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Photo 89 or 90 RE July 1945 Germany


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#1 MSGrover1

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 09:52 PM

Photograph of either 89 or 90 Field Coy RE July 1945 Germany (date location on back of photo).
My Grand Father is right in the middle of the middle line Richard Snelgrove 2133350 89 RE. I say 89 or 90 as he was posted to 90 RE July 1945 from 89 so this could be of either or both as the photo is dated July 45.

Long shot but if you are related and have any names then let me know. Otherwise posting for general interest.

Looks like a few of them have just come down the chimney! Joking a side is that tan purely from the Sun or caused from working in other conditions. Which might help to show the photo is of a couple units that have been brought together? A question I am asked when people see it.

Cheers

Malcolm

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Edited by MSGrover1, 08 February 2012 - 09:54 PM.
Added photo of enlargement as per Drews post

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#2 Drew5233

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 10:03 PM

Interesting photo-If only there was more of those signs. Does anyone recognise the cap badge on the officers cap in the centre? Its not Royal Engineers.
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#3 Rich Payne

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 10:19 PM

The fouled anchor indicates a Beach Group. The formation sign has the GHQ diagonal bar indicating 21st Army Group in this case but the serial ending in '2' is not immediately apparent.
This would be a good one for Mike 'Trux' I think.
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#4 MSGrover1

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 11:23 PM

Have added enlarged photo of cap badge as per Drews post to original post.

Mal
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#5 Steve Mac

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 07:33 AM

Hello Malcolm,

I can confirm that the service number is from the RE block of numbers!

Best,

Steve.
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#6 Owen

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 07:52 AM

Officer's cap badge makes me think it could be REME . :unsure:
Remembering the WW2 REME cap badge was different to what it is now.
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#7 Trux

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 10:43 AM

Mike 'Trux' agrees that the fouled anchor is a Beach Group sign. All personnel except the officer holding cap seem to have the same badge on the sleeve.

The officers cap badge is 'The Rifles'.

An interesting set of uniforms. Close inspection shows that they are not in the least uniform. Different style, different shades, different ties, different linings.

Mike
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#8 Owen

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 11:01 AM

Got it, It's not a Rifle badge Mike, it's RAChD
He's the Chaplain.
http://upload.wikime...14/RAChD_QC.gif

Posted Imagehttp://www.ww2talk.c...72&d=1328656812


Also has ribbon up of the MC , we should be able to name him .

Here's a better picture with King's Crown ,as other image I posted has Queen's Crown.
>> Royal Army Chaplains' Department King's Crown Badge

Edited by Owen, 08 February 2012 - 11:11 AM.

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#9 Trux

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 11:38 AM

Yes Owen I see the subtle difference now. In that case the sign on the left of the picture says Padre.

Mike
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#10 MSGrover1

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 06:01 PM

Thanks Guys,

Your comments extremely helpful! Any names or anything else no matter how small is appreciated, I am starting to piece the puzzle together!

Cheers
Malcolm
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#11 Drew5233

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 08:23 PM

76 Chaplains listed at the National Archives being awarded a MC.
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#12 Drew5233

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 08:24 PM

Has the chap in the centre row, 2nd in from the left got a MM ribbon on his blouse?
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#13 MSGrover1

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 09:55 PM

Added zoomed shot of chap to original post as per above, if it helps?
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#14 Drew5233

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 10:06 PM

Africa Star with 8th Army pin?
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#15 Owen

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 10:24 PM

I have to agree with Andy on that one.
Africa Star with 8th Army Clasp.

Attached File  218px-Africa_Star_8th_ARMY_BAR_svg.png   6.54K   0 downloads


Africa Star - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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#16 Drew5233

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 10:29 PM

Hopefully the Padre will be listed in the war diaries as will the other officers. The OR's maybe a bit more tricky.
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#17 MSGrover1

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 10:51 PM

Hopefully yes, the only question is the second war diary for 89 RE ends July 1945 and this photo is dated July 1945, which is also when G'Dad is supposed to of been posted to 90 RE. So we might be on the cusp of the two! Heads or Tails?
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#18 Drew5233

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 11:04 PM

I bet its a disbanded unit photograph then. Probably for the Padre.
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#19 MSGrover1

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 08:18 AM

Fingers crossed the last page of the diary might hold an entry!
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#20 bern

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 09:48 AM

Is that a cig in his hand? Unusual for a group photo like that!.
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#21 MSGrover1

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 12:33 PM

Got it, It's not a Rifle badge Mike, it's RAChD
He's the Chaplain.
http://upload.wikime...14/RAChD_QC.gif

Posted Imagehttp://www.ww2talk.c...72&d=1328656812


Also has ribbon up of the MC , we should be able to name him .

