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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Pvt. G. H. Potts - ASC 'A Coy.'


Pottsy123456

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Hello all,

I am looking into my family history and was wondering what you could tell me about my Great-Great Uncles experience during the Great war?

He was in France between 03/06/15 to 20/08/15 was discharged due to chronic bronchitis in 1916. Could anyone point me in the right direction for further documentation?

I found these documents on Ancestry and the UK National Archives.
Appreciate the help from anyone!

Potts_GeorgeHenry_1916_ServiceRec.jpg

Potts_GeorgeHenry_1916_ServiceRec_1.jpg

Potts_GeorgeHenry_1916_ServiceRec_2.jpg

Potts_GeorgeHenry_1916_ServiceRec_3.jpg

Potts_GeorgeHenry_1916_ServiceRec_4.jpg

Potts_GeorgeHenry_1916_ServiceRec_5.jpg

Potts_GeorgeHenry_1916_ServiceRec_6.jpg

Potts_GeorgeHenry_MedalRoll.jpg

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The reference to SWB list on his MIC gives the reference for his Silver War Badge..

Reference: Ancestry 

SWB George Henry POTTS.png

Edited by BarbaraG
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Hi Pottsy, welcome to the forum. The prefix T4 on his service number indicates horse transport so he probably would have been in an HT Company but the only possible company number I can see , on the top right of the first page is indistinct.

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A Company is listed by Michael Young  (Army Service Corps 1902-1918) as a stand company, and not given a number in the main sequence of 1-1168.
Details are vague, no formation or disbandment date.
It functioned as ASC Depot, Aldershot as a Supply Details Company.
There is no War Diary.

[He does record in the text [p147-148]that 'A' company (his inverted commas)  was in existence in at least 1916, comprising part od the ASC Discharge Depot, moving from Aldershot to Scotton Camp, Catterick., becoming ASC Depot, Catterick  on 28/6/1916. He says the location was unsuitable, and the climate poor (what does he expect in Catterick? The Hanging Gardens of Babylon?)   They moved in December to Southport.

Their role was to  receive ASC men returning from the BEF. Men invalided from overseas were sent for retraining or dscharged. Men fit for 'Home Only' were reported to OIC ASC Records for posting, men fit for GS were transferrred to a reserve depot.
Not sure how this fits in here, I think Potts was discharged before AA Company moved up north.
But presumably their function would be the same even f the location was later different.

 

There is also an 'A' Provisonal Company (his inverted commas).
Formed 15/1/1918, disbanded 10/4/1919.
Salonika Army Troops.
Movement of ralway materiel in support od 267 Railway Company RE. War Diary WO95/4809

Edited by Dai Bach y Sowldiwr
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I think the "A" Coy is on discharge but when he served in France I assume it would have been in a numbered HT Company.

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6 minutes ago, Gardenerbill said:

I think the "A" Coy is on discharge but when he served in France I assume it would have been in a numbered HT Company.

Yes that would be right.

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4 hours ago, Gardenerbill said:

The prefix T4 on his service number indicates horse transport so he probably would have been in an HT Company but the only possible company number I can see , on the top right of the first page is indistinct.

To satisfy your curiosity the FMP Record shows that entry to be "AF 2867 issued" There is no reference to any Company other than 'A'

15 hours ago, Pottsy123456 said:

I am looking into my family history and was wondering what you could tell me about my Great-Great Uncles experience during the Great war?

Described as a 'good packer and loader' (pre war occupation Packer). I doubt he ever got past the Depot or if he did he was engaged on Lines of Communication

The service record of T4/107807 Hall (a 40 year old dustman) shows he went to France the same day after a similar induction period and was posted to B.H.T.D the on the 7th June to 319 M.T. Company (1st Heavy Repair Shop Paris). where he remained until demobilised on 14.1.1919.

The service record of T4/107808 Wilby a 40 year old carman also survives but he did not go to France until 1916 again posted to B.H.T.D. Havre (Horse Transport Depot?) He was posted to an Ambulance Convoy.

I guess it depends on the skill set the Army was seeking.  There was an earlier thread on A.S.C. Packers and Loaders:-

 

 

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Thank you all! This is really helpful. From what I understand the information for the ASC is limited, so I appreciate everyone's digging.

