263 Field Company, Royal Engineers

Discussion in '1940' started by alanwhytock, Jun 10, 2014.

  1. alanwhytock

    alanwhytock New Member

    My father was in 263 Field Coy RE 12 Div as a Sapper. He travelled from Gravesend to Cherbourg on SS Vienna on 18 April 1940 and returned to Newcastle on 7 June. If anyone can tell me what this bunch were doing during that time I would be most grateful. He then went on through Egypt, Syria, Palestine, El Alamein, Sicily and 2 battles at Monte Cassino. Luckily he made it back to the UK.

    Alan
     
  2. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Hi Alan,

    I have the units war diary and sadly there are no entries for May, just April. A long shot would be to look at the units diary either side of this one to see if there is any mention on them in France. Sometimes and officer from the unit can make a report several months later and it would get filed in the current diary at the time of writing. It's a long shot but may be worth checking.

    Cheers
    Andy
     
  3. alanwhytock

    alanwhytock New Member

    Many thanks Andy. Are there any entries for June ? The unit left Cherbourg on the 7th, a few days before the mass exodus when the Germans were almost in the town.

    Alan
     
  4. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Hi Alan,

    This is the other diary available at the National Archives. I don't have this one but looking at the dates listed May, June, July, August, October and December are missing. If anything is inside the diary that covers anything to do with the unit in France I don't know. I'd say it's unlikely given so many months are missing after the unit returned to the UK but like I tell everyone - You never know for sure until you look.

    WO 166/3732 ROYAL ENGINEERS: COMPANIES: 263 Field Company. 1939 Sept.-1940 Mar., Sept., Nov., 1941 Jan.-Dec.
     
  5. EnglishRose

    EnglishRose Member

    Hello Alan. My father was also a sapper in the 263 Field Co. Also at Gravesend and went to France in March 1940 as part of the BEF. Was at Alizay (nr Rouen) building nissan huts for troops, before being sent with the 7th Royal Sussex to Amiens where their train was bombed in the yards on 18th May 1940. Gethen was the commanding officer.
    Also evacuated via Cherbourg (17th June 1940) in Operation Ariel, and then sent from Southampton to Newcastle and thence to Bardon Mills. They had a jackdaw as a mascot. I think the 263 was disbanded and he went with another unit on the "Orontes to Cape Town. Also was in Egypt and Palestine and in the Waterless Desert. My father was sent to Germany ( British army of occupation) after the war ended. Any other info we can share ?
     
