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Jock Bruce

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Guest ISPY

Hello All,

I am doing a little research project about the Anglo-American Intelligence relationship, and knowing there is plenty written about the Interwar years up until the present, I am having dfficulties finding information about World War One. Can anyone direct me to some readings or offer some pointers? I have been impressed by the posts about the Intelligence Corps and hope some of you experts out there can help me out.

Thanks!

Linda

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pearsonica

Hi Guys

Whats the difference between a Political Officer and an Intelligence Officer?

I found this on my Great Uncle Captain A. C. Pearson

WOUNDED OFFICER SURVIVED GALLIPOLI

TO BE MURDERED ON A PEACE MISSION

Alfred Christopher Pearson, the son of the late Alfred Pearson the Bishop of Burnley, had just taken his degree in Theology at Oxford and had passed with second class honours when the First World War broke out. He abandoned plans to be a missionary and was commissioned into the 9th (Service) Royal Warwickshire Regiment. This was one of Kitcheners “New Army” battalions and consisted almost entirely of volunteers. (Lt William J Slim later Field Marshall William Slim also joined at the same time and was a good friend of Pearson)

Lieutenant A. C. Pearson landed on the Gallipoli Peninsula on the 13th July 1915, and was wounded in action on the 10th August at the Farm, Anzac.(probably the Warwickshire charge up hill 971)

Pearson was promoted Captain in 1916 and, after recovering from his serious wounds, he rejoined his Battalion in Mesopotamia in June 1916. by December the British had succeeded in pushing the Turks back and by March 1917 Baghdad was taken. The Warwickshire's attacked Turkish positions and, despite heavy shrapnel, captured objectives and took 100 prisoners.

Casualties were heavy with 10 Officers and 140 other ranks being killed or wounded. Amongst the wounded Captain Pearson. Once again.

during his convalescence Pearson had time to ponder over his aim in life and he decided to apply for a transfer to the Governments Political Department.

He had decided, while at school in North Yorkshire, he would become a missionary and political duties in Mesopotamia would be an introduction to the work. So he learned the language and customs of the Arabs.

Pearson was appointed Assistant Political Officer and Deputy Military Governor of Basra on March 26th, 1918. he became respected by many Kurds and other tribes and, in December 1918, he was transferred as Political Officer to Zakho where a small garrison had been deployed.

In March 1919 the Goyan tribe appealed to Alfred Pearson to pay them a visit with a view to their enrolment in the list of tribes within the sphere of British military occupation.

They were perhaps the wildest of the tribes with whom Pearson had to deal. The valley in which they dwelt was particularly inaccessible.

The courageous 26 year old Political Officer was, however, devoted to his task and had already shown great skill in negotiations with Kurdish and other tribes.

He wanted to reassure the tribesmen of British intentions and, in return for supplies of seed and grain, he hoped to persuade them to stop plundering their neighbours. That would constitute an important step towards pacification of the whole region.

But on his way to the rendezvous accompanied by a Kurdish orderly and a few men of the Goyan, Pearson was ambushed and killed on 4th April 1919.

The loss was a salutary lesson in dealing with Kurdish tribes without adequate support.

Following the murder an attempt was made to penetrate the area with a military escort. But a large number of tribes had joined against the British. The whole area had become unstable.

A fellow Political Officer told the family that the only reason for the murder of Captain Pearson was a fanatical hatred of a Christian.

Captain Pearson's body was recovered and buried in North Gate War Cemetery, Baghdad

Alfred Christopher Pearson

Service number: 23925

New number: 11631

Date of birth: 27.5.1893

Height: 5ft 11ins

Weight: 10 st

Married: No

WAR DIARY DATED 23/I/1918 Battalion at ABUKHAMSAH

2lt G H G Biggs detailed to take over 13th Divisional dump at SADIYTH.

Captain A. C. Pearson detailed to take over duties as Section Officer No1 B.B.D. BASRAH (BASRA)

What does B.B.D. stands for?. Looks like he was transferred to Political Department while at Basra.

