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#1 ypres tommy

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 10:04 PM

Hoping somebody on the forum might be able to help me,
Does anybody know where the Regimental police (provost)of the Essex regiment wore their brassard? As i cant find any evidence to say which arm it was worn and whether it was worn on the cuff or upper arm?
Many thanks in advance
Carl

#2 ypres tommy

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 10:47 PM

Many thanks to "At home Dad" who has sent me information on behalf of the 13th battalions dress code, it just shows how this forum keeps the memory and information alive! Again many thanks!
However if anyone has any information on how any other battalion of the Essex, wore the brassard, this would be much appreciated as i'm trying to work out if there was a standard dress code or if there were variations between battalions?
Many thanks
Carl

#3 FROGSMILE

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 09:03 PM

Many thanks to "At home Dad" who has sent me information on behalf of the 13th battalions dress code, it just shows how this forum keeps the memory and information alive! Again many thanks!
However if anyone has any information on how any other battalion of the Essex, wore the brassard, this would be much appreciated as i'm trying to work out if there was a standard dress code or if there were variations between battalions?
Many thanks
Carl


Carl, in general the most common place to wear the RP arm band both before and during WW1 was on the right cuff. Later on the practice began of wearing an arm band on the mid upper arm and later still this was sometimes combined with a badge of rank.

#4 pioneercorps

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 10:11 PM

Hi Carle

Great Britain
The British brassard for the Corps of Royal Military Police is relatively unchanged from that used in World War I when red letters on a dark blue background was used by the Corps of Military Police. During 1940 the background changed to a black background. It is somewhat smaller than a US brassard. In 1968 the colors were reversed from red lettering on black felt and is now of red felt material and 3.5 inches in height, with black lettering, 1.5 inches in height.

During the Falklands War, and on other occasions, a camoflaged brassard like that illustrated to the left have been seen. During the Falklands conflict these were worn by members of 160 Provost Company based in Aldershot. The British Army also maintains Regimental Police who wear a variety of brassards bearing the letters "RP."

Regards.
Gerwyn

#5 Lancashire Fusilier

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 10:43 PM

Hoping somebody on the forum might be able to help me,
Does anybody know where the Regimental police (provost)of the Essex regiment wore their brassard? As i cant find any evidence to say which arm it was worn and whether it was worn on the cuff or upper arm?
Many thanks in advance
Carl


Carl,
Confirming Frogsmile's earlier post, attached are 2 photographs showing the WW1 " RP " Regimental Police armband being worn both on the cuff, and on the upper arm.
LF

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#6 Lancashire Fusilier

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Posted 18 February 2012 - 09:17 PM

Here is a pre-1917 Regimental Military Police ( RMP ) group photograph from the 2/6th Battalion, East Surrey Regiment, showing the RMP brassard being worn on the lower right arm. After 1917 ' RMP ' was changed to ' RP ' for Regimental Police.
LF

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#7 ypres tommy

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 06:55 PM

Many thanks to everyone who has helped so far, it is much appreciated, does anyone have anymore photo's?

#8 Graham Stewart

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 01:55 PM

Attached File  Regimental Police - 2nd Bn, NF.jpg   69.55KB   2 downloads
Regimental Police, 2nd Bn, Northumberland Fusiliers. R.P. Brassard worn on either cuff in regimental colours, with the capbadge worn between the 'R' & 'P'. Photo taken long before the outbreak of the war, as they're wearing the old cloth shoulder titles 'N.F.' over '2' in white worsted cotton on a red backing on their upper arms

#9 FROGSMILE

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 04:03 PM

Hi Carle

Great Britain
The British brassard for the Corps of Royal Military Police is relatively unchanged from that used in World War I when red letters on a dark blue background was used by the Corps of Military Police. During 1940 the background changed to a black background. It is somewhat smaller than a US brassard. In 1968 the colors were reversed from red lettering on black felt and is now of red felt material and 3.5 inches in height, with black lettering, 1.5 inches in height.

