PO Rifles / R E Signals?

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by Run_Charlie!, Jan 5, 2008.

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  1. In my post office there is a marble memorial to those who worked there and were killed in the great war.

    Apart from one (MGC = Machine gun corps) the rest were members of eith the PO Rifles or the RE Signals.

    PO Rifles = Post office rifles??
    RE Signals? I assume then the sigs were once part of the engineers?
     
  2. Post Office rifles - correct.

    Signals?
    A bit of history, setttle down.

    In 1884, the Telegraph Battalion Royal Engineers was formed and took part in the Nile Campaign, later playing a prominent role in the Ashanti Campaign of 1895-1896. It was during this campaign that men of the telegraph Battalion hacked a path for an overhead line from the Cape coast to Prahsu, covering 72 miles through jungle. It was in this campaign that as members of the Telegraph Battalion staggered out of the jungle then confronted King Prempeh who so surprised by their action then offered the surrender of his Army. King Prempeh's throne is now displayed in the Royal Signals Museum at Blandford.

    Signalling remained the responsibility of the Telegraph Battalion during the Boer War and until 1908, when the Royal Engineer Signals Service was formed and provided communications during World War One. At this time, the Despatch Rider came into prominence and 'wireless sets' were introduced into service. Wireless communications were provided in France and Flanders and also in the campaigns in Salonika, Palestine and Mesopotamia.

    The first official agreement to form a separate Signal Corps was made in 1918, before the end of World War One. Due to various policy delays, the formation of the 'Corps' was delayed until 1920. A Royal Warrant was signed by the Secretary of State for War, the Rt. Hon Winston S Churchill, who gave the Sovereign's approval for the formation of a 'Corps of Signals' on 28th June 1920. Six weeks later, His Majesty the King conferred the title 'Royal Corps of Signals'.

    Copied from http://www.army.mod.uk/royalsignals/history.html
     
  3. Post Office Rifles - so named from a unit of 1,600 Post Office workers formed in to a Special Constabulary in response to the 1867 (?) bomb attacks by the (Original) IRA types.

    Originally they were the Post Office Company (of Specials). After the bomb attacks died down they were formed in to a local Yeomanry, then as the Post Office Rifles. They had a few name and number changes, but their "short name" the Post Office Rifles remained. They never used the word "volunteer" in their short name either.

    Funnily enough, the PO Rifles later joined the Royal Engineers as a Anti Aircraft unit to protect London just prior to WW2. Sometime during WW2 in moved again to become an RA unit.

    The Post Office Rifles were so named from the start, similar to the "Artist Rifles" in that they were formed from a specific area of employment but they were named for that from the off, and were Regiements. Both had 2nd Bns formed who were named the same.

    Unlike other similar names, such as the "Bantom Battalion" or the the "Bankers Bn" who were named such because of their make up unofficially. They were also only Bns so the name was only for one unit.

    The Royal Signals seperated from the RE in 1920, and took ALL forms of communications except the Posties and Couriers. Who stayed with the RE, until they moved to the RLC in 93(?). Although the Signals got the Dispatch Riders.
     
  4. Good stuff, thanks all.