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Inter War Years

INTER WAR YEARS 1919 - 1939

The First World War showed that communications played such a vital part in modern warfare that a corps of specialists were needed. The Corps of Signals was established on 28th June 1920 and on 5th August 1920 King George V conferred the title 'Royal' on the new Corps.

In 1884 the figure Mercury - the Roman messenger of the gods, was chosen as the Royal Engineer Signal Unit's insignia and was adopted as the Royal Signals badge in 1921. The Corps motto 'Certa Cito' roughly translated as 'Swift and Sure' was adopted in 1929.
The Museum displays the 5ft tall 'Beresford Jimmy' which belonged to the family of Colonel CFC Beresford and it is believed that it was this statue that inspired the original Corps emblem. There are many artefacts from this era including the original Band Mace of 1891 which belonged to the telegraph Battalion Volunteer Band.

During the years between the two World Wars the Corps grew in strength and in 1928 the Cavalry Signals organised a motor-cycle display based on the musical rides by the cavalry. It was well received and led to the combination of a motor-cycle and equestrian display team. This in turn led to the 'White Helmets' motor-cycle display team which became internationally well known. The team holds three world records and performs in front of over 1,000,000 people in Britain and Europe each year.
Various models of motorcycle can been seen on display including the Triumph Tiger 70 which was used by the Royal Signals Display Team from 1935-1938.

The Corps in India

The first signal unit in India was formed in 1869 from Bengal Sappers and Miners. In 1910 a signal service was established with volunteers from British and Indian units.

The Indian Signal Corps was set up in 1920 with British officers and ranks from the Royal Corps of Signals alongside Indian Signallers. Exhibits include a 10" Heliograph which is the largest used by the British Army and was only used in India.

Between 1920 and 1940 one third of Royal Signals personnel were serving in India.


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