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Army Service Corps Divisional (HT) Trains. What was the role of the Headquarters Divisional Company?

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I’m researching my great grandfather, Driver Walter Mason (T977) who was in the Horse Transport of the Army Service Corps. He joined the Territorial Force around June 1914 and his medal record says he entered France on 21st April 1915. 


I obtained a hospital admission record for him, which listed his unit as the “Northumbrian Divisional Headquarters, Territorial”


From this I assume my great grandfather was part of the 50th Divisional Train, which arrived in France 19-20th April 1915, which matches the date on his medal record. The Train’s four companies were 467, 468, 469, and 470. I also assume that the ‘Headquarters’ part of his admission record means he was in the 467 Company, which was the Divisional Company (HQ) of the Train.


I believe that the 3 non-HQ ASC companies in the 50th Divisional Train supported the 50th Division’s three infantry Brigades. 


My question is what were the duties of the Divisional ASC HQ company? Which of the other Divisional Brigades did the ASC HQ Company support? The Artillery Brigades, Pioneers, Machine Gunners, etc? Or did the HQ Company have other duties?


I already have the War Diary of the 50th Divisional Train, which is very helpful for following it’s path, first in the Ypres salient and then to the Somme. But I’d like to dig a bit deeper by focusing where exactly the 467 Company went. Knowing which Brigades the Divisional Company (HQ) supported might point me to which War Diary to look into next.

Edited by KernelPanic
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Ron Clifton

Hello KernelPanic, and welcome to the Forum!


Each of the other three companies of a Divisional Train provided supply and baggage services for one infantry brigade and one field ambulance (a medical unit, not a vehicle). The fourth, HQ Company, which was larger than the rest, provided the same services for all the other units in the division, mainly the artillery and engineers but also the pioneers. Machine gun companies and trench mortar batteries were part of infantry brigades, and therefore covered by the other three companies.


If you have access to a reprint, or an online version, of the Field Service Pocket Book 1914, there is a diagram setting out how the supply system worked.



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Thanks Ron, This forum is a wealth of expertise and information.


It seems that trying to track my Great Grandfather's steps through France is going to be tricky even with what I already have. But knowing what an ASC Divisional HQ company did is very helpful. I haven't gone after his Military Record yet, but there's a chance that it's still around. He was discharged in 1917 because of trench-related illness and obtained a war pension later that year for the rest of his life.


Thanks for pointing me towards the Field Service Pocket Book 1914; it's an interesting book. There's also a useful supply system diagram in Michael Young's book.



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