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The Royal Corps of Signals (sometimes referred to incorrectly as the Royal Signal Corps and often known simply as the Royal Signals or R SIGNALS) is one of the 'arms' (combat support corps) of the British Army. It is responsible for installing, maintaining and operating all types of telecommunications equipment and information systems.

The Corps motto is Certa Cito, which freely translates as Swift and Sure. The flag and cap badge feature Mercury, the winged messenger of the gods, who is referred to by members of the corps as "Jimmy".



Cap Badge of the Royal Corps of Signals

In 1870, 'C' Telegraph Troop, Royal Engineers, was founded under Captain Montague Lambert. The Troop was the first formal professional body of signallers in the British Army and its duty was to provide communications for a field army by means of visual signalling, mounted orderlies and telegraph. By 1871, 'C' Troop had expanded in size from 2 officers and 133 other ranks to 5 officers and 245 other ranks. In 1879, 'C' Troop first saw action during the Anglo-Zulu War. On 1 May 1884, 'C' Troop was amalgamated with the 22nd and 34th Companies, Royal Engineers, to form the Telegraph Battalion Royal Engineers; 'C' Troop formed the 1st Division (Field Force, based at Aldershot) while the two Royal Engineers companies formed the 2nd Division (Postal and Telegraph, based in London). Signalling was the responsibility of the Telegraph Battalion until 1908, when the Royal Engineers Signal Service was formed. As such it provided communications during World War I. It was about this time that motorcycle despatch riders and wireless sets were introduced into service.

A Royal Warrant for the creation of a Corps of Signals was signed by the Secretary of State for War, Winston Churchill, on 28 June 1920. Six weeks later, King George V conferred the title Royal Corps of Signals. It was given precedence immediately after the Royal Engineers.

Throughout World War II, members of the Corps served in every theatre of war. By the end of the war the strength of the Corps was 8,518 officers and 142,472 men. In the immediate post-war period, the Corps played a full and active part in numerous campaigns, including Palestine, Malaya and the Korean War. Until the end of the Cold War, the main body of the Corps was deployed with the British Army of the Rhine confronting the former Communist Bloc forces, providing the British Forces' contribution to NATO with its communications infrastructure. Today's Corps has now moved into the developing information warfare era of the future. On the No 2 uniform the Royal Signals wear a dark blue lanyard signifying its early links with the Royal Engineers.


Soldiers join the Royal Corps of Signals in one of many trades (open to both men and women), some of which include:

  • Communication Systems Operator
  • Electrician
  • Driver Lineman
  • Information Systems Engineer
  • Installation Technician
  • Electronic Warfare Systems Operator (formerly known as Special Operator)
  • Systems Engineering Technician
  • Technical Supply Specialist

All recruits do their basic military training at an Army Training Regiment. Special-to-arm training is carried out with 11 Signal Regiment at Blandford Camp in Dorset.

Royal Corps of Signals Units[]


There are three signal brigades in the British Army:

  • 1 Signal Brigade (Germany) (7 and 16 Signal Regiments plus Allied Rapid Reaction Corps Support Battalion) [1]
  • 2 (National Communications) Signal Brigade (10, 31, 32, 36, 37, 38, 40 and 71 Signal Regiments, plus 1, 2 and 81 Signal Squadrons and LIAG) [2]
  • 11 Signal Brigade (2, 14, 30, 33, 34 and 35 Signal Regiments) [3]

Regular Army[]

