The Canadian Provost Corps
1939 - 1946
No. 1 Provost Company (RCMP)
Uniforms of Officers
And Warrant Officers Class 1
The original RCMP volunteers for No.1 Provost Company were commanded by Superintendent W.R. Day, the Company included two other commissioned officers. Eventually 58 RCMP members of No.1 Provost Company were granted King's Commissions as officers in the Canadian Army. Many went on to command Provost Companies or were appointed as Assistant or Deputy Provost Marshals in higher formations.
One officer, Superintendent L.H. Nicholson, who transferred from the RCMP to the Canadian Army in 1941, finished the war as a Colonel and Provost Marshal of the Canadian Army.
Upon commissioning, new officers were provided with Battledress and field equipment, and were expected to purchase Service Dress with all of the attendant accessories.
The RCMP cap badge was worn on the Field Service and Service Dress caps and the khaki beret. Officer's cap badges were usually in gilt brass or bronze. A wire embroidered version of the officer's cap badge exists, but was evidently rarely worn by officers in No. 1 Provost Company. A red or dark blue cloth backing was often worn behind both the officer's and other rank's cap badges.
Cloth printed or embroidered shoulder titles were worn on the battledress by all ranks. When wearing Service Dress, Officers wore metal CANADA shoulder titles and metal RCMP collar badges. Service Dress buttons were either those of the RCMP or Canadian Army General List.
Photo Credit: Milart Photo Archives
This RCMP Captain is wearing the standard army Officer's Service Dress jacket with a khaki drab shirt and necktie. RCMP buttons are worn and the collar badges, rank insignia and CANADA titles appear to be gilt plated brass. The Sam Browne belt is of interest, the buckle is an uncommon flat version and the shoulder brace incorporates a whistle holder. The colour of the diamond shaped distinguishing patch worn on both arms is not apparant in this black and white photograph, but is either red for the First Canadian Corps or a medium blue for the Second Canadian Corps.
The Service Dress Cap is tilted to the right, possibly recalling the fashion of the RCMP stetson hat. The cap badge has a coloured backing, most likely dark blue wool or melton cloth.
Photo Credit: Milart Photo Archives
Another view of an officer in Service Dress. Rank insignia, collar badges and buttons are standard RCMP patterns, gilt brass CANADA titles are worn in the usual place on the epaulettes. The cap badge is not backed by cloth and appears to be frosted gilt brass.
The officer has two medal ribbons on his jacket, an Order Of The British Empire in the grade of Member (MBE) and the King George VI Coronation medal. This officer was likely one of the RCMP Contingent to the Coronation in 1936.
Captain's Service Dress jacket, 1944. Gilt RCMP collar badges and buttons. The distinguishing patch for the First Canadian Army is worn on both sleeves.
View of the right side of the jacket showing the distinguishing patch and the service chevrons on the lower cuff indicating 3 years service.
Closeup of the shoulder insignia and collar badges.
Warrant Officer Class 1 (RSM) wearing the pre-1942 Warrant Officer Pattern Service Dress. Made of officer quality serge, the jacket is similar in cut to the officer's Service Dress, but has a closed stand and fall collar secured with two hooks and eyes. The jacket has gilt RCMP collar badges and buttons, worsted CANADA titles are worn on the sleeves two inches below the shoulder seams. Worsted Warrant Officer Class 1 rank insignia is worn on both cuffs. The medal ribbon is that of the MBE.
Captain H.C. Forbes, Commanding Officer of No. 2 Provost Company. Captain Forbes is wearing Battledress, with the insignia of his rank plainly visible on his epaulettes. The insignia on his sleeves consists of the cloth ROYAL CANADIAN MOUNTED POLICE shoulder title and below that, the blue rectangle distinguishing patch of the 2nd Canadian Infantry Division. The RCMP cap badge is worn with a red cloth backing sewn onto his khaki beret.
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