Corps of Commissionaires

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Corps of Commissionaires refers to a movement in Commonwealth countries of societies that provide meaningful employment for veterans of the armed services.[1]

The Commissionaires movement traces its roots to 1859, when retired army officer Captain Sir Edward Walter KCB organised seven injured veterans of the Crimean War and Indian Mutiny to act as nightwatchmen. At first limited to wounded men, it soon expanded to include all honourably discharged army and navy veterans. In the 1860's the corps expanded beyond London, with branches opening across the United Kingdom. By 1874 it had nearly 500 employees, and by 1911 over 4,000. In 1969 its scope was widened to include former members of other uniformed services, including the police and fire brigade.[2]

Sir Edward Walter was the Corps' first commanding officer and was succeeded by his nephew, Major Frederick Edward Walter. Control of the Corps remained with the Walter family until the retirement of Lieutenant-Colonel Reginald Walter in 1975.[2]

Commissionaires appear in several of the Sherlock Holmes stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, including "The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle" and "The Adventure of the Naval Treaty."

Active Corps[edit]

Former Corps[edit]


  1. ^ Watson, Mark (2021-08-10). "The Canadian Corps of Commissionaires: A Proud and Unique Canadian Institution". Esprit de Corps.
  2. ^ a b Vibart, H.M.; revised: Clement, Mark (2004). "Walter, Sir Edward". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. Retrieved 19 February 2024. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  3. ^
  4. ^ The Commissionaires: an organisation with a proud history. John Gardham, 1998
  5. ^ Anzac bulletin : issued to members of the Australian Imperial Forces in Great Britain and France by authority of the High Commissioner for Australia. No. 8 July 26, 1916