The CMPC in New York

As previously stated, the CMPC’s primary mission was to enforce conscription. In New York, the first head of station ensured that the media, and the American public, believed his mission was broader. The British Assistant Provost Marshal meant to apprehend fakers, deserters and other “undesirables”. That first head of station was Lt. Col Frederick Fraser Hunter, who arrived in March, 1918.

The British Assistant Provost Marshal (B.A.P.M) headquarters was located near Battery Park, New York City with 50 personnel assigned. This placed the headquarters well south of the BCMR’s main office on 681 fifth avenue, but within easy reach of the main recruiting office on 280 Broadway. Canada and Britian split funding for the B.A.P.M. Additionally, USA, Canada and Britian entered into a tri-party agreement on authorities. The B.A.P.M was the first foreign law enforcement authorized to operate in the United States. Moreso, the United States supported and assisted the B.A.P.M.

From various newspaper articles, The B.A.P.M prosecuted at least four cases. One case involved two Americans who volunteered for the Royal Canadian Air Corps. They were declared deserters when they returned to Viriginia after the dissolution of the Air Corps in 1916. (Note: The Air Corps was reconstituted in 1917.) However, most of the cases were fakers.

Fakers posed as British officers with great military deeds and attempted to cash large cheques from Canadian banks. Usually, the faker would get a free meal, a free night’s stay, and some of the cash. The newspapers ran a few stories about these fakers and how they were caught by the B.A.P.M.

As for Col. Hunter, he led a storied and controversial life. Born in 1876 in Dunham, Ontario, Canada, he traveled the world in service of the empire. Hunter earned distinction during his survey mission in India and during his time with the South Perisan Rifles. Because of his Canadian background, he was the B.A.P.M. until April, 1919 when most of Canada’s war aparatuses were dismantled.

In 1919, the B.A.P.M. transitioned from Canadian to British hands. Besides the name change to British Army Provost Marshal, the replacement head of mission became Col. Norman G. Thwaites. Oddly enough, his courtship and marriage to Elleanor Whitridge Greenough made significant news. Unfortunately, not much appears to have been written about the B.A.P.M. under his direction.

The CMPC office in New York requires more research. Considering LtCol Hunter traveled most of the eastern seaboard of the United States, a question lingers about his true purpose. Additionally, what was the effectiveness of the New York office. Exact numbers on prosecutions were not listed in the Report on enforcement of the Military Service Act (MSA). However, the report on the Overseas Mission explicitly called out the MSA enforcement numbers as unverifiable. As result, I am unable to confidently determine the effectiveness or exact mission of the B.A.P.M. and Lt Col Fraser Hunter.

To note, Col Fraser died in Dunham, Ontario in 1959. Itt appears he married a Kate Upper in New York around 1903. More of his story can be found in the book “Kipling’s Canadian: Colonel Fraser Hunter, MPP, maverick soldier surveyor in ‘the Great Game'”.

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The British Canadian Recruiting Mission

The British Canadian Recruiting Mission (BCRM) operated under the British War Office (abbreviated WO or W.O. in personnel records). The War Office was also known as the British War Mission. The BCRM was created to recruit British subjects in the United States for service in the C.E.F. However, the BCRM was only one component of the War Office.

The BCRM spread across the U.S.A, but the focus is on New York City. Based upon a few sources, the BCRM in NYC consisted at least ten personnel with two primary offices. The following personnel were assigned or connected to the BCRM:

  • B.Gen Wilfred Arthur White. A British General associated with the Connaught Rangers
  • LtCol Cameron Alex Warren: Canadian. Chief Medical Examiner
  • LtCol Campbell Arthur Stuart: French-Canadian. Military Secretary. Connaught Rangers
  • Capt Paul FleetFord Sise: Canadian. Director of Recruiting. Hon. Major.
  • Capt Francis Chattan Stephens: Canadian.
  • Capt Alexander Cunningham Tweedie: Canadian.
  • Lt. Frederick Albert Gunther: British.
  • Lt Thomas Edward Allen: Irish
  • J.W. Woods: Canadian. Civilian. Director of Purchasing
  • George Algernon Trenholme: French-Canadian. Civilian. Audit and Finance

While there are two primary locations, some locations are still being validated. Here are the locations:

  • 681 Fifth Avenue: Suspected to be BCRM and War Office HQ.
  • 280 Broadway: BCRM Recruiting station
  • 511 Fifth Avenue: Unverified location
  • 120 Broadway: Unverified location. Possibly purchasing offices.
  • Vanderbilt Hotel: a location listed for Capt Paul SISE. Unverified association to BRMC

So, here’s the real teaser. The BCRM was home to a CMPC Assistant Provost Marshal (APM) who was in charge of about 50 personnel. I don’t think this included the Royal Flying Corps APM and three subordinates for NYC. There’s clearly more to this story. For example, there’s an interesting New York Times article from 1918 on the Provost Marshal office. However, this APM is in direct support to the BCRM with authorization to enforce the Military Service Act, 1917.

1. Who’s Who in the British War Mission in the United States of America, 1917 (Google Book:
2. Richard Holt (2015) “British Blood Calls British Blood The British-Canadian Recruiting Mission of 1917-1918,” Canadian Military History: Vol. 22: Iss. 1, Article 4. Available at:
3. Library Archive Canada CEF record for Cameron Alexander Warren (RG 150, Accession 1992-93/166, Box 10104 – 1):
4. Library Archive Canada CEF record for Campbell Arthur Stuart (RG 150, Accession 1992-93/166, Box 9393 – 20):
5. Library Archive Canada CEF record for Francis Chattan Stephens (RG 150, Accession 1992-93/166, Box 9272 – 22):
6. Library Archive Canada CEF record for Alex Cunningham Tweedie (RG 150, Accession 1992-93/166, Box 9855 – 10):
7. Library Archive Canada CEF record for Paul Fleetford Sise (RG 150, Accession 1992-93/166, Box 8952 – 28):
8. Expense of Assistance of Provost Marshal in New York to be divided between the British and Canadian Governments (RG24-C-1-a. Volume/box number: 1008. File number: HQ-54-21-23-116):

Additional Sources:
1. Caledonian Vol 18 (Google Book: