Redcaps Britain’s Military Police by Mike Chappell

By Mike Chappell

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Edraps (London, 1994) Tyler, R. Col. George Scovell, 57th (West Middlesex) Regiment of Foot (A1) became Commandant of the Cavalry Staff Corps on its formation in 1813. The CSC never adopted a uniform of its own and Col. Scovell is depicted here in the 'regimentals' worn by the 57th Regiment in 1813. His 1812pattern shako has an oilskin cover, and he wears the officer'spattern greatcoat. Before the formation of the CSC, Scovell had commanded the Corps of Mounted Guides, a unit recruited from French deserters and locals.

These men were required to 'walk-out' in groups armed. They descended upon the few places that were in bounds, and many that were not. creating quite extraordinary difficulties for the Redcaps patrolling red-light districts, bars and cabarets. (\i\bo \\ill e\·er forget the 'Frolics' in :'\icosia, \\ith a middle-aged French chanteuse perfonning to a mob of howling drunken soldier:· until someone fired a burst of Sten into the roof! In the author's unit, a group of off-duty soldiers - including one he had dealt \dth for insubordination - held up a bar when they ran out of money.

Gurkha, :'\ew Zealand, Australian and MalaYsian forces. The RMP unit" i1wolYed found themseh·es performing a \ttriecy of duties including patrolling the few primitiYe roads, VIP escorts, and duties in aid of the chil police. Post-war Organisation During the post-war pe1iod, seYeral changes were made in the organisation of the proYost sen·ice. In 1934 the R\IP was authorised to commission officers directly into the corps. l"ntil this time officers had been seconded to pro\'Ost duties. continuing to wear the insignia of their parent regiment and corps.

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