During the Falklands War, and on other occasions, a camoflaged brassard like that illustrated to the left have been seen. During the Falklands conflict these were worn by members of 160 Provost Company based in Aldershot. The British Army also maintains Regimental Police who wear a variety of brassards bearing the letters "RP."

Regards.
Gerwyn


Gerwyn, the Corps of Military Police did not exist in WW1 so that is duff advice. You would learn a lot if you put 'Military Police' into the search engine of this Forum, read some of the posts and gain the benefit of much accurate information that has been posted on the subject in the past.

From 1914 to the mid part of 1916 the MFP and MMP (both a de facto part of the rather obscure Cavalry Staff Corps) were tiny and did not expand greatly until the latter two and a half years of the war. The policy then was to have a small Corps of MFP/MMP (3 officers and 508 Warrant Officers, NCOs and men) supplemented by Regimental Military Police (RMP) who were, in a sense, levies provided by each infantry battalion and cavalry regiment under a unit provost sergeant. In large base areas similar composite forces were provided by ASC and RA units too, although to a lesser degree. Indeed, as part of the preparations for the Somme offensive of 1916, relatively large bodies of these latter were formed and known as 'Battle', or 'Trench' police with a remit to round up and guide walking wounded and leaderless, or disoriented men to either CCS, or the Rally/Collection points that had been set up for the purpose.

By November 1918 there were all told 270 officers and 12,000 men in the MFP/MMP. It was not until 1926 that the two branches were merged to form the Corps of Military Police (CMP).

In 1946 the CMP became the CRMP (RCMP having aleady been adopted long before by the Canadian 'Mounties') and for similar reasons the erstwhile RMP (see above) became plain RPs, which remains the case today.

I enclose images of both Lincs and Hants Regt Regimental Military Police in WW1 marked out by their cuff bands.

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#10 FROGSMILE

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 04:21 PM

And Hants.

And DLI. The cuff bands are on their right arms, but the letters upon them are not visible.

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#11 FROGSMILE

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 04:26 PM

And a fine example of Middlesex Regt with bands on the mid-upper arm, which was gradually becoming the preferred mode.


Notice that in virtually all photos the Provost Sergeant (or sometimes Corporal) takes the central position.

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#12 Old Tom

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 04:38 PM

A number of these pictures show NCOs or even privates carrying what might be called 'walking sticks' of the sort that I thought were carried by officers. Can anyone explain please?

Old Tom

#13 Graham Stewart

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 04:55 PM

Facing colours were normally the primary colour used in R.P. cuff bands with the N.F. using possibly scarlet lettering on gosling green and the Durhams scarlet lettering on Dark Green.

#14 FROGSMILE

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 04:57 PM

A number of these pictures show NCOs or even privates carrying what might be called 'walking sticks' of the sort that I thought were carried by officers. Can anyone explain please?

Old Tom



They are regimental canes, or swagger sticks Tom. There were several types, but Regimental Police often (although not always) carried longer versions rather like a parade cane, especially the Provost Sergeant, for whom it was invariably a badge of office, rather like a 'truncheon' used to be for the office of Constable. You can read about the use of canes in general here: http://1914-1918.inv...97

#15 pioneercorps

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 06:12 PM

Hi FROGSMILE

What you are saying, there is not the truth in this;


In August 1914, the unexpected Great War broke out and Britain mobilised her army. This included the total strength, 764 members in all, of the MMP and MFP as follows:
  • 3 officers
  • 508 other ranks (Regular)
  • 253 other ranks (Reserves) recalled to the colours.
It soon became obvious that many more military policemen were going to be needed, and that the peacetime standards of MMP and the MFP were considerably lowered.