Here's a better picture with King's Crown ,as other image I posted has Queen's Crown.
>> Royal Army Chaplains' Department King's Crown Badge



Andy has sent me the link for the 76 Chaplains that have MC. I can narrow slightly by date but any pointers on uniforms as a few Chaplains were posted to Canadian, New Zealand forces during this year etc.... This would help greatly with naming him!

Thx
Malcolm

Edited by MSGrover1, 09 February 2012 - 02:18 PM.

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#22 MSGrover1

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 03:46 PM

Found my first documented piece covering 89 RE, one paragraph mention in 254 page book! but a start:-

1 Corps bridging Ops Jun & Jul 44:-

On 15 Jul it was found necessary to provide two additional class 40 crossings over CAEN Canal and R ORNE to enable 8 Corps (7 Armd Div, 11 Armd Div and Gds Armd Div) to undertake the operation of breaking out from the South of the bridgehead East of R Orne.
For this purpose, the bridges (named Tower I) over the locks at OUISTREHAM were rebuilt, and a new Bailey pontoon bridge (named Tower II) was constructed a hundred yards downstream of York II at ECARDE; a Bailey bridge was built over the canal near the existing swing bridge at BLAINVILLE 0873, and a Bailey pontoon bridge at LONGUEVAL 0871 over R ORNE. These were named TAY I and TAY II respectively. The existing civilian bridge at RANVILLE (known as EUSTON II) was strengthened to class 40. This gave a total of five class 40 crossings.
To assist in these tasks 8 GHQ Tps Engrs (89, 90, 91 Fd Coys) were placed under command 1 Corps.
Details of these bridges are shown on Map XI.


Appears to me that 89, 90, 91 Fd Coys stayed together? under 8 GHQ - My GDad is supposed to of been posted from 89 to 90 RE July 45 same date as the picture. Maybe it was just a consolidation on who was left?


Thanks

Malcolm
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#23 MSGrover1

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 04:22 PM

The fouled anchor indicates a Beach Group. The formation sign has the GHQ diagonal bar indicating 21st Army Group in this case but the serial ending in '2' is not immediately apparent.
This would be a good one for Mike 'Trux' I think.


Found this in relation to the "Fouled Anchor Badge":-

Note that the same badge was worn by a specific unit, 8th GHQ Troops Engineers. This unit was formed in 1940 as 8th Chemical Warfare Group RE, converting to GHQ Troops RE in 1943. They formed part of the Beach Group organization for Normandy. They later assumed normal GHQ Troops duties in 21st Army Group but continued to wear this badge.
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#24 Trux

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 04:41 PM

91 Field Company was one of the companies landing on Sword Beach on D Day. It was at that time under the command of 18 GHQ Engineers and was part of 101 Beach Sub Area.

What you say is of great interest since it is difficult to find information on the activities of these units when the fighting moved on.

Mike
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#25 MSGrover1

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 05:52 PM

Thanks, It was from reading the Operational Plan of 3 Brit Div the landing on Queen Beach and the individual objectives of them all and the changes that had to be made that eventually brought me to 89 RE. Not sure how 91 Fd got from 18 GHQ to 8th GHQ but I was speed reading looking for 89/90 or Gold Beach but the 250 pages where Queen all through.

I'll hopefully draw a picture as time goes on.....

Malcolm
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#26 Trux

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 09:56 AM

89 and 90 Field Companies were used to build the Tay 1 and Tay 2 Bailey Bridges over the River Orne and the Caen Canal. This was in late July.

Several small detachments from 8 GHQ Engineers landed on Juno and Sword beaches. One was only two men to operate a water point. GHQ Engineer Headquarters were used to administer Field Companies which did not come under a Commander Royal Engineers (in divisions and corps). There was no regiment or battalion for engineers. It is not unusual for them to be dispersed or attached to other units and formations since they were a reserve of units for work beyond the capacity of divisions and corps own resources.

There is a little about the building of the 'Tay' bridges in the Royal Engineers battlefield Tour Volume I.

Mike
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#27 MSGrover1

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Posted 11 February 2012 - 08:57 AM

Thanks Mike,

I have Volume I & II on their way this weekend + Normandy - Siene, I've gone for digitized copies so I can keyword search through. It does look like, if 91 were part of 8th GHQ with 89 & 90 they did not actually meet up together until around July. It also does confirm they all had specific DDay objectives for the landing and once the objectives were accomplished 91 moved onto bridges,I have 91s objectives and commanders accounts of the landing. I did read an account of them being sent on a Recce and coming under heavy fire and having to dig in until more help arrived to silence the other side. Before they could work on the bridges.

