War on the Wheels

War on the Wheels
The story of the people

Saturday, 17 September 2016

WW1 Tanks and the RAOC nickname

Men of the Army Ordnance Corps had the nickname of 'blanket stackers' in WW1. In WW2 this changed to the Rag And Oil Company.

The reason may be serendipitous.

The Autocar magazine of 16 June 1944 reported on an invasion-eve visit to an RAOC vehicle reserve depot where transport was massed for the assault on France. The article began though with a piece of serendipitous history connected with Woolwich but referring to Chilwell.

'One afternoon in 1921, a number of Mark IV and Mark V tanks, which a few years previously had rumbled over the battlefields of Flanders, were delivered at Woolwich Arsenal, the peacetime depot of the Royal Army Ordnance Corps. These tanks were obsolete and clumsy, yet their arrival at Woolwich represented a milestone in the history of the RAOC. It marked the point at which the Corps, not previously concerned with the supply of motor vehicles to the Army, began to set up which is now the greatest distributive system the motor trade of Europe has ever seen or is likely to see.'




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