  • 2 Signal Regiment
    • 214 Signal Squadron
    • 219 Signal Squadron
    • 246 Gurkha Signal Squadron
  • 7 (Allied Rapid Reaction Corps) Signal Regiment
    • Headquarters Squadron
    • 229 Signal Squadron
    • 231 Signal Squadron
    • 232 Signal Squadron
  • 10 Signal Regiment
    • 238 (London) Signal Squadron
    • 241 Signal Squadron
    • 243 Signal Squadron
    • 251 Signal Squadron
    • ECM Signal Squadron (Northern Ireland) (Formerly Romeo Troop 15 Sig Regt which dispanded May 2006)
  • 14 Signal Regiment (Electronic Warfare)
    • Headquarters Squadron
    • 224 Signal Squadron (Electronic Warfare) is the most recent addition to the regiments/squadrons. However, this is technically not an Electronic Warfare (EW) squadron as it is a strategic asset rather than a tactical asset. Therefore, it is not an EW asset.
    • 226 Signal Squadron (Electronic Warfare)
    • 237 Signal Squadron (Electronic Warfare)
    • 245 Signal Squadron (Electronic Warfare)
  • 15 Signal Regiment (Dispanded May 2006) (Only Romeo troop survives which is now Sqn strength)
    • Headquarters Squadron
    • 233 Signal Squadron
    • 225 Signal Squadron
  • 16 Signal Regiment
    • Headquarters Squadron
    • 230 Signal Squadron
    • 255 Signal Squadron
    • 252 Signal Squadron (disbanded 2002 to DCSA but is due to reform 2007)
  • 18(UKSF) Signal Regiment
  • 21 Signal Regiment (Air Support)
    • HQ Squadron
    • 220 Signal Squadron
    • 244 Signal Squadron
    • 248 Gurkha Signal Squadron (To move to 22 Signal Regiment 2007)
  • 22 Signal Regiment
    • HQ Squadron
    • 217 Signal Squadron
    • 222 Signal Squadron (From 3 (UK) Divisional Signal Regiment)
    • 248 Gurkha Signal Squadron (From 21 Signal Regiment (Air Support))
  • 30 Signal Regiment
    • Support Squadron
    • 250 Gurkha Signal Squadron
    • 256 Signal Squadron
    • 258 Signal Squadron
  • 1 (UK) Armoured Division Headquarters and Signal Regiment
    • Headquarters Squadron
    • 201 Signal Squadron
    • 211 Signal Squadron
    • 212 Signal Squadron
  • 3 (UK) Division Headquarters and Signal Regiment
    • Headquarters (Somme) Squadron
    • 202 Signal Squadron
    • 206 Signal Squadron
    • 222 Signal Squadron (To move to 22 Signal Regiment 2007)
  • Royal School of Signals
    • 11 Signal Regiment
  • 20th Armoured Brigade Headquarters and Signal Squadron (200)
  • 4th Armoured Brigade Headquarters and Signal Squadron (204)
  • 7th Armoured Brigade Headquarters and Signal Squadron (207)
  • 1 Mechanised Brigade Headquarters and Signal Squadron (205)
  • Mechanized Brigade Headquarters and Signal Squadron (209)
  • 39 Infantry Brigade Headquarters and Signal Squadron (213)
  • 16 (Air Assault) Brigade Headquarters and Signal Squadron (216)
  • 8 Infantry Brigade Headquarters and Signal Squadron (218)
  • Headquarters and Signal Squadron (228)
  • 101 Logistic Brigade Headquarters and Signal Squadron (261)
  • 102 Logistic Brigade Headquarters and Signal Squadron (262)
  • 264 (SAS) Signal Squadron (renamed 18 (UKSF) Signal Regiment in early 2005)
  • 628 Signal Troop (UK DCM(A)) - 1 NATO Signal Battalion (Formally 280 UK Signal Squadron Dec 05)
  • Defence Communication Services Agency (DCSA) (Many locations throughout UK and Germany)
  • Joint Service Signal Unit (Cyprus)1 (British Forces Cyprus)
  • Cyprus Communications Unit (British Forces Cyprus)
  • Joint Communications Unit (Falkland Islands)
  • Band of the Royal Corps of Signals

1: Joint Service Signal Unit (Cyprus) is a tri-service unit.

Territorial Army[]

