Tribute To Lieutenant Colonel
James R. (Jim) Stewart, MBE, CD
Provost Marshal (Army)
April 1946 - July 1954
Lieutenant Colonel Stewart enrolled in the Canadian Army at the commencement of World War 2 (WW2) and became
a member of 1 Provost Company (RCMP). He had been a member of the RCMP since 1932. His service included an
array of both line and staff positions in the United Kingdom, North Africa and North West Europe during WW 2
At the end of World War 2 the manning of the Canadian Provost Corps was reduced from over 6000 persons to a meagre 117 positions within the overall 25,000 positions approved for the Canadian Army. The Corps was thus faced with a severe reduction from a World War setting to a harshly reduced peace time organization. This would be followed in a few short years by a change from peacetime status to one where the Corps would play a significant role in the Korean War, Peace Keeping / Peace Making tasks and the ever increasing threat to security in the late 1940s. This challenge fell to Lieutenant Colonel Stewart as Provost Marshal (Army). Andy Ritchie in WATCHDOG, a History of the Canadian Provost Corps refers to this The Resurrection.
Beginning The ResurrectionThe most significant event in the post-war development of the Canadian Provost Corps and in effect its resurrection was the first Provost Marshal's Conference held at Camp Borden in 16 - 19 March 1949.
Under the Chairmanship of the Provost Marshal (Army), Lieutenant Colonel James R Stewart, nine officers of broad experience in the Corps met to discuss a wide breadth of subjects including general efficiency of the Corps, establishments, specific units, training, mobilization planning, channels of communication , wearing and use of side arms, Corps accouterments and many other concerns essential to the long term development of high standards of performance and service.
This conference was also notable for the introduction of two other important aspects of Corps tradition, namely, a Corps March and a Corps Motto i.e. Through Night to Light and Discipline by Example respectively.
The development of consensus on this array of subjects and the action to implement and be accountable for them was perhaps the most significant gain for the Corps. It lead to a growing realization throughout the command element of the Army that a well organized provost service essential to its, the army, well being.
This important meeting of the Corp's most experienced Wise Men led by Lieutenant Colonel Stewart set the course for the genesis of the distinguished reputation that the Corps and its many members were worthy of.
Prepared by Lieutenant Colonel (retired) James D. (Jim) Lumsden of Ottawa, ON
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