2092418 Ernest CLARKE, 271 Field Coy, Royal Engineers: June 1940 ?

Discussion in 'Royal Engineers' started by Christophe T., Aug 24, 2020.

  1. Christophe T.

    Christophe T. Member

    Hi there,
    Thanks for reading...
    I'm looking for info about a casualty around my home.[​IMG] [​IMG]
    The Young man was the Driver Enrnest Clarke kill the 11th June 1940 during the Battle of St Valery en caux "the Forgotten Dunkirk"... He is alone in this Churchyard of Tonneville and seems to be the only one died from this 271 Field Coy...
    Does someone have info about Him ?
    Thanks in advance
    I'm taking all info about the St Valery Battle Casualties...
    Thanks again.
    Take Care.
  2. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter Patron 1940 Obsessive

    271 Field Company were part of 46th Infantry Division, a 'Second-line' Territorial Division and had only arrived in France on 23rd April, for Labour and Training duties. The 'Road Party' on that date comprised 1 officer and 20 other ranks with 12 vehicles and six motorcycles. The 'Rail Party' consisted of 4 officers and 133 other ranks. Full establishment I believe included 35 vehicles and 13 motorcycles which shows how under-equipped they were.

    They were seconded to the ad hoc Beauman Division. Presumably, although 271 Field Company were classed as 'Divisional Troops', this casualty was allocated to the 'A' Brigade of Beauman's division which was put under command of 51st (Highland) Division on the Bresle and then part of Arkforce covering 51st Division's withdrawal.
  3. Christophe T.

    Christophe T. Member

    Hello "Rich",
    Thanks for these infos, they match with what I find, not a lot of men supporting the 51st HD, and trying to go to Le Havre but Rommel's troups are higher equiped and quicker... So... The End was St Valery's Battle ;-(
    Do you think we can find some war diaries for these days between the 5th and 12 th June 1940 ?
    Sorry for my english...
    Thanks again for the infos...
  4. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Christophe, There is a diary, but it may not be very detailed for June and it's unlikely to be detailed in terms of small groups of men serving alongside other units.

    271 Field Company Royal Engineers | The National Archives

    The CRE (Commander, Royal Engineers) for Beauman Division diary may give some info, if they knew what was going on, and if he was engaged on engineer tasks.

    Beauman Division: Commander Royal Engineers (CRE) | The National Archives

    In general though, because the units involved were captured, there is often little written at the time.

    There may be something in the 'Missing Men' files for the ad-hoc units. It may be, if he was reported 'missing' that enquiries were made of others in the unit, which included letters to POW camps etc. :-

    British Expeditionary Force, France: special units formed in France; Beauman Division,... | The National Archives
    Christophe T. likes this.
  5. Christophe T.

    Christophe T. Member

    Thanks Again "Rich",
    I Will have a look to Beauman Division... Yeap a small group let very poor trace in a big division...
  6. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    For the record, full CWGC details:

    Casualty Details | CWGC
    Service Number: 2092418
    Regiment & Unit/Ship: Royal Engineers, 271 Field Coy.
    Date of Death: Died 11 June 1940
    Age 24 years old
    Buried or commemorated at
    Row 2. Grave 1.
    Additional Info: Son of Joseph and Edith Clarke, of Firth Park, Sheffield.
    Personal Inscription: "IN HEAVENLY LOVE ABIDING" AT REST
  7. Christophe T.

    Christophe T. Member

  8. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Full CWGC details is helpful for search engine purposes. No more than that. You never know who might also be looking for info or have something to share.
    Christophe T. likes this.
  9. Christophe T.

    Christophe T. Member

    Hummm The Reply was not send.. So...

    Thanks "DBF" for the CWGC I've the Certificate but it doesn't say WHY He was there and How He pass away... I think He made the link between differents section of the 51st or Beaumon Division for approvisionment food, water, amunitions or ??? ... So in the war diaries not sure a "maybe lonely" driver will have information... But I've try ! Maybe someone will catch an info on him or so on day... THANKS for answering...
  10. Christophe T.

    Christophe T. Member

    Yes that was the Hope !!! ;-) Sorry 2 answers... Internet fail... :-(
    Thanks again...
  11. sjw8

    sjw8 Well-Known Member

    Hello Christophe T

    I hold the War Diary for the C.R.E. Beauman Division (WO 167/1416), which covers the period 27/5/40 to 17/6/40. I have looked through the Diary and found the following mentions of 271 Field Company -

    29 May – 2 entries which state -

    0930 - C.R.E. D.S.A. (Dieppe Sub Area) phoned. Information received Capt. Johnston, who is to report to C.E. South.
    C.R.E. D.S.A. states he has now the whole of 271 Fld. Coy. complete with transport.
    (Continued on following page………..)
    They are drawing the explosives instead of 671.
    C.E. agreed.

    1045 - C.E. to Bdge. (? Brigade) - G.S.O to Dieppe. What are engineers at Dieppe doing?
    Answer – 271 on river line
    218. on rear defence – road blocks
    672 on hospital at Affranville.

    Note - According to a Location Chart as at 4 June, 271 was located at Arques La Bataille (Map ref: M2664).

    7 June -

    0900 - Capt. Goddard with staff to reconnoitre rear H. Q.
    Major Postlethwaite to 670.
    Major Haywood-Waddington to 212.
    Major Dufton to 218. Major Lees in office. C.R.E. to 271.

    1030 - C.R.E. saw Capt Simpson and Major King (of 271 Field Coy).

    1500 - 3 (x) 3 ton lorries allotted to 271 Fld Coy, by Q Div.

    Note - there is no mention of any casualties reported on 11 June for that day’s entries.

    I suggest you contact Andy (Drew5233) to see if he has the Diary for 271 Field Coy – he holds most of the 1939/40 B.E.F. diaries. You can contact Drew through the “For Sale & For Trade” sub forum within “The Barracks”.

    Steve W
    dbf, Rich Payne and Christophe T. like this.
  12. Christophe T.

    Christophe T. Member

    Well... That's Wonderful, it match perfectly with the area...
    Thanks Steve... Andy contact me :) will see later with the crew if we need some war diary... We will work for the 81st Commemoration of the Forgotten Dunkirk with some pupills and maybe have to "retrace" some Soldiers Life ???
    Take Care !

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