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Royal Army Service Corps

Last updated: 22 February 2016

Cap Badge, Royal Army Service Corps, c1940Cap Badge, Royal Army Service Corps, c1940
NAM. 1998-12-18


The Royal Army Service Corps (RASC) was the unit responsible for keeping the British Army supplied with all its provisions barring weaponry, military equipment and ammunition, which were under the remit of the Royal Army Ordnance Corps.

Army transport in the British Army’s first century was provided by civil contractors and the first uniformed unit to attempt these duties was the Royal Waggoners. The attempt proved unsuccessful and the Waggoners was disbanded in 1795, less than a year after its formation.

With the French Revolutionary Wars continuing, a second attempt was not long in coming, arriving in 1799 with the Royal Waggon Corps, later renamed the Royal Waggon Train. This proved longer lived, being downsized after the end of the Napoleonic Wars but only fully disbanded in 1833.

It took the poor supply chains of the early stages of the Crimean War (1854-56), and the ensuing public outrage, for another army supply unit to be set up in 1855, this time known as the Land Transport Corps then the Military Train.

Army supply overall, however, was still in the hands of a unit of uniformed civilians known as the Commissariat, which was in 1869 merged with the Military Train’s officers to form the Control Department. This made the Military Train a unit solely made up of other ranks commanded by officers from the Control Department and in 1870 the Military Train was renamed the Army Service Corps.

Army Service Corps supply convoy, Western Front, c1916Army Service Corps supply convoy, Western Front, c1916
NAM. 2007-03-7-163

In 1875 the Control Department split into the Commissariat and Transport Department (CTD) and the Ordnance Store Department (OSD), with the latter forming the predecessor to the Royal Army Ordnance Corps. In 1880 the CTD was renamed the Commissariat and Transport Staff (CTS) and the other ranks’ Army Service Corps renamed the Commissariat and Transport Corps (CTC).

In 1888, the CTS, the CTC and the War Department Fleet merged to form a second Army Service Corps, bringing officers and other ranks back together into one unit. That unit went on to absorb some of the Royal Engineers’ transport duties and to be given the honour of the ‘Royal’ prefix in recognition of its major work in supplying troops during the First World War.

In 1965, the RASC was merged with the Transportation and Movement Control Service of the Royal Engineers to form the Royal Corps of Transport. In 1993 it became part of the Royal Logistic Corps.

Key facts


  • 'Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense'
    (meaning 'Shame On Him Who Thinks Evil Of It')


  • The Moke Train
  • The Commos

Titles to date:

  • Royal Waggoners
  • Royal Waggon Corps
  • Royal Waggon Train
  • Land Transport Corps
  • Military Train
  • Army Service Corps
  • Commissariat and Transport Corps
  • Army Service Corps
  • Royal Army Service Corps
  • Royal Corps of Transport
  • Royal Logistic Corps

Find out more

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National Army Museum Collection


3 April 2012, 3.11pm



tony gamble
30 April 2012, 3.57pm

my dad was a driver in the r

my dad was a driver in the r a s c from 1944 till 1946 and was in the middle east from 1941 till 1942

john burford
29 September 2012, 4.49pm

my dad was rasc driver ww2.

my dad was rasc driver ww2. 8th army hq. in fact he was monty's driver from 1942 [jeep]

Joyce Axon
19 November 2012, 4.08pm

my late husband was a rasc

my late husband was a rasc driver and went to germany with the tortoise tank trials team in 1948 driving the welding truck

Robert Kite
26 February 2013, 9.02pm

My father Ronald, a trained

My father Ronald, a trained vehicle mechanic, was attached to a Bailey Bridge unit, using American vehicles. He served in Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Italy and Germany from 1941 to 1946.

David Salisbury
7 March 2013, 9.40pm

My dad Bruce served in Africa

My dad Bruce served in Africa and Italy he was a PTI and dispatch rider in ww2

Wendy Loveday
21 March 2013, 12.30pm

My dad Vincent Loveday served

My dad Vincent Loveday served as a driver in the RASC in WW2. He was in North Africa & Italy, but think he also did a stint in the middle east guarding an oil pipeline! He was in the 8th army & used to joke that Monty had spoken to him. When I asked what Monty had said to him he replied, "Get out of my bloody way!"

