A Unit History I thought I’d start a thread with some of my old Corps details like how it was formed and some lesser known facts so it can be a place to post all The Royal Corps of Signals stuff from the Second World War. (Thanks for the idea Diane). The Royal Corps of Signals was officially come to be on 28th June 1920 and was known as Corps of Signals. The Royal Warrant for its creation was signed by the Secretary of State for War, then Winston Churchill. The Corps of Signals received the title ‘Royal Corps of Signals’ six weeks later by King George V. The Royal Corps history can be traced back way before 1920. Communication on the battlefield has always played a major part in the success or failure in a battle and was used at great lengths by the Greek and Roman armies by way of Torch and Water Telegraphs and coloured smoke. In England during the 16th century beacons were used and in 1796 the Admiralty used what was known as the ‘Murray Lettering Telegraph’. ‘Morse Code’ was used for the first time during the Crimean War and due to more and more demand and the slow advances in technology a Signal Wing was formed by the Royal Engineers at Chatham in 1867. In 1870 ‘C’ Telegraph Troop was formed by Captain Montague Lambert. The troop was the first professional unit of what are now known as Signallers in the British Army. The unit’s role was to provide communications for the army on the battlefield. This was achieved by visual signals, horse mounted signallers and telegraph. On 1st May 1884 ‘C’ Troop was amalgamated with the 22nd and 34th Companies, Royal Engineers to form the Telegraph Battalion, Royal Engineers. In these short four years the unit had steadily grown in numbers and had seen service in the Abyssinian War, the Anglo-Zulu war and the Nile Campaign. It would be fair to say that the battalion’s first role of not was during the Ashanti Campaign, 1895-1896. During this campaign men of the Telegraph Battalion cut a path for a overhead line from Cape Coast to Prashu covering some 72 miles through jungle. When men of the Telegraph Battalion completed the task and stumbled out of the jungle they were confronted by King Prempeh who was so surprised by their actions he offered the surrender of his Army to them. King Prempeh’s throne can be seen today in The Royal Corps of Signals Museum at Blandford, Dorset. Signalling in the British Army remained the responsibility of the Telegraph Battalion until 1908 when the Royal Engineers Signal Service was formed. This unit provided communications throughout The First World War and it was during this war that motorcycle despatch riders and wireless radio sets were used for the first time. The Royal Corps of Signals nickname ‘Scalie/Scaley backs’ came about during the First World War to. It comes from the battery acid burns that were found on the back of the Engineers who carried the batteries up to the front line trenches for use with the radios that often leaked the acid down their backs. Wireless communications were used in various campaigns including France, Flanders, Salonika, Palestine and Mesopotamia. The agreement to form the Signal Corps was first officially recognised just before the end of World War One in 1918. Due to government delays and the like this was delayed until 1920. Before the outbreak of the Second World War recruits were required to be a minimum of 5 feet 2 inches tall, all recruits were taught to ride horses and did their signal training at Catterick, North Yorkshire where the Corps stayed for many years until moving to Bladford, Dorset in 1993. From the Corps being formed up to the outbreak of World War Two the Corps had members serving all over the world from Shanghai to Jamaica. The majority of the Corps was stationed overseas with around a third stationed in India. As with every military campaign since World War Two the Royal Corps of Signals could be found in every major battle in World War Two and at the end of the war the Corps had a strength of 8,518 officers and 142,472 soldiers. On Wednesday 17th September 1941 The War Office announced that the wearing of Royal Signals shoulder titles on battledress for troops serving at home will be discontinued. One of the Corps most talked about moments during World War Two was when Corporal Thomas Waters of 5th Parachute Brigade Signal Section was awarded the Military Medal for laying and maintaining the field telephone line under heavy enemy fire across the Caen Canal Bridge on D Day 1944. This is remembered in one of the many officail Corps paintings called ‘Go to it’. After the war most of the Corps was deployed to Germany (BOAR) to counter the threat of the ‘Cold War’. However throughout this time you could find members of the Corps on active service in Palestine, Malaya, Korea, Suez Canal Zone, Cyprus, Borneo, Aden, the Arabian Peninsula, Kenya, Namibia, Kurdistan, Cambodia, Rwanda, Angola Zaire and Belize. In more recent time the Corps provided communications during the Falklands Campaign, Northern Ireland, the First Gulf War, Croatia, Bosnia, Kosovo, Sierra Leone, East Timor and the Second Gulf War. Another first for the British Army was handed to the Corps in 2001 when they were the first to form a unit, namely 97 Signal Squadron to provide all the communications for the British Army in Bosnia made up completely from members of the Territorial Army. The Squadron was commanded by the then Major Andrew Smith and was awarded a MBE. He was my OC and CO. The Royal Corps of Signals can be found on operations today in Cyprus, Bosnia/Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan amongst others at the time of posting. Tactical Recognition Flash, TRF: Blue and White. Cap Badge: The Corps cap badge features Mercury, the winged messenger of the Roman gods, who is lovingly known as ‘Jimmy’ by members of the Corps. There are several theories where the name originates from but the most common and likely is the name Jimmy comes from is a Royal Signals boxer, called Jimmy Emblem, who was the British Army Champion in 1924 and represented the Royal Corps of Signals from 1921 to 1924. Jimmy Somerville (Communards fame) could have been another theory but he joined the Corps far too late for it to be linked with him. Motto: The Corps motto is Certa Cito, which translates to Swift and Sure. Lanyard: The Corps wears a dark blue lanyard on dress uniforms signifying its early links with the Royal Engineers. Appointments: The Colonel in Chief is currently HRH The Princess Royal. Corps Colours: Green, Sea Blue, Sky Blue. Signifying the Corps provides communications on Land, Sea and Air. The Royal Corps of Signals is the only unit in the British Army to have ‘The’ Royal Corps in its title and The Royal Corps is the only unit to have a separate Airborne and Special Forces Squadron, namely 216 Signal Squadron and 264 Signal Squadron. All the above Infomation is from my recruiting memory, The MOD and Wikipedia with no cut and pasting. The Royal Corps of Signals Memorial at The National Memorial Arboretum. Please Post anything to do with The Royal Corps of Signals during World War Two below.