Photo 89 or 90 RE July 1945 Germany

Discussion in 'Royal Engineers' started by MSGrover1, Feb 7, 2012.

  1. MSGrover1

    MSGrover1 Member

    Got it, It's not a Rifle badge Mike, it's RAChD
    He's the Chaplain.
    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/14/RAChD_QC.gif

    [​IMG]http://www.ww2talk.com/forum/royal-engineers/attachment.php?attachmentid=74072&d=1328656812


    Also has ribbon up of the MC , we should be able to name him .

    Here's a better picture with King's Crown ,as other image I posted has Queen's Crown.
    >> Royal Army Chaplains' Department King's Crown Badge


    Andy has sent me the link for the 76 Chaplains that have MC. I can narrow slightly by date but any pointers on uniforms as a few Chaplains were posted to Canadian, New Zealand forces during this year etc.... This would help greatly with naming him!

    Thx
    Malcolm
     
  2. MSGrover1

    MSGrover1 Member

    Found my first documented piece covering 89 RE, one paragraph mention in 254 page book! but a start:-

    1 Corps bridging Ops Jun & Jul 44:-

    On 15 Jul it was found necessary to provide two additional class 40 crossings over CAEN Canal and R ORNE to enable 8 Corps (7 Armd Div, 11 Armd Div and Gds Armd Div) to undertake the operation of breaking out from the South of the bridgehead East of R Orne.
    For this purpose, the bridges (named Tower I) over the locks at OUISTREHAM were rebuilt, and a new Bailey pontoon bridge (named Tower II) was constructed a hundred yards downstream of York II at ECARDE; a Bailey bridge was built over the canal near the existing swing bridge at BLAINVILLE 0873, and a Bailey pontoon bridge at LONGUEVAL 0871 over R ORNE. These were named TAY I and TAY II respectively. The existing civilian bridge at RANVILLE (known as EUSTON II) was strengthened to class 40. This gave a total of five class 40 crossings.
    To assist in these tasks 8 GHQ Tps Engrs (89, 90, 91 Fd Coys) were placed under command 1 Corps.
    Details of these bridges are shown on Map XI.


    Appears to me that 89, 90, 91 Fd Coys stayed together? under 8 GHQ - My GDad is supposed to of been posted from 89 to 90 RE July 45 same date as the picture. Maybe it was just a consolidation on who was left?


    Thanks

    Malcolm
     
  3. MSGrover1

    MSGrover1 Member

    The fouled anchor indicates a Beach Group. The formation sign has the GHQ diagonal bar indicating 21st Army Group in this case but the serial ending in '2' is not immediately apparent.
    This would be a good one for Mike 'Trux' I think.

    Found this in relation to the "Fouled Anchor Badge":-

    Note that the same badge was worn by a specific unit, 8th GHQ Troops Engineers. This unit was formed in 1940 as 8th Chemical Warfare Group RE, converting to GHQ Troops RE in 1943. They formed part of the Beach Group organization for Normandy. They later assumed normal GHQ Troops duties in 21st Army Group but continued to wear this badge.
     
  4. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron

    91 Field Company was one of the companies landing on Sword Beach on D Day. It was at that time under the command of 18 GHQ Engineers and was part of 101 Beach Sub Area.

    What you say is of great interest since it is difficult to find information on the activities of these units when the fighting moved on.

    Mike
     
  5. MSGrover1

    MSGrover1 Member

    Thanks, It was from reading the Operational Plan of 3 Brit Div the landing on Queen Beach and the individual objectives of them all and the changes that had to be made that eventually brought me to 89 RE. Not sure how 91 Fd got from 18 GHQ to 8th GHQ but I was speed reading looking for 89/90 or Gold Beach but the 250 pages where Queen all through.

    I'll hopefully draw a picture as time goes on.....

    Malcolm
     
  6. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron

    89 and 90 Field Companies were used to build the Tay 1 and Tay 2 Bailey Bridges over the River Orne and the Caen Canal. This was in late July.

