Army Service Corps Driver

The Army Service Corps were responsible for transporting all the good that the army needed on the front line. Until just before World War One, the service was entirely horsed and even at the outbreak of War, motor transport was very limited. Today’s postcard was sent in 1906, so it must date to then or earlier and depicts an Army Service Corps Driver mounted on his horse:

These horses are not the fast chargers of the cavalry, but powerful draught horses built for pulling carts. The draught horse was bred to pull carts and so was a tall and muscular animal which made it ideal for hauling the standard British Army GS Wagon Mk X which had been introduced in 1905. The combination of two horses and a wagon was the truck of its day and used to haul food, ammunition and fodder around. By 1917 368,000 horses were on the Western Front, mostly draught horses rather than cavalry animals. This image however shows the driver wearing his home service dress of a dark blue tunic with white facings and the home service helmet:

I actually have an example of this tunic and we looked at it here. The Army Service Corps would come into its own in World War One where it was used to transport men and supplies across France to the frontline and played such an important role that it was rewarded by having its name changed to the ‘Royal Army Service Corps.’

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