1st Divisional Train Headquarters First Division, AIF

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About This Unit

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1st Division Train

Division (and Brigade) Trains were logistic support and supply units under Command of the Division to which its numeric designator corresponded. 

Without logistics there is no combat.  Ammunition, food, water and equipment supply and maintenance are vital components of the combat power of an Army.  It was Napoleon who first introduced a delibeate synchronised supply and maintenance system to support military campaigning.

By the First World War, the challenge had become prodigious indeed.  Division Trains were a prime mechanism to ensure the Army could move and fight.  The tasks of the trains and motorised columns varied. The basic tasks of train companies were to carry baggage and resupply food, forage and water for the headquarters and units of the division.

The 1st Division Train comprised the following elements:

  • 1st Army Service Corps Company 
  • 2nd Army Service Corps Company 
  • 3rd Army Service Corps Company
  • 4th Army Service Corps Company

  • 1st Division Ammunition sub-Park (this entity started life as the 8th Army Service Corps Company and had been re-designated and assigned several times before ending up under command 1st Division.

  • 1st Division Supply Column (having started life as the 9th Army Service Corps Company, re-titled and assigned to the British 17th Divisio.  Disbanded March 1918.)

Ammunition Columns were related entities under direct comand of the Divisional Artillery Headquarters, specifically charged with moving the vast quantities of (particularly) artilley ammunition.  See the 1st Division Ammunition Column HERE (/explore/units/356)

In addition the Train companies supported Division units with a wide variety of general tasks from providing drivers for formation headquarters and field ambulances to carting roadmaking materials and engineer stores, operating snow ploughs, using sledges to evacuate casualties through the mud, providing transport for postal deliveries, repairing unit equipment, and operating ad hoc pack transport units.

The supply columns and ammunition sub-parks, in addition to their basic tasks, hauled lumber, road metal, ordnance and postal cargo, petrol, quicklime, rails and medical comforts, as well as emergency mass medical evacuation and incidentally filling in as medical assistants at dressing stations, 1 Div Amm Sub-Park even publishing the AIF newspaper Rising Sun, later renamed Aussie.

A detailed explanation of the roles played by the Service Corps is detailed at "Equal to the Task" (books.historia.com.au) HERE

 

Compiled by Steve Larkins Dec 2015

 

Battle/ Campaign/ Involvement 

 

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