Michael Deeming
25 March 2013, 8.02pm

My dad Thomas Deeming served

My dad Thomas Deeming served as a driver and despatch rider throughout ww2, he served in the middle east Egypt / Cairo, and also Germany and was present when the allied forces entered Belsen Concentration camp and witnessed all the SS atrocities.

Eric Boden
5 April 2013, 12.57pm

My Dad, Driver T14537858

My Dad, Driver T14537858 Stanley Walter Boden. Was with 229 tank brigade RASC in NW Europe from July 1944 and latterly from Dec 44 with 510 coy. My understanding is that he drove one of the bulldozers that were used to bury the bodies in Bergen Belson. He was also stationed in Antwerp during the V2 attacks on the city.

Lee walker
6 April 2013, 9.27am

My Father was in the R.A.S.C

My Father was in the R.A.S.C in Italy 43-45 and in Germany 45-47.
He was a driver, I believe in 72 gt coy in Italy. In Germany he was attached to the Rifle Brigade.

Kenneth Wingad
8 April 2013, 6.24pm

I did National Service in the

I did National Service in the RASC after a long amount training at Blandford and Willems barracks Aldershot I worked as Tactical sketcher at Sandhurst. This was 1957 59. All a great experience which I believe developed me as a young man I was demobbed as a corporal I was proud then and still am.

Dewi Owen Hughes
24 April 2013, 9.40pm

My father, Thomas Hughes

My father, Thomas Hughes (T90824) from North Wales served with the RASC in Egypt, Iraq, Palestine, Syria, Libya, Tunisia and Italy, having been at Dunkerque before that. I am compiling an 88 page photo-book of 250 images entitled 'El Alamein snapshots' . . . the images he took during this period.

Luke Knight
25 April 2013, 9.03am

I believe my great

I believe my great grandfather was a driver in the rasc! His name was Frederick Charles Bannister and we believe he was in the TA during WW2 driving in this country! We would love to know more but have no info if anyone could help we would be most grateful.

John Walker
29 May 2013, 9.59am

I have a 1942 Bedford QLT

I have a 1942 Bedford QLT Troop Carrier, with RASC markings, assigned to British 2nd Army.

Pauline Watts
6 June 2013, 5.59pm

My dad, Arthur Adams (now 88)

My dad, Arthur Adams (now 88) was a driver in RASC in 1944 in 128 Company in a unit transporting Bailey Bridges. He still recalls so much about that time & stayed on after the war had ended. Hopefully we can take him back to Normandy next year on the anniversary of the landings.

Nirmal Devaraj
7 June 2013, 10.43am

My grandfather S.N. Abraham,

My grandfather S.N. Abraham, an Indian recruited from Ceylon, was serving in R.A.S.C during WW2 and was serving in Italy, Africa, Middle East, Egypt, and Germany and he got medals like Italy star, African Star, and campaign medals. He was a driver serving in the 8th Army from 1939 to 1945 and was discharged when the war ended. I would like to contact anyone who served with him during that time and please feel to contact me...

Nigel Coplin
10 June 2013, 12.42pm

My Grandfather Major

My Grandfather Major F.J.Coplin MBE enlisted as a private in 1914 in The ASC and was clerk and later personal secretary to Lord Rawlingson During ww1 and later in India where Lord Rawlingson was C in C.

gary hughes
10 June 2013, 9.29pm

my dad roger (william) hughes

my dad roger (william) hughes joined up 1942. north africa after that i dont no. got postcards holland '44.

16 June 2013, 3.35pm

my dad arnold holmes served

my dad arnold holmes served 1940 to1946 in egypt through to gemany in 553 company. he carried ammo for 30 corps nearly being killed by a shell on the single highway to arnhem. he was also at the ham and egg incident alas he died in 1996.

Brenda Smith
2 July 2013, 5.06pm

My Dad, John Edward Smith,

My Dad, John Edward Smith, was a driver (T.264274) in the RASC during WW2 and served in Italy and North Africa. He received the 1939/45 Star, Africa Star with 1st Army Clasp, the Italy Defence Medal and the 1939/45 War Medal.

