42 Mechanical Equipment (Tn) Platoon RE

Discussion in 'Royal Engineers' started by rds161266, Jul 8, 2011.

  1. rds161266

    rds161266 Junior Member

    I would like to find out some information about my Grand Father. He passed away back in the late 80’s but my Grand Mother has given me a lot of his paper work from WWII.

    I have his Record of Service, his Campaign Stars, his Release Leave Certificate, his Pay Book and other bit and pieces.

    His details are as follows

    Name Robert David Smith
    Army No 3133962
    Rank SPR
    Regt R.E 25/11/42 – 30/04/46
    Unit 42 Mechanical Equipment (Tn) Platoon RE

    I would like to know the Units movements from when he started through to the end of WWII, especially from D-Day on-wards

    I hope you can help

  2. PsyWar.Org

    PsyWar.Org Archive monkey

    There are two war diaries at the National Archives I have found for the 42 Mechanical Equipment Platoon:

    WO 171/5800, 42 Pl. (1945 Jan.- Dec.)
    WO 171/9554, 42 Pl. (1946 Jan., Feb.)

    Just to confuse things there are also diaries for the 42 Electrical and Mechanical Platoon as well. But presumably the ones above are for your grand father's outfit.

  3. rds161266

    rds161266 Junior Member


    Thanks very much.

    OK what do i do now. Does that sat something like ..... 42 Mechanical Equipment Platoon moved thruogh such and such a town in Jan 45 then went into another town in Feb 45 and so on.

    Also did you find anything around D-Day. I saw on another post that the 50 Mechanical Equipment Platoon went in on D-Day.

    Thanks again

  4. PsyWar.Org

    PsyWar.Org Archive monkey


    The war diaries will contain details about the movements of the unit and the sorts of things they were up to. How detailed they is impossible to say, some are filled in on an hourly basis throughout a day and others may only have half a dozen short entries for an entire month. But usually the more active a unit is, the more will be recorded in their diary.

    The diaries also contain Field Returns listing officers and how many other ranks are available. Other appendices may contain standing orders, intelligence reports, maps and tracings and sometimes things like aerial photographs and reports on specific actions.

    The diaries can be viewed and copied for free at the British National Archives at Kew.

    If you're unable to get yourself, I and others offer a document copy service.

    On a quick search I couldn't find any other diaries listed apart from those two above but will make another more thorough search for you.

  5. PsyWar.Org

    PsyWar.Org Archive monkey

    Under Mechanical Equipment Units and Sections is also listed:
    - WO 171/1867, 42 Unit, 1944 May- Dec.

    Which I guess is their earlier diary.
  6. rds161266

    rds161266 Junior Member

    Lee again great thanks. I forgot to say that i live in Ballarat in Victoria, Australia.

    Is there a website that i can check on or do you copy pages of infomation and email them to me for a cost.

    I may as well give you all the info on Grandpa;

    R.S.Fus 18/04/40 - 25/6/40
    D.L.I 26/06/40 - 07/09/42
    WEST YORKS 08/09/42 - 24/11/42
    R.E 25/11/42 - 30/04/46

    It says on his Campaign Stars form that he was;

    ICELAND Sep 40 - Dec 41
    UK Jan 41 - Jun 44
    OPERATIONAL Jun 44 - May 45

    It does not say what units he was with before the R.E. How would i gind this out?


  7. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Ref the BEF stuff there was 3 Batalions of Royal Scots Fusiliers in France during 1940 (2nd, 4/5th and 6th). I have all 3 diaries if you are looking for something specific regarding them.

  8. PsyWar.Org

    PsyWar.Org Archive monkey

    Duncan PM sent about the diary copying.

    Both the 10th and 11th Battalions of Durham Light Infantry were in Iceland.

    - WO 176/331, ICELAND: Infantry: 10 Durham Light Infantry. (1940 Sept.-1941 Dec.)
    - WO 176/332, ICELAND: Infantry: 11 Durham Light Infantry. (1940 July-1941 Dec.)
  9. rds161266

    rds161266 Junior Member

    Thank you everybody who has got back to me so far.


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