War dated 13/12/17 at ABU KHAMASH Mesopotamia (IRAQ)

6 battalion other ranks transferred to Royal Flying Corps temporally as petrol engine fitters. Capt A C Pearson and 2LT R F Jardine (both of whom speak Arabic) posted at L2 and L10 to control Arab traffic this out post line.

CWGC says

In Memory of - Captain ALFRED CHRISTOPHER PEARSON

9th Bn., Royal Warwickshire Regiment

attd. (Asst. Political Officer, Zakho), Indian Political Department

who died age 25

on 04 April 1919

Son of Alfred and Caroline Doncaster Pearson.

Remembered with honour

Buried - BAGHDAD (NORTH GATE) WAR CEMETERY

I attach a picture of him a Zakho just before he was killed Jardine is the officer standing at the back. The Goran Kurds who killed him have the knobly head dress.

How can I find info on his service with the Indian Political Department?

regards

Bigs

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bushfighter

Luckily for us Chicksands has commissioned a book on Great War Intelligence Corps activities.

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stevebecker

Mate,

If you want to know if officers that served in the Intell Corps have there medals so marked try these men that served in the Aussie Intell Corps as there medal documents are in there service records, and may have what you need.

BURT Albert Gordon 2159 A/Sgt 04 LHR 15R to 1 CyC Bn to Sgt 52Bn to AProvC Intell Corps 1 Anzac Corps HQ to Aust Corps HQ F&B lost at sea drowned suicide NKG listed on Villers Bretonneux Memorial France brother Frank Lt British Army KIA

DeLEPERVANCHE Jean Mezierete 204 Sig 01 LHR A Sqn WIA 20-5-15 neck (G) to Dvr 2 DAC att 2 Army Intell Corps to 14Bty/2 FAB to 1 DAC to 5Bty/2 FAB F&B disch 23-1-19 brother Reg 1 LHR

EDMUNDS William Herbert Capt DNE 2/Lt Adelaide Rifles 15-2-97 to SL 24-3-99 to 16 LH 13-2-04 to UL 21-12-05 to Intell Corps 29-9-08 to Capt 21-8-11 (staff officer Intell Corps 1-3-09 to 31-7-12 att Survey Corps 22-5-12 to 26-5-14 to 22 LH 1-10-14 to CO 1-10-14 to 1919 CAFLS&GC VD CMF (Boer War Lt 5 SAIB)

HUTCHISON William John Reid Maj Sea Transport Svc CO "Ulysses" to LtCol "Borda" and "Miltiades" disch 10-4-17 (SAMR to 16 LH to Sigs & Intell Corps to Maj Area officer Magill 1-10-14 CMF)

MILNER Francis Edmund 1622 Pte 03 LHR 12R to Gnr 2 sect/4 DAC to Intell Corps to AProvC 1 Aust Intell Police att 1 Anzac Corps to Aust Corps F&B

MOHN Emil Otto 96 Pte 1 LHFA B Sect att Anzac Div HQ (G) to 2 AGH RTA on duty mess orderly relist 3 CCS (14143) to Intell Corps att Intell Police yo 1 Anzac Corps HQ to ER Cpl Aust Corps to A/Sgt rtn 3 CCS 11-18 att 2nd Army Intell Corps 1-19 F&B

NICHOLSON Edmund James Houghton Staff Capt 1 Div HQ Arty Hon/Maj to Maj GSO (3) 2 FAB (G) to LtCol 1 Pnr Bn to CRE 2 Div HQ to CRE 1 Anzac Corps HQ to Aust Corps HQ CMG DSO 5xMID Serbia OofStGeorge 4th class F&B born 1870 (2/Lt AFA 1900 to to Capt 1Bty/WAA 1903 to Maj 15-3-09 to A&I staff att Intell Corps CMF CO LtCol 10 LHR 1919-1921 to Hon/Col UL 1921 VD CAFLSM CAFOD)

VERNON George 178 Pte 6 LHR A Sqn (G) WIA 17-6-15 arm to Intell dept AIF HQ att chief censor disch 29-9-16 MU hernia

I have many more shown as Intell officers or NCO's at Bn or Bde and Div level but appear to be not in the Intell Corps.

I also shown a number of officers in the Pre War Intell Corps, some I listed above.