Andrew Mills
12 July 2013, 1.50pm

My grandfather James Henry

My grandfather James Henry Mills was at Dunkirk and at the liberation of Bergen Belsen. From what I know he was tasked with clearing the bodies with bulldozers and it is rumoured that it is him in the picture at the Imperial War Museum. If anyone can shed any more light on this subject I would greatly appreciate it.

david mcintyre
14 July 2013, 1.20am

My dad richard mcintyre was

My dad richard mcintyre was in the rasc. He enlisted 1943 barracked at ashton u lyne and liverpool i believe. He arrived in france on dday+1 and i remember him telling me of the falaise gap the ardennes and i do believe he was in the first batch into belsen taking in reporters. he went on to berlin just before the end and was home on leave on VE day. he was sent back to germany where he served another 3 years some in berlin some in dussledorf.

Roger Cain
10 August 2013, 8.30pm

My Dad, George Cain from the

My Dad, George Cain from the Isle of Man served in the RASC as a driver/mechanic and Despatch Rider throughout the war. He was 27 in 1939 and was regarded as an old man by his mates!

Mrs Barbara Thompson
18 August 2013, 9.37am

My Dad, Sidney Petts, did his

My Dad, Sidney Petts, did his National Service in the RASC between 1946-48. He was in 226 and they watched over a massive Fuel depot. They played a football match against Borussia Monchengladbach during their time there. He remembers this with great affection.

Brian Smith
2 September 2013, 2.25pm

My dad Allen Smith served

My dad Allen Smith served with the RASC from 1940 to 1946, I am trying to put together his war time service which included North Africa, Sicily and Normandy.

Robert Kendrick
2 September 2013, 8.41pm

My grandfather John William

My grandfather John William Denison Nunwick was in the RASC during WWII. I know he was stationed in Luven, Belgium for a time. He worked in the cook house and became friends with people who owned a local farm where he used to buy produce. Our family are still in touch with the family and still write and send photos. I was very fortunate to be able to travel to Belgium and visit them in 2005.

I would be pleased to hear from anyone who may have known my grandfather as we don't know very much about his service. He didn't like to speak of it.

Doug Hewitt
15 September 2013, 12.23pm

RE 25: You can get service

RE 25: You can get service files from Army Personnel Centre MS support division, Mail Point 555, Kentigern House 65 Brown Stree GLASGOW G2 8EX They are very helpful.

My dad (Arthur Hewitt) served in France and Germany 1944-45 and then in Palestine with 172nd and 185th regiments. I was able to track down all his records after he passed away, recently visited normandy beaches, Arromanche and Bayeux.

Robin Drinkall
17 September 2013, 12.16pm

My Grandmothers brother James

My Grandmothers brother James Rudman worked in the workshops of 431 R.A.S.C during 1944-1945. I have his diary for 1945 which starts in Italy and ends in Norway. His diary for 1944 has gone missing. Does anyone know the route followed for 431 R.A.S.C during the 1944? He once said he had travelled from top to bottom of Europe.

Will McManus
17 September 2013, 2.38pm

Hello I am wondering if

I am wondering if anyone on here can help me find out any info about my father's service, as below:
From the MOD we know the following:-
Enlisted in India into the East Yorkshire Regiment as a Pte 15.02.43
Posted to 1st Battalion.
Posted to HQ 99 Independent Infantry Brigade 18.02.46
Came home.
Joined RASC 09.10.50
Overseas Service: India 15.02.43 - 05.04.45
Burma 06.04.45 - 05.05.46
India 06.05.46 - 14.01.47
Far East Land Force 05.06.52 - 19.05.55
British Army of the Rhine . 22.09.60 - 23.10.63

Jim Clark
17 September 2013, 4.57pm

Army service records are held

Army service records are held in Glasgow. They’re indexed by Service Number, Rank, Full Name and Date of Birth - you’ll need to provide as much of this information as possible, together with your relative’s Regiment or Corps if it is known, to help locate service records.

Records of deceased ex-servicemen/women will generally only be released to, or with the consent of, the official next of kin. You’ll need to provide a Certificate of Kinship form and a Subject Access Request (SAR) form, which are both downloadable from the Veterans Agency website. The charge is £30 (waived for a widow or widower). Cheques must be payable to ‘MOD Accounting Officer’ and should be included with the completed Certificate of Kinship and SAR form.

Obtaining records may take some time. I got my father's from Glasgow - it takes about 6 months due to the demand nowadays for family history records - they are well detailed and worth the effort. My dad was in MMG Corp and in Belgium/France and evacuated at Dunkirk the retrained as a tank transporter driver with 1ST Army in North Africa then Italy finishing in Klagenfurt Austria. Hope this helps everyone.