  • 31 (City of London) Signal Regiment (Volunteers)
    • Headquarters Squadron/83 (London) Support Squadron (Volunteers [Southfields]
    • 5 (Queen's Own Oxfordshire Hussars) Signal Squadron (Volunteers) [Banbury]
    • 41 (Princess Louise's Kensington) Signal Squadron (Volunteers) [Coulsdon]
    • 56 Signal Squadron (Volunteers) [Eastbourne]
  • 32 (Scottish) Signal Regiment (Volunteers)
    • Headquarters Squadron [Glasgow]
    • 51 (Highland) Signal Squadron (Volunteers) [Aberdeen]
    • 52 (Lowland) Signal Squadron (Volunteers) [East Kilbride]
    • 61 (City of Edinburgh) Signal Squadron (Volunteers) [Edinburgh]
  • 33 (Lancashire and Cheshire) Signal Regiment (Volunteers)
    • 42 (City of Manchester) Signal Squadron (Volunteers) [Manchester]
    • 55 (Merseyside) Headquarters Squadron (Volunteers) [Huyton]
    • 59 (City of Liverpool) Signal Squadron (Volunteers) [Liverpool]
    • 80 (Cheshire Yeomanry) (Earl of Chester's) Signal Squadron (Volunteers) [Runcorn]
  • 34 (Northern) Signal Regiment (Volunteers)
    • Headquarters Squadron [Middlesbrough]
    • 49 (West Riding) Signal Squadron (Volunteers) [Leeds/Hull]
    • 50 (Northumbrian) Signal Squadron (Volunteers) [Darlington/Newcastle]
    • 90 (North Riding) Signal Squadron (Volunteers) [Hartlepool/Middlesbrough]
  • 35 (South Midlands) Signal Regiment (Volunteers)
    • Headquarters Squadron [Coventry]
    • 48 (City of Birmingham) Signal Squadron (Volunteers) [Birmingham]
    • 58 (Staffordshire) Signal Squadron (Volunteers) [Newcastle under Lyme]
    • 89 (Warwickshire) Signal Squadron (Volunteers) [Rugby]
    • 95 (Shropshire Yeomanry) Signal Squadron (Volunteers) [Shrewsbury]
  • 36 (Eastern) Signal Regiment (Volunteers)]
    • Headquarters Squadron [Ilford]
    • 45 (Essex & Cinque Ports) Signal Squadron (Volunteers) [Colchester/Ipswich/Southend]
    • 54 (East Anglian) Signal Squadron (Volunteers) [Cambridge/Norwich]
    • 60 (Royal Buckinghamshire Hussars)Signal Squadron (Volunteers) [Aylesbury/Bedford/Cambridge]
  • 37 (Wessex and Welsh) Signal Regiment (Volunteers)
    • Headquarters Squadron [Redditch]
    • 53 (Welsh) Signal Squadron (Volunteers) [Cardiff/Brecon]
    • 67 (Queen's Own Warwickshire and Worcestershire Yeomanry) Signal Squadron (Volunteers) [Stratford on Avon/Stourbridge]
    • 96 Signal Squadron (Volunteers) [Coventry/Harborne]
  • 38 Signal Regiment (Volunteers)
    • Headquarters Squadron [Sheffield]
    • 46 (City of Derby) Signal Squadron (Volunteers) [Derby]
    • 64 (City of Sheffield) Signal Squadron (Volunteers) [Sheffield/Nottingham]
    • 93 (East Lancashire) Signal Squadron (Volunteers) [Blackburn/Manchester]
  • 39 (Skinners) Signal Regiment (Volunteers)
    • Headquarters Squadron (North Somerset Yeomanry) [Bristol]
    • 57 (City and County of Bristol) Signal Squadron (Volunteers) [Bristol]
    • 94 (Berkshire Yeomanry) Signal Squadron (Volunteers) [Windsor/Reading/Chertsey]
  • 40 (Ulster) Signal Regiment (Volunteers)
    • Headquarters Squadron [Belfast]
    • 66 (City of Belfast) Signal Squadron (Volunteers) [Belfast]
    • 69 (North Irish Horse) Signal Squadron (Volunteers) [Limavady]
    • 85 (Ulster and Antrim Artillery) Signal Squadron (Volunteers) [Bangor]
  • 71 (Yeomanry) Signal Regiment (Volunteers)
    • 47 (Middlesex Yeomary) Signal Squadron (Volunteers) [Uxbridge]
    • 68 (Inns of Court and City Yeomanry) Signal Squadron (Volunteers) [London/Whipps Cross]
    • 70 (Essex Yeomanry) Signal Squadron (Volunteers) [Chelmsford/Harlow]
    • 265 (Kent and County of London Yeomanry) Support Squadron (Volunteers) [Bexleyheath]
  • 1 (Royal Buckinghamshire Yeomanry) Signal Squadron (Special Communications) (Volunteers) [Bletchley]
  • 2 (City of Dundee) Signal Squadron (Volunteers) [Dundee]
  • 63 (SAS) Signal Squadron (Volunteers) [Thorney Island/Southampton/Portsmouth/Bournemouth/Chichester/London]
  • 81 Signal Squadron (Volunteers) [Corsham]
  • 97 (BRITFOR) Signal Squadron (Volunteers)
  • 98 (Balkans) Signal Squadron (Volunteers)
  • Land Information Assurance Group (LIAG) (Volunteers) [Corsham]

Order of Precedence[]

Template:Start box Template:Order of precedence Template:End box

See also[]

The book "Through to 1970" which was devised by the Royal Signals Institution to mark the Golden Jubilee of the Royal Corps of Signals and the Centenary of the formation of the first Telegraph Units in the British Army. (c) 1970 Royal Signals Institution, 1970 the book was edited by Lt Col E.G.Day OBE TD, authored by Col R.M. Adams and designed by Miles Hutchins.

Association of Harrogate Apprentices

External links[]