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  #1  
Old 07-03-09, 09:19 PM
BEFman BEFman is offline
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Question CMSC (Corps of Military Staff Clerks)

As part of a cataloguing project for Canadian WW2 cloth insignia a couple of years ago I came across signs to the CMSC (Corps of Military Staff Clerks), including a curved purple shoulder title with white lettering. It was clear that this Corps served some key administrative function at higher headquarters, including armoured, but seemingly not infantry, divisional headquarters. I wanted details of who they were, what they did, when formed, etc., to include as background for the catalogue. I asked a few knowledgeable people and looked at various sources, printed and on the Internet, but came up with precisely nothing. The frustration started an itch that I still feel the need to scratch. Does anyone on this forum know about them, and can they point me to some authority?
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Old 07-03-09, 09:35 PM
regimentalrogue regimentalrogue is offline
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I have this note saved from researching a medal group to a soldier of The RCR whose later service was with the CMSC.

Organization, Administration and Equipment; of His Majesty’s Land Forces in Peace and War, by Colonel W.R. Lang, m.s.c., General Staff (Temporary); 1916

Quote:
Corps of Military Staff Clerks

This Corps, which is administered by the Adjutant General’s department, was organized 1st September, 1905, previous to which time clerks were borne on the strength of the R.C.R. Only men of a high educational standard and character are accepted for service. No establishment has been published since 1914, when the Corps had a total effective strength of about 80. Numerous appointments have been made since then.

First appointments are made on probation to the rank of corporal, when candidates undergo a course of training in the work and routine of a military office. If the period of training is dispensed with, first appointments may be made to the rank of Sergeant. The succeeding steps, based on efficiency, character and length of service, are respectively Staff-Sergeant, Sergeant-Major, and are obtained only if recommended by the officer under whom the clerk is serving.

Extra pay is granted for special qualification in short-hand and typewriting.

In several cases promotions to commissioned rank have been made.
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Old 07-03-09, 09:52 PM
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The cloth title dates from WW2 era. The proper colours are white on blue, but there were some British made examples that were a purply colour.
The CMSC were the oil that kept the machine running. They organized the paper work methods and carried out much of the clerical work at the higher formation level.
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Old 07-03-09, 10:17 PM
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Here's what C.H.Stewart wrote in The Concise Lineage of the Canadian Army.
The Corps of Military Staff Clerks was raised at Militia HQ,Ottawa on April 1,1912 and on April 12,1912 the establishment was made into two distinct sections. The CMSC were employed at the HQ for Military Districts across Canada. Section "A" of the Corps was comprised of Officers and NCOs employed on administrative and clerical duties. Section "B" Staff Orderly Section of CMSC was comprised of NCO and ORs stationed at Ottawa who performed Orderly Clerks duties for the General Staff at Militia HQs. The CMSC served overseas in both world wars and were responsible for all clerical duties and the printing of Field Orders at the GHQ Staff level. The Corps was disbanded in 1946.

Jo
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Old 08-03-09, 11:33 AM
BEFman BEFman is offline
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Default Cmsc

Thank you Regimentalrogue and Voltigeur - straight answers AND sources.
Interesting discrepancy between formation date: 1905 cf 1912. Maybe the earlier date refers to a previous incarnation, although the title appears to be the same?

And thanks Bill for the confirmation that the (ugly!) purple title was WW2. It looks typically orinted British Ordnance issue but I was not entirely sure.

Mike Taylor
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Old 08-03-09, 12:07 PM
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Mike, Were we in correspondence about a year or so ago?
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Old 08-03-09, 04:31 PM
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Bill,

Indeed we were, but I think in 2007. Time flies when you are having fun. There are a few loose ends on the Canadian project I would like to bounce off you, and perhaps Clive, if you have the time and patience. Not sure how to work the "private messages" thingummy on this site, although I have read the crib.

Mike
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Old 08-03-09, 04:48 PM
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Hi, maybe I've misread the above but are you saying the printed title was purple as the one I have is white on mid-blue. Mike
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Old 08-03-09, 06:19 PM
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The printed titles are white/blue, and the English pattern embroidered title was the one that was purplish in my accumulation.
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Old 08-03-09, 07:26 PM
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The specific title I referred to was Ordnance pattern, printed, white block capitals with full stops between letters on a simple curved shape, purple in colour. Colour is of course subjective but try as I might I could not describe it other. Whether that means it was a manufacturer's error, or even has changed hue over the years I cannot say.

Mike.
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Old 08-03-09, 07:29 PM
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Hi Mike, Any chance of an image?
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Old 10-03-09, 02:49 PM
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Bill,

I had hoped to get a picture yesterday but it did not work out. It will now be at least a week before I get another chance. Not sure how long these threads stay live but if I succeeed I will either post here or open a new thread and refer back. Always assuming I manage to transfer the photof from the camera to the computer to the Forum .... Paper clips were a lot easier ....

Mike.
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Old 10-03-09, 04:34 PM
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Hi Mike, The threads will be around as long as the site is active. You can search for older information using the search function. (Or any information about the subject, old or new.)
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Old 15-03-09, 04:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Voltigeur View Post
Here's what C.H.Stewart wrote in The Concise Lineage of the Canadian Army.

Jo
I have just obtained a copy of this delightful little book but can find no reference to this quote. Can you provide a page ref, and possibly a publication date? I may have found an earlier edition than the one you are using. Mine has no date but is roneo typescript and comb-bound. I would guess 1970s.

Mike
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Old 15-03-09, 05:12 PM
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Mike, the copy i used was 8 1/2 X 11 and had buff/beige cover. The info should be on top of page 24 where you will find the CMSC item but also the info for the Royal Canadian Army Veterinary Corps.
Hoping this will helps.
Jo
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