Within months of its outbreak the war had developed into an entrenched deadlock in Belgium and France, with other theatres of war established as nations joined the fight, or as German overseas possessions were fought for. Britain was forced to massively expand the army, and in the atmosphere of crisis that prevailed, military police recruiting procedures to be drastically revised. Probation became a thing of the past.

A number of old soldiers were enlisted directly from civil life, as were civil policemen, and units of infantry and cavalry were transferred en bloc. The practice of temporarily 'attaching' men, or complete units, for police duties continued.

At first each divisional establishment included an Assistant Provost Marshal (usually a captain) and 25 NCOs of the MMP. Corps headquarters had a small detachment of MFP men. The APMs on lines of communications duties had even fewer men. As far as provost duties were concerned, no instructions existed as to what these might be, and they had to be defined and acted on as they became apparent. In France these mainly included the manning of 'stragglers' posts', traffic control, dealing with crime committed by British soldiers, the control of civilians within the battle area, handling prisoners of war, and patrolling rear areas and ports. Of these, perhaps the operation of stragglers' posts has become the least understood, giving rise to the legend of the Redcap, pistol in hand, forcing shell-shocked Tommies forward to certain death. The facts paint an entirely different picture. Stragglers' posts or battle-stops, as they were sometimes called, were collecting points behind the front lines where prisoners of war were taken over from the infantry, runners and message-carriers were checked and directed. Walking wounded from Regimental Aid Posts were directed to casualty collecting stations for evacuation, and 'stragglers' were dealt with. This last-named duty involved halting soldiers who were obviously neither casualties, signalers or runners, re-arming and equipping them if necessary, and sending them forward to rejoin their units, individually or in groups. With so few MMP or MFP men available, this type of work was mostly done by 'trench police' or 'battle police', men from a division's cavalry squadron or cyclist company, regimental police or corps cavalry, who also directed traffic in communication trenches. All worked under the direction of the divisional APM. Later in the war, a typical division in the line employed over 250 officers and men on provost duties within its area. They manned four straggler posts, provided an MP presence at the casualty collection post, operated various road traffic control posts and a number of mobile traffic patrols.

Posted ImageMilitary police were familiar figures at Mons, the Marne, Ypres, and the Somme. In war-ridden France, British Military Police, that is the CMP, were used for the first time to control refugees and stragglers. The Battle of Ains was the first time that a traffic circuit was used, whilst the Battle of Neuve Chapelle in 1915 was the first time that traffic posts were used. The importance of traffic control in the battle area was evident from the start of the war, but a planned approach to the problem of traffic did not emerge for some time. At first, divisional provost troops attended to the needs of their own formation, but this attitude frequently led to delays. Improvements were made, but not in time to prevent a serious traffic control problem at the battle of Loos in September 1915. After the start of the battle, two divisions, the 21st and the 24th, were called forward from reserve to exploit a breach in the enemy's line. Their approach march has been described by one commentator as like trying 'to push the Lord Mayor's procession through the streets of London without clearing the route or holding up the traffic'. The infantry of the two divisions arrived at the battle late and exhausted, and their attack failed. In the wake of the disaster the problems of traffic control were properly tackled and corrected.

Absenteeism and desertion became an increasing problem as the war progressed. It was the duty of military policemen to apprehend deserters and hold them for trial by court martial. Much has been written about the British soldiers of the Great War who suffered death by firing squad for the crimes of cowardice or desertion. More than 3,000 sentences of death were passed by British courts martial between 1914 and 1920, of which 346 were carried out;
  • 266 were for desertion,
  • 18 for cowardice,
  • 37 for murder,
  • seven for quitting post,
  • three for mutiny,
  • two for sleeping while a sentry,
  • six for striking a superior officer,
  • five for disobedience and
  • two for casting away arms.
Many of those shot were under suspended sentences of death and had re-offended. Against these figures should be balanced those of the 702,410 officers and men of the British forces who were killed in action. Assistant Provost Marshals and their men had the grim duty of supervising the executions of men sentenced to death. They themselves were not required to furnish the firing squads. Any serious offenders, if not sentenced to death, rapidly found their way to Field Punishment Centres or Military Prisons. These were run by men of the MPSC and by military policemen, while Provost Marshals had the supervision of the FPCs.

