225 field Sqn c coy RE ww2 help

Discussion in 'Royal Engineers' started by Angela1976, Sep 23, 2018.

  1. Angela1976

    Angela1976 Member

    Hi I have been given a treasure box of bitter sweet bits and bats which belonged to LCpl A Mellish. From the items in the box are xmas cards from 8th Army at Cassino. Bits from Rimmi and other parts of italy. What is the best way/how do i map out what the 225 did when in Italy? Please.
    In addition my Grandad was taken to a German hospital nov 1944 any clue how i get record for this? He was then taken to Stalag 339, how do I find out where he went to next... as his records on forces records are actually blank. It's only because I found a POW post card that had the stamp on..I knew he was moved on from 339. He spent about 1 year in a german pow but don't know which. He then appears to turn up in a brit hspt in Bari..I think. In addition...sorry...

    I found a ticket for a cinema which is in Asema? Horn of Africa..(colony of italy). I don't know it's in Arabic. Did the 225 go to the horn of Africa. Any 101 basics in researching would be apriciated.
  2. gmyles

    gmyles Senior Member

    Hi Angela

    1910910 Acting Lance Corporal A Mellish – 225 Fld Sqn RE

    Initally reported as wounded and missing believed Prisoner of War – 25 November 1944 (1)

    Later changed to POW in German Hands, location unknown (1)

    225 Fd Sqn RE were part of 10th Infantry Brigade, which was part of 4th infantry Division at time of his capture in Italy. (2) There are plenty of Cassino experts here who should be able to help you.

    There’s plenty of online evidence to support that he was a POW but nothing I can find that says where he went. The Italian POW Camp PG339 was at Mantua, about 50 miles north west of Bologna (3)

    The Hospital was probably 98th British General Hospital. (4)


    (1) British Army Casualty Lists 1939-1945 (findmypast)

    (2) 10 Infantry Brigade

    (3) Macdonald, Alastair (Oral history)

    (4) Hospitals WW2 - Scarlet Finders

    Hope this helps

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  3. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Is this him??

    UK, British Prisoners of War, 1939-1945
    Name: A Mellish
    Rank: Lance Corporal
    Army Number: 1910910
    Regiment: Royal Engineers
    Record Office: Royal Engineers Record Office, Ditchling Road, Brighton, Sussex
    Record Office Number: 9

  4. Angela1976

    Angela1976 Member

    Thanks Gus. From documents he had kept I have.

    He was with 668 coy RE Sec 2 Iceland Force from 41 to 42. Xmas card sent

    1. Was in Barletta italy to see madam butterfly.
    2. Was in Perugia in the Umbria region
    3. Was in Corino provice of Rimini?
    4. Asmara . Imperil cinema ticket
    5. Saw the Santo bamboo di Aracoeli
    6. Was around valiani rail way station

    Captured 24/11/44 was in a German hospital.shot in back.

    Xmas card 8th army sent home 16,11,44

    Stalag 339, 9.12.44 pow post card

    4th Dec 1944 central Mediterranean area pow. Brit red cross letter.

    May 25th 1945. 98 Brit Gen hspt.

    3 March 1955, pow still, red cross letter. .

    I will start reading. Was only given the box last night and got very excited. Will read recommended. Thanks.
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  5. Angela1976

    Angela1976 Member

    HI yes..I looked on that site several years ago to find out which POW he was in but after I had paid the fee. Discovered it was blank.
  6. minden1759

    minden1759 Senior Member


    225 Field Company RE were one of the three Field Companies that built the awesome Amazon bridge in the Fourth and final battle of Monte Cassino in May 44. The deed is commemorated in a brilliant oil painting by Terence Cuneo entitled Crossing the Rapido. It is enormous and hangs in the Royal Engineers Corps Mess at Brompton Barracks in Chatham.

