234 Field Coy. RE

Discussion in 'Royal Engineers' started by Chris Basey, Feb 14, 2006.

  1. Nicki

    Nicki Member

    Thanks so much with the help to upload the files, much appreciated. Any help making sense of it all greatly appreciated too, please.

    Are all the units royal engineer units? Is that what sapper means?

    Is there any way to identify where he would have been stationed whilst abroad?
  2. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    A sapper is the equivalent in the Royal Engineers to a private in the Infantry or a gunner in the Royal Artillery - bottom of the pile in other words

    Nicki likes this.
  3. Nicki

    Nicki Member

    Brilliant thank you so much, one mystery solved :)
  4. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    I will take a look at them, but I've only been turning up here for five minute spells as I've been busy with work winding down for Christmas.

    What you want to start with is a chronology of dates and units posted to: just the date posted, the unit name and the description listed--transcribe it first, decode the parts you don't understand. All the enlistment papers, medical classifications, skills and courses are lemonsto be squeezed at a later date.

    Once you have several information points, (from date X to Y with unit A), you can use the unit war diaries (held at the National Archives) to track his geographical movements and see what was happening at each location.
  5. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    Part One

    The last sheet of those attachments is the first chronologically:

    Embodied: 5/11/42: 48 PTW GSC at Blacon Camp

    (Primary Training Wing, General Service Corps-- located in Chester, I believe)

    Transfer to R.E. and posted to No.3 T.B.R.E. from 16/12/42 at Blacon

    (Training Battalion, Royal Engineers)

    B-Coy, No. 3 T.B.R.E. Enlisted as Pvt (illegible?) R.E. 9/3/43 at Aldershot

    Posted D-Coy 250 Field Company R. E. 30/3/43 at Aldershot

    Posted (from) 250 Field Company R.E. Posted to No. 2 D.B.R.E. Brundall (hard to read, if so near Norwich in Norfolk) 30/4/43

    (Depot Battalion, Royal Engineers)

    2 (P) D.B.R.E. Posted to A-Coy at Halifax 30/4/43

    On leave from 5/5/43 to 18/5/43

    Posted to 234 Field Company at Halifax on 20/5/43 or 21/5/43 in the Field.

    (Service Overseas Begins)

    Disembarked NWE 2/6/44

    (Northwest Europe = France -- see booklet linked on thread)

    Daughter: Jennifer Christine Born at [----]bridge, Middlesex 13th (or 23rd) of April 45(?)

    (Can't make out dates)


    If I were you, in the first place i'd start the trail at 250 & 234 Field Companies. The following are the diaries for those units during the periods above:

    Reference: WO 166/12116
    Description: 250 Coy.
    Date: 1943 Jan.-Dec.
    250 Coy. | The National Archives

    Reference: WO 166/12105
    Description: 234 Coy.
    Date: 1943 Jan.-Dec.
    234 Coy. | The National Archives

    Reference: WO 171/1597
    Description: 234 Coy.
    Date: 1944 Jan.- Dec.
    234 Coy. | The National Archives

    Glancing ahead, I can see that the next sheet has him with 234-Coy for most of 1945, so there's also this one:

    Reference: WO 171/5514
    Description: 234 Coy.
    Date: 1945 Jan.- Oct.
    234 Coy. | The National Archives
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2017
    Nicki likes this.
  6. Nicki

    Nicki Member

    Thank you very much indeed for your help, especially this time of year when you are likely to have more commitments than usual. Jennifer Christine is my my mum, the daughter we found out about on Grandads death bed was either Fench or German we believe (an affair so isn't mentioned in the documents which us why I'm tracking down his whereabouts abroad as I know after the end of the war he stayed abroad for 2 years ish with the other lady and their daughter whilst posted abroad. It will hopefully give me a place to start looking for them. I'm very interested in Grandads service too as like many never spoke about it. I do know he became almost fluent in french).

    Long story short is you have given me the best Christmas gift ever by helping and I'm very grateful. Merry Christmas
    Charley Fortnum likes this.
  7. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    In light of all that, I'm very happy to have been able to help. I will transcribe the other two sheets when I get an opportunity to do so (am currently working on a playhouse with my three-year-old).