During the First World War,'Redcap' or 'Cherrynob' became the terms applied by British soldiers to any military policeman to the red cap cover which had been taken into use before the war to distinguish an MP on duty, when the blue uniform then worn resembled that of a civilian policeman. The practice of wearing red cap covers continued with khaki service dress, but was only worn by men of the MMP and MFP) Not all the men attached for provost duties were as efficient as the regular Redcaps, and their behaviour at times fell short of the standards of the corps. However, discipline in the British Expeditionary Force in France, and in the armies at home and in other overseas theatres was properly maintained throughout the war. The British suffered no serious breakdown of discipline like that in the French Army in 1917, and this was due in no small measure to the efforts of provost forces.

By the end of the war the strength of the forces under the control of the Provost Marshal of the BEF had grown to almost 15000 all ranks, while it has been reckoned that over 25,000 men served in a provost role during the war. Some 375 lost their lives and the corps won 477 decorations including 13 DSO's (Distinguished Service Order). Their achievements had a particular cost. The pre-war soldiers' respect for the Redcap had plummeted by 1918 to an all-time low, particularly within the ranks the 'poor bloody infantry', who saw the military policemen as the instrument of a brutal regime which had sent them into the line again and again and had savagely punished their weaker comrades. The constant Redcap presence, in the line and out, particularly that of a minority of over-zealous or bullying MPs, exacerbated the ill-feeling. This was a great pity, for the legend of the brutal Redcap devalued the achievements of British Provost forces, who had risen to the challenges of the war.

In the battle zone, where frequently they had to do duty in exposed positions under heavy fire and suffered severe casualties, the military police solved a important part of the problem of traffic control. In back areas the vigilance and zeal have largely contributed to the good relations maintained between our troops and the civilian population."</I>

Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig, Commander-in-Chief of the BEF

In December 1918 a military police motorcyclist had the honour to be the first British soldier to cross the Rhine in the occupation of Cologne. It was entirely fitting that a Redcap should lead the way for a victorious 'British Army of the Rhine'.

Regards.
Gerwyn

#16 FROGSMILE

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 07:34 PM

Hi FROGSMILE

What you are saying, there is not the truth in this;


Regards.
Gerwyn


Gerwyn, it is pretty obvious that all you have done is obtain some data online and paste it in.

The fact remains that what you stated previously is not true, there was no unified "Corps of Military Police" until the 1920s. Before that and throughout WW1, there was the Military Foot Police and the Military Mounted Police. Ergo, what you told the OP was wrong.

No one has disputed the duties that were carried out by military police (of all types), or the effort involved, so why you have posted all that data I don't know. Neither it, nor your original post, have anything to do with the query that the OP made, which related specifically to Regimental Police.

#17 pioneercorps

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 07:57 PM

regimental police or corps cavalry, who also directed traffic in communication trenches. All worked under the direction of the divisional APM. Later in the war, a typical division in the line employed over 250 officers and men on provost duties within its area. They manned four straggler posts, provided an MP presence at the casualty collection post, operated various road traffic control posts and a number of mobile traffic patrols.


Hi FROGSMILE

You are right Mate, I did copy and paste, but then I would not be the only one to have done so.

Regards.
Gerwyn

#18 FROGSMILE

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 09:17 PM

regimental police or corps cavalry, who also directed traffic in communication trenches. All worked under the direction of the divisional APM. Later in the war, a typical division in the line employed over 250 officers and men on provost duties within its area. They manned four straggler posts, provided an MP presence at the casualty collection post, operated various road traffic control posts and a number of mobile traffic patrols.


Hi FROGSMILE

You are right Mate, I did copy and paste, but then I would not be the only one to have done so.

