British army corps shown in military
art prints, Army Service Corps, Royal Corp of Signals, Royal Army Medical
Corps, Pioneer Corps, Army Catering Corps and Royal Corps of Transport
shown in military art prints by Terence Cuneo, David Rowlands, Richard
Simkin and Richard Caton Woodville.
The Army Service Corps
The supply of an army in the field was, in the last century,
usually organised solely for the duration of a war, and partook largely of
the civilian element. The first well-considered effort to provide a reliable force for
these important duties was made in the Peninsula, when the “Royal Wagon
Train” was formed. This was
revived in 1854 as the “Land Transport Corps”; but it was not very
successful, and was reorganised after the war as the “Military Train.”
It next appears as the
“control Department,” of which the “Commissariat and Transport,”
and a “Military Store Department,” were sub-branches; but this
machinery proved cumbrous, and it disappeared in 1875, to be followed by
the “Army Transport Corps,” which was finally given its present name.
The disposition of the Transport in an English army is at the rate
of one Transport company to each division, and one for the corps’
head-quarters in the first line, four others being relegated to the second
line, chiefly for hospital needs. Each
company has four sections, one of which carries staff baggage and
provisions for the “details”; one section is told off to assist the
medical department, and the other two convey staff baggage and provisions.
It has shared necessarily in the campaigns in which the army has
taken part; and at Rorke’s Drift, in 1879, Acting-Assistant Commissary
J. L. Dalton won the Cross for Valour.
During the Mutiny, in the pursuit of Koer Singh from Azimghur, the
men did good service as cavalry; and in one of the sharp skirmishes
Michael Murphy and SamuelMorely, of the Military Train, gained the
Victoria Cross. There
are thirty-seven companies in the “Army List,” with one supply and two
The blue uniform has white facings.
The Army Chaplains’ Department
According to Clode, in the year 1662 a chaplain was appointed to
every regiment, and in the Articles of War of that year they were directed
“to preach to them as often as with convenience shall be fought fit.”
The first Chaplain-General was the Rev, J,
Gamble, in 1796, when regimental chaplains were done away with, and their
duty was performed by ordinary parish priests: but for foreign service
there was a little provision, so that in 1806 “Lord Cathart embarked
with a corps of 14,000 men, and only one chaplain,” and throughout the
Peninsular War there were practically few, if any, chaplains employed.
The office of Chaplain-General was abolished in 1829, but was
restored in 1846. Three
heroes of the department may well be mentioned here. The first is the Rev J.W. Adams, who won the Victoria Cross
in Afghanistan for helping the wounded and saving life; another is the Rev
G.N. Gordon, who was mortally wounded at Candahar when attending to the
men under a heavy fire; and the third is the Rev. R. Collins, who crossed
from one square to the other at Hasheen, in the Soudan, to Convey a
message from Major Alston.
In the “Army List” the Presbyterian chaplains have the letter
“P.” before their names,
the Roman Catholic “R.C.”
The black uniform has the usual badges on the collar.
The forage-cap is adorned with black embroidery.