THE SUPPORT ARMS AND SERVICES (1)
No. 20. Royal Corps of Signals
Corporal: Radio Operator, Tropical Combat Dress.
Palace Despatch Rider: No. 1 Dress.
Background: Combat Scene and Despatch Rider
From a watercolour painting by Douglas N. Anderson.
Postcard No. 20 ROYAL CORPS OF SIGNALS
With the advent of the electric telegraph military signalling gained a
new sophistication and during the Crimean War was made the responsibility
of the Royal Engineers (RE). C Telegraph Troop RE was formed in 1870 and
became the Telegraph Battalion in 1884. Later advances included the field
telephone and early wireless systems which the new RE Signal Service of
1908 was to develop in World War I along with the motor cycle despatch
rider. A separate Corps of Signals was formed in 1920 with
"Royal" status being granted in a matter of weeks.
The Corporal Radio Operator is shown wearing a tropical combat suit in
lightweight disrupted pattern material. Rank chevrons are printed in black
on an olive green patch and this NCO is a qualified parachutist. He wears
a DPM bush hat and jungle boots made of canvas and leather. He carries his
rifle slung. The radio is one of the Clansman range being a PRC 320 high
frequency set weighting 11kg including battery. It has a range varying
from 30khz to 320 khz according to the type of antennae being used.
When Her Majesty The Queen is resident in Buckingham Palace messages are
carried there by the Palace despatch Rider (DR) daily from the Royal
Signals Communications Centre in Whitehall. He wears No. 1 Dress with a
white protective helmet and goggles. The tunic and breeches are dark blue.
The latter has a scarlet stripe and leather strappings. He rides a Triumph
Tiger 750 motor cycle with white fairings.
Combat linemen are shown in action in the background with combat radiomen
working on a radio mast. The Palace DR is shown mounted.
Copyright © 1987 Published by Geoff White Ltd.
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