Regards.
Gerwyn


Let's just try and answer the OPs question Gerwyn, rather than go down too many rabbit holes.

As a reminder, his query was:

"Does anybody know where the Regimental police (provost)of the Essex regiment wore their brassard? As i cant find any evidence to say which arm it was worn and whether it was worn on the cuff or upper arm?"

Perhaps you can contribute to that?

#19 pioneercorps

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 10:35 PM

"there was no unified "Corps of Military Police" until the 1920s"

THE BRITISH MILITARY POLICE ON THE WESTERN FRONT

The MPs uniform in WW1

The MP in the Great War wore the standard khaki battle dress. The peaked cap was topped with a crimson-red cloth cover (hence the nicknames 'Red-Cap' or 'Cherry Knob') and a black cloth brassard bearing the letters 'MP' in red was worn on the right arm. Later, at the Front, a steel helmet was introduced with the letters 'MP' painted on the front.

The Corps demanded an exceptionally high standard of turnout from its MPs.

A holstered pistol was the normal personal weapon, although other small arms would be carried when required.

Hi FROGSMILE

Yes, again I copied and pasted :blush: , is this what your looking for.

Regards.
Gerwyn

#20 Graham Stewart

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 02:39 PM

"Does anybody know where the Regimental police (provost)of the Essex regiment wore their brassard? As i cant find any evidence to say which arm it was worn and whether it was worn on the cuff or upper arm?"

Perhaps you can contribute to that?


The definitive answer will actually lie within "Regimental Standing Orders" for the Essex Regt - however some of the War raised units may have loosely adopted those S.O.'s and then adjusted them to suite their own usage, especially where 'dress' was concerned.

#21 Ariel

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Posted 24 June 2012 - 02:33 PM

Here is a pre-1917 Regimental Military Police ( RMP ) group photograph from the 2/6th Battalion, East Surrey Regiment, showing the RMP brassard being worn on the lower right arm. After 1917 ' RMP ' was changed to ' RP ' for Regimental Police.
LF

Hi I realise this thread is from a few months back but I am trying to find out what a Regimental Policeman's duties were too. But, this quote "After 1917 ' RMP ' was changed to ' RP ' for Regimental Police." cannot be correct, because my grandpa has RP on his left cuff (10th Btln DLI 1914-1918) and he was killed at Hooge Ypres on 31st July 1915 and he just has RP on his cuff. I'm sorry I don't know how to post an image otherwise I would. (Registered blind and can't see the buttons above the text box) Can anyone please tell me if the RP's were always mounted Cavalary? This would be interesting for me as my grandpa was a breeder of Clydesdale Horses.

#22 FROGSMILE

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Posted 29 June 2012 - 09:32 AM


Hi I realise this thread is from a few months back but I am trying to find out what a Regimental Policeman's duties were too. But, this quote "After 1917 ' RMP ' was changed to ' RP ' for Regimental Police." cannot be correct, because my grandpa has RP on his left cuff (10th Btln DLI 1914-1918) and he was killed at Hooge Ypres on 31st July 1915 and he just has RP on his cuff. I'm sorry I don't know how to post an image otherwise I would. (Registered blind and can't see the buttons above the text box) Can anyone please tell me if the RP's were always mounted Cavalary? This would be interesting for me as my grandpa was a breeder of Clydesdale Horses.


That does not surprise me Ariel. Some units did start to use the acronym 'RP' before others, in order to differentiate from the MPs who were employed at Formation level (Brigade, Division, Corps, Army) by the Provost Marshal. However, this was not standardized terminology until some years later. There is confusion caused because this was a period of evolution.

Although there was no Corps of Military Police at that time, there were Military Foot Police and Military Mounted Police who wore separate insignia and were discrete bodies and also Garrison Military Police (GMP), the latter usually formed from detachments provided by each regiment and operating in static, garrison areas. This was all in addition to the domestic Regimental (Military) Policemen established within each infantry, cavalry and artillery unit, under its adjutant.

