Motor Cyclist Section of the Special Reserve of the Corps of Royal Engineers

The formation of a Motor Cyclist Section of the Special Reserve of the Royal Engineers was announced in an Army Order on 20 May 1913.

Its initial establishment was to be only three officers and 144 other ranks.

Officers would be granted commissions in the Special Reserve but would not be more senior than Lieutenant. They would be armed and equipped as mounted officers but without the sword, spurs or saddlery.

The other ranks would be expected to provide their own motor cycle and to maintain it up to certain specifications: at a stroke, this rule out this branch of service for the typical working man. To cover their fuel, running costs and damage they would receive 8 Shillings per day when at training camp or otherwise specially employed (equivalent to a week’s worth of pay for an infantry Private). The men would have to begin their service wit a period of 15 days continuous training and to commit to annual training of 15 days per year.

The Section was to be formed in detachments, each attached to a unit of the Signal Service.

The terms of engagement into the Special Reserve included an obligation to serve overseas if required.

In September 1913, newspapers confirmed that “On being approved, recruits are immediately promoted to the rank of Corporal, and will draw the pay of their rank at camp [along with the 8 Shillings per day allowance].



Corps of Royal Engineers