577 Field Company

Discussion in 'Royal Engineers' started by robbie1323, Dec 31, 2012.

  1. robbie1323

    robbie1323 Junior Member

    I am trying to find information on my Grandfather's journey through North Africa and up through Sicily and Italy, I am going to Rome and Monte Cassino in March so was hoping for some information. He was a Royal Engineer and his fullname was Geoffrey Charles Clark number 2113357. He lived in Uckfield, East Sussex. If anyone can shed any light for me i would be very grateful.
  2. PsyWar.Org

    PsyWar.Org Archive monkey

    Welcome to the forum Robbie.

    If you know he stayed with the 557 Fld Coy RE throughout his service then their war diaries would be useful. They can be accessed at the National Archives. Here are the references:

    WO 166/3814, ROYAL ENGINEERS: COMPANIES: 577 Field Company. (1940 May - 1941 Dec.)
    WO 166/8235, 577 Coy. (1942 Jan.-July)
    WO 169/5331, 577 Army Fd. Coy. (1942 Sept.- Dec.)
    WO 169/10723, 577 Fd. Coy. (1943 Jan.- Dec.)
    WO 170/1725, Companies: 577 Coy. (1944 Jan.- Dec.)
    WO 170/5252, Companies: 577 Coy. (1945 Jan.- Dec.)
    WO 170/8132, Companies: 577 Coy. (1946 Jan.- June)

  3. robbie1323

    robbie1323 Junior Member

    Thanks Lee,
    I am not sure if he was with them throughout the War. I have just found out he was in the XIII Corps. I am slowly going through what info i have from old photographs, postcards etc.
  4. dryan67

    dryan67 Senior Member

    The 577th were part of the original Hampshire Fortress, RE. Here is some more about them:

    Hampshire (Fortress) R.E.
    HQ, No. 1, No. 2 (206th)(EL & W) Coys: Portsmouth
    By 9/40 converted to Hampshire Corps Troops RE with 576th CFPC; 577th, AFC
    9/40 under HQ (Hampshire) Corps Troops RE under WO Control
    579th (Cinque Ports) AFC also under command in 9/40
    12/41 as IV Corps Troops RE with 577th, 578th AFC; 576th CFPC
    IV Corps Troops sent to Middle East by February 1942
    577th, 578th AFC and 576th CFPC formed XIII Corps Troops RE on arrival
    Served at Alamein with above organization
    XIII Corps Troops to 9th Army in January 1943 and Egypt in May 1943
    XIII Corps Troops served in Italy 1943-1945 with above companies plus 56th FC
  5. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Welcome to the forum. It sounds like you could do with a copy of his service records. These will ID the units he served with and when.

  6. robbie1323

    robbie1323 Junior Member

    Is this something you can help me with Andy?
    Thanks also to dryan67, i have an original photo of what looks like his company but it does not tell me which one.
  7. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Hi Robbie,

    You have to apply for Service records yourself, or atleast the NoK does. See the link below, don't be put off, I'm quite thick and have successfully applied for 3 lots so far, so it can't be that hard ;)

    Army Personnel Centre - British Army Website
  8. Jimmyfilth

    Jimmyfilth Member

    I know this is an old topic, but I am struggling to find info on my grandfather from 577. I have a few pictures of him with some of his friends, along with one picture of the company in Egypt.

    I have also been told that they built one of the bridges across the Rapido, but cannot remember for the life of me which one.

    I've been trying to find the order of battle they were part of for the fourth battle of Monte Cassino but haven't turned anything up.

    Anyone got any advice where to start looking, or know any of the above info?
  9. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    2 mentions of them in the After the Battle book on Cassino pages 287 & 294.

    page 287 they are in a chart saying they built 'London Bridge'.
    Page 294 has photos of that bridge.
  10. Jimmyfilth

    Jimmyfilth Member

    Brilliant, thanks.

    The RE museum have told be they also built a bridge called 'Swindon' in that area. They were also involved with a large bridge over the Sangro apparently, with one of their lads buried in that Cemetary.
  11. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    according to the book it says Swindon bridge built by 12 Fd Coy RCE, I Cdn Corps Tps.
  12. Jimmyfilth

    Jimmyfilth Member

    Oh, ok. I was a bit confused by that. I'll have to order that book.
  13. minden1759

    minden1759 Senior Member

    More likely that they built London Bridge. The two authors of the book did meticulous research so I have every faith that they are right. It also squares with where London Bridge is. It is the one directly in front of Sant Angela village - squarely in XIII (BR) Corps's area. The bridge has now been replaced with a concrete length but the gap can clearly be seen.


  14. minden1759

    minden1759 Senior Member

    The book is called 'Then & Now. The Battles of Monte Cassino'. Perry Rowe and Jeff Plowman.
  15. 4jonboy

    4jonboy Daughter of a 56 Recce Patron

    Frank- a cracking good read too :)
    The "then and now" pictures are really good.

  16. flip

    flip New Member

    I joined 577 when they were at Campobasa Italty, after I was discharged from hospital in Algers north Africa. name and number, 5122963 Clark, Cyril Gordon, I knew there was another Clark in the company. but I ca'nt say I ever met him. I was major REED'S driver at coy Hq so I did'nt meet many of the men who were in the detachment platoons, we used to visit the work sites, my duty then was to stay with the major,as a sort of bodyguard. The last member of 577 I met lived in Portsmouth, was in 2oo5, he was one of the old T.A. volanteers. I know he has gone on now, which I believe leaves me, the last man left, of the original 577 R.E. Coy: Sorry I ca'nt tell you, much about your Grandfather, I do know, he would have been in the thick of it, when the graft had to be done. he would have been at the Sangro, Rapiedo, Po,river crossings, at Casino,where we had to bridge the Rapido at Sant Angelo in the dark NO LIGHTS, with a hell of a battle going on around us, the bridge was called London Bridge. I think it was the toughist bridge the coy ever built. "Flip "
    minden1759, Drew5233, 4jonboy and 2 others like this.
  17. robbie1323

    robbie1323 Junior Member

    Thank you for the information.
    For how long were you in Cassino?

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