Cheers

S.B

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Chris Boonzaier

Hi,

Is there anyone who can have a bash at interprating this?

Can i assume he was attached to the Y and L and arrived in France in August of 1918?

I am having a bit of trouble figuring his card out... i am a bit of a beginner with these...

Thanks

Chris

2

post-748-1260311850.jpg

post-748-1260311888.jpg

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healdav
Barry,

more great stuff.

ARENDT is on CWGC simply as R Fus. Buired Montecchio Precalcino Communal Cemetry Extension - Plot 8. Row D. Grave I. As with all the guys of foreign birth or parentage I assume languages are the key to recruitment.

Jock Bruce

Mathias Arendt (also using the surname Audry) was born in the village of Walferdange in Luxembourg at an unknown date. His number was 45175. He enlisted at Holborn and lived at Stacey Street, London. Died 26/10/1918.

The strange point is that in the cemetery at Walferdange there is a family tomb for both an Audry and an Arendt family. It may be that the person who, in Luxembourg, compiled the list of soldiers made a mistake over the family name (a not uncommon occurrence). Unfortunately, unlike for WW2 where there is almost invariably a plaque mentioning family members who died in the war but who are buried elsewhere, there is no mention of this man on the family tomb under either name something that is quite normal for WW1.

Incidentally there were 4 Luxembourgers in the British army. Arendt is the only one who was killed.

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green_acorn

Chris,

The way I am reading it is that the he was awarded the Victory and British War Medals, next to the stamp is the reference number of the order.

This is purely my understanding. The WW1 Intelligence Corps was an only to be raised in-the-war-theatre formation which never received the gazettal and so on that Corps like the MGC (?) did. As to his unit, he would have been either an officer of, or affiliated to, a regiment before being "attached" to the Intelligence Corps for the duration. He may have seen service with the Yorks and Lancs and then been selected for intelligence training before transfering/being attached. During WW1 the Intelligence Corps, other than the first few "honorary LT's and "Agents" identified pre war for service, only took officers from other regiments and soldiers through the means of enlisting them into 10 Bn Royal Fusiliers. Why 10 Bn, the Major responsible for adminstration of the Corps was apparently from the RF and arranged for 10 Bn to be the "home" for his "IC" soldiers.

Cheers,

Hendo

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green_acorn

I have many more shown as Intell officers or NCO's at Bn or Bde and Div level but appear to be not in the Intell Corps.

I also shown a number of officers in the Pre War Intell Corps, some I listed above.

Cheers

S.B

Steve,

I would be exceptionally keen to hear of the others off line. I have PM'd you,

Hendo

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johnboy

Nothing specific to add but the following is taken from a History of the RF

There was a twin to this battalion, differing wholly in

characteristics from it. How it was raised cannot be told

in a few words. Its description was " 10th Battalion

Royal Fusiliers or Intelligence B," abbreviated I (B).

It seems, like Topsy, to have just " growed." The first

nucleus was provided by a small body of men from

Scotland Yard especially selected for their knowledge of

French and German. It performed mysterious and

wonderful things, such as forming the buffer state between

a colonel and a babel of tongues. This representative

of I (B), a professor of languages, had to explain any lapses

Major-General Sir Geoffry Barton, K.C.V.O., C.B., C.M.G.,

Colonel of the Royal Fusiliers.

THE INTELLIGENCE BATTALION n

from discipline to the colonel, and any punishments

inflicted on behalf of discipline to the recruits who were

possessed of the gift of tongues. The latter appears to

have been the more wearing task, though only by a shade.

In France their work consisted in the detection of German

agents. Working generally in civilian clothes, the small

nucleus expanded into a numerous body of officers and

men, recruited for their knowledge of languages, from

various units. In civil life these men represented the

oddest mixture of classes. There were some of those

mere idlers who pick up a variety of languages from their

penchant for travel. One was a travelling showman of

Russian bears, who piloted performing bears from the

extreme north to the southernmost point of Europe.

Another was an Anglo-Armenian sergeant, born in France

and educated in Czecho-Slovakia and Italy. Another

was a strange cross of Aberdeen and Naples.

