Manuals and Publications

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Manuals and other publications serve to instruct and inform on various matters and are very important to Signals, as they are to many services, due to the technical nature of the work and the wide variety of equipment and topics that need to be covered. Early Canadian manuals were largely British in origin, sometimes printed in Canada but often not. After the Second World War Canada started to align more to the United States of America for it's military equipment and hence there were/are many USA publications in use as well.

Signal Training Manuals

Over the years there have been significant changes in how the manuals were organized, from the initial ones that covered off everything to the more modern ones which are broken down in various volumes and pamphlets as well as manuals on specific equipment and topics. For Canada, the early manuals were of British origin as our equipment and way of operating was the same. This situation continued even when Canada produced their own manuals as some were simply renumbered British ones.

Early Signal training manuals include:

1887 Manual of Instruction in Army Signalling
1896 Signalling Instructions, Gen. No. 1563

After that, there was "Signalling Regulations 1904" as well as an Indian supplement to it.

The next set of manuals were small, almost square, pocket book "Signalling Training" Part I which was for the regular army and Part II book which was for the Reserve and Militia. These were intended for the signallers in the infantry, cavalry, and artillery and were regularly republished and updated over the years including in 1907, 1911 and 1915.

In parallel with the "Signal Training" pocket books, there was a two volume set called "Instructions In Army Telegraphy and Telephony". There was Vol.1 (Instruments) 1907/1914 and Vol.2 (Lines) 1908/1916 which were considerably more technical and intended for the Engineer Signal Service.

The Great War saw very rapid advances in communications technology, and the pocketbooks were rapidly outdated. The next set of manuals was a series of 8 pamphlets, issued between 1917 and the early 1920s, entitled "Signal Training" that basically collected up everything that had been learned up to the end of the Great War.

Signal Training, Part I, Visual Telegraphy, October 1917
Signal Training, Part I, Visual Telegraphy, May 1919
Signal Training Part II (Provisional), Methods of Intercommunication (Other than Visual) Employed in Forward Areas, November 1920
Signal Training Part III Line Telegraphy and Telephony (Instruments) [*needs confirmation]
Signal Training Part IV (Provisional) Line Telegraphy and Telephony (Lines) 1922
Signal Training Part V [*???]
Signal Training Part VI, Procedures, 1918
Signal Training, Part VII (Provisional), Signal Organization, 1921
Signal Training, Part VIII (Provisional), Intercommunication in the Field, Feb 1920

Sometime later a new set began to appear. These were divided into the non-technical (for the army as a whole) and technical parts (for the Royal Corps of Signals).

The basic signalling skills series was called "Signal Training (All Arms)" and was initially published as a bound volume (softcover/hardcover) in 1928 with new editions in 1932 and 1938.

The technical portion was covered by a series of six volumes of "Signal Training" which carried on from where the "All Arms" book left off:

Signal Training Volume I, Organization and Inter-communication in the Field, 1926
Signal Training Volume II, Part I, Theory of Electricity and Magnetism as applied to Telegraphy and Telephony, 1923
Signal Training Volume II, Part II, Theory of High-Frequency Currents as applied to Wireless Telegraphy and Wireless Telephony, 1924
Signal Training Volume II, Part III, Power Supply for Field Wireless Sets, 1926
Signal Training Volume III, Pamphlet No. 'n'
Volume III was a series of pamphlets on specific items of equipment. They appear to have stopped numbering them at No.34 (WS 18) during the Second World War but, as there are un-numbered ones, the series carried on.
Signal Training Volume IV, Construction and Maintenance of Lines, 1927
Signal Training Volume V, Part 1, Training of Signallers, Signal Office Practice, Visual Telegraphy Procedure, 1927
Signal Training Volume V, Part 2, Line Telegraphy Procedure, 1927
Signal Training Volume V, Part 3, Wireless Procedure, 1928
Signal Training Volume VI, Fixed Signal Services

In the mid to late 1930s, the series, with the exception of Volume III, was revised.

Signal Training Volume I, War and Training, 1937
Signal Training Volume II, Part I, Electricity and Magnetism, 1935
Signal Training Volume II Wireless, Part II, 1936
Signal Training Volume II Wireless, Part II Supplement, Skip Distance Graphs for Short Wave Signalling, 1936
Signal Training Volume II Wireless, Part III, Line Telephony and Telegraphy, 1936
Signal Training Volume III (continued with the "numbered" equipment pamphlets)
Signal Training Volume IV, Construction & Maintenance of Lines, 1927, amended to 1941 (The 1941 amendment was a severely cut down from the 1927 edition.)
Signal Training Volume V, Signal Office Organisation and Procedure, 1932, 1938

With the onset of the Second World War everything was changing rapidly and there was no time to revise, reprint and reissue bound volumes. In their place, pamphlets were produced as they could be created, updated and issued more easily and cheaply.

The non-technically oriented "Signal Training (All Arms)" was split into 12 sections.

1 - Signalling Codes
2 - Visual Signalling
3 - Electricity and Line Signalling
4 - Wireless Signalling
5 - Procedures for Morse Telegraphy
6 - Procedure for Artillery Fire Orders
7 - Procedure for Radio Telephony
8 - Signal Office Procedure
9 - Training
10 - Signals Tactics (a series of pamphlets for various arms of the services)
11 - Unknown [*probably crypto]
12 - Communication Security

The technically oriented "Signal Training, Volume x" set also gained update pamphlets:

1 - Construction & Maintenance of Lines (1940/1942) later renumbered to "4"
2 - Wireless (frequency allocations, ranges, etc.)
3 - Maintenance of Signal Equipment in the Field
4 - Construction and Maintenance of Lines
5 - Signal Office Procedure
6 - Electronic Warfare
7 - Training
8 - Signal Centre Organization and Procedure
9 - Cryptology [*needs confirmaiton]

In 1950, "Signals Training Vol I - Signals Organization & Tactics" was published as a series of 14 pamphlets. In Canada, these were republished as Canadian Army Manual of Training (CAMT) publications numbered from 6-1 to 6-14. In addition to the original 14 pamphlets, Canada published CAMT 6-15 "The Infantry Brigade Group Signal Squadron" in 1960.


This page presents a partial photographic catalogue of various Signals related manuals and publications. Contributions of additional publications are encouraged!


Much thanks to Chris Suslowicz for his contribution of knowledge and descriptions on Signal Training manuals.