Canadian Provost Corps
D DAY - JUNE 6, 1944

Section of a 1:50,000 scale map of CREULLY, in Normandy, showing most of the Canadian landing areas

Following almost 3 years of intensive training, the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division was tasked to be the main Canadian element in Operation OVERLORD, the invasion of Europe. The code name given the Canadian beach was JUNO, which was a 5 mile front, divided into to Beach Sub-Areas: MIKE, on the right, and NAN on the left, (map oriented inland).

No. 4 Company was the Divisional Provost Company assigned to 3 Canadian Infantry Division, and sections of the Company landed with the first assault wave on the beach.

  The following is the section of the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division Administration Plan covering Provost Services on D Day. It will be noted that as well as Canadian Provost Corps personnel, British Corps of Military Police Vulnerable Point (VP) and Royal Marine Police were under Canadian command for the assault. It can be seen that traffic control and the gathering up of stragglers were considered top priorities.





1.(a) Div Provost
One section, 4 Cdn Pro Coy will be under commmand each of 7, 8 and 9 Cdn Inf Bdes for the assault. One section will land at same time as Div HQ and will be directly under command of APM at Div HQ. One section and HQ 4 Cdn Pro Coy will land 2nd tide D Day. This section will take over Traffic Control and Refugee Control on Div Routes from Beach Maintenance Area forward.

 (b) Corps Provost
One section 102 Corps Pro Coy will be under command 3 Cdn Inf Div for D and D plus 1. This section will be employed on Traffic control of routes to Sub-Sections "KNEE" and "ELBOW" and in signing Formation Assemby Areas within these Sub-Sections.

 (c) CMP (VP)
Two sections 601 CMP Coy (VP) will be placed under command 3 Cdn Inf Div for the purpose of establishing a Prisoner of War Cage in STAR Beach Maintenance Area. These sections will remain under command until 1 Corps HQ resumes control, when they will revert to Corps, continuing to man the cage.

 (d) Royal Marine Police will assist 102 Beach Sub Area Provost on the beaches. APM 102 Beach Sub Area to co-ordinate.

2. Allotment of areas will be notified when and as necessary.


3. (a) Sections of 4 Cdn Pro Coy are limited to 16 personnel and 3 vehicles, excluding motorcycles.

 (b) Eight motorcycles (light)will be landed for each of the assault sections. In addition, four Villiers James Machines per Assault Section will be landed.


4. (a) Military, Naval and Air Force police of all forces of the Allied Expeditionary Forces are authorised and empowered by the Supreme Commander Allied Expeditionary Force to maintain order, enforce authority, and make arrests within the area of their responsibility without regard to the nationality of the personnel concerned or to the service to which they belong. Commanders of major units will publish the provisions of this order to all members of their respective commands.

 (b)Whenever practicable, arrests will be effected by the police of the same nationality as the offender. Whenever it is necessary for the military police of one ally to arrest any offender belonging to forces of another ally, the offender will be handed over to the nearest Unit or Formation/Organization (Army Navy or Air Force as the case may be)of the ally to whose forces the offender belongs, together with a report of the circumstances.


5. (a) Div Provost will deal with stragglers by directing them: -
  (i) To the unit to which they belong
or (ii) To Unit assemby Areas in Sub-Section "ELBOW" or "KNEE" (See Trace "P").
or (iii) If necessary, to Medical installations.

(b)After HQ 1 Corps has assumed administrative control, stragglers in STAR Beach Maintenance area will be dealt with by Beach Pro Coys and directed to: -

(i) Forward coy or Det of 10 Cdn Rft Bn.

or (ii) After they have landed, to Corps Reception Camps, whence they will be returned to their units.

(c) Stragglers from Allied Forces will be directed as soon as practicable to the nearest appropriate formation, together with relevant reports. Escorts, if necessary, will be obtained from the allied force.

Photo Credit: Public Archives of Canada
German prisoners on JUNO beach. Guarded by Canadian and British MPs and infantry

Photo Credit: Dwayne Hordij
Sherman DD tank of the First Canadian Hussars, now a monument near the beach. Inset is the commemorative plaque for the Canadian Provost Corps.

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