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The role of the Royal Army Ordnance Corps & its predecessors has been the procurement, storage and issue of armaments, ammunition and warlike materiel.

In 1285 the Tower of London became the first ordnance depot comprising an armoury of body armour & weaponry, under the control of the Master of the King’s Wardrobe.

In 1299 an “Artilliator” (maker of large guns), was paid a wage by the monarch to make or procure military implements for to be stored at the Tower of London until required for use by the army.

In 1414 the title of “Master of Works, Engines, Cannon and other types of Ordnance” was changed to “Master of Ordnance”,

A civilian Office of Ordnance was created.

In 1515 the Board of Ordnance was formed.

In 1544 the Office of Ordnance was created, becoming the Board of Ordnance in 1597.

In 1683 the civilian Office of Ordnance became the Military Board of Ordnance

In 1792 the Ordnance Field Train Department had been formed, under the control of the Military Board of Ordnance, as time passed a number of formations grew, officers & Other Ranks being members of different departments.

In 1855 The Board of Ordnance was abolished – it had supplied weapons and ammunition to the whole army, and had also entirely responsibility for The Royal Artillery & The Royal Engineers.

In 1857 the Military Store Department was formed.

In 1858, a Corps of Armourer Sergeants was formed.

In 1861 the Military Store Department was staffed with Military Officers & subordinate, senior Military Store Clerks of the Miltary Srore Department formed.

In 1865 the Military Store Staff Corps comprised of Other Ranks was formed.

In 1870 all of the supply & transport services merged into the Control Department

(The Army Service Corps was formed by amalgamations of the military Other Rank elements of the supply & transport Services)

In 1875 the Control Department was disbanded & its members, who were all officers, were divided between two new departments – the Commisariat & Transport Department (later Royal Army Service Corps) & the Ordnance Store Corps, which continued to be officered by the Ordnance Store Department.

In 1877 the Ordnance Store Branch, consisting only of Other Ranks was formed to support the Ordnance Store Department (previously Other Ranks in ordnance trades had belonged to the Army Service Corps and its predecessors).

In 1881, this latter branch was replaced by The Ordnance Store Corps, still officered by the Ordnance Store Department.

The first Army Warrant Officers were created - Conductor of Stores (Ordnance Store Corps) & Conductor of Supplies (Army Service Corps).

The Corps of Armourers was placed under Ordnance Store Branch control.

In 1896 The Ordnance Store Department (Officers) formed the Army Ordnance Department & The Ordnance Store Corps (ranks up to & including Warrant Officers) the Army Ordnance Corps.

Inspectors of Ordnance Machinery and Ordnance Artificers were transferred to The Army Ordnance Corps from the Royal Artillery, becoming the Armourer and Armament Branch of the Army Ordnance Corps.

The Corps of Armourers was absorbed into the Army Ordnance Corps.

In 1904, The Army Ordnance Department was given its own director at the War Office - The Director of Equipment and Ordnance Stores, under the Quarter Master General, the Director of Equipment & Ordnance Stores branches being known as “QMG 7, 8 & 9”.

In 1918, after WWI, The Army Ordnance Corps was designated “Royal” in recognition of its services during the war, & amalgamated with The Army Ordnance Department to form The Royal Army Ordnance Corps.

In 1927 The Royal Army Ordnance Corps was transferred from QMG to MGO control, & its responsibilities extended to include the supply, storage and repair of all load and personnel carrying vehicles, less those driven by the Royal Army Service Corps.

In 1939 the Ministry of Supply was formed. & The Royal Army Ordnance Corps again came under the control of the Quarter Master General, assuming responsibility for provision, issue & repair of all Ordnance stores.

In 1941 The Royal Army Ordnance Corps was given full combat status

In 1942 The Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers was formed primarily from the Royal Army Ordnance Corps Armourer, Armament & Engineering Branches of the workshops organisation, & the mechanical workshop companies of The Royal Army Service Corps & The Royal Engineers (less RE Regimental Plant Sections).