    Happy Christmas to you and your family.
  8. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member


    Are you sure of the date??

  9. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    I just transcribed without thinking, but it can't be, can it?

    What do you reckon to this?


    12/6/44 with the first digit on the line?
  10. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    His history sheet shows him at HOME until 5/6/1944 - so it must be NWE from 6/6/1944 until ......

    not sure what the 12th - if it is that would be unless thats when he put feet on European soil??

  11. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    Several of the entries are a bit unconventional. I'm wondering whether he moved to an assembly area for ultimate embarakation and that date is recorded, and then the next date is disambarkation.

    The first sheet shows embarkation in the UK as 2/6/44, but the disambiguation in NWE is illegible.

    And, again, you're right that the home date on the history form shows 5/6/44, but the entry for arrival in NWE is illegible.
  12. Nicki

    Nicki Member

    I'm not sure what date you'e querying but I have noticed my mum's date of both is recorded wrong (should be 30th September 1944 in Hillingdon, Middlesex) but i guess maybe they registered it late or something.
  13. Stuart Avery

    Stuart Avery In my wagon & not a muleteer.

    Nicki, I'm sorry for jumping in on Charley's attempt here. It may be wise to take them all to your local computer shop & get them scanned. If you have one? It would be wise to resize them. A maximum of 2mb per post is only allowed on the forum ( it saves the server on the forum). I attach a page of my Grandfathers Service records. You will be banging your head at the moment. Most of the service records sheets will be above A3. Its a long process. There is a app out there that is called resize. Welcome to the world of banging your head against a brick wall.

    Regards, & good luck.

  14. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    First sheet, ninth row under POSTINGS, very faint date: what do you make it from the original?

    Also, fourth from last sheet, left side: Country/ From / To: what do you make the 'From' date for NWE?
  15. Nicki

    Nicki Member

    I'l have a look at the originals when I get home this evening and see if the dates are clearer. Sorry to be a pain, I took the images on my phone camera.

    I'l also try and get proper scanned copies as suggested if I can (I'm a but if a techno phobe but will see if I can find somewhere that can help - I've got a Staples store in town so will try there).

    Thanks again for all the help everyone.
  16. Stuart Avery

    Stuart Avery In my wagon & not a muleteer.

    Nicki, its just a thought. Not sure where you work, but how about seeing if they have a A3 scanner? A small piece of advice, get them done in colour instead of black & white. A4 scanner will do if you cant find the former, but you will have to scan each page four times. See the four examples below. This map is around A3 size. The last image has been stitched with another app that i use. If you can get them scanned then start a conversation with me & i'll do the rest.


  17. Nicki

    Nicki Member

    Hi and happy new year to you all :)
    I've finally managed to get to Staples (closed over Christmas) and have got them to scan in the images to a high resolution. I'll try and reattach here now.
    Best wishes
  18. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    Proper scans attached: I may get time to transcribe and explain them over the weekend, but if anybody else wants to make a start...

    01.jpg 02.jpg 03.jpg 04.jpg 05.jpg 06.jpg 07.jpg 08.jpg 09.jpg

    Scans 1-3: Service records proper ('Service & Casualty' Forms)
    Scan 4: Summary of service
    Scans 5-6: Enlistment details.
    Scan 7: Another summary.
    Scan 8: Discharge & Reference
    Scan 9: Driving test certificate.

    Edit: Just to add: he landed on D-Day 6/6/44 with 234 Fd Coy--better scan shows true date.

    Screen Shot 2018-01-05 at 20.22.37.jpg
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2018
  19. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    Can anybody with better Search-Fu skills than me tell me whether any awards were made to members of 234 Field Coy while with the BEF during 1939-40?

    I can't tell whether the answer is a definitive 'No' or Discovery is being obstinate.
  20. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    I've just returned to this Sapper I was helping with. Given what Steve has posted, is anybody able to say whether, as 233 Fd Coy were seemingly under 50th Divison, 234 Fd Coy were under 3rd or 4th Division?

    My friend has digested the 234 Fd Coy diary for 1939-40 and is looking for any possible sidelights on the unit from higher formations. I suggested the C.R.E. diary (if one exists), but we don't yet know which division.

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