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Remembered Today:

Further information on ASC Uniform/Cap


KazFletch
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Can anyone give me any further information on the uniform of my granddad, Harry Smith from Swanley, Kent. Photo attached. I know he was a Driver in the Army Service Corps as he is on the 1911 census at Woolwich New Road Barracks. Trying to find records is proving difficult as there are lots of

Harry Smiths', so maybe the uniform will give a clue as to what Company/Division of the ASC he was in? He survived the Great War, but lost an eye. (He never spoke about how it happened). Any information is very much appreciated.

Many thanks.

Karenpost-118110-0-25591900-1416303549_thumb.

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Can anyone give me any further information on the uniform of my granddad, Harry Smith from Swanley, Kent. Photo attached. I know he was a Driver in the Army Service Corps as he is on the 1911 census at Woolwich New Road Barracks. Trying to find records is proving difficult as there are lots of

Harry Smiths', so maybe the uniform will give a clue as to what Company/Division of the ASC he was in? He survived the Great War, but lost an eye. (He never spoke about how it happened). Any information is very much appreciated.

Many thanks.

Karenattachicon.gifHarry Smith ASC1.jpg

Superb photo of ASC full dress uniform, but undress head dress, circa 1912 (ish). He is wearing the 'cap, forage, universal, peaked,' introduced in 1905, and the 'girdle' (regimentally coloured (striped) waist belt) from 1904. His rank appears to be driver. If he had had a lance corporals stripe on his right arm (unseen from this view) then it would have been likely that he also had a good conduct badge on the other, and as this is not the case he is probably a driver (ASC equivalent of a private) . Unfortunately as shoulder 'cords' are worn by the ASC, rather than straps, there was no unit designation apparent.

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Thanks very much for your prompt response. Was the full dress uniform the same for all Divisions/Company's of the ASC? I assume it was only worn for special events?

Karen

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See illustrations for colour impressions.


Thanks very much for your prompt response. Was the full dress uniform the same for all Divisions/Company's of the ASC? I assume it was only worn for special events?

Karen

Yes Karen, the full dress uniform was the same for both the horsed and motorised transport. It was all put into store when war broke out in 1914 and was never issued again other than to bands. The full dress helmet was rather like a modern policeman's helmet, but the ASC was one of a number that wore a ball top rather than the more usual spike.

He is actually dressed for walking out (when on mounted duty long riding boots were worn, as per the coloured images) and has probably taken the opportunity to pose for a photograph mounted.

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You've been a great help. Thank you very much.

Regards Karen

I was glad to help Karen and have sent you a private message (PM) in the forum.

I was based at Woolwich for some years and got to know the old garrison area quite well. The old ASC barracks (known as 'Connaught Barracks' - originally a military hospital) has been demolished and replaced by a housing estate, but the main gates entrance to the barracks has been retained as a rather forlorn memorial. It is a large red brick gatehouse, but sadly has been defaced with graffiti and was boarded up the last time I saw it. It is located in New Road, just to the South West of the Woolwich Arsenal Railway Station, which is still functioning.

1. https://www.english-heritage.org.uk/content/imported-docs/u-z/woolwich-chap7.pdf

2. https://www.english-heritage.org.uk/content/imported-docs/u-z/woolwich-chap9.pdf

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Karen, the following units were based at Woolwich in 1911:

No 2 Company (Horse Transport) 'Depot'. This depot was where drivers of horsed transport were trained after completing their basic military training at Aldershot.

Numbers 16, 18, 25, 38, 41, 44 and 45 Horsed Transport Companies.

E (Supply) Company (providing consumable staple foods - especially meat and bread - and containing in its complement butchers and bakers accordingly)

The Reserve Supply Depot. This was the strategic reserve of supplies for mobilisation and needed a large storage area. In 1914 it moved to Deptford Docks.

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Wonderful!

Roughly how long did it take to complete basic military training?

It was not very long at that time Karen, about 10-weeks from memory and varied between Arms (infantry, cavalry, artillery, 'corps and departments'), but I will check the detail and get back to you. It was shorter in the ASC than say the infantry, as there was a second stage of 'trade training' to fit in. The ASC basic training at that time (1911) comprised a course of foot drill (marching), physical training (PT - gymnastics), arms training (handling a rifle with dexterity) and a short 'musketry' course (quaint term for live fire marksmanship training). The ASC was still evolving at that point and a great many changes had occurred between the end of the 2nd Boer War in 1902, and the period just before WW1.

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