    Several small detachments from 8 GHQ Engineers landed on Juno and Sword beaches. One was only two men to operate a water point. GHQ Engineer Headquarters were used to administer Field Companies which did not come under a Commander Royal Engineers (in divisions and corps). There was no regiment or battalion for engineers. It is not unusual for them to be dispersed or attached to other units and formations since they were a reserve of units for work beyond the capacity of divisions and corps own resources.

    There is a little about the building of the 'Tay' bridges in the Royal Engineers battlefield Tour Volume I.

    Mike
     
  7. MSGrover1

    MSGrover1 Member

    Thanks Mike,

    I have Volume I & II on their way this weekend + Normandy - Siene, I've gone for digitized copies so I can keyword search through. It does look like, if 91 were part of 8th GHQ with 89 & 90 they did not actually meet up together until around July. It also does confirm they all had specific DDay objectives for the landing and once the objectives were accomplished 91 moved onto bridges,I have 91s objectives and commanders accounts of the landing. I did read an account of them being sent on a Recce and coming under heavy fire and having to dig in until more help arrived to silence the other side. Before they could work on the bridges.

    Sadly not the same level of detail on 89 0r 90 yet but i'll find them...... otherwise it will all be on Andy and the hope the diary will be expensive! (in a positive way)

    Once I have digitized the books, I'll post some snippets if they are not already on the forum.

    Cheers

    Malcolm
     
  8. MSGrover1

    MSGrover1 Member

    Found this map which for me confirms Tay 2 built by 89 RE and Tay 1 by 90 RE, nice detailed map for those interested.

    Map shows the following bridges:-

    Tay 2, 086721, 174ft Special Type Bailey, Built by 89 FD Coy (8 GHQ TPS Engrs) Took 16hrs
    Tay 1, 079728, 150ft TD Bailey, Buiult by 90 FD Coy (8 GHQ Tps Engrs) Took 14hrs
    London 2, 104744, Tidal Type BPB, Built by 17, 71, 263 FD Coys (3 Brit Div) 50hrs
    London 1, 098743, Tidal Type BPB, Built by 17, 71, 263 FD Coys (3 Brit Div) 56hrs
    York 1, 11766, 357' Normal BPB, Built by 234 & 19 FD Coys (1 Corps Tps) 16hrs
    York 2, 115762, 336 Normal BPB, Built by 234 & 71 FD Coys (1 Corps) 25hrs
    Tower 2, 115763, 336 Normal BPB, Built by 234 & 240 FD Coys (1Corps Tps) 17hrs
    Tower 1, 119788, 2 x 80ft Bailey, Built originally 18 GHQ TPS Engrs: Secondly 19 FD Coy (1 Corps TPS) 12hrs

    Malcolm
     

    Attached Files:

  9. Steve Mac

    Steve Mac Very Senior Member

    Hello Malcolm,

    You are making great progress with your quest... it's really good to see.

    I may be off at a tangent here, in which case I apologise, but it is my understanding that 89, 90 and 91 Field Coy's, RE, were the permanent members of 8th GHQ, RE; albeit they may have been under orders of other units from time to time. The part quote below is from your '89 CW Coy, RE' thread.

    Best,

    Steve.
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2019
  10. MSGrover1

    MSGrover1 Member

    Hi Steve,

    Thanks, I am slowing making some progress! and I was thinking about whether I should have the one post as they are all now crossing each other with information.

    In summary to answer your question yes you are correct in that 89, 90 and 91 Field Coy's RE were the permanent members of 8th GHQ. This has appeared several times now with regard to the building of bridges and the wearing of the "fouled anchor" badge

    Quotes:-
    "To assist in these tasks 8 GHQ Tps Engrs (89, 90, 91 Fd Coys) were placed under command 1 Corps."

