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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

RDC and Volunteer Training Corps


harribobs

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Andy Thornton has just kindly supplied me with some info regarding the Volunteer Training Corps

my immediate thought was a direct comparison with the WW2 Home Guard but on reflection i had thought that was the Royal Defense Corps :huh:

what was the difference? was the RDC a later idea?

cheers

chris

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Hello Chris,

As far as I know, the VTC and later the Volunteer Force, the eligible for local defence only. So, in principle for the county they were formed. The RDC was I think for nation wide service. Also the origin was different: the VTC were locally raised, and the RDC battalions started life as Home Service battalions. As such, the RDC started life in March 1916.

To compare with the WW2 Home Guard, I would say that the VTC are closer to these than the RDC. The RDC continued until disbandment 31 August 1936 (though the Army List says 1922), and were succeeded by the National Defence Companies. These in turn were organised late 1939 as Home Defence battalions of line regiments. Some of these were reorganised as the 30th Battalion of a regiment, and some served overseas in a garrison role. But that is another war.

The Volunteer Force units were all disbanded during 1919.

I did some research into the Volunteer Force (from September 1916 on), but my knowledge on the predecessor VTC is a bit weak. Some time ago I posted a document on this forum dealing with the units of the VF. Perhaps we could discuss the VTC and VF a bit further? Would be interesting to get the picture more complete (or less incomplete).

Regards,

Wienand

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thanks Wienand

i shall have a look for your information and come back to you!

cheers chris

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The RDC was formed in early 1916 from the Supernumary Companies TF, which in turned were raised from members of the National Reserve to guard railways and vulnerable points. The ranks of the RDC swelled by the transfer in August 1917 of eighteen Home Service Garrison bns, but these were broken up in Apr 1918 and the RDC reverted to its previous organisation of Protection companies, augmented by a few Observation companies, whose task was mainly to provide early warning of the approach of hostile aircraft and Zeppelins. Many Protection coys provided guards for POW camps. RDC members were full-time soldiers and hence do not equate to the Home Guard.

The VTC was originally formed in London in September 1914 to provide initial military training to volunteers who fell outside the initial qualfications, especially age, for Kitchener's New Armies. It then took on trench digging for home defence forces and guarding factories. Not until May 1916 did it become subject to the Army Act, changing its name to the Volunteer Force, with its members now being allowed to bear military rank. It remained a part-time force and is a direct equivalent to the Home Guard.

Charles M

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The RASC MT volunteers kept going until 1921 because they kept essential transport going during the Rail Strike. These MT volunteers played a big part in transporting wounded soldiers from railway stations to local hospitals during the war - often at short notice at all hours of the day and night.

The essential difference is RDC were full time, Volunteer Force part-time

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thank you all very much!

very interesting

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Hello Chris,

In case my old posting is hard to find, please find it attached to this message.

Please note that the document is, and will be, some sort of working document.

Cheers,

Wienand

Volunteer_Force_1914__1919.pdf

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