I have endeavoured to research over a period of time the confusing squad numbering system used with RMP training.

During and after WW2, the British Military Police were known as CMP-they did not have the "Royal" prefix until July 1947 at Inkerman Barracks after the move in March of that year from the Mychett Camp. CMP candidates were required to attend 'Military Police Selection Boards' before being sent for training at Aldershot and elsewhere.

Training squads are variously known as "Platoons". Squads were/are up to 30 bodies. Training of CMP squads would be undertaken at various barracks prior to Inkerman, E.g., Burniston Barracks, Scarborough, Yorkshire (Squad 30), Gatton Park Barracks, Surrey, (Squad 36) and overseas (Squad 63), and Mychett CMP Training Camp, set up in 1946.

During the 1950's, an intake of three squads, numbered consecutively, (see below), would be formed up every fortnight at Inkerman Barracks. There were at least twenty-four squads at the D&TE at any one time. Some would be at Warburg Barracks, Aldershot on MT training;on parades such as CO's, 2i/c's,Adjutant's or RSM's. Squads of between 35 and 40 men would be lined up two deep, and cover the whole Inkerman parade ground. The intakes were larger than in later decades because of the availability of cheap manpower through National Service and the need to meet the military contingencies of the time.

Training courses then varied in duration from twenty-two weeks (332) down to eighteen weeks (348), and depended on how long the squads spent on MT at Warburg or elsewhere. This was much longer than the 90 days training period of 1948/9 (122).The MT period in turn was influenced by the type of training required, I.e., numbers required to undertake motor cycle or truck (or both) instruction.

Those Probationers who already held car, motorcycle or both (A & D) licences would, after a brief familiarisation period with "Double-D-Clutching" on heavy vehicles, be required to assist the Instructors for anything up to four weeks, thus extending the length of their course period.

If contingencies did not require a certain number of drivers, Probationers were returned to Inkerman, and so could be forward-squadded for earlier pass-out.

To add to the confusion, dates of courses cannot be taken from Squad "Pass-out" photo's because photo's could be taken at any time during the course, depending upon the availability of the "official" photographer until June 1957 (Mr.P.J. Hart at Inkerman-whose business and records in Streatham have long since gone!). Some photo's were "touched up", in that chevrons were "painted" on the photo, since the chevrons had not been issued to Probationers at the time the photo was taken! (I know this because it happened in my squad and Stuart Brown said that the same thing happened to members of R39c too)!

Any intake (refer next paragraph) numbers that I have placed against squads mean an entry into that squad two weeks after basic training with another unit.I.e.,If you spent longer than two weeks with another unit your particular number will differ! After much contradiction from various sources, I have come to the following conclusion, which is derived from a concensus of former RMP who served during the period 1947 to 1991, and who submitted answers to questions, and from general debate on the matter.

NS "GROUP INTAKES" were numbered with four digits. January was 01 & 02;February 03 & 04;May 09 & 10;August 15 & 16;December 23 & 24. Eg., mine was 5221. The first two digits denoted the year and the second two digits denoted the 21st intake (first for November), for 1952 etc., People often confuse their intake number with their squad number. Intakes varied in the numbers of personnel each fortnightly period and the apportionment to RMP depended on VT's (colloquially known as "Retreads") and DT's. each period to satisfy operational requirements. NOTE:The Intake Group number can be found on the Discharge Certificate AB111.

Simple numerical sequence numbering (001 to 819) was used for all squads until National Service ended in March 1961 with squad 819 (Intake 6020), when the numbering method was changed to "R" to denote "Regular" Intakes, beginning with R1 in March 1961.

