THE SUPPORT ARMS AND SERVICES (4)
No. 73. Military Provost Staff Corps
Staff Sergeant: Shirt Sleeve Order
Sergeant: Combat Dress
Background: Colchester Castle
From a watercolour painting by William R. Younghusband.
Postcard No. 73 MILITARY PROVOST STAFF CORPS
In 1844 it was decided to have special prisons where only the military
would be confined. The staff who were all civilians organised them on the
same lines as civil prisons. In the latter part of the 19th century it was
realised that this system which was a punitive one was not suitable for
the military. Thus a new Corps called the military Prison Staff Corps was
formed in 1901. They were to run the prisons as military units. In 1906
the name was changed to The Military Provost Staff Corps (MPSC), at the
same time some of the military prisons were renamed detention barracks.
Today the only Establishment remaining is the military Corrective Training
Centre at Colchester.
The Staff Sergeant in shirt sleeve order is wearing normal barrack dress
with the addition of the Caps Service Dress No. 2 which is peculiar to the
MPSC. His 'Stable Belt' in Corps colours has a plate bearing the Corps
badge. He wears MPSC shoulder titles. He is using a notebook which every
MPSC NCO carries.
The sergeant is shown in Combat Dress. Training Wing NCO's are high
calibre instructors who ensure that Soldiers under sentence in their
charge receive a thorough grounding in drill, first aid and map reading.
The sergeant shown here is wearing basic patrol order webbing equipment
and he carries an SA80 rifle fitted with an optical sight which gives four
times magnification and allows targets to be engaged accurately in poor
The MPSC and Colchester have had links since 1901. The background shows
Colchester Castle, which is the largest Norman keep in England.
Copyright © 1994 Published by Geoff White Ltd.
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