Page 38 - Chiron Spring/Summer 2023
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                                 The History of the Royal Army Veterinary Corps 1962-2021
 This latest historical record celebrates the Royal Army Veterinary Corps (RAVC) achievements, much of it forged
on operations and numerous other events during 1962-2021. “Through the grimness of combat and the monotony of long campaigns”, quotes, detailed personal accounts and anecdotes bring this modern record to life, vividly proving the RAVC’s long standing contribution to Defence.
This A4 hardback, with wide and varied research consists of many very different chapters outlining the involvement of this unique Corps during conflicts such as, Malaya, Dhofar, Aden, the Troubles in Northern Ireland, the Balkans, Iraq and Afghanistan.
Comprehensive narratives of the RAVC’s units in their own separate chapters; encapsulate the RAVC story whilst based at Aldershot, Germany, Cyprus, Hong Kong, North Luffenham and of course the RAVC’s home at Remount Barracks Melton Mowbray, the location of its very important training base or the Defence Animal Training Regiment where today Military Working Animals and their handlers are trained.
Other segments of the reading include the triumphs of the Mixed Service Organisation a huge entity of the RAVC in Germany during the Cold War era, the inception of RAVC TA and Reserves, the Women of the
WRAC and RAVC, who have played an immense part in the Corps history, Pack Animal Transport Past and Present, ceremonial or ‘Warrior Horses’, Technical Matters, the RAVC’s Wider Integration in Defence are among some
of the other aspects which
may provide a better insight,
or understanding of what
the RAVC delivers today.
The manuscript outlines
the formation of one of
the youngest Regiments
in the British Army today,
1st Military Working Dog Regiment which provides veterinary support and Military Working Dog Teams for military operations worldwide.
This latest edition with 560 pages, 30 chapters, and many interesting photographs and graphics, sources of evidence taken from documents, interviews and
will undoubtedly continue to save life and limb in future conflicts.
“Many lives were saved thanks to MWDs, allowing UK capacity [in Afghanistan] to increase and improve freedom of manoeuvre.
   other articles
makes a varied
read. This
verified account
is a must read
for anyone
interested in
the proven
benefit of the
British Army’s Military Working Animals. In an ever-changing hi- tech world Military Working Dogs (MWDs) are relatively inexpensive, extremely adaptable and are an
unrivalled constant on operations. MWD teams
Today the MWD is an unrivalled component in counter IED operations.” Brigadier Gareth Collett CBE.
“To the uninitiated, the
idea of animals in modern warfare is a strange one. What place do they have in this era of increasingly lethal military-technological development, hypersonic missiles and cyberspace? This history shows that animal capabilities continue to be a cornerstone to operations in almost every environment.” Lieutenant General Sir Roly Walker KCB DSO.
The History of the Royal Army Veterinary Corps 1962-2021 by Lieutenant Colonel Chris Ham
MBE RAVC published by Crest Publications will available from the RAVC Regimental Secretary Kristy. later in the year.
“This history shows that animal capabilities continue to be a cornerstone to operations in almost every environment”
     36 / Chiron Calling
Whether the reader is interested in the correct use of Military Working Animals, or not, it is these personal accounts that bring the narrative to life and transport the reader into the boots of an RAVC soldier.
This edition of the RAVC History serves as an up-to-date and comprehensive guide to what the RAVC has delivered by way of much needed capabilities in the recent past and how it is preparing to meet future require- ments and demands. Despite technological advance, and technology being as good as it can be, there is nothing more reliable than a highly-trained military working dog handled by a professional RAVC soldier and cared for by the Corps’ Veterinary Officers and Veterinary Nurses.
Those who have served with the RAVC, or at their side, will welcome this overdue record of their exploits and campaigns which has been written by a long standing RAVC Officer whose passion for the Corps was established in his time served with the rank and file.
Front cover image: Private Alice and VS dog Tina from 1MWD R (102 MWD Sqn).
Those who may not have served in the conflict zones or those who want to serve in the Corps should not fail to read this book. It is recommended particularly to all parents who perhaps from time to time wonder what their sons and daughters have participated in or what they do as Officers or Soldiers whilst serving their Queen and Country within the British Army.
Back cover image: Med Sgt Dere Thorneycroft grooming his track Rebel at 3 WDTU Dhekelia. ‘Bul be the Chief Trainer at ADTS bef from the RAVC in the late 70s.
The RAVC is still a relatively small Corps but to a wider defence in the 21st century, it brings a premier capability. All those who have served in and contributed to the RAVC’s tremendous success can take immense pride in what they have collectively achieved from 1962 to date.
The History of the Royal Army Veterinary Corps 1962 – 2021
Lieutenant Colonel C Ham MBE RAVC
Lieutenant Colonel C Ham MBE Foreword:
Lieutenant General Roly Walker
RA VC History 2022 DUST COVER.indd 1
The History of the Royal Army V Corps 1962 – 2021.
Copyright © Lieutenant Colonel MBE RAVC 2022.
All rights reserved. ISBN 978-1-7397152-0-5
Published by Crest Publications.

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