This aggregation of strange types was at length placed

for administrative purposes in one unit, the ioth (B) Royal

Fusiliers. Beginning in France, where their counter-

espionage work did much to make our intelligence work

almost invariably superior to that of the enemy, I (B)

gradually spread to Italy, Salonika, the East, and, finally,

to Russia.

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nigelcave

Sang (see Post 13) is buried under a GS badge.

So far as I know, the Int Corps did not formally exist in peacetime until the mid 1950s - say 1955 or 1956? My father was one of the original 100 - and is possibly the last one of that group still alive.

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nigelcave

According to Wavell's biography (John Connell), he commanded (as an acting major) the Int Corps at GHQ from 28 September 1914. 'It consisted of thirty or forty officers, distributed singly or in pairs to corps and divisions. By the second week of November he had wangled a move much closer to the line.

"They had been hurriedly recruited at the outbreak of war from applicants who claimed to speak languages of which they had sometimes the merest smattering, or ride a horse or a motor cycle, which some of them, I think, mounted for the first time when they were issued to them remounts of the ASC." This a quote from the Wavell papers.

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Maureene

[

Edited by Maureene

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Maureene

Hi Guys

Whats the difference between a Political Officer and an Intelligence Officer?

CWGC says

In Memory of - Captain ALFRED CHRISTOPHER PEARSON

9th Bn., Royal Warwickshire Regiment

attd. (Asst. Political Officer, Zakho), Indian Political Department

who died age 25

on 04 April 1919

Son of Alfred and Caroline Doncaster Pearson.

Remembered with honour

How can I find info on his service with the Indian Political Department?

regards

Bigs

Althouh it's some time since this was posted, for the record the Indian Political Department was part of the Indian Civil Service. It dealt wth counries other than British India, either overseas, or within India those areas of the country which were Princely States. For tracing records, see the FIBIS Fibiwiki page Indian Civil Service.http://wiki.fibis.org/index.php?title=Indian_Civil_Service

If the British Library doesn't hold records, probably the only other possibility is the National Archives in Delhi, an unexplored source, which however does hold some records for Army personnel.

Cheers

Maureen

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JOSTURM

Hi, I am searching for information on a Captain RW Lambert of the Inteeligence Corps if anyone can assist ?

Thanks

josturm

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johnnie

Dear All,

I have just come across this post while researching a chap who served with the Intelligence Corps and have found it most interesting, and was wondering if any members out there might be able to help me with the work of the Intelligence Corps in the Great War. I am trying to find out more about a chap named Hector Bernard Schumann who served with the Honourable Artillery Company before transferring to the Intelligence Corps.

It seems he served with the HAC in France from April 1915, and was moved to the Intelligence Corps in October 1915, with his HAC records stating Perm. Attch. which I assume means permanent attachment.

Hector was born in Britain (Tufnell Park), however, it seems both his parents were French which makes me wonder if it was his knowledge of French (and perhaps other languages) which suited him to the Intelligence Corps.

Although his HAC card states all of his service was with the 2nd Army Intelligence Corps, his medal roll suggests he served with the 2nd Army and the 1st Army Intelligence Corps before moving to the 10th Royal Fusiliers (I think this may have been at the very end of the war/post-war). This link to the 10th RF seems to fit in with earlier comments in the thread about the "other" 10th RF being used to "hide" IC men.

He was awarded the French Croix de Guerre with the awarded listed in the 18th April 1918 which lists him as “2792 Private (acting Sergeant) Hector Bernard Schumann, Honourable Artillery Company (Hampstead, N.W.). However, all his documents suggest that he joined the Intelligence Corps in October 1915, and his HAC documents state he won the C de G while with the Intelligence Corps. What seems quite unusual about this awards list is that it contains a list of other ranks (17 in total) before a long list of Officers. In most cases I have always seen officers listed first, and then other ranks.

Hector seems to have died on the 28th September 1938, and lived at Amberley Hill Way, Gerrards Cross. He seems to have worked for his fathers who was a pipe maker and cigar/tobacco importer, and whn his father died (in 1921) Hector was listed as a cigar importer so I’m not sure if this is something he continued with in later life.

