P.D. GRIFFIN
ENCYCLOPEDIA OF MODERN BRITISH ARMY REGIMENTS

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Musicians' full dress uniform incorporates the Victorian helmet fitted with the ball top favoured by the ASC for safety when working near horses. The blue tunic has scarlet edging down the front in line with the buttons, which invoke this period with a design based on buttons worn by the Commissariat and Transport Staff and the Ordnance Store Department - the royal crest within a belt.

Working dress varies greatly according to occupation. Drivers, vehicle specialists, supply specialists and controllers, pioneers and movement controllers wear uniform barrack dress or combats offset by the corps stable belt, which is blue with yellow edging and a double scarlet stripe in the middle. Chefs are issued with the white hat, jacket and apron of their calling, but marine engineers and seamen/navigators wear the blue shirt of the Royal Navy. Pilots and air dispatchers of the airmobile squadrons have a flying suit, and soldiers of the Airborne Battalion, parachute equipment.

Protective clothing is given out to petroleum operators (rubber coveralls), railwaymen and port operators (hard hat and luminous jacket), couriers (motorcycle gear) and ammunition technicians (padded explosive ordnance suit).

MUSIC

The corps march is Albert Elm's On Parade.

The RCT march Wait for the Wagon, an American song of 1851 based on an old English folk song, was adopted by the ASC in 1875 on a suggestion from the Commander- in-Chief, the Duke of Cambridge, at a review in Aldershot. As a march the tune was too short and in 1946 Bandmaster Dean rearranged it to include The Trek Song in homage to the many ASC companies that served in the Boer War of 1899-1902.

The Army Ordnance Corps served up to and through the First World War without a march to call its own, and in the 1920s the search was on for suitable music. The Village Blacksmith was chosen for its oblique reference to RAOC artificers' workshops, where guns and equipment were repaired and modified. As a march The Village Blacksmith had to be revised in 1941 and again in 1970.

Demuth's Pioneer Corps was adopted by that organisation in 1945. The Army Catering Corps' Sugar and Spice was an arrangement of Leveridge's Roast Beef of Old England and Dibdin's Tight Little Island.

In 1994 the RCT and RAOC bands were united to form the Band of the Royal Logistic Corps (RLC).

TRADITIONS

The 22 regular and 15 volunteer regiments of the RLC involve some 28,000 personnel, the largest of the army's corps. In battle logistic units supply and distribute ammunition, fuel, rations and spares, recover and repair damaged equipment, and treat and evacuate casualties.

Their web of responsibilities can be sourced through the corps' forerunners; the Royal Corps of Transport (Truckles'): movement of personnel, distribution of food, oil and petrol worldwide, and ammunition to units in the field by road, air, rail, water and pack animal.

The Royal Army Ordnance Corps ('Providers'): supply of food, fuel, vehicles (from cycles to tanks), guns, ammunition, equipment, spare parts, accommodation and field bakeries; the maintenance of vehicles, guns, equipment, depots and stores complexes; technical support and bomb disposal.

Air ambulance unit removing a casualty to hospital

Air ambulance unit removing a casualty to hospital. (MoD)

The Royal Pioneer Corps ('Chunkies'): manual and mechanical materials handling; the maintenance, inspection and palletisation of fuel tanks; the loading of stores, equipment and ammunition; the defence of major headquarters with specialist dog-handling, and duties in recovering and identifying bodies prior to military/battlefield internment.

The Army Catering Corps ('Sustainers'): training and deployment of cooks to all army canteens, kitchens and field camps.

RAMC re-enactment group with an ambulance of First World War vintage

RAMC re-enactment group with an ambulance of First World War vintage

THE ROYAL ARMY MEDICAL CORPS

The Royal Army Medical Corps (RAMC) is descended from the Medical Staff Corps created in 1855 as a response to the poor treatment experienced by the sick and wounded in the Crimea. Prior to this soldiers in distress had to rely on the availability' of the regimental surgeon.

In 1898 the surgeon officers of the Medical Staff were united with the orderlies of the Medical Staff Corps to produce the Royal Army Medical Corps. The Army Medical School at Netley was moved to Millbank in London four years later. RAMC headquarters are now with the Army Medical Services at the former Staff College in Camberley.

DRESS DISTINCTIONS

The blue peaked cap is distinguished by a band and welt of dull cherry, the colour of the trim on the blue uniform of the Medical Staff Corps from the 1860s, when it went under the title of Army Hospital Corps.

The RAMC badge is a laurel wreath with a crown on top and a scroll beneath inscribed In arduis fidelis (Faithful in adversity). Inside the wreath is the international emblem of medicine, the rod of Aesculopius (the Greek/Roman god of healing) with a serpent entwined. The badge has been worn on cap and collar since the birth of the RAMC in 1898. Today it is pinned to a cherry backing when worn on the beret.

No. 1 dress 'blues' have the dull cherry on shoulder straps and the trousers stripe. In mess dress the waistcoat and the facings of the bluejacket are also of this hue.

No. 2 dress is worn with a cherry lanyard and trade bars on the sleeve. This braid was introduced in 1886 and revived in 1956 for Class I and Class II tradesmen.

Dull cherry jerseys are available for officers and warrant officers in barrack dress.

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