    When the Fourth Battle started at 2330 on the night of 11 May 44, all eyes were on getting three bridges in so that the 4 Infantry Division, supported by huge numbers of tanks, could get across the river and deep into the Liri Valley towards Rome. With armour and infantry working together, the plan was to cut through the German Gustav Line that had been holding up the Allies since Jan 44. For lots of reasons, none of the bridges were in place by morning, so it was decided to put all three Field Companies on just one task - building the Amazon bridge. This was to be done on the following night 12-13 May 44. After a herculean effort by 7, 59 & 22 Field Companies, and terrible casualties, the bridge opened for the tanks of 17/21 Lancers at 0500 on 13 May 44. From then on, the advance was unstoppable.

    225 Field Squadron RE still exist and are based in Birmingham.


  7. Angela1976

    Angela1976 Member

    Thank you. I have just read the Crusader 8th Amy Brit Forces Weekly vol 10 newspaper about the Onslaught in Italy found in his documents. No wonder he never really talked about it. It's all very emotive. I just really want to know where he went for one year after captured. I read an artical last night in the guardian . I'm going to do some research over coming weeks on the Battle. That's for the overview.
  8. Angela1976

    Angela1976 Member

    Sorry Thank you
  9. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member


    This is a long route and will take patience on your part but there is a chance he will have details recorded by the ICRC, however due to their workload there are only short periods when you can apply - the details are - Requests for information about people held during Spanish Civil War or the Second World War: Quarterly limit reached

    Because he was a POW late on in the war and hospitalised to boot it may be very difficult to find definitive record/details for him, the whole of Europe was in chaos and the frontiers and infrastructure of Germany was falling apart, keeping detailed records may not have been a high priority.

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  10. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member


    98 British General Hospital
    Goodwood 10/42 to 2/43 then overseas; Blida 3/43 to 4/43 and then to Metaha; Metaha 4/43 to 4/43 then to Chateaudun; Chateaudun 4/43 to 6/43 then to Sousse; Sousse 6/43 to 9/43 then to Catania; Catania 9/43 to 10/43 then to Bari; Bari 10/43 to 6/46.

    I dont know how deep you want to research but there is also the War Diaries - as an example:
    Royal Engineers: 225 Field Company (RE Fd Coy) | The National Archives
    Reference: WO 169/10657
    Royal Engineers: 225 Field Company (RE Fd Coy)
    Date: 1943 July- Dec.
    Held by: The National Archives, Kew

    But you need to know for certain which units he was in and when and these will be shown in his service records - link - Request records of deceased service personnel

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  11. Angela1976

    Angela1976 Member

    Thank you for taking the time to reply. I intend on requesting records from apc. He left lots of tickets, meal tickets ect ect which are listed in the above. Kind Regards and Thank you.
  12. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    ? apc ? - who are they?

  13. Angela1976

    Angela1976 Member

    Apc glasqow
  14. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Ahh - OK - Army Personnel Centre more often referred to on here just as MOD Glasgow - just thought I would check, hopefully should have an answer in 4 - 8 weeks [I believe]

    Have fun looking through the box

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  15. minden1759

    minden1759 Senior Member

    APC Glasgow is the correct term - at least it was when I was in the Army.

    Last edited: Sep 23, 2018
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  16. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Regarding what 4th Div as whole was doing for the dates mentioned in 1944, here are the pages from The Fourth Division 1939 to 1945 by Hugh Williamson.
    He was very unlucky to be wounded & captured when 4th Div was to leave Italy within days.
    edit:added map.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Sep 23, 2018
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  17. Angela1976

    Angela1976 Member

    Thankyou for the pages. I agree he was unlucky but lucky to be alive. He never really talked about it. Two of his fingers shot off and a semi circle of shots to his back. He talked of being taken to a german hospital initially before a POW camp. A SGT Woodcock wrote to my nanna and a sapper Gayman also from the from 225 fld sqd C Coy. Going through so much trauma, I can't imagine but they seemed a very bonded company. Thanks for the artical.
    Owen likes this.
  18. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Hi Angela

    Ran those names through the POW database - nothing for Gayman which isnt unusual, but in Stalag 383 there were 2 x Sgt Woodcock and in Stalag XI-B was another but he was Army Air Corps and probably captured later in the war.

    Sgts would sometimes be a 'senior officer' in a camp of non officers and would take on a 'management role' so it could be that the letter was actually written from the camp.
    Be interesting if you have any more details


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