|This article was prepared by the late Colonel Anthony J. Scotti, former Provost Marshal Army, following a ceremony on Parliament Hill on "Army Day" ( 21 September 1957), when the Canadian Army honoured the Royal Canadian Mounted Police for it's service to Canada as members of The Canadian Provost Corps during the Second World War. Excerpt from the Canadian Army Journal-1958.|
Canadian Army Honours The RCMP
For Wartime Service
Lieutenant Colonel Anthony. J. Scotti, MC CD
Deputy Provost Marshal, Army Headquarters, Ottawa
One of the most impressive and colourful ceremonial parades ever held in Ottawa took place on Parliament Hill on “:Army Day”, 21 September 1957. The Homourable George R. Pearkes, VC, CB, DSO, MC, MP, Minister Of National Defence, on behalf of the Canadian Army, presented the badge of the Canadian Provost Corps and a scroll of honour to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. The badge inscribed with the dates 1939 - 1945 was attached to the force's guidon by the Minister.
Historical notes on the RCMP
Since the eventful summer of 1874 when the North-West Mounted Police were dispatched to the West to put an end to lawlessness on the Prairies and establish Canadian control over that vast territory, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, under one name or another, has fought in or beside the Canadian Army in every major conflict in which Canada has been involved.
The Second World War marked the fifth time that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police had provided service units for the Canadian Army, for which military honours have been awarded. For the previous campaigns the Royal Canadian Mounted Police were awarded the following battle honours: North-West Canada 1885, South Africa 1900, 1901, 1902, France and Flanders, 1918, Siberia, 1918, 1919; all of which are emblazoned on it;s guidon.
In the old wars the force served as cavalry. At the outbreak of the Second World War the horsemen had disappeared from the Army. However, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police served through that conflict as the divisional provost company of the 1st Canadian Division. It served with distinction in England, Italy and Sicily and in the last stage of the victorious fighting in North-West Europe. Altogether 213 Royal Canadian Mounted Police personnel served with the Canadian Provost Corps, 26 were witness to this brilliant and well executed ceremony.
Major E. M. Hills, Officer Commanding No. 1 Provost Company, Camp Borden, commanded the Canadian Provost Corps Guard. Guard Commander of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police was Inspector (now Superintendent) J. B. Harris of Ottawa, who enlisted with the force in 1939 and served in the United Kingdom and North-West Europe with the Canadian Provost Corps during the Second World War. Corps Sgt-Major William Taylor of Ottawa was in charge of the guidon party.
In his brief address, the Minister Of National Defence reviewed the valiant and distinguished service rendered by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to Canada during the Second World War. A point of interest was his reference to his former service with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police: "It is a particular pleasure for me personally, both as a former member of the force and as a former commander of the 1st Canadian Division, to pay tribute to the fine work performed by No. 1 Canadian Provost Company, which was the Mounted Police contribution to my division".
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