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THE SUPPORT ARMS AND SERVICES (4)

Military Provost Staff Corps

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 light.
The MPSC and Colchester have had links since 1901. The background shows Colchester Castle, which is the largest Norman keep in England.
Published 1994

Copyright 1994 Published by Geoff White Ltd.

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