  6. EnglishRose

    EnglishRose Member

    Some of the men from the 263 and 265 Field Companies Royal Engineers. Most (if not all) were put on the train to make up numbers with the 7th Royal Sussex 18 May 1940 to halt the German advance.
    REMEMBERED
    Ablett, Edward John (Teddie). 1892544 Sapper 263 Field Co RE Died 18.05.1940 Buried Abbeville Communal Cemetary Extension. Plot 9 Row B Grave 13. Son of Edward and Ada Louisa Ablett of New Cross, London. Source: www.cwgc.org
    Allcock, Raymond. RE Killed 05.06.1940 Source: www.7royalsussex.org.uk/roll
    Applebee, John Alexander, 2076340 Sapper 263 Field Coy, RE Died 19.05.1940 age 20 Column 23 Dunkirk Memorial. Son of Harry Charles and Kate Elizabeth Applebee of Bramhall, Cheshire. Source: www.cwgc.org
    Armstead, Kenneth Walter, 42332 Lieutenant 263 Field Park Co RE Aged 30, Died 18.05. 1940 Buried Abbeville Communal Cemetary Plot 9, Row D Grave 8. Son of Sydney Walter and Kate Armstead, husband of Helen Cicely Armstead (nee Skellon) of Ilfracombe, Devon. Source: www.cwgc.org
    Barker, George. Sargeant RE Source: www.7royalsussex.org.uk/roll
    Bohler, Frederick George James, 1889423 Driver 265 Field Park Coy RE Died 18.05.1940. Buried at Abbeville Community Cemetary Extension.
    Boulton, Richard Samuel. Sapper 2074564 RE 263 Field Co Died 18.05.1940 age 23 years Buried Abbeville Communal Cemetary Plot 9, Row A Grave 12 Source: www.cwgc.org
    Brook, James William (Jim) 2062495 RE 263 Field Co. Survived the battle and walked to Rouen, then Cherbourg. On return to Uk taken into the 12th Corps and placed on home defences. Took part in D Day Landings on 6th June. Source: www.7royalsussex.org.uk/roll
    Broom, Frederick (Fred) Arthur. Sergeant RE 2074577, 263 Field Co RE. Survived the battle and returned to England via Rouen and Cherbourg. On return unit reformed to 12th Corps and took part in the Normandy Invasion. Source: www.7royalsussex.org.uk/roll
    Buckle, Frank. Sapper RE Source: www.7royalsussex.org.uk/roll
    Bullas, David. 4742824 Corporal 263 Field Coy RE, Died 20.05.1940 Age 33. Buried Abbeville Communal Cemetary Extension. Plot 9 Row C. Grave 14 Son of Frederick and Annie Bullas, of Ryhill, Yorkshire. Source: www.cwgc.org
    Boulton, Richard Samuel 2074564 Sapper 263 Field Coy RE Died 18.05.1940 age 23. Buried at Abbeville Communal Cemetary Extension Plot 9 Row A, Grave 12 Source: www.cwgc.org
    Donovan, Diarmuid Edward 1209802 Second Lieutenant RE Died 26.05.1940 age 20. Buried at Abbeville Communal Cemetary Extension. Plot 9, Row A, Grave 8. Son of Capt Richard Brian Donovan and Edith Madelein Donovan of Recess Co. Galway, Irish Republic. Source: www.cwgc.org
    Dyer, Thomas Stephen 2090927 Sapper 263 Field Coy RE Died 18.05.1940 age 20 . Buried at Marissel French National Cemetary (nr Beavais Rue d'Amiens), Grave 214. Son of William and Minnie Dyer of Brighton, Susssex.
    Dyer, William Leonard 2077497 Sapper 263 Field Coy. RE Died 20.05.1940 age 23. Buried at Abbeville Communal Cemetary Extension. Plot 9, Row A, Grave 7. Son of Albert and Edith Dyer Source: www.cwgc.org
    Eales, Rupert John 2068393, Sapper 263 Field Coy RE Died 03.06.1940 age 22. Buried at Abbeville Sp. Mem. Plot 9, Row F, Grave 2. Son of Rupert John and Florence Eales. Source: Brighton St Peter War Memorial and www.cwgc.org
    Herriott, William Edward 2092473 Sapper 262 Field Coy RE Died 20.05.1940 age 38 Buried at Hedauville Communal Cemetary Extension (nr Doullons). Row J Grave 1. Source:www.cwgc.org
    Hodges, Colin 1892520 Driver 265 Field Park Coy, RE Died 19.05.1940 age 21. Buried at Abbeville Communal Cemetary Extension. Plot 9, Row C, Grave 12. Source: www.cwgc.org
    Houghton, Derek Gordon. 1889418 Sapper 263 Field Coy RE Killed in action during the retreat to Dunkirk 18 May 1940. Aged 21. Son of Gordon and Mildred Houghton of Putney West London. Buried in Abbeville Communal Cemetary Plot 9, Row C. Grave 8. Source www.roll-of-honour/Sussex/WestItchenor.html and www.cwgc.org
    Hunter, William Arthur 1890777 Sapper 263 Field Coy RE. Died 20.05.1940 age 21. Buried at Marissel French National Cemetary. Grave 204. Son of Henry Arthur and Emma Hunter of Finsbury, London. Source; www.cwgc.org
    Knight, Frederick 2073035 Sapper 263 Field Coy RE. Died 18.05.1940 age 19. Column 26 Dunkirk Memorial. Son of Frederick and Elizabeth Knight of Brighton, Sussex. Source; www.cwgc.org
    Lindsay, Frederick Henry 2072281, Sapper 263 Field Coy, RE. Died 06.05.1940 age 20. Buried at Abbeville Communal Cemetary Extension. Plot 9, Row B, Grave 12. Son of Harry Lindsay and Alice Lindsay of Great Waldingfield, Suffolk. Source: www.cwgc.org
