26db%3dIWOServiceMedalAwardRolls%26rank%3d1%26new%3d1%26so%3d3%26MSAV%3d2%26gss%3dms_db%26gsfn_x%3dXO%26gsln%3dmccallum%26gsln_x%3dNN%26_F8007A65%3d114270%26dbOnly%3d_F8007A65%257c_F8007A65_x%26dbOnly%3d_F00061C3%257c_F00061C3_x%26dbOnly%3d_F000836E%257c_F000836E_x%26_F8007A65_x%3d1%26uidh%3duf6&ssrc=&backlabel=ReturnSearchResults ]

He is indexed as W Mc Callum - which makes it slightly difficult to locate him.

The Medal Roll indicates that he first entered a theatre of war 19-9-15 and that he was discharged to the Army Reserve Class Z on 27-3-19.

The theatre of war is marked as (I) - a roman i - which might indicate France - but I'm not sure - maybe other members can shed some light on this.

Unfortunately it does not mention the unit, but having researched other ASC men previously I know that they were not always with just one MT Company, but could have served in several companies, as well as being attached to other units or with Base Depots.

I hope that this helps you just that little bit more.

Steen

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Apologies for my previous typo. He did indeed disembark on 19/9/1915.

In case it's a clue, other men in the sequence who disembarked on the same date were M2/114266 Walter Crawford, M2/114271 William Love, M2/114276 Samuel Craig and M2/114277 James Barton. Having said that, I have no idea if that indicates that they were all in the same unit.

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Hej Argyll8

Had a brief look on Ancestry and found him on the 1914-15 Star Medal Roll

[ http://interactive.ancestry.co.uk/5119/41804_611411_5996-00097/1946988?backurl=http%3a%2f%2fsearch.ancestry.co.uk%2fcgi-bin%2fsse.dll%3fMS_AdvCB%3d1%26db%3dIWOServiceMedalAwardRolls%26rank%3d1%26new%3d1%26so%3d3%26MSAV%3d2%26gss%3dms_db%26gsfn_x%3dXO%26gsln%3dmccallum%26gsln_x%3dNN%26_F8007A65%3d114270%26dbOnly%3d_F8007A65%257c_F8007A65_x%26dbOnly%3d_F00061C3%257c_F00061C3_x%26dbOnly%3d_F000836E%257c_F000836E_x%26_F8007A65_x%3d1%26uidh%3duf6&ssrc=&backlabel=ReturnSearchResults ]

He is indexed as W Mc Callum - which makes it slightly difficult to locate him.

The Medal Roll indicates that he first entered a theatre of war 19-9-15 and that he was discharged to the Army Reserve Class Z on 27-3-19.

The theatre of war is marked as (I) - a roman i - which might indicate France - but I'm not sure - maybe other members can shed some light on this.

Unfortunately it does not mention the unit, but having researched other ASC men previously I know that they were not always with just one MT Company, but could have served in several companies, as well as being attached to other units or with Base Depots.

I hope that this helps you just that little bit more.

Steen

Many thanks for this. He was in France - that I do know. My brother thinks Loos was mentioned at some time, although we are not sure if that fits in the timescale. My brother also thinks at one point he may have been attached to the HLI although again we are not sure.

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Assuming that an ASC unit went to France as a complete unit and were eventually discharged at same time he would not have been in 405 MT as my g/father was. His arrival and discharge dates were respectively

20-9-1915 and 21-4-1919, slightly different to your mans dates.

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The Battle of Loos began 25-9-1915, so the timeframe for him being there during the battle is possible.

I do not have a list of all ASC units present at the battle, not even sure if there is a complete list out there.

He could have been sent as a reinforcement to a unit already on the Western Front - maybe various ASC unit diaries might give a clue (a lot of work there)

or he could have been sent with a unit to France - again looking at which ASC units were sent to France at that time might give an answer (still more work).

Not very helpful I'm afraid. One more clue I could give you is that he may have trained at Grove Park (many MT drivers passed through Grove Park before going to the front)

prior to going to France. If he was sent as a reinforcement, he might first have been at the Base M.T. Depot in Rouen before being sent to a unit.

Steen

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Many of the new army battalions were thrown almost straight into the Battle of Loos, so that might help narrow things down (there were certainly Scottish infantry battalions involved)

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