119 royal construction company royal engineers

Discussion in 'Royal Engineers' started by smiggys, Sep 24, 2011.

  1. smiggys

    smiggys Junior Member

    Hi All,
    Trying to trace the movements of my grand father SERGEANT WALTER COCHRANE ...1921458.......
    I have him posted to 119 Road Construction Company 20 feb 1940 .....then getting off dunkirk june 2nd or third ....dont know what ship picked him up ....any way of finding this out ?...
    i know that he was in africa then italy.....he was mentioned in dispatches in recognition of gallant and distinguished services in italy ..london gazette 36886..dated 11 jan 1945....is there any way of seeing how he got this ?

    Really trying to find the movements of him with this unit
    new to this forum ...any help will be great ...


  2. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Hi Wal and welcome to the forum.

    The ship may get a mention in the unit war diary.

    The unit is 119 Road Construction Company and they were in France from April to June 1940.

  3. smiggys

    smiggys Junior Member

    Hi Andy ...thanks for that ...every bit helps ...thanks for your very quick reply
  4. Oldman

    Oldman Very Senior Member

    119 Road Construction Coy Served with BEF 1940, Sep 1940 WO (War Office) Reserve, Served with 1st Army Dec 1942, Served in Italy 1943-1945 (was under V Corps in 1944) Disbanded Sep 1945

    Hope this helps as Andy says the war diaries are your best bet
  5. smiggys

    smiggys Junior Member

    Thanks again oldman, quick reply's this all helps .......will have to get the data from the national archives....again many thanks

  6. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    The Diary ref you want if you're going to Kew is:

    WO 167/941 119 Road Construction Coy 1940 Apr.-June

    Just to add to Oldmans post they were part of GHQ Troops Orbat and as of 10th May the unit consisted of 4 Officers and 98 Other Ranks
  7. smiggys

    smiggys Junior Member

    you are a good team....i wish i could go to kew ...but live in scotland.....will follow your link to get these diary's

    thanks andy

  8. Barb20

    Barb20 Member

    My father was also with the 119 in Austria in November 1944. Would be good to follow link to see what comes up as I have been struggling.
  9. Oldman

    Oldman Very Senior Member

    Welcome to the forum

    Can you give further details about your father, in Nov 1944 if he was in Austria then he would have been a POW, as the 8th Army did not get there till May 1945.

    To really find out about your father you need the war diaries which are kept the National Archieves at Kew.

    If you go to the portal function on the options toolbar and go to the bottom lefthand
    corner there is a search engine that will find all the war diaries numbers associated with your fathers unit.

    If you cannot get to Kew to copy the war diaries then there are members of the forum who perform this function for a modest fee
  10. Barb20

    Barb20 Member

    Sorry, I made a typing error. My dad's MOD records are so messy and confusing!

    Here goes:

    He transferred from RA to RE on 11.11.44 Serving with 119 RCC

    28.4.45 Posted 587 Army Field Co (Carpenter/Joiner)
    8.7.45 8th Army Rest Camp Venice
    587 disbanded in September and he was granted 28 days leave

    11.12.45 Posted from 587 to 119 RCC til 11.1.46
    when his release certificate was signed by him and his officer in Austria

    Thanks for the info.
  11. Oldman

    Oldman Very Senior Member

    It maybe best to start a new thread with your fathers RA information as several of the members are very clued up on Artillery matters, then we can look at his RE service.

    Try and upload his service record this will help members help you with your research
  12. smiggys

    smiggys Junior Member

    Hi all,
    I started this post a few years ago and with your help was able to find the correct direction in getting the data and where my grandfather and the Unit 119 Road Construction Royal Engineers were.
    I got in contact with the daughter of Major R.R.C.Johnson who was with them in North Africa and was promoted to Major in Italy 1944. She kindly sent me photos of this unit in Italy and the work that they were doing.
    I am currently transcribing the war diary of this unit I have them 1939 - 1945
    I have attached some photos of 119 in Italy .

    Many thanks again for this brill web site

    Attached Files:

  13. jblacky

    jblacky Junior Member

    This gives hope to all the rest of us, my dad was in RE also. Just lovely photos and how did you get the diaries, can you give us an idea of how much data is involved.
  14. smiggys

    smiggys Junior Member

    I got the war diarys of this unit from an web site arcre.com who for a fee went to kew and digitised the diarys there were over a hundred pages about this unit but some were not needed the fee they charged was very cheap compared to getting them from kew it's self, they did a brill job
  15. ploughman

    ploughman Junior Member

    Seems odd for a bridge to come out of a house.
  16. ww2 family history

    ww2 family history New Member

    Hello, all my uncle john Hamilton was in 119th just got his service record.

    keen to read any war diaries or see photos anyone has,thanks.

    119 was with 51st HD BEF yet evacuated at Dunkirk any isdea how this happened?

    119 was with new 51st HD in north Africa ,how did it end up at Italy and in particular land a salerno?

    any idea what unit 119 was in with in 8th army in Italy and then gothic line?

    many that

  17. smiggys

    smiggys Junior Member

    Hi martin,
    I have all war diary records for 119 Road Construction Coy R.E.
    Do you have his service number ? ..... is it 1921445
    Did he live in the Lanarkshire Area ?

    I have all movements etc
  18. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    119 Road Construction Company was part of GHQ RE Troops on the 10th May 1940. 51 HD was miles away at this time on the Saar Front so extremely unlikely that they crossed paths in 1940 with 51 Div.
  19. smiggys

    smiggys Junior Member

    Yes you are quit right, they were part of GHQ Troops.......The road party, they arrived at Le Harve 5th April 1940, main body arrived at Le Harve 8th April 1940.
    They then travelled to SARTON, the company was there doing road works till 18th May 1940.
    From SARTON they travelled to NIDON they were there till 21st May, travelled to KILLEM, left there on the 23rd May. 22:45 23rd May Arrive DEMBROCK FARM, LES MOURES here they were to build defence work on the canal banks and bridges 25th May took up positions of canal banks and two bridges. Re-arrest Belgium Soldiers. 27th May 10:00 am Whole company and part of 658 company marched to DUNKIRK arrive outside Dunkirk 12:30 heavy bombing of Dunkirk orders to move to BRAY DUNES.
    They were all here at BRAY DUNES
    29th MAY 1940 Half way between Brae Dunes and Dunkirk Mole 119 was put out as guards to prevent panic unit had serial number 21 on embarkation orders all persons were off beach on this day 29th may 1940

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