The original Army Veterinary Service (Veterinary Corps)
was founded in 1796 after public outrage concerning the death of Army horses. John Shipp was the first veterinary surgeon to be commissioned into the British Army, when he joined the 11th Light Dragoons on 25 June 1796. This date has been recognised as RAVC's foundation day ever since.
The RAVC provides, trains and cares for mainly dogs and horses,
but also tends to the various regimental mascots in the army.
The RAVC Directorate is based at the Army Headquarters in Andover. This is where the Chief Veterinary Officer for Defence and his Staff Officers are based. The main unit locations for the RAVC is the Defence Animal Training Regiment based at Melton Mowbray in Leicestershire although staff are spread throughout the Army. They are also responsible for explosives and drug search dogs.
There is one Branch of the RAVC Association which is based at Melton Mowbray.
RAVC Association branch
Branches may be established in the UK where sufficient interest exists to form a branch. Presently there is only one Branch known as the Melton Mowbray Branch.
The Melton Mowbray Branch of the RAVC Association meet monthly on the last Thursday at the WOs & Sgts Mess DAC, by kind permission of CO and RSM DATR.
Membership of the RAVC Association
There are two forms of membership:
Serving and retired members of the RAVC, including those Officers and soldiers that have served in the Reserves, are entitled to Full Membership.
Persons not eligible full membership, including former WRAC (Kennel Maid and Grooms etc) and HKMSC who have served in a RAVC unit, who have an interest in the Association, may be invited to apply for Associate Membership.
RAVC Association Income
The RAVC Association obtains its income from members’ life subscription, interest and dividends from its investments and donations.
Management of the RAVC Associaton
Committee of Management consisting of the following members meets twice a year and consists of:
Chairman - Serving or retired officer of the RAVC
Secretary - The Regimental Secretary RAVC
Commanding Officer Defence Animal Training Regiment
Regimental Sergeant Major RAVC
Senior serving LE officer RAVC
Up to six members are elected at the annual general meeting.
The RAVC Association objectives
Formed in 1921, the objectives of the RAVC Association are to:
Foster esprit de Corps amongst all ranks, serving and retired, of the Royal Army Veterinary Corps
Organise an Annual Reunion
Circulate Corps information to the members
Inform the Secretary of the Corps Welfare & Benevolent Fund of members or dependants in need
Ensure, where possible, a decent funeral for any member of the Corps serving or retired
Ex-serving members of RAVC needed for the Melton Mowbray branch.
On a recent check of our database we noticed that there are over 70 RAVC members and ex-members living in the Melton Mowbray area. If you are serving, have served in the RAVC you are automatic life members of the RAVC Association.
If you are attached to the RAVC or have served with the RAVC, you can become Associate members of the RAVC Association.
The RAVC Association Melton Branch meets on the first Thursday of each month in the Sergeants’ Mess DATR at 1930 hrs. Come along and join us for a chat and a drink. We would also like to see more members living locally to become involved in the Corps Association activities as we are in need of some new blood to keep the Association going in the future.
If you have a query, please contact us. We will be very happy to listen to any suggestions.
The contact for the Melton Mowbray branch is Mr Roger Whittle. Learn more...
If you are aged between 17yrs 9 months and 49 years 11 months you can apply to join the RAVC Reserves. If you have had previous service in the Army you can rejoin before your 52nd birthday, ex regular Officers can apply before their 56 birthday.
If you are interested in a challenge and would like to see some adventure, travel overseas and you can commit to at least 27 days training per year for the RAVC Reserve, in the East Midlands area, You may wish to consider Regular service if you can commit to a full time career.
Both Regular and Reserve service can provide you with recognised qualifications, sporting opportunities and lifelong skills which will benefit you both in a military or civilian career.
Regular and Reserve service offers good rates of pay. There are great incentives for those wishing to rejoin the Army and a tax free bounty for Reserves who complete the specified annual training requirements.
The RAVC Reserves needs to recruit dog handlers, veterinary officers and veterinary nurses now. Log on to www.army.mod.uk to find out much more about a challenging career in the Army and the RAVC.