"a" (basic + police) & "b" (police only), was also used to denote whether RMP trainees had had previous military training with another army unit (voluntary=VT and directed=DT transfers for NS), or the AAJLR (Junior Leaders Regiment), and then joined an RMP course for the police training element only. (E.g., 332a, 332b, R10a, R10b & 7313a etc.,).In the early 1950's, when large intakes were split up, "A", "B" & "C" was also associated with Company training stages. E.g., "A" Company represented the first eight weeks of initial training, "B" referred to the four weeks MT training at Woking (first) then later (1950) at Warburg Barracks, Aldershot, and "C" was the final eight weeks of training prior to pass-out. "D" referred to Depot Coy. Not all RMP were returned to the depot either for transfer or demob but those that were would be included in "D" Coy. along with all permanent staff. Still confused? Sometimes a & b squads were joined together! 'A' was also used when a larger than normal intake would be split up as in 619 & 619a later to become 619 as people were RTU'd;backsquadded (BS) etc., From 1957 organisation at the D&TE changed. Only two Company's A & B existed. This ended the moves between Companies as before.A & B each received intakes where probationers remained throughout their training. All courses now ran for sixteen weeks, (seven for basic;three for MT and six for final passing out).Also, new 'wings' were added to accomodate Signals;WT;Provost Officer's;SIB;AER and MT(the former 'B' Coy). The SIB course consisted of 67 periods of military and criminal law and investigation procedures.

An advance party led by Lt. (later Brig.and PM) Norman Allen, marched the sixty Kms from Inkerman to Roussillon, followed by SSgt. Denis Trattles with squad R39b in 1964, and R41a was the first "R" (Regular) squad to be formed up at Roussillon in April 1964 under SI SSgt. Richard Slack.

The numbering method was changed again in January 1967 when "D099 to D199" was used.

This changed yet again in January 1971 to denote the year, E.g., 7101 for 1971, 7301 for 1973, 7401 for 1974 and 8301 for 1983 etc., the first two digits being the year allocation (start of course date), and the second two digits the intake of that year.I.e., 8409 began in October 1984 and passed out in April 1985. There were slight variations to this to allow for Christmas and waiting time for enough to form a squad etc.,

So far as I understand, this method changed again in 2000. E.g., 0104 represents the first intake for 2004 which Passed-out Friday 27th August 2004.


1.   It is very surprising, that despite the passage of time, how many former RMP are not sure of their squad number and the name of their SI. But who have never forgotten their service number!
2.   In trying to sort out this confusion I was getting statements like this:

(a) "I joined 16.03.1964. Squad 41a. SI was Dick Slack. We were the first direct enlistment to form up at Chichester.39c was almost entirely made up of voluntary transfers. The prefix "R" was not used by any of these squads. W.... P.... can confirm this". B.... S.... 18.02.2003.

(b) "Ian, I was at Chichester in 1964 and my squad was simply No.8. under SSgt. Roy Wilson. Mixed bag of transfers from other regiments and ex-boppy soldiers. Did not need to go through the basic training bit, went straight on to police training. Having said that it was not a special number because of that. Squads 6 & 9 were normal squads who went through the entire training (basic & police). R.R. February 2003.

(c) The following said that their squads were definitely prefixed (with an "R").Stewart McArdle (Paddy) R7;Doug Mott R14 & Alex Marczuk R15. Paddy said that squads 6 & 8 were too!

3.   It is my understanding that 1964 in (a) & (b) above should read 1962.

4. As has been indicated by ex squad members, it is now known that some squads did not have a pass-out or other photo taken! 443 was one, although it did feature a photo in the 1954 Recruiting Booklet.Others were 277;355;705;R41a;7314;7604;

5. Many RMP did not do their training in a RMP Depot. They transferred as NCO's from another regiment and were attached to a RMP unit with the same rank. Therefore, they will not have a squad number! (A case in point is Jim Perkins who transferred as a L/Cpl. from RASC having already served two years in Egypt).These are marked 00DT in the squad numbers.

6. A number of WRAC Provost squads underwent training at Roussilon before integration into RMP. E.g., Jeanette Major's squad in 1966 was the third all-female squad to go through Chi in 1966 before the decision to have mixed male/female RMP squads was approved. There were no numbers allotted to these squads, in which case I have put the year of training in the squad number space, I.e., '1966'.

7. In 1980 RMP policy allowed former civilian police officers who joined RMP to pass out as full corporals.

If your name has 0000 in front of it please advise me of your squad number.

Ian Dixon.

Last Update: 8th February 2017.

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