Jim Brown
28 September 2013, 1.32pm

T/2301532 Driver B3, J R

T/2301532 Driver B3, J R Brown from Coventry, served in the RASC from March 1954 until February 1956 (National Service) - Blenheim Barracks Aldershot, - !5 Training Battalion Blandford - 5 Company
St Toenis, Krefeld. BAOR 34. Service included General Transport in Northern Germay and amphibious training on DUKWS at Wilhelmshaven during 1955. My training and service during my time in the army enabled me in later years to form an accredited materials and mechanical handling safety training organisation for the training of operators and instructors. Regards to Paul Cornwell and Shorty Bacon.

Brian Smith
2 October 2013, 7.34pm

Re 27 thank you for your

Re 27 thank you for your reply to 25.

I have service record and war diaries for relevant companies. Unfortunately there are gaps as part of the war diaries are missing. I am specifically interested in the 13 RMT Coy from November 1940 to June 1941 and from September 1941 to March 1942.

I am also looking for information about Number 10 Driver Training Centre at Cromer around February and March 1940.

Cheers Brian

william brown
6 October 2013, 11.30pm

My Dad, William Brown served

My Dad, William Brown served with the RASC throughout WWII. Although he had three young sons brought up on commando comics who were very keen to know all the gory details, he never once talked of his experiences. I do know he was in Italy, and that he was mentioned in despatches. Interesting information above which hopefully I can use to find out more.

14 October 2013, 2.04pm

My father Royden Sharp was in

My father Royden Sharp was in the Royal Indian Army Service Corps in World War 2. He served from 1942-1947. He got to the rank of captain. He is still alive.

Clara Richards
16 October 2013, 7.27am

My father Cecil Douglas

My father Cecil Douglas Sturman (Billy) enlisted in the RASC in Margate in 1940. He was a Class 3 qualified butcher. He was in the 465 Supply Unit and embarked for North Africa in April 1940.He went on to serve in Italy and met my mother in Rome, where they married in 1947. I have a copy of his service record, however it is unclear which parts of North Africa and Italy he served in. He was promoted to Corporal during his service. Where would I be able to find out this information? Also if he embarked for Nth Africa on 11/4/1943 which ship would he have been on?

Brian Smith
16 October 2013, 1.50pm

Clara re your post #35. I

Clara re your post #35. I have been doing similar checks for my Dad and found a great forum at full of members with the knowledge you seek. You will probably need to see the war diaries for the units/companies your father served with and they can help you obtain these if you so wish.

Also you could try internet site which lists a lot of the convoys sailing during the war, but again members at WW2Talk can help you with that as well... Good Luck Brian

Silvia Striekwold-Hansen
17 October 2013, 10.44am

My grandmother met an RASC

My grandmother met an RASC driver during the last days of WWII. She lived in Doetinchem (eastern part of Holland). My father was born March 1946. Does anyone know which regiment was stationed in Doetinchem in 1945? I would be very grateful for any information as I am searching for my grandpa and/or any relatives we might have.

David Brigham
26 October 2013, 11.52am

My Father was a sergeant

My Father was a sergeant fitter with the R.A.S.C. He reported for duty on the 21st Feb 1940 to R.A.S.C. 3 Training Centre, Margate. He then attended a fitters course from 18th Mar to Approx 31st Aug at Paddington Technical College before being posted on the 18th Sept 1940 to 24 Res MT Coy in Hampstead. On the 15th Oct 41 he was posted to 347 GT Coy (later 347 Inf Div Tpt Coy) and served with them in Scotland, North Africa, Italy and Austria until being transferred on to the strength of No 2 C.R.U. on the 21st Nov 1945. His service record shows that he remained with this unit until demob on 5th Mar 1946 being stationed in the grounds of the Schonbrunn Palace in Vienna although all his documentation for this period is stamped 934 Tpt Coy (Austria).

Brian Murrish
27 October 2013, 6.39pm

My dad, now deceased was in

My dad, now deceased was in the RASC, He was Llewellyn John Murrish and hailed from St.Agnes, Cornwall. I have been trying to track his war service to no avail, problem being his widow and myself are unable to find his service number. He was born in 1921 and I know he joined up in 1940, He did not talk too much about his activities but I do know he went to North Africa, Sicily and over to Bari and up through Italy. His job was to drive Bedford petrol tankers. Some photos exist of him and his mates but I would love to know if there is still anyone around who knew him.
Having just returned from a tour of the Normandy beaches and the British cemetery there, I note that the headstones for RASC personnel bore "driver" as opposed to "private". I couldn't work that one out.

