First World War
Andreans Who Served in the Army Service Corps
Pre-War Canadian Army Service Corps
Four companies of the Non-Permanent Active Militia were formed in 1901. By 1914, there were eighteen companies. The first unit of the Canadian Permanent Army Service Corps (CPASC) was established in December 1904 in Kingston, Ont. This had increased to five detachments by 1908. Once formed, the CASC speedily made its mark. Attendance at the Militia Summer Camps had been dropping, partially due to the poor administration and "grub". The CASC cooks quickly improved the quality of the food while other members of the Corps sorted out the S&T problems. In June 1906, when the CASC took over the Halifax Garrison after the departure of the last British troops, they inherited the two steamships "Alfreda" and "Lily" which were used to supply the outlying forts. This was the beginning of the Water Transport Section that continued until 1948.
The greatest pre-war challenge of the fledgling Corps came in 1908 with the Tercentenary Celebrations at Quebec City. The CPASC and CASC moved, fed and supplied over 14,000 troops and 2,500 horses during the event. It is interesting to note that movements was a CASC task from the start whilst it remained a Royal Engineer function in the British Army until the formation of the Royal Corps of Transport in 1965. The CASC was a progressive corps and had started the limited use of motor transport (MT) by 1912. The CASC, like the ASC, was a fully combatant corps.
World War I
When war broke out in August 1914, the CPASC and CASC had about 3000 members. By 1918, this had increased to over 17,000. This rapid expansion and the numerous wartime tasks associated with it, placed enormous strains upon the Corps. All members of the Corps, both old and new, rose to the challenge and took it in stride. The first contingent of the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) concentrated at Camp Valcartier and sailed for England in October 1914. Renamed the 1st Canadian Division, they went to France in February 1915.
The CASC elements of a Division consisted of a Train (Horse Transport), a Supply Column (Mechanical Transport), an Ammunition Sub-Park (Mechanical Transport) and a Reserve Park (Horse Transport). There were also Lines of Communications troops, such as Depot Units of Supply, Field Bakeries and Field Butcheries. Corps Troops were formed in September 1915 when the 2nd Canadian Division arrived and the Canadian Corps was formed. The 3rd and 4th Divisions arrived in France in 1916. There were Base Troops and Training Depots in the UK. Other CASC units were the Canadian Section of the 5th Cavalry Division Supply Column (to which the Canadian cavalry was attached), Canadian Engineer Mechanical Transport Companies, Canadian Motor Machine Gun Mechanical Transport Companies and ambulance drivers. The increased use of motor transport led to the development of mobile workshops and of Breakdown Vehicles, a CASC innovation. Besides the UK, France and Flanders, CASC units served in the Far East as part of the Canadian Siberian Expeditionary Force based in Vladovostok. At home, they continued to support the home defense units and new battalions of the CEF that were continually being raised to provide reinforcements.
By 1918, the CASC was supporting 400,000 men, 150,000 French civilians and 25,000 horses in the European Theatre. Recognition of the Corp's outstanding work during the war came in November 1919 when His Majesty, King George V, awarded the designation "ROYAL" to the CPASC. This honour was later awarded to the CASC (NPAM) in 1936 at which time both the Regular and Militia elements united as the RCASC. Of the over 17,000 members of the CASC who served in World War I, 482 died due to enemy action or disease and 767 Honours and Awards were won.