626 Field Squadron, Royal Engineers

Discussion in 'Royal Engineers' started by Helen, Sep 6, 2009.

  1. Helen

    Helen Junior Member

    Dear all

    I wondered if any of you may be able to help...

    My grandfather was killed in Pietratagliata, Italy on the 9th May 1945 and is buried in Udine. We believe that he was killed disarming a bridge in the town and there is still a plaque to the 23 men who were killed on this fateful day. I have attached a picture for you all to see, my grandfather is Sapper T Harman. Despite extensive research I am unable to find any information on what happened that day, I've requested service records and written to the RE Museum but waiting for replies. I've also seen RE records sent to me but nothing on this tragedy. I've found the bridge, now my family want to know what happened as we will be visiting the bridge and cemetery in April 2010.

    Can anyone help? Thank you.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Check war dairy at National Archives in Kew.
    WO 170/5373
    Field Squadrons: 626 Sqn.
    1945 Jan.- Dec.

    Welcome to the forum , good luck with your search & remember us next year when you return, we'd like to se the pictures.
     
  3. idler

    idler GeneralList

    I haven't found anything on a 1945 disaster but turned up this and this relating to the loss of a bridge in a flood in 2003 and its replacement. Here's a shot of the temporary Bailey bridge linking the town with a very modern-looking road:

    [​IMG]

    Let's hope that the plaque survived - there is another bridge on what is presumably the old road through town.
     
  4. Buteman

    Buteman 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA

    Here are the names of the 23

    001 BROOKES S 2120621 626 FIELD SQN 09/05/1945 ROYAL ENGINEERS
    002 BROWN J 14314305 626 FIELD SQN 09/05/1945 ROYAL ENGINEERS
    003 BROWN W 2149782 626 FIELD SQN 09/05/1945 ROYAL ENGINEERS
    004 CUNNEELY H 2157472 626 FIELD SQN 09/05/1945 ROYAL ENGINEERS
    005 EARP GV 1917567 626 FIELD SQN 09/05/1945 ROYAL ENGINEERS
    006 HAMPSON KF 5121566 626 FIELD SQN 09/05/1945 ROYAL ENGINEERS
    007 HARMAN T 2114250 626 FIELD SQN 09/05/1945 ROYAL ENGINEERS
    008 HOPKINS JB 2146301 626 FIELD SQN 09/05/1945 ROYAL ENGINEERS
    009 HUBBARD L 2139994 626 FIELD SQN 09/05/1945 ROYAL ENGINEERS
    010 JONES HM 14277172 626 FIELD SQN 09/05/1945 ROYAL ENGINEERS
    011 KNIGHT R 165820 626 FIELD SQN 09/05/1945 ROYAL ENGINEERS
    012 LAYCOCK F 2067098 626 FIELD SQN 09/05/1945 ROYAL ENGINEERS
    013 LEVENS W 2117079 626 FIELD SQN 09/05/1945 ROYAL ENGINEERS
    014 MCGLASHAN R 2829288 626 FIELD SQN 09/05/1945 ROYAL ENGINEERS
    015 MCGUFFIE AW 14364022 626 FIELD SQN 09/05/1945 ROYAL ENGINEERS
    016 POUNTNEY JA 1877627 626 FIELD SQN 09/05/1945 ROYAL ENGINEERS
    017 PURDY FJ 2117196 626 FIELD SQN 09/05/1945 ROYAL ENGINEERS
    018 QUINN J 991459 626 FIELD SQN 09/05/1945 ROYAL ENGINEERS
    019 ROW T 112395 626 FIELD SQN 09/05/1945 ROYAL ENGINEERS
    020 SMITH AD 1906652 626 FIELD SQN 09/05/1945 ROYAL ENGINEERS
    021 SULLIVAN JEP 2114608 626 FIELD SQN 09/05/1945 ROYAL ENGINEERS
    022 TRIBE KH 5780431 626 FIELD SQN 09/05/1945 ROYAL ENGINEERS
    023 VALLANCE J 14278126 626 FIELD SQN 09/05/1945 ROYAL ENGINEERS
     
  5. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Hi Helen and welcome to the forum.

    Interesting that the plaque has the Royal Artillery's motto in latin at the bottom 'Everywhere Right and Glory Leads'

    Anyone know the significance of that? Could it have be erected by a RA unit?

    A confused Andy
     
  6. idler

    idler GeneralList

    Andy,
    Sappers and Gunners share the same mottoes - probably some earlier cost-cutting measure.
     
  7. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    I thought RE was just 'Ubique' 'Everywhere'
     
  8. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    I thought RE was just 'Ubique' 'Everywhere'

    Royal Engineers Museum and Library - History Section - Corps Customs and Traditions page

    On 10 July 1832 King William IV granted the Royal Regiment of Artillery and the Corps of Royal Engineers permission to wear on their appointments the Royal Arms and Supporters, together with a cannon and the mottoes Ubique above the cannon and Quo Fas et Gloria Ducunt below it. In 1868 the cannon was omitted from the Corps Badge. Since then the actual design of the Royal Arms has changed slightly with each reigning monarch.



