ASC in the Boer War

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ASC in the Boer War

Postby Bob Chandler » 22 Mar 2009 22:12

Trying to find out more about the ASC during the Boer War - how it was organised, where they went, what the experience of the 'average' Driver would have been, can anyone recommend a book or website that could help me? Many thanks, Bob
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Re: ASC in the Boer War

Postby Waggoner » 23 Mar 2009 01:21

Bob,

I would suggest that you pay a visit to the RLC museum in Deepcut. They should be able to help you out. Not a great deal has been written about the ASC in the Boer War. I will check my library and make some suggestions. My main impression is that the British army logistics services had evolved along the lines of "small" campaigns under Wolseley. Then Roberts appeared on the scene and, due to his Indian army background, basically screwed everything up. More to follow but must go watch the Amazing Race!

All the best,

Gary
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Re: ASC in the Boer War

Postby Bob Chandler » 23 Mar 2009 08:24

Thanks for your reply Gary, I'm very grateful for any help you can give me. I have a copy of the service record for the relative I'm researching but want to get some background information on the Corps first, so I can put it into context. My relatives seem to have a habit of joining units that there isn't much written about (but does that make the researching process more satisfying in the long run???) Best wishes, Bob

p.s. Deepcut is on my ever growing 'to do' list for this summer
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Re: ASC in the Boer War

Postby Waggoner » 24 Mar 2009 02:14

Bob,

I will have a look later this week and get back to you. Your relative's records should have company numbers shown which will make your search that much easier.

All the best,

Gary
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Re: ASC in the Boer War

Postby Waggoner » 25 Mar 2009 23:18

Bob,

This is probably the best book on the period - http://cgi.ebay.ca/Royal-Army-Service-C ... 240%3A1318

Fortescue wrote an OK history of the Corps. If you don't wish to purchase this reprint of the two volumes, you could always try your local library. If they don't have it, they could likely bring it in on an inter-library loan.

All the best,

Gary
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Re: ASC in the Boer War

Postby SWB » 26 Mar 2009 10:12

Bob,

The clasps on his Queen's South Africa medal will tell where he went and if he was involved in any battles. A number of ASC personnel - mostly drivers were attached to the Artillery and consequently shared in their experiences.

If he simply earnt one or more state clasps; Cape Colony, Orange Free State, Transvaal, Natal and Rhodesia, then it is very difficult to say where he went. The medal rolls (WO100 at The National Archives) should state which company he served in, then you would have to read something like 'With The Flag To Pretoria' to see if that company is listed on an Order of Battle which will enable you to get a better idea of where he went by following whichever Brigade or Division his company was attached to. If you can't get this information then he may well have spent his war at a depot humping stores about.

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Re: ASC in the Boer War

Postby Bob Chandler » 28 Mar 2009 18:23

Gary and Meurig,

Thanks both for your replies, most appreciated. I have ordered a copy of the Fortescue book today, seems to be just what I’m looking for in terms of background etc.

I’ve had another look through my relative’s records but can’t see a Company number, just a service number T/12875.

A few other details which I can make out:-

Attested 25th August 1896, Aldershot – Short Service – age 18 years 2 months

Home 25/8/96 – 31/10/99
South Africa 1/11/99 – 25/7/00
Home 26/7/00

Clasp for Natal ‘99

17th July 1899 Perham – engaged to join Section A of the 1st Class Army Reserve

25th August 1899 – Army Reserve ASC enrolled under AO142 of 98

23rd Oct 1899 Recalled to Army service under Special Army Order of Oct 99

20th March 1903 Retransferred Reserve ASC

???? 1903 In custody of civil … (assault) (!)

Returned to duty 1 May 1903

Absent 1st April …

Absent at date of discharge (!)

The story in the family is that he came home from SA psychologically affected by the war, couldn’t settle at home, and as my Mum used to put it, ‘took to the road’.

Anyway, thanks again and I will be consulting WO100 and going to Deepcut in due course.

Regards, Bob
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Re: ASC in the Boer War

Postby Waggoner » 28 Mar 2009 21:24

Bob,

Glad to be of assistance. You can tell by the "T" prefix to his service number that he was in the transport side of the ASC. Now that you know he received the clasp "Natal" to his QSA, you can concentrate on that part of the Boer War. Be sure to let us know what additional information you turn up!

All the best,

Gary
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Re: ASC in the Boer War

Postby SWB » 30 Mar 2009 09:30

Bob,

The Natal clasp also tells you that he didn't take part in any of the battles in Natal for which clasps were awarded; Talana, Elandslaagte, Relief of Ladysmith, Tugela Heights and Laings Nek. He could have been involved in Willow Grange (October 1899) but that was a small affair.

Regards
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Re: ASC in the Boer War

Postby jersey » 24 Oct 2009 02:52

I know this is a few months on, but as a new member I thought I would try and put a bit more info in the post.
A g/uncle of mine was in the ASC, Went to SA as a saddler (T/15193 Saddler D C Hamon) and was in SA from 19-3-01 to 22-6-03.
He had four bars to his QSA Orange Free State, Transvaal and 1901 and 1902 SA bar. Presumably from this I could expect that
he was based in those areas but didnt take part in any fighting. As a saddler I would suspect that he would have been in hq's
repairing saddles/harnesses etc during his stay in SA. He eventually became a Saddler Staff Sgt and retired from the ASC in 1920.
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Re: ASC in the Boer War

Postby Waggoner » 24 Oct 2009 03:10

David,

Each ASC horse transport company had one saddler on their establishment. He would have repaired and/or made harnass. He would also have been employed with his company and gone where they did. If you know what company he was with, it might be possible to trace its movements through the records at the National Archives. The RLC Musuem in Deepcut may also be able to assist.

All the best,

Gary
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Re: ASC in the Boer War

Postby jersey » 01 Nov 2009 11:32

Hi Gary,
All I know is his Great War posting was 2 Coy 2nd Div Train. Would this still be still the same unit that he was in during the Boer War ?
He had the QSA with 4 clasps SA 1901, SA 1902, Transvaal and Orange Free State.

David
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Re: ASC in the Boer War

Postby SWB » 01 Nov 2009 11:38

David,

Very unlikely. Corps troops (ASC, Artillery, Medical) moved between units frequently. The QSA medal roll should show which unit(s) he was with.

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Re: ASC in the Boer War

Postby jersey » 12 Nov 2009 10:55

Is the QSA medal online, otherwise çause I am in Oz have no hope of checking it. His service docos do not indicate exactly where he went in SA.
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Re: ASC in the Boer War

Postby SWB » 12 Nov 2009 22:18

David,

No the QSA medal rolls aren't online. You need a friend or a researcher ( :D ) to help you out.

Regards
Meurig
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