The Royal Army Service Corps assumed responsibility for the supply and storage of those vehicles and spares that The Royal Army Service Corps.

The larger Royal Electrical & Mechancal Engineers Workshops continued to be provided with Royal Army Ordnance Corps Stores Support Sections.

In 1965 the supply functions of The Royal Army Service Corps & The Royal Engineers were transferred to The Royal Ordnance Corps & it became the sole supply Corps of the Army, with responsibility for supplying rations, petroleum, oils & lubricants, boat stores, locomotive spares, defence stores and the provision and training of military staff clerks. This involved the transfer of 345 Officers and 2,500 soldiers from The Royal Army Service Corps (the transport functions of the Royal Army Service Corps became the new Royal Corps of Transport).

The Ordnance Directorate was removed from Ministry of Defence (Army Department) & the old War Office Services were no longer represented at the MOD.

In 1977 the Logistic Executive (Army) HQ Director of Services collocated with Logistic Executive (Army) & was renamed HQ Director General of Services.

In 1991 Women’s Royal Army Corps members employed in Royal Army Ordnance Corps trades (other than Staff Clerks) were re-badged as Royal Army Ordnance Corps.

In 1992 Staff Clerks of the Royal Army Ordnance Corps were transferred to the newly formed Adjutants Generals Corps.

In 1993 The Royal Army Ordnance Corps was amalgamated with The Royal Corps of Transport, The Royal Pioneer Corps, The Army Catering Corps, & The Postal Courier Service of the Royal Engineers to form The Royal Logistics Corps.

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Yes, the addition of gold lace for sergeants is mentioned in the caption to a photograph of Armourer Quartermaster Sergeant E H Grice, attached to the Foot Guards in 1911:

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Hi Leigh,

Can you make out what the medal to the far left of the group is? I've tried the Ctl+ trick but the medal is off my screen when the photo is enlarged and I can't adjust it so I can see the medal and its bar.

Thanks for investing so much time to produce such an informative post; I know it is much appreciated by the membership.

Regards

Brian

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The group comprises of Queens Sudan, QSA,KSA, LS+GC, Khedives Sudan Medal - a somewhat unusual combination for the AOC = particularly as he does not seem to be an Amourer.

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I meant to list the medals with the photo Bryan, I'll get around to it - the Queen's Sudan Medal 1896 -98, showing the reverse, the QSA clasp "Cape Colony", showing the reverse of the medal, the KSA with the usual double clasps, Long Service? KEVII & the Khedive's Sudan Medal with clasp "The Atbara", for the battle of 1898.

I wish I had the medals to go wth the photo........

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I meant to list the medals with the photo Bryan, I'll get around to it - the Queen's Sudan Medal 1896 -98, showing the reverse, the QSA clasp "Cape Colony", showing the reverse of the medal, the KSA with the usual double clasps, Long Service? KEVII & the Khedive's Sudan Medal with clasp "The Atbara", for the battle of 1898.

I wish I had the medals to go wth the photo........

That would indeed be a great addition to a collection, however, the photo is nothing to "sneeze at" either.

Thanks to both you and Ralph for identifying the medals.

Regards

Brian

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A home service helmet to the AOC I should have specified the Army Ordnance Department - see next two posts. Thanks Leigh.

ArmyOrdnanceDept.jpg

Edited by Stuart Bates

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Lovely officers helmet, post 1902 Army Ordnance Department (Army Ordnance Corps was Other Ranks).

A photo of an officer allegedly of The AOD circa 1910 (from "The Regiment") but he's wearing RAOC collar dogs & the WWI "pair" - BWN & VM, so he's post 1918 formation of The Royal Army Ordnance Corps:

Edited by leigh kitchen

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This is confusing as Kipling & King give a helmet plate of 1896 for the Army Ordnance Department (#1020) which has a monogram of AOD to the centre.

Then they give, also for 1896, a helmet plate for the Army Ordnance Corps for Other ranks (#1021) followed by a description of a plate for officers also under the date of 1896. They then show a post 1901 plate (#1022a) which is the one on my helmet.

I guess that K & K are wrong and my helmet is Army Ordnance Department.

