General => Armed Forces => World War One => Topic started by: Anni B on Tuesday 10 March 15 23:13 GMT (UK)

Title: Info please re 614 M.T. Coy, RASC
Post by: Anni B on Tuesday 10 March 15 23:13 GMT (UK)
I'd like to know more about the above, having found a large panoramic photograph in my late father's attic. It shows about 120 men and officers in a parade ground (?) posed on and around what appears to be 2 tanks.  Along the bottom is written "No. 614 M.T. Coy. Royal Army Service Corps - C.O., Maj. R.R.B. Jackson D.S.O" and in the bottom right hand corner "Debenham Edinburgh" (presumably the photographer).

My Dad knew very little about his parents as they both died before he was 16.  He told me that all he knew was his father had been in the army during WW1 and had at one time been posted to Edinburgh.  Looking at military records on Ancestry I can find someone (might not be him) with my Grandfather's name (Leonard Arthur BIRLEY) who was a Private in the "32 R Fus" and 2/Lt in the "N&D Regt", the latter I take to refer to "Notts and Derbyshire" which would make sense as my Grandfather was born in and lived around Rotherham but on that record there is no mention of RASC. 

Although I have a number of photographs of my Grandfather I can't identify him on this photograph of the 614.  I presume he must be in it - why would it be in the attic otherwise??  Yes, I have looked into the possibility of it being to do with another Birley or someone from my Mum's side.

So, my questions are :  What did the 614 do?  And what in Edinburgh?  Where might this parade ground/barracks be?  From how far away did the men come to join this company?

And finally, what can I do with this photo?  I very much want to find out more about my Grandfather but I don't have room for it - I can't identify my Grandfather anyway.  Would hate to throw it away, is there any museum that might want it? 

Hopefully someone out there can help. Thank you for reading.


Title: Re: Info please re 614 M.T. Coy, RASC
Post by: JGDavies on Wednesday 11 March 15 00:25 GMT (UK)
The "M.T." stands for Motorised Transport - as opposed to H.T. for Horse Transport.

Michael Young in his book on the ASC writes:
"614 Company based in Edinburgh, worked mainly for the Canadian Forestry Corps ... it sent a number of vehicles to gather sphagnum moss which was used for hospital dressings  (nowadays better known for hanging flower-baskets). 100 vehicles from the company were later sent (in Feb 1918) to Glasgow because of the strike there, their work including the transportation of infantry batallions which carried out policing duties in Glasgow"

Young also says: "614MT was formed on 6th Jan 1916 in Edinburgh, though renumbered as '17MT' on 1 Aug 1922 and that their role in the First World War was '26 Local Auxiliary (MT) Company' "

Title: Re: Info please re 614 M.T. Coy, RASC
Post by: mmm45 on Wednesday 11 March 15 00:27 GMT (UK)

Anne RASC are now RLC they maybe interested in photo for their archive?
Have you tried the Great WAr Forum online?
If it's RASC its 1918 or later.

Title: Re: Info please re 614 M.T. Coy, RASC
Post by: JGDavies on Wednesday 11 March 15 01:30 GMT (UK)
At ( which, as it says, covers the military careers of tank drivers etc it mentioned an A.G.Rowe, ASC, Tank motor mechanic who on 31 Jan 1919  "caught influenza whilst serving in Dublin with 614 MT Coy ASC."

Where you have tanks obviously you need crews and, so perhaps as 614 had supported police in Glasgow they, and at least one tank, were in Dublin for the same reason. See a PATHE video at ( Anyway it shows 614MT and at least one tank were in Dublin in January 1919. Perhaps your photo was taken before leaving or after returning.


Title: Re: Info please re 614 M.T. Coy, RASC
Post by: Anni B on Wednesday 11 March 15 21:40 GMT (UK)
Thank you both for your response and links - lots of avenues for me now to explore.  My Dad wasn't sure about his father's career during WW1 - now things from your links are "pinging out" at me as I remember my Dad telling me what little he'd been told, e.g. his father was at Bisley, he had a great friend who was a Canadian soldier.  An object lesson in listening to your forebears and writing down anything they have to say no matter how small it seems - if my Dad was here now I'm sure we'd have a great time trying to join up the dots.
I will get in touch with my local RLC to see if they want the photograph.  Somewhat bizarre coincidence there!  Apparently they are located in the same Edinburgh street where my Mum and her parents lived in the 40s and 50s.  She and my Dad met when he too was sent "North" for training during WW2. 
Going round in circles but enjoying it - thanks again,