Royal Corps of Transport
Its earliest origins link the RCT to the Commissariat, a civilian organisation responsible directly to the Treasury, which provided food and supplies to Oliver Cromwell’s New Model Army. However, the very first military transport unit, the Corps of Waggoners, was formed in 1794. This evolved into the Royal Waggon Train which served throughout the Napoleonic Wars, notably at the Battle of Waterloo.
Following its disbandment in 1833, there were a number of short-lived organisations such as the Military Train and the Land Transport Corps, but it was not until the formation of the Army Service Corps in 1899 that transport and supplies became a well organised permanent body.
At the outbreak of the First World War the Army Service Corps numbered 6,500 men, by 1918 this number had grown to 325,000 men. In recognition of the Army Service Corps’ contribution to the war effort of 1914-1919 the Corps was granted the ‘Royal’ prefix and was thus known as the Royal Army Service Corps.
The Royal Corps of Transport was formed in 1965 when the Royal Army Service Corps’ functions of supply and transport were separated. The RCT became responsible for transport whilst supplies became the responsibility of the Royal Army Ordnance Corps.