Major W.B.M. Carruthers
Wallace Bruce Mathews Carruthers was born in
, on 13 February 1863 and, as the "Father" of the Signalling Corps (Militia), he led it during its early days. Kingston, Ontario
Bruce graduated with honours from the
on 26 June 1883 and took a commission as a Lieutenant (Lt) in the 21st Hussars of the British Imperial Forces. Royal Military College
Some years later he left the British Army and, after a two-year sojourn in
Australia, he returned to and joined the 14th Battalion, the Princess of Wales Own Rifles (Militia). Kingston
When the Boer War broke out in 1899, in order to serve abroad, he reverted to the rank of Sergeant, and enlisted in the 2nd (Special Service) Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment of Infantry. He returned to
in 1900 and was discharged. Kingston
In 1901 he re-enrolled as a Lt in the 2nd Regiment, Canadian Mounted Rifles, and returned to
in 1902. There, he served with distinction, in the course of which he was wounded and, for a short time, held as a prisoner of war. For his efforts he was later mentioned in dispatches, promoted to Captain (Capt), and presented with a ceremonial sword by the Corporation of the City of South Africa . Kingston
On his return to
, having noted that signalling inadequacies had severely limited the efficiency of British Imperial Forces, he successfully conducted a campaign to establish a separate signalling service to ensure standardization of signalling among Canadian Army units. Canada
His proposal was accepted, and on 24 October 1903, authorization was given for the formation of the Signalling Corps (Militia), the first independently organized Signal Corps in the
The stated function of the Corps was to supervise signal training of cavalry, artillery and infantry signal sections, and to ensure uniform methods of instruction and standards of qualification. Its authorized establishment was 18 officers and 72 other ranks.
On 20 March 1904 Capt Carruthers was appointed "Inspector of Signals" in the rank of Major (Maj), while Lt (Brevet Capt) F.A. Lister, Royal Canadian Regiment, was made "Assistant Inspector of Signalling".
Maj Carruthers established his Headquarters in the newly constructed Kingston Armouries in
Artillery Park, while Capt Lister, worked from Fredericton, New Brunswick, and later . That same year, twelve District Signalling Officers were appointed, and the first Provisional School of Signalling was authorized. Over the next two years schools were held in eight Canadian centres, including Quebec City, Quebec . Kingston
By 1905 Maj Carruthers and Capt Lister were responsible for the supervision of all signalling instruction and practice in
In 1906 Maj Carruthers was appointed Assistant Adjutant-General (AAG) for Signalling and, the Corps continued to prosper.
By 1908 the Corps had grown to include sections in 13 Canadian centres, including
In 1909, Capt Lister returned to regimental duty and Lt (Brevet Capt) A. McMillan became Deputy AAG for Signalling.
One month before Lister's resignation the Corps had gained a new officer in the person of Lt Elroy Forde.
On 21 October 1910, Bruce Carruthers died. He was buried in
Cataraqui Cemetery, . Kingston