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While looking for information for another post about ASC, I came across this anomaly.

My GF - George Munro T/34302 - has on his MIC - 1 Meerut Division train ASC. Date of entry 20/9/1914. The Meerut Division itself did not arrive in France until 12th October. According to the Long Long Trail the division train consisted of ASC companies 432-435 But these weren't formed until Jan 1915.

Any ideas as to the discrepancy in dates?

Neil

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Perry's "Order of Battle of Divisions Part 5B" gives the following on the Meerut Division:-

In August 1914 (still in India) the Division OoB shows no Train attached. By November 1914, (in France) it shows the Meerut Divisional Train, and still shows that in Sep 1915. Further snapshots in the OoB starting in Feb 1916 show the Divisional Train as 7th Div (i.e. 7th (Meerut) Division) to Mar 1918. No mention in the OoB of company numbers.

The movements of the Meerut Division as follows:- The Greater part of the Division sailed from Bombay on 20th Sept and arrived at Marseilles 12th - 14th October.

So two ideas come to mind. Firstly the Indian Army administrators used the date of sailing as the date of entry - this could be checked by obtaining a sample of Meerut Division soldiers' MICs. Or secondly, he could have formed part of an advance party, although looking at the length of time the Division took to sail to France, they would have had to be quick out of the blocks to have had an advance party in France by 20 Sep 1915.

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Perry's "Order of Battle of Divisions Part 5B" gives the following on the Meerut Division:-

In August 1914 (still in India) the Division OoB shows no Train attached. By November 1914, (in France) it shows the Meerut Divisional Train, and still shows that in Sep 1915. Further snapshots in the OoB starting in Feb 1916 show the Divisional Train as 7th Div (i.e. 7th (Meerut) Division) to Mar 1918. No mention in the OoB of company numbers.

The movements of the Meerut Division as follows:- The Greater part of the Division sailed from Bombay on 20th Sept and arrived at Marseilles 12th - 14th October.

So two ideas come to mind. Firstly the Indian Army administrators used the date of sailing as the date of entry - this could be checked by obtaining a sample of Meerut Division soldiers' MICs. Or secondly, he could have formed part of an advance party, although looking at the length of time the Division took to sail to France, they would have had to be quick out of the blocks to have had an advance party in France by 20 Sep 1915.

Hello ,

I have just been looking at my great uncles 71st Company MT ASC book and it quotes "Here they remained until Sunday, October 25th 1914. During this period, the 2nd Indian Cavalry Division arrived from India. The Division had disembarked at Marseilles; proceding thence , overland , to Orleans, where 71 Company joined them.

The Division comprised three Cavalry Brigades; namely , the Secunderabad, Meerut and Mhow.

Regards

Alan

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Thanks for that guys.

I was always under the impression that my GF only joined up at the start of the war, so I was assuming his unit was sent to France from the UK. Does anyone know if his number T/34302 gives any clues to his enlistment date. I'm almost certain he didn't serve in India.

Neil

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According to the catalogue at the National Archives, the war diary of 432 Company, ASC begins in September of 1914, while that of the divisional train for the 7th Indian (Meerut) Division began in October of 1914.

This is consistent with the theory that the divisional train was formed in the UK and sent to France to meet the other elements of the division as they arrived. It is also consistent with the theory that the divisional train was assembled in France in the course of the autumn of 1914, with some elements crossing the Channel sooner than others and units being formed as the required people, horses and equipment became available.

The fact that the numbers of the ASC companies form a neat sequence suggests that they were allocated in a block. This does not mean, however, that the companies were necessarily formed at the same time.

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Thanks Hoplofile, that makes a lot more sense.

Anyone know how much it would cost to download this diary?

Neil

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Alas, these diaries are not available for download. It is possible, however, to have the reproduction service at the National Archives make at photocopy.

As these diaries are likely to be short, and the minimum charge is ten pounds, you may want to cast your net more widely and include other relevant war diaries (such as those of the division trains and the division quartermaster of the Meerut Division) along with the war diary of the 432nd Company, ASC.

(You pay ten pounds for an estimate, which can cover as many as five different items. When you get the estimated cost, you can then refine your order. As the ten pounds you paid for the estimate is taken off of your final bill, it is worth your while to put several items on the estimate form.)

According to Michael Young's Army Service Corps, 1902-1918, the four component companies of the divisional trains (432, 433, 434, and 435) returned to the UK at some point during the war. There they served with the Home Forces until either the end of the war (432 and 435) or disbandment in April of 1918 (433 and 434).

Young also indicates that the war diaries of the other three companies (433, 434 and 435) are located in the same carton (WO95/5460) as the war diary of the 432nd Company.

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