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Staff Corp History

The Engineer and Railway Staff Corps was founded in 1865, when there were many private railway companies, with the principal objective of ensuring "the combined action among all the railways when the country is in danger" and one of the main duties was "the preparation, during peace, of schemes for drawing troops from given distant parts and for concentrating them within given areas in the shortest possible time".

Twenty one officers, including railway company managers but mostly civil engineers engaged on railway works, were commissioned into the Staff Corps at that time. In 1908 the number rose to 110 but subsequent changes to the rules reduced the establishment to 60 officers. The Staff Corps was a volunteer unit, the members retaining their civil occupations. In the beginning, they wore uniform which was very similar to that of the Royal Engineers but this practice declined during the early part of the century and was stopped altogether when the Staff Corps was reconstituted in 1943.

Following the reorganisation in 1943, the Engineer and Railway Staff Corps comprised almost entirely railway company managers, civil engineers and specialists in road, railway or port design and construction In 1972 the Royal Engineers requested that the base of expertise be widened to include, where possible, engineers and other experts in the fields of airport design and construction, electrical and mechanical services, petrol and oil engineering, geology and soil mechanics, water and sewerage. More recently, to meet the needs of the Royal Corps of Transport, the Staff Corps appointed experts in air, road, rail and sea transportation.

It was partly to acknowledge this change of emphasis and partly to recognise the wider scope of the Staff Corps' activity apart from railway that the name was changed in 1984 to the Engineer and Transport Staff Corps and, more recently following the formation of the Royal Logistic Corps, to the Engineer and Logistic Staff Corps. Organisationally it now forms part of HQ Engineer in Chief (Army).

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