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 Pin pointing an ASC man's war

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Rory Reynolds




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PostSubject: Pin pointing an ASC man's war   Pin pointing an ASC man's war EmptyFri Apr 15, 2022 11:44 pm

Is it possible to determine with which column an ASC man served? This would then, by implication, also tell us which battles he was likely to have been present at.

I am researching T/746 Pte. John Baker, A.S.C. - he was sent out after Isandlwana and saw service from 21 February 1879 until 9 October when he returned to the UK.

I've done a fair bit of googling but there doesn't appear to be much meat on the A.S.C. bone in the Zulu War.

Regards

Rory
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John Young

John Young


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PostSubject: Re: Pin pointing an ASC man's war   Pin pointing an ASC man's war EmptySat Apr 16, 2022 7:16 am

Rory,

Have you been able to establish which Army Service Corps Company that he served in?  The reinforcements that went out after iSandlwana were Numbers 3, 4 & 5 Companies, Army Service Corps.  Those Companies that were in South Africa at the start of the campaign were detachments of Numbers 6, 7 & 8 Companies.

Lieutenant-Colonel C. H. Masse in his 1948 publication The Predecessors of the Royal Army Service Corps states the following:
1st Division. General Crealock, Lower Tugela Command
About 9,000 including 50 A.S.C.
2nd Division. General Newdigate, Utrecht District.
About 10,000 including 60 A.S.C.
General Wood’s Flying Column.  About 3,000 including 9 A.S.C.


Although Masse does not include the details regarding the Companies, he does give the strengths involved.

No. 3 Company were employed at D’Urban and the lower lines-of-communication.

No. 4 Company formed part of Major-General H. H. Crealock’s 1st Division, transporting supplies by mules.

No. 5 Company were also part of Major-General Crealock’s Division.

I hope that goes some way in assisting you.

JY
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Rory Reynolds




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PostSubject: Re: Pin pointing an ASC man's war   Pin pointing an ASC man's war EmptySat Apr 16, 2022 8:55 am

Thank you John - that certainly provides much needed context. I was hoping that Furse might tell more but he describes the ASC only in general terms, focusing on the difficulties with transport, roads etc.

I have scoured Baker's papers once again for any mention of a Company but to no avail. The only reference comes at the time of his discharge when No. 13 Company is mentioned - I can't make out the other words (see below)

Regards

Rory

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John Young

John Young


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PostSubject: Re: Pin pointing an ASC man's war   Pin pointing an ASC man's war EmptySat Apr 16, 2022 9:38 am

Rory,

Looking at Baker’s dates of service, I would say he departed from the Victoria Dock - part of the Royal group of docks in East London - onboard the hired transport ship Queen Margaret. The ship actually sailed on 22nd February 1879. Arriving at D’Urban on 29th March 1879.

If we can establish which officers of the Commissariat & Transport Department who sailed on the Queen Margaret, I think we can narrow the odds further to which Company he served in.

JY
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Herbie




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PostSubject: Re: Pin pointing an ASC man's war   Pin pointing an ASC man's war EmptySat Apr 16, 2022 9:40 am

Hi Rory,
Roy Duttons medal roll lists T/746 Pte J Baker as being entitled the the 1879 clasp indicating he crossed over the border into Zululand rather than staying in Natal. He is listed under the ASC Transport section (rather than Commissariat, Ordinance or Ordinance Store Department sections).
Regards
Phil
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John Young

John Young


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Pin pointing an ASC man's war Empty
PostSubject: Re: Pin pointing an ASC man's war   Pin pointing an ASC man's war EmptySat Apr 16, 2022 9:47 am

Rory,

See [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] for details on the Queen Margaret, and hopefully your answer.

JY
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Rory Reynolds




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Pin pointing an ASC man's war Empty
PostSubject: Re: Pin pointing an ASC man's war   Pin pointing an ASC man's war EmptySat Apr 16, 2022 10:24 am

Many thanks Phil and John - we are certainly narrowing the field. If I follow your reasoning John, apropos the Queen Margaret, then I think the attached article from the Edinburgh Evening News of 24 February 1879 is relevant. It mentions (I think, as it is hard to make it out) the 5th Company and, although the ship is not named, the time line tallies.

This would mean, if I am correct, that Baker was with the 5th Company and under Commissary General Morris (no other officers mentioned). Would I be correct in my assumption, thus making him part of Major General Crealock's Division?

Regards

Rory

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John Young

John Young


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PostSubject: Re: Pin pointing an ASC man's war   Pin pointing an ASC man's war EmptySat Apr 16, 2022 11:00 am

Rory,

I have been chasing this around this morning, according to Mac’ & Shad’ No. 5 Company, A.S.C. were commanded in the field by Assistant Commissary John Smith, of the Commissariat & Transport Department.

Smith was an Asante War veteran, and according to Hart’s Army List, 1879 page 367 was assigned to the Army Service Corps.  By the time of publication of following year’s Hart’s Smith had returned to England and was posted to Chatham, so he had returned to the U.K. prior to 31st December 1879.  Which appears to be consistent with Baker’s service.  Personally, I think No. 5 Company, A.S.C. is a fairly safe bet for Baker’s unit.

As to Deputy Commissary General E. Morris, C.B., his record of service appears in Mac’ & Shad’ on page 359.  He would initially serve as D.C.G. of the lines of communication and base.  Subsequently served as Lord Chelmsford’s Commissary General and took part in the advance to Ulundi.  Subsequent to the campaign he went to Pretoria, and on the departure of Sir Edward Strickland, Morris assumed command of the Commissariat & Transport Department in Southern Africa.

JY

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Rory Reynolds




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Pin pointing an ASC man's war Empty
PostSubject: Re: Pin pointing an ASC man's war   Pin pointing an ASC man's war EmptySat Apr 16, 2022 11:15 am

Again many thanks for your efforts on my behalf John - I am comfortable in placing Baker with the 5th Company. The preponderance of evidence points in that direction.

Rory
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Rory Reynolds




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PostSubject: Re: Pin pointing an ASC man's war   Pin pointing an ASC man's war EmptySat Apr 16, 2022 12:55 pm

His medal

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