Mobile Bath and Laundry Units

Discussion in 'REME/RAOC' started by shunnerp, Jun 26, 2009.

  1. shunnerp

    shunnerp Junior Member

    I'm researching MBLU, a small branch of the RASC, some times associated with Labour Corps or Pioneers and having completed WW1 am now moving on to WW2. I have a clipping allegedlly from "The Gazzette" circa 1950 saying, 35 MBLU entering the town of Rhine before the infantry of the 52 Inf Div!!!! Any information on MBLUs in general or confirmation of the report would be appreciated
     
  2. ramacal

    ramacal 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA Patron

    Hi Shunnerp & welcome to the Forum.

    Certainly an unusual unit to research.

    Don't know anything about these units, but as you are probably aware, there are war diaries covering their activities. I should think these are your only way to confirm the information you are after.

    They are known as 35 MLBU as follows:-

    WO171/2811 - January to May 1944 & July to December 1944.
    WO171/6869 - January to November 1945.

    WO171 relates to NW Europe, so in the right theatre of operations.

    Don't know if you can get to the National Archives at Kew, but these are the docs you should look for.

    Cheers - Robert
     
  3. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Have you looked at the British Pathé archive ?

    A nice film there of a mobile bath with the BEF in 1940 - Fearsome boiler.

    Nice pictures of BEF disruptive camouflage (on tents as well as vehicles) and 2nd Division formation sign visible in the stills.

    British Pathe - MOBILE BATH HOUSE FRANCE
     
    Owen likes this.
  4. shunnerp

    shunnerp Junior Member

    Wow. Good footage, More than I was expecting and so quick..... Things haven't changed a great deal. lol
     
  5. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    Aye ShunnerP, Welcome aboard.

    Sounds like an interesting niche.
    Can I take it you've trawled the IWM collections?

    Few shots turn up there with a bit of searching.
    Holland:
    [​IMG]
    302nd Mobile Laundry, 51st Highland Division, Eindhoven, February 1945.

    Italy:
    [​IMG]
    A trailer which houses a complete laundry, part of No. 11 and No. 14 Mobile Laundry Unit, 17-19 December 1943

    Italy:
    [​IMG]
    Men of No. 11 and No. 14 Mobile Laundry Unit at work hanging battledress out to dry, 17-19 December 1943.
    Best of luck,
    Adam.
     
  6. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron

  7. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

    Shunnerp,

    Hello and welcome to the forum.

    I bet the facilities were a most welcome site to many soldiers who had use of them.

    Regards
    Tom
     
  8. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    [​IMG]
    Teenaged German prisoners of war (POWs) bathing in makeshift showers at prison camp.at Continental Central POW Enclosure 15, called the Baby Lager by its occupants, which is an American run reeducation camp for German prisoners of war aged 12-17.
     
  9. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Courtesy of Life

    Do you mean courtesy of 'Life' or of 'Lifebuoy' ?:)
     
  10. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

    Do you mean courtesy of 'Life' or of 'Lifebuoy' ?:)


    Rich,
    I understand:D.

    Regards
    Tom
     
  11. Noel Burgess

    Noel Burgess Senior Member

    I would (as I so often do) reccomend a visit to Trux website here - HOME
    Select "Services" from the menu bar, then "Other Services" and then "RAOC & Provost"
    Mobile Bath & Laundry is about half way down the page - gives details of men. equipment and methods.
    Noel
     
  12. ramacal

    ramacal 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA Patron

    Noel

    That site is quite useful.

    Cheers - Robert
     
  13. shunnerp

    shunnerp Junior Member

    You have all been fantastic. Such a wealth of knowledge. Thank you!
     
  14. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Can I have my socks back now then?
     
  15. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Amer. soldier taking a shower as others undress for their turn in tent at one of the airbases fr. which Piper Cub pilots fly reconnaissance missions over the Cassino corridor of battle. Feb 1944.
    [​IMG]

    British soldiers of the Dorsetshire County Regiment taking hot baths, France 1944.
    [​IMG]

    Soldier washing clothes in jungle during break in action near Munda, New Georgia Island, August 1945.
    [​IMG]
     
  16. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

  17. Pete Keane

    Pete Keane Senior Member

    I remember Spike Milligan describing his visit to a mobile shower unit in one of his memoirs.

    Obscure unit to research, good luck.

    Pete.
     
  18. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

  19. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Our first experience of mobile bath units was when we joined the Canadian Corps in Italy just North of the Foggia Airfields when we had steaming hot showers replacement shirts- socks - and underwear - this saved us a tremendous amount of time in finding water -heating same -and washing clothes - so they were god sent to us and followed us all the way up Italy..
    Cheers
     
  20. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    WO167/296 Page 894 and Page 895

    Not quite mobile bath units but thought this was the best place to post it.

    Just reading a 48 Div war diary and there is a mention in the Div's Petrol Company diary dated 16th Jan 1940 that they had arranged for the company's men to use the public baths at Arras at a cost of 1 Franc and 50 Cents a head.

    Also a mention of Laundry being done by a Laundress in their area at a cost of 3 Francs and 50 Cents for four pieces and a local bootmaker soling and heeling boots for 32 Francs per pair.

    I've also read quite a few accounts of arrangements being made between the BEF and coal mines in the area to allow troops to use their baths.
     

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