Royal Army Service Corps

Army Service Corps supply convoy, Western Front, c1916

Army Service Corps supply convoy, Western Front, c1916

Origins

Originally, British Army transport and supply was provided by civilian contractors. In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, the army made several attempts to create a uniformed unit to carry out these duties, but with limited success. 

In 1855 the army established the Land Transport Corps, later known as the Military Train. This was partly in response to public outrage at the suffering caused by poor supply chains during the early stages of the Crimean War (1854-56). Civilians continued to play a role in overall supply via the Commissariat. But in 1888 the Army Service Corps was established as a full unified service.   

Did you know?

Waggon trains:
The first incarnation of the RASC was created in 1794. It was known as the Royal Waggonners.

Artistic tendencies:
The painter William Orpen was a member of the corps during the First World War. Brian Sewell (dubbed Britain's most controversial art critic) served with the unit during his National Service in 1957.

Cap Badge, Royal Army Service Corps, c1940

Legacy

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.

Find out more

The National Army Museum works together with Regimental and Corps Museums across the country to help provide a network of military museums for everyone to visit and enjoy.

Explore the history and collections of the Royal Army Service Corps by visiting the Royal Logistic Corps Museum.
 

THE ROYAL LOGISTIC CORPS MUSEUM

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