Most units still used the Victorian acronym RMP (Regimental Military Policemen), but as you can imagine this was already starting to cause some confusion. In 1926 this was all regularised by forming a permanent Corps of Military Police (CMP) from the MFP, MMP and elements of GMP (on transfer) and the unit policemen were formally re-titled as Regimental Policemen so as to standardise matters across the Army, albeit that some units had already been using the term RP for some time.

Regimental policemen were a little like naval Master at Arms and responsible for exercising and overseeing discipline within a unit. They were headed by the battalion's Provost Sergeant, who was in turn deputised by a Provost Corporal and a few (usually 4 or 5) soldiers nominated by their companies as R(M)Ps. The Provost Sergeant was directly under the Adjutant, but his day-to-day management was exercised by the battalion's Sergeant Major (after 1915 known as RSM). His primary duty was to maintain the units guardroom, which usually incorporated a number of cells. In addition he would mount foot patrols within the unit lines and oversee punishments such as confinement to barracks (CB) and Field Punishment Number One (being tied to a wheel for specified periods each day). He would also assist the RSM with any prisoners of war initially brought in after an action, before passing them to the rear (Brigade HQ initially). He was also responsible for the guardroom's 'Occurence Book' (used to record events) and took it to the Adjutant each morning for scrutiny and counter signature.

Other R(M)P duties when in billets, or camp often included administering a Fire Picquet, its orders and rudimentary equipment, initially buckets of sand, but later stirrup pumps and, within barracks, a two wheeled wagon incorporating a hand operated pump and short canvas fire hose. In action he would be positioned behind the assaulting companies and assist the RSM with stragglers, directing wounded to the RAP and securing any deserters (and PoW as previously mentioned). Men selected for these battalion provost positions were usually mature and sensible soldiers who held at least one good conduct badge (stripe), although in war time this was inevitably sometimes relaxed through necessity. Either he or a member of RP staff would usually be present at the guardroom for reveille, guard mount, retreat and tattoo. In the evenings a member of RP would accompany the orderly NCOs to the battalion's canteens and in particular be present at closing time in order to expel those who had over indulged.



#23 gordon92

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Posted 29 June 2012 - 12:14 PM

That does not surprise me Ariel. Some units did start to use the acronym 'RP' before others, in order to differentiate from the MPs who were employed at Formation level (Brigade, Division, Corps, Army) by the Provost Marshal. However, this was not standarised terminology until some years later. There is confusion caused because this was a period of evolution. Although there was no Corps of Military Police at that time, there were Military Foot Police and Military Mounted Police who wore separate insignia and were discret bodies and also Garrison Military Police, the latter usually formed from detachments provided by each regiment and operating in static, garrison areas. This was all in addition to the domestic Regimental (Military) Policemen established within each infantry, cavalry and artillery unit, under its adjutant. Most units still used the Victorian acronym RMP (Regimental Military Policemen), but as you can imagine this was already starting to cause some confusion. In 1926 this was all regularised by forming a permanent Corps of Military Police (CMP) from the MFP, MMP and elements of GMP (on transfer) and the unit policemen were formally re-titled as Regimental Policemen so as to standardise matters across the Army.

Regimental policemen were a little like naval Master at Arms and responsible for exercising and overseeing discipline within a unit. They were headed by the battalion's Provost Sergeant, who was in turn deputised by a Provost Corporal and a few (usually 4 or 5) soldiers nominated by their companies as R(M)Ps. The Provost Sergeant was directly under the Adjutant, but his day-to-day management was exercised by the battalion's Sergeant Major (after 1915 known as RSM). His primary duty was to maintain the units guardroom, which usually incorporated a number of cells. In addition he would mount foot patrols within the unit lines and oversee punishments such as confinement to barracks (CB) and Field Punishment Number One (being tied to a wheel for specified periods each day). He would also assist the RSM with any prisoners of war initially brought in after an action before passing them to the rear (Brigade HQ initially). He was also responsible for the guardrooms 'Occurence Book' (used to record nocturnal events) and took it to the Adjutant each morning for scrutiny and counter signature.