Brian Smith
28 October 2013, 11.47am

Brian see my post 36 dated 16

Brian see my post 36 dated 16 a helpful forum for more details. The fact some RASC personnel were named as drivers is that this is their job, to drive lories carrying stores, troops etc- privates were possibly more involved with working in stores etc; good luck Brian
PS still hoping for a reply to my post 32

John McCormick
2 November 2013, 12.21am

Dad enlisted 1943 aged 17. He

Dad enlisted 1943 aged 17. He served in 10 company and landed on Juno beach chauffeuring a Canadian colonel. He was wounded in Arnhem. He returned to the company and was assigned to the Redball express.

Neil Acford
3 November 2013, 3.50pm

Bit of a long shot. I went on

Bit of a long shot. I went on holiday to Croatia last week and got talking to a lovely old chap who told me that during WW2 (1945) he was evacuated out to Italy. While he was there a young soldier from 98 GT company by the name of Arthur Saunders looked after him, he even had a postcard from him and a picture which he showed to me....after all this time he still cherished it. Apparently Arthur was about 19 in 1945 and was from Hanworth in Middlesex, his military number was T/179250.
If anyone can give me any information about Arthur Saunders it would be so nice to pass it on to this Croatian gentleman.

Marion Conn
9 November 2013, 10.07pm

My Grandfather, John

My Grandfather, John Hannigan, served as a driver with the Army Service Corp during WW1. On his wedding certificate it shows him in 1915 in Bridge of Allan. Would this have been a depot for them?

john burns
10 November 2013, 11.48am

My father Michael served in

My father Michael served in 2coy 23 div RASC from 6/11/14 to 19/2/19. He embarked with the 71st Field ambulance 23 div on the QUEEN EMPRESS 26/8/15 ex Southampton. He served in France until sent to Italy Nov 1917. He passed away 1968 RIP

Lynda Semans
10 November 2013, 1.50pm

My grandfather, George

My grandfather, George Frederick Thomas Burrows, was a sergeant in the RASC. He was killed while sailing to Africa in 1941 on the troopship Anselm as a result of torpedoing by u-boat.

11 November 2013, 7.08pm

My Uncle, Ernest Victor

My Uncle, Ernest Victor Heckford, was a driver in the RASC. Sadly I never got to meet him as he was killed in Arnhem on 20th Sept 1944 aged just 19. My mother was his twin sister & it hurt her most of her life as she was told he was missing in action, & for many years that's all she knew. She would never talk to us about him, nor watch any remembrance services. It was when I was older I was trying to find out anything about him I stumbled across the war memorial in Groesbeek cemetery & there was his name. I eventualy showed my mum, it was as if she'd found him again.

I would however like any more information, as don't know why he was named on the canadian war memorial? not british. He was from lytchett in dorset, & was I think attached to 398 (airborne) div as this is what was on the print out from the cwgc. Any feedback would be much appreciated. Sadly Mum's not around any more, but I'd love to know more about the uncle I never knew.

michael shobbrook
15 November 2013, 9.57pm

My late father Raymond

My late father Raymond Anthony was in the RASC in the 1960s spent 2 yrs in Germany. If anyone out there served with him let me know.

Peter Talboys
18 November 2013, 4.54pm

I am the branch secretary of

I am the branch secretary of the RBL in Yarnton Oxfordshire. One of our members has passed to me papers concerning a Herbert Gregory who was a lance corporal in the RASC during 1914-1918 war. We know he was wounded in 1918 but little else. Can anyone help with further information please?

Brian Smith
25 November 2013, 10.10am

Peter re your post #48, some

Peter re your post #48, some good people on the forum may be able to help with a few suggestions on how to progress this - free to use but you need to register, free and simple process. Cheers Brian

Mrs Dianne Mortimer
26 November 2013, 9.23pm

My Father served with the

My Father served with the R.A.S.C during WW2. He went to N.Africa and Sicily and Italy..then to Palestine. His name was Sidney Pascoe. known as Taffy. He was with the 73rd Motor transport div. and 13th corps. Is there anyone who remembers him? I have his war diary and journal with photos and stories that may be of interest to families of men who may have served with him.

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