7 hours ago, Gardenerbill said:

Hi Pottsy, welcome to the forum. The prefix T4 on his service number indicates horse transport so he probably would have been in an HT Company but the only possible company number I can see , on the top right of the first page is indistinct.

He has a previous civilian experience being a 'Carman' and a 'Coal Merchant', so he likely had experience dealing with horses.

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3 hours ago, kenf48 said:

B.H.T.D. Havre (Horse Transport Depot?

Yes, Base Horse Transport Depot, (10 HT Coy. ASC, for which a war diary exists WO95/4188), Le Havre.

Edited by Dai Bach y Sowldiwr
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1 hour ago, Dai Bach y Sowldiwr said:

Yes, Base Horse Transport Depot, (10 HT Coy. ASC, for which a war diary exists WO95/4188), Le Havre.

So would it be likely G. Potts was in 10 HT Coy.?

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1 hour ago, Pottsy123456 said:

So would it be likely G. Potts was in 10 HT Coy.?

I don't think so, virtually all men went from the Channel Ports to a Base Depot in France.  It is possible he remained at the Base Depot, men were placed on 'Base Details'.  It is more likely as with the two men cited he was posted to the the Base Depot and after a brief orientation posted on elsewhere. All that can be said is that as a 'packer/loader' he is most likely to have been 3rd Echelon or lines of communication,.i.e. working on the docks or some other Depot loading animals/vehicles to maintain supplies.

 

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3 hours ago, Pottsy123456 said:

So would it be likely G. Potts was in 10 HT Coy.?

Infantry depots were basically transit camps for multiple soldiers from multiple infantry depots, soldiers coming to and from England and to the front.

BHTD was a transit depot for men, horses and supples, an ASC concern, so it may be that it operated as a specific ASC Company (ie. No 10 Company in this instance), although I've not come across service records quoting that actual number. Likewise, 1st Base Mechanical Transport Depot (BMTD) at Rouen was actually numbered 53 ASC Coy. 2 BMTD was later formed at Calais (both also have the same reference number for the war diary - WO95/4188.) I haven't gone through the 1000 odd companies line by lne, but despite the '1' prefix, I haven't yet come across a '2' BHTD on the Western Front. There may be one that I've missed. There were also BHTDs & BMTDs on other fronts -Italy, Egypt and maybe more.
I know from his service record that my grandfather was at one point at BMTD, Rouen, but nowhere in his record is there a reference to 53 Coy.

So I think the answer to your question is 'Probably  technically yes', although it was never referred to as such by the men passing through, (or as it would seem by the adjutants writing up the service records.

It might be worth reading (tedious though that might be) the actual War Diary to see how it describes itself and its function along with its activities and manpower.

1 hour ago, kenf48 said:

I don't think so

I think it was an admin thing that the British Army excelled at.
 

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On 18/01/2024 at 14:41, Dai Bach y Sowldiwr said:

Infantry depots were basically transit camps for multiple soldiers from multiple infantry depots, soldiers coming to and from England and to the front.

BHTD was a transit depot for men, horses and supples, an ASC concern, so it may be that it operated as a specific ASC Company (ie. No 10 Company in this instance), although I've not come across service records quoting that actual number. Likewise, 1st Base Mechanical Transport Depot (BMTD) at Rouen was actually numbered 53 ASC Coy. 2 BMTD was later formed at Calais (both also have the same reference number for the war diary - WO95/4188.) I haven't gone through the 1000 odd companies line by lne, but despite the '1' prefix, I haven't yet come across a '2' BHTD on the Western Front. There may be one that I've missed. There were also BHTDs & BMTDs on other fronts -Italy, Egypt and maybe more.
I know from his service record that my grandfather was at one point at BMTD, Rouen, but nowhere in his record is there a reference to 53 Coy.

So I think the answer to your question is 'Probably  technically yes', although it was never referred to as such by the men passing through, (or as it would seem by the adjutants writing up the service records.

It might be worth reading (tedious though that might be) the actual War Diary to see how it describes itself and its function along with its activities and manpower.

I think it was an admin thing that the British Army excelled at.
 

Thank you for this detailed response, I will have a look at the War Dairies and let you know if I find anything interesting.

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