Men serving in the Royal Army Service Corps (‘Royal’ was only added in 1918) are among the most difficult to research, so vast was the numbers of camps and depots in which they served in the Lines of Communication, the supply lines from port to front line, and the camps, stores, dumps, and workshops of the rear areas. At peak, the ASC numbered an incredible 10,547 officers and 315,334 men. In addition were tens of thousands of Indian, Egyptian, Chinese and other native labourers, carriers and stores men, under orders of the ASC. The ASC was organised into Companies, each fulfilling a specific role. Some were under orders of or attached to the Divisions of the army; the rest were under direct orders of the higher formations of Corps, Army or the GHQ of the army in each theatre of war. These comprised the Base Depots on the coast, the Horse Transport Companies, Mechanical Transport Companies (including Companies in Divisional Supply Columns, Ammunition Parks and Companies attached to the heavy artillery, Omnibus Companies, Motor Ambulance Convoys, Bridging and Pontoon units and Workshops), and finally the Army Remounts Service and the ASC Labour Companies.
Identification of a soldier’s individual service in any of these areas is difficult enough if his army records were lucky enough to survive the London blitz. If, as in the case of Augustus Davey, all we have to go on is his medal card, the task becomes impossible unless family memory or the survival of letters and other documents can help us forward. Augustus’ medal card is attached to this site. His army number T1/3741 indicates he served in the horse transport of the Army Service Corps. The Winkleigh war news in the Ashreigney Deanery Magazine October 1914 lists Augustus Davey and George Reed enlisting in the Army Service Corps as among the first of those to serve.
Augustus Davey was the son of Daniel Davey, a thatcher living in the Eggesford Road. Born about 1899 he was 6 years old at the time of the 1901 census, one of 7 children. By 1911 he was employed as a cattle-man at Ward Farm, working for Eli Harris.
Augustus’ medal card shows that he first went to France on 24th July 1915. Service in France in 1915 was rewarded with the Mons Star, as well as the Victory and British Medals.
It is greatly to be hoped that further details concerning Augustus Davey will be added in due course. Davey is a very common name in the Winkleigh area and it is likely that further contributions to this site might be forthcoming.
25 July 2013