Auxiliary Military Pioneers

Discussion in 'General' started by Robert-w, Aug 27, 2019.

  1. Robert-w

    Robert-w Well-Known Member

    Appear to have been men willing to fight the Axis but who were treated with suspicion by the powers that be and included men who were technically enemy aliens, such as Austrian Jewish refugees, and men from ethnicities not always trusted in 1940s Britain. From what I can find they would often have been treated better if they had stayed in internment camps but they chose to enlist. I can find only fragmentary information - possibly because of past embarrassment about the way in which they were treated. Can anyone point me at useful accessible sources?
     
  2. idler

    idler GeneralList Patron

    A classic short and sweet first-person account is Louis Hagen's Arnhem Lift.

    Also look up the fairly-recent The King's Most Loyal Enemy Aliens.

    For the ones who did their bit, from the little bit I have read, it was the frustration of not being allowed to do something sooner that was the biggest gripe. It was probably a bit grimmer for those that couldn't or didn't join up but it seems the majority managed to ghetto-ver it. A number had had direct or indirect experience of internment German-style so I suspect we weren't quite as bad.
     
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  3. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    :D very good :-P

    TD
     
  4. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter Patron 1940 Obsessive

    The Auxiliary Military Pioneer Corps included a wide variety of men and had less strict age restrictions. It was formed to carry out labour duties. I've no doubt that it was extremely hard work, but if you could ask those who went into Prison camps in 1940 whether they preferred that to the AMPC, I'm fairly certain what the answer would be.

    AMPC Rails.jpg AMPC Nissen Hut.jpg AMPC Balaclava.jpg AMPC Pipe.JPG AMPC Pipe 2.jpg AMPC 1939 pattern webbing.JPG AMPC 1939.JPG
     
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  5. Robert-w

    Robert-w Well-Known Member

    Thanks for this. Yes one of those guys does look very like the WW1 'Old Bill' and doubtless he was saying "Half a mo Adolf" Interesting that he has a rifle - Hansard records questions regarding the AMPC being armed - some MPs were doubtful of the wisdom of this! The text in the last of your attachments is unreadable - any chance of a better version?

    What I'm particularly interested in is the loan of AMPC units to the Ministry of Agriculture C 1940/41.
     

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