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Signals History

Major Wallace Bruce Matthews Carruthers (13 February 1863 - 21 October 1910), from Kingston, Ontario, was the founder of the Canadian Signalling Corps in 1903.  https://encrypted-tbn1.google.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSM-ZSkr4yKQGyEe2-Oho7jkb1gynfP0eKzd45ypjy7_3OPP_FegQ

In 1908, the Corps personnel were allowed to wear a distinguishing badge on the right arm, and a collar badge bearing the motto “Velox, Versutus, Vigilans” (Swift, Accurate, Watchful), a beaver in the centre, a spray of maple leaves on either side and signalling flags supporting the monogram “CSC”.

When WWI broke out, the Corps was attached to the Canadian Engineers for discipline and administration.  Throughout the war, visual signalling and telephony was handled by the Signal Corps and line and telegraph was a function of the Engineers.
From the beginning of Signal Corps history in 1903, communications in the Canadian Army were divided between the Signal Corps and the Engineers,  In 1919, the Canadian Signal Corps became a separate entity and took over responsibility for all army communications.  In 1921, the King honoured the Corps with the prefix title of “Royal”.  It was at this time that the mythological god Mercury was adopted as the badge of the Royal Canadian Corps of Signals.


The RCCS grew rapidly and for over 35 years (1923-1958), the Signal Corps manned the Northwest Territories and Yukon Radio Systems.
Since then, Signallers have served in peacekeeping duties all over the world and other deployments such as Germany, Haiti and Afghanistan.

C and E branch crest.png Cap badge: A silver depiction of Mercury with golden lightning bolts on either side placed on a field of blue

Mercury (Hermes in Greek mythology) possessed the qualities expected of communicators.  He carried Apollo’s magic wand, the “caduceus”.  He could be trusted to deliver the messages of the gods.  When he went into battle, he wore Pluto’s helmet, so making him invisible.  Mercury is portrayed wearing winged golden sandals denoting swiftness and agility.

Mercury has been nicknamed “Jimmy” and signallers are known as “Jimmies”. 

Customs and traditions
Colonel-in-Chief: Her Royal Highness, The Princess Royal



Flag of the Communications and Electronics Branch
Branch flag: Horizontal bicolour, French grey over dark blue It is commonly believed that the colours of the flag represent "grey skies over blue waters"; however, the colours were inherited from the officer's Mess Dress uniforms of the Royal Canadian Corps of Signals (RCCS), which were in turn inherited from the 21st Lancers, the first unit of Major Carruthers, founder of the RCCS
Home Station: CFB Kingston, Ontario
Motto: Velox Versutus Vigilans (Latin, "Swift, Skilled, Alert")
Branch colours: French grey and dark blue