So, I have a number of questions. Could anybody suggest what a CSM would do in the Intelligence Corps? Could he have been moved there because of his parentage?

Do any records dealing with the Intelligence Corps in the Great War survive?
Would the French C de G have been for service with the HAC, or would the LG have listed him as HAC to cover up the Intelligence Corp link? I am quite sure it was for his IC work as he moved to the IC in October 1915, and the award is dated April 1918. Plus his HAC paperwork states it was for his IC work.

Do any members know how many honours and awards were granted to members of the Intelligence Corps in the Great War?

This really is something of a new research area to me, so any help at all would be great.

Johnnie

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bingoworlddk

Barry

Two of the officers you mention are listed in the London Gazette Supplement, 22 Sept. 1914 (issue 28911 page 7565)

War Office, 23rd September, 1914.

REGULAR FORCES.

COMMANDS AND STAFF.

The undermentioned appointments are made.

SPECIAL APPOINTMENTS.

Graded for purposes of pay as General Staff Officers, 2nd Grade. Dated 5th August, 1914:—

Captain T. G. J. Torrie, 27th Light Cavalry, Indian Army.

(Graded for purposes of pay as General Staff Officers, 3rd Grade.)

Dated 5th August, 1914.

Captain F. W. Hunt, 19th Lancers (Fane's Horse), Indian Cavalry.

Could the wording 'Special Appointment' indicate that they were attached to the Intelligence Corps ?

'Special Appointment' is used fairly often in the London Gazette - but surely this would not always indicate being attached to the Intelligence Corps ?

Steen

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corisande

'Special Appointment' indicates that the officer was to be paid at a special rate above his normal battalion pay. They were graded AA the highest extra pay down to HH, was I think, the lowest

It can indicate intelligence work (I have come across it a lot with appointments for intelligence work in Ireland in 1920) but equally well can indicate special work with say graves, beach landings, railway transport.

In other words it may be intelligence or it may not

The IRA used the LG "Special Appointments" to find out the names of Intelligence Officers arriving in Ireland. Helpfully the shipping company provided passenger lists, which were published in the press, so the IRA even knew when the IO landed in Ireland

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bingoworlddk

'Special Appointment' indicates that the officer was to be paid at a special rate above his normal battalion pay. They were graded AA the highest extra pay down to HH, was I think, the lowest

It can indicate intelligence work (I have come across it a lot with appointments for intelligence work in Ireland in 1920) but equally well can indicate special work with say graves, beach landings, railway transport.

In other words it may be intelligence or it may not

The IRA used the LG "Special Appointments" to find out the names of Intelligence Officers arriving in Ireland. Helpfully the shipping company provided passenger lists, which were published in the press, so the IRA even knew when the IO landed in Ireland

Thanks corisande for the answer.

Just realized that my post is in answer to a post from August 2003 :-)

Interesting to read that the IRA used the LG in that way.

Steen

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corisande

There is so little written, for obvious reasons, about intelligence appointments, that I have had to teach myself from first principles and deductions over the years.

The British were never quick, and eventually realised that the LG was being used in this way, and stopped announcing Special Appointments for Ireland early 1921 (obviously the appointments were still made, just not announced)

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stevebecker

Green Acorn,

Mate sorry did I get back to you?

By the way just to add an ALH conection.

KEITH - FALCONER the 9th Earl of KINTORE Sir Algernon Hawkins Thomond RtHonCol DNE Capt Yeoman of the Guard 1886-1889 to Governor of South Australia 1889-95 (Hon Col Adelaide Lancers) to lord-in-waiting to court serving Queen Victoria and Edward VII 1896-1905 to deputy Speaker of the House of Lords to Hon/Col 16 & 17 LH (SAMR) 1907 GCMG Grand Cordon of the Crown of Italy, 1st Class Red Eagle of Prussia and Grand Cross of the Portuguese military order of Christ, Grand Cross Polar Star Norway & Sweden born 12-6-1852 Clan Chief of the Keith's died 1930

S.B

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vintagesunbeam

In April 2014 Peter Leonard wrote that he was searching for information on a Captain RW Lambert of the Intelligence Corps

I don't know anyone of this name but could Peter be searching for Richard Frederick Lacon Lambart (1875-1924) who landed with the Intelligence Corps on 15 September 1914?

