Canadian Women's Army Corps
C W A C image of the CWAC hat badge. Image of the C Pro C King's badge. Provost

In WWII the Canadian Women's Army Corps (CWAC) served Canada with dedication as members of the Canadian Provost Corps. The role played by the CWAC in all trades was vital to Canada's defence, and their contribution as members of the Provost Corps was equally important.

The first training course for women Military Police in Canada was at Osborne Barracks, Winnipeg, beginning in August 1942. Seventy-two women were selected from CWAC units across Canada to form the first body of Military Police. They were taught judo, a modified form of jiu-jitsu, and some revolver training. They did considerable studying and practical training in a four-week course. They learned how to conduct patrols, administer military law, frame charge sheets and conduct camouflage drills. CWAC Provost were 25 - 35 years of age and required good physical stamina and temperament.

Following their intensive training, the CWAC recruit then had to assimilate a basic understanding of Army organization, learn to identify different ranks and badges, have a clear understanding of enlistment responsibilities and discharge provisions, and also learn the intricacies of military discipline and reasons it might be imposed. After learning the serious meaning of wartime security and confidential information, and the hazards of allowing such data to reach enemy ears, they also learned how to march properly and to drill with the efficiency of a seasoned soldier. Finally, they were ready to do their duty in the King's uniform. Of the seventy-two CWAC personnel on that first Military Police Course, 62 graduated. By the end of 1944, it is estimated that between 450 and 500 CWAC personnel were employed in Provost units across Canada.

Members of the CWAC Provost element were authorized to wear the Provost Corps lanyard and Provost armband. They were given extensive powers of arrest and authority over all CWAC personnel.


Source: Excerpts from "ATHENE" - The Canadian Women's Army Corps-Their story by W. Hugh CONRAD.