    Also to go back a little further:-
    "The 8th Chemical Warfare Group RE Raised in 1940. Converted 1943 as 8th GHQ Troops RE. Organized with 89th, 90th, and 91st Chemical Warfare Coys RE."
    "...89th Chemical Warfare Coy RE 1940 (assigned 8th Chemical Warfare Group RE). Converted 1943... as 89 Field Coy RE (and group reorganized as 8th GHQTRE) [Normandy landing (104 Beach Sub-Area)]. Disbanded Sep 1945+.

    Fouled Anchor:-
    "The same badge was worn by a specific unit, 8th GHQ Troops Engineers. This unit was formed in 1940 as 8th Chemical Warfare Group RE, converting to GHQ Troops RE in 1943. They formed part of the Beach Group organization for Normandy. They later assumed normal GHQ Troops duties in 21st Army Group but continued to wear this badge"

    The 8th Group or you could say the individual 89, 90, 91 Coys landed on different beaches for DDay and had clear Beach objectives but then moved forward separately and started coming together late July with regard to the building of the bridges. Which is where I have stopped as awaiting some 89 & 90 details.

    I Hope this helps? I'll stop before I start confusing myself!!

    Cheers

    Malcolm
     
  11. Steve Mac

    Steve Mac Very Senior Member

    Hello Malcolm,

    From that first tentative question to where you are now, I think you are doing a great job of researching your grandfather's war; and only a week or so into the journey. I wouldn't change a thing... :)

    Best,

    Steve.
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2019
  12. MSGrover1

    MSGrover1 Member

    89 and 90 Field Companies were used to build the Tay 1 and Tay 2 Bailey Bridges over the River Orne and the Caen Canal. This was in late July.

    Several small detachments from 8 GHQ Engineers landed on Juno and Sword beaches. One was only two men to operate a water point. GHQ Engineer Headquarters were used to administer Field Companies which did not come under a Commander Royal Engineers (in divisions and corps). There was no regiment or battalion for engineers. It is not unusual for them to be dispersed or attached to other units and formations since they were a reserve of units for work beyond the capacity of divisions and corps own resources.

    There is a little about the building of the 'Tay' bridges in the Royal Engineers battlefield Tour Volume I.

    Mike


    Mike

    I happened to be reading the below and thought of your post, could it be the "two men to operate the water point"? or a good coincidence!

    Cheers Malcolm

    A STORY OF THE CROSSING TO FRANCE WITH 8 GHQ TPS ENGRS

    We had received our instructions about four days before D Day from Lt Col DAMI, ORE 8 GHQ Tps Engrs, at SOUTHAMPTON, We were to travel independently with a jeep and trailer loaded with stores for a water point, and we were told to report to an officer of 53 E & M PI after landing. We did not see our unit again until arrival in FRANCE.

    We boarded a LCT in STOKES BAY at about 1800 hours the evening of 5 Jun, There was a very long queue of vehicles on the road, which were embarking in about twelve LCTs, There were many other LCTs lying out in the bay. It was a very tricky business backing the jeep and trailer into position on the LCT. After we were in position the jeep was chained down and we remained on it for the remainder of the trip. The LCT was loaded mainly with RASC 3 tonners, and we were the only sappers on board.

    The LCT loaded quickly and put off about 1900 hours, The journey over we spent on the jeep, sleeping when possible, but generally uncomfortable, We had with us our packs, the 24 hour ration, and a ration of rum (unofficially a pint in our case), seasick bags and seasick tablets. The ships company provided us with soup on the voyage and we did not break into our 24 hour ration until after landing. It was a fine clear night, and calm until morning. We did not eat our seasick tablets and all was well until the following morning when Dvr EDMONDSON was following a barrage balloon with his eyes and the craft took a move in another direction. The seasick bag came in handy. Dvr MOORE also found the bag convenient that morning.

