A rose by any other name would be just as sweet. A Corps by any other name would be Royal. We use names to shape behaviour, like Greenland and Iceland and patronymic names signify lineage. We use names to signify a connection, and for the Canadian Corps of Signallers, that connection is to the British Royal Family.
On 21 June 1921 the Canadian Corps of Signals received it’s Royal designation and became officially dedicated as the Royal Canadian Corps of Signals and it has been named so for an astounding 102 years!
Naming our Signals Corps begins during the Boer War on the 24th of October, 1903. In the beginning, we were officially organized as a Non-Permanent Active Militia on 24 October 1903 under then Captain Bruce Carruthers. Based on his experiences in the Boer War, the Canadian Signalling Corps (Militia) was the first organized Signal Service in the entire Commonwealth.
During WWI, Canada became less of a commonwealth colony and proved itself an independent nation, earning this prestige after such hellish traumas like the Somme and the Canadian Corps of Signaller’s own seminal action during Vimy Ridge. Several years after Armistice, on 15 June 1921, King George V, the Canadian monarch, bestowed title The Royal Canadian Corps of Signals.
The Impact on the Corps:
Receiving Royal from King George V patronage to become “Royal Canadian Corps of Signals” carried great significance for the unit. It symbolized recognition and honor, highlighting the corps’ exceptional service and dedication. The name change affirmed the corps’ place among the elite military units of the Canadian Armed Forces and strengthened its identity as a specialized branch responsible for communication and information management.
Receiving Royal patronage left a lasting legacy that continues to resonate within the RCCS today. The name change solidified the corps’ identity, ensuring its place in the annals of Canadian military history. It became a badge of honor for past, present, and future members, instilling a sense of tradition, heritage, and responsibility.
The Royal Canadian Corps of Signals proudly carries the Royal legacy forward, constantly adapting to advancements in communication technologies and evolving operational requirements. The name serves as a constant reminder of the corps’ commitment to excellence and its significant role in facilitating successful military operations.
The RCCS continues to uphold the name with pride, ensuring effective communication remains at the heart of their mission.