If so I have a little more information about him

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Languages &the First World War
On 27/08/2003 at 13:03, BarryF said:

Being ex-Int Corps, I vaguely remember some of their history, but “Forearmed” by Anthony Clayton (although I think Jock Bruce’s “Forewarned” is more appropriate - we used to say that Military Intelligence was a contradiction in terms!) has most of the answers except, I suspect, those to do with Medal Rolls. Some key points are:

The permanent Intelligence Corps was not ‘formed’ and badged until July 1940 and the reason for that late recognition was probably prejudice. There had previously been ad hoc Intelligence units (and ad hoc Intelligence Corps in WWI) but the concept of a permanent Intelligence setup had been considered undesirable – any hint that you may call on covert activities to fight a war was anathema to many at the top. That wouldn’t be gentlemanly, now would it.

Field Intelligence Departments were formed in the Boer War and disbanded at the end of it. These were known colloquially as the ‘Intelligence Corps’. “Staff Manual – War (Provisional)” published by the War Office in 1912 dealt with field Intelligence and layed down that all personnel permanently engaged in Intelligence duties were to be formed into a special Intelligence Corps for the time being, under the Brigadier General in charge of the Intelligence Section at General HQ. The manual went on to subdivide duties into the Information Sub-Section 1(a) dealing with general functions such as info gathering and interpreters and a Secret Service Sub-Section 1(B) dealing with the organisation of Secret Service, codes and ciphers, and Intelligence police etc.

A pre-WWI committee chaired by Lord Esher called for two fundamental issues to be addressed - the peace time training of Intelligence Staff Officers and a list to be drawn up of likely personnel to form the nucleus of a corps of Intelligence gatherers which could be expanded on mobilisation. Both recommendations were implemented and the first 55 men (I have the names if anybody wants them) went to France in August 1914 – the Regular, Territorial or Reserve officers consisted of one major, four captains, seven Lieutenants and a Quartermaster. Letters had been sent to likely candidates (academics etc. selected because of an expertise such as languages) inviting them to join a body referred to as the ‘Intelligence Corps’ and forty two of these ‘Scout Officers (Temporary Commission)’ were in this first ‘Intelligence Corps’ and were graded either 2/Lts (Interpreters) or Agents (First Class) and wore General List badges and buttons.  They were joined by twenty-four men from the Met (most graded as Agents 2nd and 3rd Class)

The ad hoc Corps was organised into a Headquarters Wing, a Dismounted Section, a Motor Cycle section, a Mounted Section, and a Security Duties Section (manned by Special Branch policeman and later by Met, and Indian Police, policeman – their role being lines of communication security). Soldiers selected for the Corps were posted and badged to a special ‘10th Battalion Royal Fusiliers, Intelligence (B)’ “for administrative convenience and perhaps also as a cover”. It should be noted that there was also the front-line 10th Battalion RF in addition to the 10th (Intelligence).

In 1914 the Corps had clear directives:

1. To provide experienced officers with linguistic capabilities (mounted on horses , motor cycles, or in cars – in my day in the 60’s it was still a requirement to hold a full driving licence);

2. To supplement the Intelligence staffs of various HQs (to make up numbers and to provide French and German language skills);

3. To provide officers for the anticipated expansion of the Secret Service;

4. To provide the nucleus of a ‘Contre-espionage’ organisation with the Army in France in accordance with the 1912 “Staff Manual – War (Provisional)”.

These men were often met by misunderstanding and contempt (a bit porky of the HQ staff bearing in mind that at least 10 of the original 55 were to die in the war – several others were captured). However, despite all that, in the early part of the war their work soon developed and included long range reconnaissance, setting up contacts with local French and Belgian civilians, co-operation with the French police, military liaison work, cipher work, passes and permits, interrogation, motor cycle despatch work (languages invaluable), organisation of civilian working parties, searching for lost units, clearing road of refugees and prepositioning stores for units in retreat retreating, accompanying cavalry patrols and bridge demolition parties (the Corps won its first WWI award –a DSO – for blowing a bridge on the 31st August 1914), investigating reports of Germans stay-behind snipers, examining tunnels and mines that the enemy might use, and (in this final stage of this initial phase of the war – the advance north of the Aisne) the spreading of false information to conceal the army’s real movement plans. They were also involved in Air Photography and Signals Interception.