Other R(M)P duties included administering a Fire Picquet its orders and rudimentary equipment, initially buckets of sand, but later stirrup pumps and, within barracks, a two wheeled wagon incorporating a hand operated pump and short canvas fire hose. In action he would be positioned behind the assaulting companies and assist the RSM with stragglers, directing wounded to the RAP and securing andy deserters (and PoW as previously mentioned). Men selected for these battalion provost positions usually were mature and sensible men who held at least one good conduct badge (stripe), although in war time this was inevitably sometimes relaxed through necessity. Either he or a member of RP staff would usually be present at the guardroom for reveille, guard mount, retreat and tattoo.


Pursuant to this topic, displayed below is a group of Seaforth Highlanders who appear to be wearing RMP wristbands (clearer in the full resolution version). I date this photo to 1912-1914 in India as indicated by the shoulder straps and cuffs of the regiment's facing color, buff, on the red serge frocks; these clothing changes did not occur until 1912.

The sergeant, seated front row center, is not wearing the wristband. Do you suppose he is the Provost Sergeant?

There are two men in the second row who are conspicuously from another regiment. From the collar badges, they may be Fusiliers. The jackets worn by these men appear darker, possibly blue. Perhaps, this is some sort of combined police contingent.

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#24 FROGSMILE

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Posted 29 June 2012 - 02:33 PM

Pursuant to this topic, displayed below is a group of Seaforth Highlanders who appear to be wearing RMP wristbands (clearer in the full resolution version). I date this photo to 1912-1914 in India as indicated by the shoulder straps and cuffs of the regiment's facing color, buff, on the red serge frocks; these clothing changes did not occur until 1912.

The sergeant, seated front row center, is not wearing the wristband. Do you suppose he is the Provost Sergeant?

There are two men in the second row who are conspicuously from another regiment. From the collar badges, they may be Fusiliers. The jackets worn by these men appear darker, possibly blue. Perhaps, this is some sort of combined police contingent.


What a great photo, and of a particularly large provost section too. The man seated centrally is indeed almost certainly the Provost Sergeant (with his deputy on his right), who invariably carried a special parade cane as mentioned above.

The R(M)Ps themselves also carried stout sticks or canes and were not averse to using them to enforce an arrest in a bar brawl. You can see that the man second from right in the front row appears to have something akin to a blackthorn stick or similar.

The other two R(M)P are from the Royal Artillery, as evinced by the cuff knots, gunnery prize on one man's left forearm and the universal grenades on their collars (worn until 1922). Their presence does indeed seem to indicate that this was a combined, cantonment police detachment.

#25 gordon92

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Posted 29 June 2012 - 03:17 PM

What a great photo, and of a particularly large provost section too. The man seated centrally is indeed almost certainly the Provost Sergeant (with his deputy on his right), who invariably carried a special parade cane as mentioned above.

The R(M)Ps themselves also carried stout sticks or canes and were not averse to using them to enforce an arrest in a bar brawl. You can see that the man second from right in the front row appears to have something akin to a blackthorn stick or similar.

The other two R(M)P are from the Royal Artillery, as evinced by the cuff knots, gunnery prize on one man's left forearm and the universal grenades on their collars (worn until 1922). Their presence does indeed seem to indicate that this was a combined, cantonment police detachment.


The 1st Seaforth Highlanders were posted at Agra during this period. As a sizable city, perhaps contagious drinking necessitated this large provost section :thumbsup: .

It makes sense then that the two Royal Artillery RMPs would be wearing blue instead of red or scarlet. That clears up an inconsistency for me when I thought they were Fusiliers.