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The Royal Canadian Army Pay Corps

The Royal Canadian Army Pay Corps

Created: 1 January 1907

Replaced: 1 September 1967 by Administration Branch

The Royal Canadian Army Pay Corps was an administrative corps of the Canadian Army up to the time of Unification.


Lineage

  • 1 Jan 1907: Canadian Army Pay Corps created

  • 1 Jan 1920: Redesignated The Royal Canadian Army Pay Corps

  • 1 Sep 1967: Amalgamated with certain clerical trades of The Royal Canadian Army Service Corps, Royal Canadian Postal Corps, and equivalent navy and air force services, to form the Administration Branch of the Canadian Forces as part of Unification.

Functions

The RCAPC and its predecessors provided administrative support to the other corps and regiments of the Canadian Army by ensuring individuals received their pay in a timely and efficient manner.

History

The origins of the corps can be traced to the Militia Act of 1865, which established the appointment of district paymasters to the newly formed staffs. These staffs, established in the principal centres of the country, used paymasters to issue pay to the soldiers of the Militia.

In 1907 the CAPC was formally established as the final logistics corps addition to the Permanent Forces, thus allowing Canada's military fully support themselves in the field without the need for British support units or civilian contractors.

During the First World War, each unit of the First Canadian Contingent (later named the 1st Canadian Division) which proceeded overseas in October 1914, had on its establishment a Paymaster and a Pay Sergeant who were members of the units with which they served by who did not belong to the CAPC. The CAPC provided initially a Chief Paymaster, Command Paymaster, and Paymaster, Canadian Troops in France, with six field cashiers. In 1917, all unit Paymasters and Pay Sergeants were transferred to the CAPC. Personnel of the CAPC also served in Siberia with the Canadian contingent there.

The establishment of the office of the Chief Paymaster grew to a strength of approximately 2,000 all ranks and civilians during the war. In recognition of services rendered by the Corps, His Majesty the King approved the grant of the prefix "Royal" to the Canadian Army Pay Corps in 1920.

During the Second World War, the RCAPC provided overseas a Chief Paymaster, Command Pay Office, Paymasters Canadian Troops, eight field cash offices, and a number of unit paymasters, as well as pay services for base units and formations in Canada. The advance party sent to the UK to establish Canadian Military Headquarters in London in Nov 1939 included three officers and two other ranks of the RCAPC. Six officers and 25 other ranks travelled with the 1st Canadian Infantry Division the next month as part of the First Flight. By 1945, the RCAPC establishment overseas included approximately 65 officers and 225 other ranks, with 425 paymasters in addition. Unit pay Sergeants were not members of the RCAPC at that time.

In 1949 RCAPC personnel were authorized to perform institute bookkeeping duties and staff was provided in Commands and Areas for institute supervisory and inspection duties. In 1950, the Corps assumed the responsibility for audit of claims for transportation, traveling allowances and expenses submitted by personnel on behalf of themselves or their dependents, a duty formerly performed by the Royal Canadian Army Service Corps. The RCAPC Training Wing was organized at the Royal Canadian School of Signals in Kingston in 1951. Formal training remained here until integration.

The first Field Cashier to be appointed since the Second World War saw service with the 25th Canadian Brigade in the Far East, in Japan and Korea. In Germany, a Field Cash Office served the 2nd Canadian Infantry Brigade Group as part of the Canadian commitments to NATO in North-West Europe. A Paymaster and staff served in Indo-China with the Canadian Military Components of the International Supervisory Commission, and with the Canadian United Nations Emergency Force for the Middle East (UNEF) (1956-1967).1

Insignia

The badge of the Royal Canadian Army Pay Corps is officially described as follows:

Within the Garter and motto "HONI SOUT QUI MAL Y PENSE", a beaver resting on a log; below the garter and supported by a spray of six maple leaves, a scroll inscribed "RCAPC"; the whole surmounted by the Crown.2

Notes

  1. Chapter 3, Logistics Branch Handbook, Canadian Forces Publication

  2. The Regiments and Corps of the Canadian Army (Queen's Printer, Ottawa, ON, 1964) p.29


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