The idea of trained army cooks emerged from committees studying the suggestions
of Alexis Soyer, a French chef, who travelled as a volunteer with the British Army
to the Crimea (1854-56). Soyer developed stoves, basic boilers and simple recipes
to help improve the diet and well being of the British soldier.
In 1876 the British Army authorised the training of ‘Sergeant Cooks’ and the first
Army School of Cookery was established in 1885. Prior to the First World War, regimental
cooks were trained at Command cookery schools run by the ASC but the standard of
meals produced in the field varied enormously.
In the 1930s the government began to take a serious interest in improving the standard
of living for the British soldier. In 1941 the new school of Army Cookery was opened
in Aldershot, signifying the establishment of the ACC’s Aldershot barracks of St
The Army Catering Corps was officially formed on 22 March 1941 and on 5 October
1945 the Army Council decided to retain the Corps as an integral part of the British
Army. Approximately 70,000 served in the ACC during the Second World War.
The "Soldiers Food" can be viewed without charge on this web site.
It is the history of catering in the British army.
"Taking Stock" can also be viewed without charge on this web site.
It is a brief history of the
ACC, and was produced in 2001 on the 60th anniversary of the founding of the Corps.