BTW: regiments.org gives the change to Royal in 1922. Is nothing sacred?

Stuart

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As far as I can make out The AOD (KK 1020) & The AOC (KK 1021)monogram pattern HPC's introduced about 1896 & worn on QVC HP were supersceeded by Ordnance Shield HPC's in about 1898, both The AOD & The AOC wearing Ordnance Shield HPC's from then with QVC & post 1902 with King's Crown HP's.

Apparently an example is known of QVC HP having the crown removed & replaced by KC & then gilded or regilded, & the RAOC Director of Music's HP of 1986 was a one off, the helmet obtained from the RAOC Museum & refurbished by Compton & Miller, a KC HP (an officers one?) adapted by replacement of KC with St Eds Crown from a modern RAOC OR's HP, a scroll "Sua Tela Tonanti" added across the lower part of the star, the whole gilded & the Ordnance Shield silver plated.

I don't know why this was done as the same year saw the introduction of an OR's St Ed's Crown HP for The RAOC Staff Band, it had the "Sua Tela Tonanti" scroll, was originally of gilding metal with white metal Ordnance Shield in the centre, the gilding metal was later gilded in a bright finish.

Edited by leigh kitchen

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Leigh

Picked up a little book the other day called 'His Majestys Regiments of the British Army' published in 1949. It covers all the major units of the time with a nice colour plate of the Regimental badge along with a brief history of the unit.

As you post your various Regimental threads (which I enjoy a great deal by the way) I'll add the relevant badge. I'll also try to catch up the one's you've already done.

Anyway to get the ball rolling here is the Royal Army Ordnance Corps.

Simon

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Nice little illustration, though it looks like the colours used were limited for economy - I'm not sure f I have that book.

Have you considered starting off a thread on an unit called The Coldstream Guards?

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RAOC officer's cap, ERII period, St Edward's Crown, gilt & silver.

The cap shows the typical "saddle" shape of officer's caps:

Edited by leigh kitchen

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The left side, gilt button with silver ornance shield mounted, black leather chinstrap with leather sliders:

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Manufacturer's mark - "BY APPOINTMENT TO HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN HATTERS" "HERBERT JOHNSON (NEW BOND STREET LTD) 38 NEW BOND ST LONDON W"

Edited by leigh kitchen

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The manufacturer's mark again.

Herbert Louis Johnson began his apprenticeshipdates as a hat maker in 1872, in 1889 enterng business wth Edward John Glazier at 45 New Bond Street, London W1.

A feature of a Herbert Johnson miltary cap is its soft top & rounded appearance, featuring a "floating Bevel style", developed by Johnson during WWI.

Herbert Johnson has been the appointed hatter to most British Regiments for over 100 years, about 90% of British army regiments wearing their officer's cap since 1950.

Edited by leigh kitchen

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A very discreet little RAOC buttonhole badge - the actual "cap badge" is only about 1/2" tall.

The reverse is marked "BMCO".

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Posts 10 & 11 discuss the apparent contradiction in Kipling and King of two 1896 Helmet plates for the AOD ….. and AOC.

It seems the confusion is caused by Kipling and King stating the facts so baldly.

Mike Comerford, on his History and Insignia of the British Army Ordnance Services site, quotes from:

Appendix 'B' to Précis No. DEP 4/17 - 'The Corps Badge' published by the RAOC School (Revised May 1956),

with comments of his own.

With regard to 1896, he comments:

"Two designs of Helmet Plate exist for both the AOD & AOC - Monogrammed & 'Ordnance Shield'." (http://homepage.ntlw...ORDNANCE/09.htm)

Edited by Peter35

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A nice World War 2 era portrait study showing a Private Soldier serving with the RAOC and wearing the cloth version of the Arificer badge to the right sleeve.

SUNP0156.JPG

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As I said in the Irish Guards thread, these topics to individual Regiments were started a long time ago by Leigh and are imho a useful research tool so if you have anything to add please do or even start a thread to a Regiment we haven't covered so far.

Regards Simon.

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