Sadly not the same level of detail on 89 0r 90 yet but i'll find them...... otherwise it will all be on Andy and the hope the diary will be expensive! (in a positive way)

Once I have digitized the books, I'll post some snippets if they are not already on the forum.

Cheers

Malcolm
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#28 MSGrover1

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Posted 11 February 2012 - 11:08 AM

Found this map which for me confirms Tay 2 built by 89 RE and Tay 1 by 90 RE, nice detailed map for those interested.

Map shows the following bridges:-

Tay 2, 086721, 174ft Special Type Bailey, Built by 89 FD Coy (8 GHQ TPS Engrs) Took 16hrs
Tay 1, 079728, 150ft TD Bailey, Buiult by 90 FD Coy (8 GHQ Tps Engrs) Took 14hrs
London 2, 104744, Tidal Type BPB, Built by 17, 71, 263 FD Coys (3 Brit Div) 50hrs
London 1, 098743, Tidal Type BPB, Built by 17, 71, 263 FD Coys (3 Brit Div) 56hrs
York 1, 11766, 357' Normal BPB, Built by 234 & 19 FD Coys (1 Corps Tps) 16hrs
York 2, 115762, 336 Normal BPB, Built by 234 & 71 FD Coys (1 Corps) 25hrs
Tower 2, 115763, 336 Normal BPB, Built by 234 & 240 FD Coys (1Corps Tps) 17hrs
Tower 1, 119788, 2 x 80ft Bailey, Built originally 18 GHQ TPS Engrs: Secondly 19 FD Coy (1 Corps TPS) 12hrs

Malcolm

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Edited by MSGrover1, 11 February 2012 - 11:51 AM.

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#29 Steve Mac

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Posted 11 February 2012 - 07:43 PM

Thanks, It was from reading the Operational Plan of 3 Brit Div the landing on Queen Beach and the individual objectives of them all and the changes that had to be made that eventually brought me to 89 RE. Not sure how 91 Fd got from 18 GHQ to 8th GHQ but I was speed reading looking for 89/90 or Gold Beach but the 250 pages where Queen all through.

I'll hopefully draw a picture as time goes on.....

Malcolm


Hello Malcolm,

You are making great progress with your quest... it's really good to see.

I may be off at a tangent here, in which case I apologise, but it is my understanding that 89, 90 and 91 Field Coy's, RE, were the permanent members of 8th GHQ, RE; albeit they may have been under orders of other units from time to time. The part quote below is from your '89 CW Coy, RE' thread.

... The 89 CW Coy, RE, was part of the 8th GHQ Troops, RE, along with the 90th & 91st CW Coys, RE, from circa 1943... Steve.


Best,

Steve.
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#30 MSGrover1

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Posted 11 February 2012 - 08:46 PM

Hi Steve,

Thanks, I am slowing making some progress! and I was thinking about whether I should have the one post as they are all now crossing each other with information.

In summary to answer your question yes you are correct in that 89, 90 and 91 Field Coy's RE were the permanent members of 8th GHQ. This has appeared several times now with regard to the building of bridges and the wearing of the "fouled anchor" badge

Quotes:-
"To assist in these tasks 8 GHQ Tps Engrs (89, 90, 91 Fd Coys) were placed under command 1 Corps."

Also to go back a little further:-
"The 8th Chemical Warfare Group RE Raised in 1940. Converted 1943 as 8th GHQ Troops RE. Organized with 89th, 90th, and 91st Chemical Warfare Coys RE."
"...89th Chemical Warfare Coy RE 1940 (assigned 8th Chemical Warfare Group RE). Converted 1943... as 89 Field Coy RE (and group reorganized as 8th GHQTRE) [Normandy landing (104 Beach Sub-Area)]. Disbanded Sep 1945+.

Fouled Anchor:-
"The same badge was worn by a specific unit, 8th GHQ Troops Engineers. This unit was formed in 1940 as 8th Chemical Warfare Group RE, converting to GHQ Troops RE in 1943. They formed part of the Beach Group organization for Normandy. They later assumed normal GHQ Troops duties in 21st Army Group but continued to wear this badge"

The 8th Group or you could say the individual 89, 90, 91 Coys landed on different beaches for DDay and had clear Beach objectives but then moved forward separately and started coming together late July with regard to the building of the bridges. Which is where I have stopped as awaiting some 89 & 90 details.

I Hope this helps? I'll stop before I start confusing myself!!

Cheers

Malcolm
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