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Mr. Mhg Young "Altona Boy"
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Army Service Corps 1902-1918
Army Service Corps 1902-1918
by Mike Young
Edition: Hardcover

12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Biggest and Most Important Logistic Corps in the Great War, 15 Feb. 2010
After considerable hesitation, I contribute these words, not as a review but in the form of "insider information" (as the author) in the hope that they will help future readers of Army history. When I became the Curator of the RASC/RCT Museum in 1987, I quickly discovered that hardly anyone knew anything about the Corps in the 1914-1918 war. Enquiries from families etc came in like leaves in autumn, which had me searching through our Corps archives--there were fascinating discoveries which not even members of the Corps family knew of, treasures to me. The realisation that the efforts of our men in the war have not been appreciated by historians made me determined to do my bit to put this right, after all, the ASC were by far the biggest and most important Corps in the Army, an essential member of the team, without whom no-one could survive more than 2 or 3 days. Over the next few years, I
squirrelled away anything of interest I could find, which in 2000 saw the light of day in this book. Adequately presenting the activities of a Corps of 326,000 men in all theatres of war dealing with a host of activities is totally impossible, short of producing a 100 volume opus, but I wanted to provide as many answers as I could to the sort of enquiries that hit my desk on a daily basis as well as present a general picture of a great Corps. I like photographs, so there are 118 in all -- the publisher was aghast; only (I think) 2 have been published before and they were in specialist vehicle magazines. Two of the book reviews said that it was worth buying just for the photographs (I agree!).
Of the 411 pages in the book, almost 200 provide archive information, in 21 annexes. Perhaps the most important of these cover:
-unit locations in the period 1902-1914
-the organisation of the Volunteers in 1908
-ASC vehicles in 1910
-15 unit establishments
-outline details of over 1100 transport companies in the war, with dates, locations and formations
Leo Cooper Pen & Sword published the book, 1500 copies. Professor Richard Holmes kindly wrote the Foreword. In many ways, the book complements Colonel Beadon's 1931 book of the same period, and is quite different -- read it if you can find a copy (difficult). This book is currently unavailable (February 2010), but copies are bound to come on the market sometime. This history is the most important thing I have ever done in my life and I hope any future reader gets as much fun going through it as I have had putting it together.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 8, 2011 11:23 PM GMT


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 200 Years of Logistic History. The RCT and Predecessors 1794-1993, 10 Jan. 2010
In the absence of any reviews so far, perhaps I may be permitted to comment on "Wait for the Waggon", published by Leo Cooper Pen & Sword in 1998. I should say at the start that I was a member of the team (committee would be the wrong word) that contributed to this major book, the only one which covers the 200 years of history of the Royal Corps of Transport and its predecessors. The six key authors were serving or retired officers of the Corps, all of whom were the acknowledged experts in their field and gave willingly of their time under the pressures of publishing deadlines.

This ambitious book was unashamedly aimed at the Corps family, written immediately after the amalgamation of the RCT, as the major component, with other Corps to form the present day Royal Logistic Corps. It has 448 pages, with 160 black/white photos and 49 colour photos, and is full of surprising and interesting information and archive material. There are other Corps books which deal with specific periods of time, but most are long out of print or very expensive, if you could ever find them.

There are inevitable problems with a team producing a book like this, not least the differences in style of writing in parts of the book, not that this would be noticeable unless the book were read from cover to cover in one sitting (not likely); lapses in editing occasionally irritate as well, but no publication is perfect and only a pedant or anorak would fuss about this. Even the bible hasn't been without its flaws over the centuries. Notwithstanding all this, the difficulties of handling a huge canvas covering 200 years of history and a world-wide involvement with multiple functions, enough to deter anyone, were deftly handled by Brigadier John Sutton, the Editor, who is sadly no longer with us. On the plus side, this is a relatively newly published book, which should be findable at a reasonable price. The contents are incomparable and no-one is ever likely to tackle this project in a worthwhile way again. Buy it if you're tempted, especially if you're a history buff or researcher; the opportunity might not come up too often.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 7, 2012 10:50 PM BST


Waggoner's Way: Royal Corps of Transport, 1891-1991 (Military History)
Waggoner's Way: Royal Corps of Transport, 1891-1991 (Military History)
by Michael Young
Edition: Hardcover

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Historic Meander through the Pages of Time, 10 Jan. 2010
With no review so far, I contribute these words, not specifically as a review (I produced the book, so I'm biased), but to tell people about it.

When I was Editor/Curator of the Royal Corps of Transport in Aldershot, 1991 saw the centenary of the Corps Journal, The Waggoner, older than all other Corps journals in the British Army. In a special edition of March 1991 (a collector's item if there ever was one), I published extracts covering 100 years of our history, along with mouth-watering photos from the museum archives. This issue attracted such interest that a book entitled "Corps Journals Nostalgia 1891-1991" was locally produced, 50 copies only, containing much, much more, no photos but masses of fascinating old adverts. This, in turn, led to a demand for a more widely available book --" Waggoner's Way" is the result. It has 160 pages, 156 photos and a subscription list of almost 1000 names (to my personal knowledge, at least 75 of these have since passed on, so a good number of books should be "available" somewhere).

The extracts are highly readable and informative, often humorous too, giving an insight into the life of individuals and the Corps as a whole. Perhaps the most appealing extract (to me) is a 1967 instruction to the effect that "empty housewives are being put up for disposal by unit Quartermasters.....Only housewives which are unserviceable will be submitted on Boards for Survey in future". (For the uninitiated, a housewife ( generally pronounced "hussif") was a cloth roll containing needles, cotton etc for the soldier to maintain his uniform, including socks. Those days are long gone.) Readers will have the tantalising problem of deciding whether the words or the photos are more appealing.

Since "Waggoner's Way", I have published two other books, the most important of which is "Army Service Corps 1902-1918", but this book remains very close to my heart. It was rewarding and fun to put together --anyone who can find a copy will undoubtedly share those feelings.


Band of Brigands: The First Men in Tanks
Band of Brigands: The First Men in Tanks
by Christy Campbell
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Band of Brigands, 12 April 2009
I bought the book to see what it contained on ASC participation (as an ASC historian myself) and was delighted with what I found. Not only was my own book listed in the bibliography but there was also more than I had hoped for on the ASC.The author has done marvellous research on the various aspects of the early days of tank warfare and put together a great jigsaw puzzle which makes a superb read, with good photographs. I've learned alot and will keep my eyes open for his next book. I'm really pleased I bought the "Band of Brigands".


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