    Lunt, Frederick George 2090114 Sapper 256 Field Park (should this be 265)? RE. Died 18.05.1940 age 19. Buried at Abbeville Communal Cemetary Extension. Plot 9, Row A, Grave 6. Source: www.cwgc.org
    Lynn, Frederick (Fred) Sargeant RE Source: www.7royalsussex.org.uk/roll
    Martin, Don RE Source: www.7royalsussex.org.uk/roll
    Noakes, Charles David 2091385 Sapper 265 Field Park Coy, RE. Died 20.05.1940 age 39 Column 26 Dunkirk Memorial. Son of Gilbert George and Sarah Anne Noakes. Source: www.cwgc.org
    Palmer, Andre. RE Source: www.7royalsussex.org.uk/roll
    Pearson, Frederick Alexander 2073026 Sapper 265 Field Park Coy, RE Died 20.05.1940 age 19, Buried at Abbeville Communal Cemetary Extension. Plot 9, Row B, Grave 14. Son of Valentine and Mary Sarah Pearson of Wimbledon, Surrey. Source: www.cwgc.org
    Price, P.J. 262 Field Co RE. captured at Doullens and became POW until liberated in May 1945. Source: www.heimatverein-haltern.de/page4_1933_POW_Brice.html
    Routledge, Peter, 2069909 Sapper 265 Field Coy RE Died 20.05.1940 age 20. Column 27 Dunkirk Memorial Source: www.cwgc.org
    Saunders, Leonard James. RE 2060280. Given orders to make own way back to Rouen, entrained to Pornichet then Cherbourg, boat to Southampton, train to Newcastle then later to Hexham, Northumberland. Source: www.7royalsussex.org.uk/roll
    Simpson, Edgar Denis. 2072562 Sapper. 263 Field Field Coy RE Aged 20. Buried at Abbeville Communal Cemetary Extension Plot 9, Row A, Grave 9, Son of Albert and Flora Simpson, of South Lambeth, London. Source: www.cwgc.org
    Stringer, Horace Sapper 2093882 263 Field Coy, RE died Between 20.05.1940 and 12.06.1940. Age 19 years Buried Pont-De-Metz Churchyard Plot 4. Row A Grave 13. Son of William and Ethel Maria Stringer of Hove, Sussex Source: www.cwgc.org
    Tadd, Eric Henry 1906851 Sapper 263 Field Coy. RE Died Between 21.05.1940 and 09.06.1940 Age 22 years. Buried at Abbeville Communal Cemetary Extension Plot 9, Row G, Grave 7. Source: www.cwgc.org
    Wallis, William James 2069959 Driver 265 Field Park Coy, RE. Died 18.05.1940 age 21. Buried at Abbeville Communal Cemetary Extension Plot 9, Row A, Grave 4. Son of Arthur and Nellie Wallis of Eastbourne, Sussex. Source: www.cwgc.org
    Walthoe, Henry George. Lance Corporal 2074173 263 Field Coy, RE died 20.05.1940 Age 20 years Buried Pont-De-Metz Churchyard Plot 4. Row A Grave 33. Son of George and Nellie Walthoe of Brighton, Sussex. Source: www.cwgc.org
    Wantling, Frederick John 1892350 Driver 265 Field Park Coy, RE. Died 18.05.1940 Column 29 Dunkirk Memorial. Source: www.cwgc.org
    Ward, Henry Herbert. Sapper 837874 263 Field Coy. RE Died 20.05.1940 Buried Pont-De-Metz Churchyard Plot 4. Row A Grave 25. Son of Mr and Mrs Albert Edward Ward of Cosham, Portsmouth. Source: www.cwgc.org
    Willett, Ronald Lewis. 2075189 Lance Corporal 265 Field Coy. RE Died 18.05.1940 age 25. Buried at Abbeville Communal Cemetary Extension Plot 9, Row A, Grave 16. Son of Lewis Stephen and Lilian Emily Willett of Bexhill-On-Sea, Sussex. Source: www.cwgc.org
     
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  7. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Interesting you mention the unit having a Jackdaw as a Mascot. There's an image online at the Imperial War Museum with what's described as a 'crow' on a soldiers shoulder whilst waiting to be evacuated on the West Coast of France in June 1940.
     
  8. EnglishRose

    EnglishRose Member

    Hi Drew. Thanks for your comment. I don't know if the jackdaw was an official mascot or just one that the surviving men temporarily adopted at Bardon Mills. (Jackdaws being intelligent and sociable creatures ). But I'd be interested to look at the picture you referred to on the IWM website if you have a reference for it.
     
  9. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    I don't have a reference...I just remember posting it on my 1940 Facebook page around a year ago.
     
  10. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    This is another
    [​IMG]
    416858 Flying Officer
    Eric Hurrell
    Royal Australian Air Force
    27th April 1945, aged 25.
    Plot IV. D. 2.
    Son of Arthur Ernest and Oliver Hurrell; husband of Maybelle Nolan Hurrell, of Epping, New South Wales, Australia.
    From Adelaide, SA, the image shows Eric Hurrell with "Jacky" the pet jackdaw of No. 181 Squadron RAF. FO Hurrell was lost on operations over Germany on 27 April, 1945.

    TD
     

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