    The first we saw of the coast of FRANCE was about 1000 hours in the morning of 6 Jun (D Day). We cut down speed and hung around about eight to ten miles off shore. It was a fine morning but not so calm as the night before. We could see RODNEY shelling the coast from a few miles away, About mid morning we were strafed by four boche fighters. The ships around us opened up with their Oerlikens and brought one down, which seemed to frighten the others off—just as well as we were beginning to get the wind up a bit ourselves.

    The craft first tried to pull in late in the morning. When it grounded the ramp was dropped and the first vehicle drove into the water—and completely disappeared. We had struck a false beach. The driver of the drowned vehicle was rescued and we pushed off again further West. This time all was well and we drove off easily into about a foot of water on a good hard beach, We came off about noon and were about the fourth vehicle out of the craft. We were rushed straight across the beach on to the coast road. In crossing the beach we only caught a glimpse of the knife rests and hedgehogs and a few bulldozers working and people walking about.

    The first de-waterproofing was done on the coast road. We then drove along the coast road until we met a military policeman. We asked him if he knew where 8 GHQ Tps were and he did not know so we pulled into a field to have some food. We opened one 24 hour ration and boiled up some oatmeal cakes for porridge on the tommy cookers, had some chocolate, some compo tea and a smoke.

    After we had finished we went off in the jeep to look for the E & M PI, We toured the area until evening without finding them and returned to the same field for the night, which we shared with a heavy anti aircraft battery. We parked; the jeep alongside the hedge and camouflaged it, dug ourselves a hole and ran the jeep over the top of it. We remained in the hole over night, sleeping when the cracks from the AA guns permitted. All we could see was big flashes. We looked out occasionally but there was too much shrapnel about so we got back again, With daylight the AA guns quietened and there was no sign of enemy aircraft. The traffic increased and there was an enormous amount of dust. We opened up our second 24 hour ration and
    had a meal of porridge etc and went off again in search of the E & M Pl.

    This time we met the officer in charge who was out looking for us, and he took us to Beach Group HQ. There we went into a field, to complete de-waterproofing. While we were doing this a sapper came up and told us there was a sniper in a wood about four hundred yards away who had been picking off the military policemen at the nearby crossroads—so we beat it quickly and finished our de-waterproofing elsewhere. We were then given our first meal other than the 24 hour ration—sardines and biscuits from compo rations.

    The officer then took us to CREULLY to a big chateau where all the E & M PI was billeted, about half a mile from the water point we were to operate. We unloaded our stores at the water point, which was a big old well, and came back to the chateau where we slept that night in the wine cellar. Unfortunately there were only a few bottles of benedictine—which we finished off that night—but we were quite comfortable as the boche had left behind bedding and sheets.

    Early the next morning the boche bombed a crossroads near the water point and the bombs killed two of our lads who were on guard at the water point. That afternoon four boche ran through the field next to the water point, S/Sjt MACRAE grabbed the Bren and let fly at them, killing one and wounding one. The other two gave themselves up.

    Our water point was open to all comers and there was a long queue during the day—of water carts, and lorries with loads of jerrycans. We went on operating the point until the Company arrived about a week later when we rejoined them.
     
  13. MSGrover1

    MSGrover1 Member

    Hi, back to the Photo any assistance on the specific building in the photo.... long shot I know but War diary for 89 Fd Coy RE puts them all in Minden Germany July 45 before they got on 15 Cattle Trucks to bring them home (obviously not on the truck all the way!)

    Would love to find the building, the doors must help?..........

    Thanks
    Malcolm
     
  14. smithmaps

    smithmaps Junior Member

    Hi this topic has been around a while, but I was interested in the picture, and especially the Sargeant.

    I have a Battledress, dated 1943, of Canadian Manufacture, and appears to be from pretty much an identical unit.

    It has 5 years of service bars on the sleeve. It differs from the one shown, in as much as it has pleated pockets, indicating an earlier manufacture?

    Unfortunately it is not named or numbered.

    I would be very interested to know a guestimate of what unit it could be from.

    Any ideas on how many individuals in total from unit numbers would have worn such a jacket?

    Many thanks
     

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