Royal Corps of Signals

A Royal Corps of Signals (RCS) radio party in Quetta, India 1932. (Photo Peter Suciu)

A Royal Corps of Signals (RCS) radio party in Quetta, India 1932. (Photo Peter Suciu)

The Royal Corps of Signals was formed in 1920 however prior to that date the Royal Engineers provided a communications system during the Crimean War and the Abyssinian War of 1867 brought further active experience for the telegraphists and signalers of the Royal Engineers. 1

Note the white/blue armband worn by the signalers in the above photograph.

An example of a WWII armband illustrating the method of adjusting to fit different arm sizes. (Courtesy Stewart’s Militaria)

An example of a WWII armband illustrating the method of adjusting to fit different arm sizes. (Courtesy Stewart’s Militaria)

In 1870, C Telegraph Troop RE was formed and saw active service in the Ashanti Campaign of 1873 and the Zulu War of 1879. In 1884 C Troop and the Postal Telegraph Companies were amalgamated to form the 1st and 2nd Divisions of the Telegraph Battalion RE. 2

In foreign service stations during the period 1920-1924 a flash of white/blue, approximately 2 or 3 inches square was worn on the sola topi, with white to the front and sewn onto the puggaree. 3

A Wolseley helmet with the RCS flash of light blue/dark blue/green c1934. (Collection of Stuart Bates)

A Wolseley helmet with the RCS flash of light blue/dark blue/green c1934. (Collection of Stuart Bates)

A Wolseley helmet with the RCS flash of light blue/dark blue/green c1934. Note that the flash is reversed. (Collection of Stuart Bates)

A Wolseley helmet with the RCS flash of light blue/dark blue/green c1934. Note that the flash is reversed. (Collection of Stuart Bates)

The flash was again changed in 1934 and the colours were worn vertically light blue to the front. 4

A Wolseley helmet with piping.

A Wolseley helmet with piping.

In 1937 the flash was discontinued and replaced by piping in the Corps colours with light blue to the top. 5

A slouch hat with both piping and flash.

A slouch hat with both piping and flash.

The slouch, which was worn during the Second World War, was brought back into service, under authority of ACI 868 of 1950. These were worn either with piping or with a plain khaki puggaree. The standard pattern Royal Signals cap badge was worn centrally on the flash. 6

The standard cap badge worn on the flash of the slouch hat.

The standard cap badge worn on the flash of the slouch hat.

The standard cap badge shown above was approved in 1946. 7

Stuart Bates

  1. Harfield, A.G., Headdress, Badges and embellishments of the Royal Corps of Signals
  2. Ibid
  3. Ibid
  4. Ibid
  5. Ibid
  6. Ibid
  7. Ibid

All photos not otherwise attributed from the above book by Major Harfield.

 

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