    Royal Engineers Cypher or Monogram

    The mottoes on the Cypher are Ubique (Everywhere) and Quo Fas et Gloria ducunt (Where Right and Glory Lead).

    The Royal Engineers Monogram or Cypher is not worn on uniform, but instead is used on notepaper, Christmas Cards, Invitations etc. and is emblazoned on the Fanfare Trumpet Banners of the Royal Engineers Band




    Corps Mottoes

    When originally granted by King William IV, the Corps' motto was Ubique; Quo Fas et Gloria ducunt, but by custom and practice it has been separated into two mottoes: Ubique (Everywhere)

    Quo Fas et Gloria ducunt (Where Right and Glory Lead) They symbolize the Corps' service throughout the world and summarize the many Battle Honours of the Royal Engineers.
     
  9. Buteman

    Buteman 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA

    Andy

    Although you can't see the detail clearly, this is my Dad's photo from 1941. The cap badge has the bomb and Ubique on it. I have one somewhere, but I can't find it at the moment.
     

    Attached Files:

  10. englandphil

    englandphil Very Senior Member

    TRIBE KH 5780431 , is listed in the London Gazette 19th July 1945 (Mid), and was also awarded the Silver star by the americans in 1947, which was for bravery on the 4th Sept 44, so possibly there is more info out there on him, and how he was killed.
     
  11. Oldman

    Oldman Very Senior Member

    Quote from Sapper 626 Field Squadron
    The main transom slipped and fell killing and injuring the sappers constructing the bridge
    Diary entry 9 May 1945
    Clearing bridging site all day.

    Diary entry 10 May 1945

    Cemetery to bury mates (22 killed) if you look at the CWGC Cemetery reports for
    Udine War Cemetery there are graves of 23 626 Field Squadron shown as burials.
    not sure as to when is entry was made, There could have been an injured person
    whom succombed to his wounds.
     
    Steven O'Brien likes this.
  12. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

    My late Uncle was in the Royal Engineers and I have an original George VI badge as shown here.

    [​IMG]

    What I cannot understand is that the wording is completely different than mentioned in the thread.

    Can anyone explain why the motto is different than quoted previously.

    Regards
    Tom
     
  13. idler

    idler GeneralList

    Oldman,
    Welcome and thanks for taking the trouble to tell us what happened. I hope Helen (the OP) sees it.

    Tom,
    Honi soit qui mal y pense is a royal motto on the garter belt that just happens to be part of the badge, it's not one of the Corps mottoes. There is a bit more on it here.
     
  14. Pete Keane

    Pete Keane Senior Member

    Thats an awful lot of sappers killed in the one incident.

    I would have thought that there would still be people in the village who would remember what happend.

    Good luck.

    Pete.
     
  15. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

    Oldman,
    Welcome and thanks for taking the trouble to tell us what happened. I hope Helen (the OP) sees it.

    Tom,
    Honi soit qui mal y pense is a royal motto on the garter belt that just happens to be part of the badge, it's not one of the Corps mottoes. There is a bit more on it here.

    idler,

    Thanks for that particular link which, together with your input explains things clearly.

    Regards
    Tom
     
  16. Oldman

    Oldman Very Senior Member

    Idler/Pete
    Thanks for the response.

    Just a bit of background history for you, at that time the sister field squadrons 625 & 626 where both heading as fast as possible for Austria using different routes, 626 had to bridge to be able to move on.

    From the little my father told me, that they had worked to clear the bridge site presumably booby traps Etc, then they started the build and as I quoted in my post
    the main transom fell.
     
  17. Helen

    Helen Junior Member

    Dear Oldman

    Thank you so much for the information, believe me I have searched high and low for some further information on the tragedy and just waiting on my granddad's service records now. Was this from your dad's diary?
     
  18. jaymo

    jaymo Junior Member

    Hi Helen, My parants took the same trip a few years ago to visit the cemetery the area and see my Uncle Ken's grave, Sapper K F Hampson, I'm not sure of the details but have asked my Dad to let me have all the info and will pass it on to you. My Mum obviously wanted all the details as do you and your family! The Officers report they have details the 23 men who lost their lives but the attachment that gives the detail of what actually happened has been removed. They do keep in contact with a local from the village apparently they have a Memorial Service twice a year at the bridge. I found this forum searching for additional info about my Uncle and anything about my Grandad who served with the Liverpool Scottish Regiment in WW1, who managed to make it home.
     
  19. Oldman

    Oldman Very Senior Member

    Jaymo
    Welcome to the forum, my farther fought through the second world war with
    the 626 Filed Squadron boys from Ripon to Klagenfurt in Austria. As my earlier post
    says they where clearing the bridging site then just the line actually quoted in my
    earlier post.

    Oldman
     
  20. Helen

    Helen Junior Member

    Hi Jaymo

    I would very much like to get in touch with you for some further details if possible. I'm astounded as you live quite close to me and I work in Ottery St Mary! Please drop me a line.
     

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