Early (interesting) examples of their work (stop me if this is getting boring!) included Lt Marshall-Cornwall’s exploits with a cavalry patrol that overran a German area and from documents found he was able to reconstruct the whole of the German2nd Cavalry Corps. Then there was the chap who identified the German 9th Cavalry Division entering Nivelles on the 21st August – only problem was he was still in the town at the time … but escaped. Then there was 2/Lt Payne-Best who was sent to Antwerp to establish a liaison with the naval Brigade but, after reaching Antwerp and vainly trying to warn the retreating Royal Marines of the dangers on their route, landed up in the Belfry in Bruges from where he reported the Germans’ arrival using the local telephone system. He was able to escape by talking his way through the enemy lines using his fluent German.

As the war developed and the number of Armies expanded, so did the role of the Intelligence Corps. The Corps was controlled operationally by the Head of the Intelligence Branch at GHQ and each new Army received an Intelligence Corps sub-unit with all personnel permanently employed on Intelligence work being incorporated into the Intelligence Corps.

It is important to note that in the early stages of the war the Corps was involved only at the lowest level as Intelligence gatherers, but soon this role developed in the middle level that includes the collation and dissemination of the collected information – the top level that entails deciding what intelligence to collect and its presentation to commanders remained with the GSO’s(Int).

The December 1917 establishment of the Intelligence Corps was:

Int Corp HQ – 2 Officers, 16 Ors

HQ Coy – 98 Officers, 124 Ors

Each Army Coy (there were 5) – 9 Officers, 36 Ors

L of C Coy – 26 Officers (incl 5 Met police officials), 222 Ors (incl 9 Met Police Sergeants

Each Corps Coy (there were 4) – 5 Officers, 17 Ors

Every Cavalry and Infantry Division and Tank Brigade HQ – 1 Officer (and 1 batman), and 1 NCO.

As far as Intelligence Corps uniform is concerned, until 1916 Regular and pre-war Territorial officers continued to wear their own regimental uniforms. The wartime volunteers wore General List badges. In 1916, officers started to wear green tabs and a green hat band with their previous (or General List) badges (green is still the Corps Colour – and the current beret colour). GSO’s(Int), of course, wore red tabs and a red hat band.

Soldiers were, usually, badged to the Royal Fusiliers. I have to say ‘usually’ because, being an odd lot, some who were transferred in insisted on wearing the badge of their unit of origin. Take Pte Cousins, for example, a French speaker who joined from the HAC and insisted on wearing their badge. Generally, though, all soldiers, including the Intelligence Police, were badged to the 10th Battalion Royal Fusiliers, Intelligence (B). NCO’s on Intelligence Police duty often wore a brassard with the letters “IC”, or a bracelet noting the soldier’s name, number and inscribed ‘10th RF INTceB’ with the number of the Army to which the soldier was attached. Recruits joined at Hounslow Barracks.

Turning to identification of medals and awards by unit, for officers permanently employed on Intelligence duties, the London Gazette had the Intelligence Corps as a separate list. So officers can appear under their original regiment, under the General List, or under Intelligence Corps – and, I suspect, any combination of those three. Soldiers were, in theory, Royal Fusiliers and so, in the absence of any Bn info, that makes award and medal searches complicated because of the existence of the front-line (10th Bn) R FUS.

As far as strength is concerned, the initial 55 had grown to total personnel in December 1917 numbering 1225, including 12 WAAC. By the end of the war the number had grown to 3,000.

Very helpful, especially on interpreters in 1914.

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Keith_history_buff

The award of the Medaille d'Honneur (en Argent) to three men, two of whom - L/17764 Burt and L/17762 Garner - were attached to the Intelligence Corps, gazetted thus

The London Gazette
Publication date: 3 October 1919, Supplement: 31586, Page: 12411

 

https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/31586/supplement/12411

 

 

 

 

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