What was a Labour Company?

The Labour Corps company was defined in Army Orders when the Labour Corps came into existence in 1917. Its standard composition was defined in Army Council Instruction 611 of that year.

Troops of the Labour Corps at work on the Hazebrouck Road near Bailleul. Imperial War Museum photograph Q646. The official caption dates this photograph to June 1916, in which case it can not be correct.


1 Major, commanding the company

4 Lieutenants or Second Lieutenants

1 Company Sergeant Major and 1 Company Quartermaster Sergeant

8 Sergeants

18 Corporals (of which, 1 a Corporal-Cook and 1 a Corporal-Clerk)

461 Privates (of which 6 were appointed to Lance-Corporal)

6 officers’ batmen (normally Privates)


1 Medical Officer of the Royal Army Medical Corps

8 Drivers of the Army Service Corps (of which 1 a Corporal)


The company was structured into

Company Headquarters

4 Platoons (under a Lieutenant or Second Lieutenant), each of 2 Sections (under a Sergeant). Each Section made up of 2 Sub-Sections (under a Corporal).


The company was provided with three carts and four General Service wagons and a total of 13 draught and heavy draught horses.

The officer commanding would be provided with a riding horse or bicycle at his discretion.


The Labour Corps

The Labour Companies of the Labour Corps

Definitions of other types of units

Reference books