The Services 1930 - 1956

Often, the emphasis with military history is on the fighting arms involved, the infantry, tanks, artillery, engineers and signals, but as the proverb about the battle being lost for the want of a nail well demonstrates, there was (and still is) much more to fighting a battle and prosecuting a success military campaign.

The fighting soldiers have to be properly equipped, fed, provided with sufficient ammunition to fight a battle; plus they need and deserve to paid the correct amount and on time. If they are injured, they need prompt and professional medical care. Their spirital needs have to be catered for.

All these vital and yet unglamorous functions and activities were the responsibility of the various Services of the British Army. Each had a key role to play in the war, without which the army could not fight effectively.

The seventeen Services of the British Army in existence during the Second World War were:
Royal Army Chaplains Department;
Royal Army Service Corps;
Royal Army Medical Corps;
Royal Army Ordnance Corps;
Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers;
Royal Army Pay Corps;
Royal Army Veterinary Corps;
Army Educational Corps;
Army Dental Corps;
Pioneer Corps;
Intelligence Corps;
Army Catering Corps;
Corps of Military Police;
Military Provost Staff Corps;
Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service;
Auxiliary Territorial Service;
Officers' Training Corps.

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Royal Army Chaplains' Department

The Royal Army Chaplains' Department (R.A.Ch.D) provided the religious support to the British Army. On its website, the department states: ‘We are proud to provide spiritual leadership, moral guidance and pastoral support to all soldiers and their families, irrespective of religion or belief.’ See: The Army Chaplains' Department was ...view details

Royal Army Service Corps

The Royal Army Service Corps (R.A.S.C.) was the branch of the British Army responsible for the distribution of supplies to units in the field. Likewise, in the Indian Army, the Royal Indian Army Service Corps (R.I.A.S.C.) performed the same function. Both corps had the additional responsibility of transporting supplies as ...view details

Royal Army Medical Corps

The Royal Army Medical Corps (R.A.M.C.), as its name implies, is responsible for the health of members of the British Army.  This includes: The triage, evacuation, treatment and care of all sick and injured soldiers in all situations; Advice and application of hygiene and preventative medical measures to reduce the ...view details

Royal Army Ordnance Corps

The Royal Army Ordnance Corps (R.A.O.C.) was the branch of the British Army responsible for the procurement, storage and issue of materiel classified as ‘Ordnance Stores’.  Likewise, in the Indian Army, the Indian Army Ordnance Corps (I.A.O.C.) performed the same function. Ordnance Stores was defined to include: Personal and unit ...view details

Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers

Prior to the outbreak of the Second World War, the repair and maintenance of vehicles and technical equipment in the British Army was the responsibility of the Royal Army Ordnance Corps (R.A.O.C.). The Royal Army Service Corps repaired and maintained their own vehicles. The Royal Corps of Signals maintained their ...view details

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