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Royal Engineers Drilling Water Wells Egypt 1941

Discussion in 'Royal Engineers' started by morrisc8, Aug 9, 2013.

  1. morrisc8

    morrisc8 Under the Bed

    Just bought an photo album with 70 Original photos of an RE unit drilling water wells in Egypt 1941, one of the photos taken in the UK has Duke & Ockenden Artesian well engineers, were there many RE units drilling for water in Egypt as it would be good to ID the unit and i wonder if some of the workers from that firm would be in that unit . One photo of a truck has a Aos number but hard to read.
    Keith
    water well drilling RE ww2  photo r 4.jpg water well drilling RE ww2  photo r3.jpg water well drilling RE ww2  photo r.jpg water well drilling RE ww2  photo r 1.jpg water well drilling RE ww2  photo rr1.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2019
    Chris C likes this.
  2. morrisc8

    morrisc8 Under the Bed

    Close up of bedford and back of photo + sign off other truck and kit bag number 18132.
    Keith
    water well drilling RE ww2  photo truck number.jpg water well drilling RE ww2  photo back of truck photo jpg.jpg water well drilling RE ww2  photo sign.jpg water well drilling RE ww2  photo 18132.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2019
  3. morrisc8

    morrisc8 Under the Bed

    WWII 1941 PHOTOGRAPHS OF A SOLDIERS TIME IN THE DESERT CAMPAIGN IN EGYPT. ROYAL ENGINEERS? WELL BORING SECTION. SOME PHOTO'S ARE NOTED ON THE BACK AND PLACES / DATES GIVEN ARE; CASASIN JULY 1941, TEL EL KEBIR AUG 1941, MOASCAR SEPT 1941 , ISMAILIA OCT 1941.
    Keith
    water well drilling RE ww2  photo 9.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2019
  4. morrisc8

    morrisc8 Under the Bed

    Drilling at night with the lights on. [ Turn that light out ] in 1941.
    Keith
    water well drilling RE ww2  photo 11.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2019
  5. Noel Burgess

    Noel Burgess Senior Member

    great stuff Keith, thanks for sharing. Post #1 picture 5 - looks like they had a scamell for towing the heavy kit.
    Noel
     
  6. morrisc8

    morrisc8 Under the Bed

    They use it to lift & drop the concreate rings in the hole.
    Keith
    water well drilling RE ww2  photo r puller.jpg water well drilling RE ww2  photo r pull.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2019
  7. Oldman

    Oldman Very Senior Member

    There where 10 Boring Sections with in Royal Engineers, apparantly seven of the ten units were middle east based and they do have war diaries,
    Named as 2 Boring Section etc
     
  8. morrisc8

    morrisc8 Under the Bed

    Nice photo of bike and scamell in desert cammo. The 2nd photo is of a drilling firm Duke & Ockenden [ now run by Dando Drilling in the UK still www.dando.co.uk ] that came with the photos of the RE guys, so at least one of them must have worked for them.
    Keith
    water bike truck.jpg water well  woods.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2019
  9. morrisc8

    morrisc8 Under the Bed

    This is an Abstract from the book
    Groundwater as a military resource: development of Royal Engineers Boring Sections and British military hydrogeology in World War II

    1. The Author E.P.F.Rose
    2. Department of Earth Sciences, Royal Holloway, University of London.

    Abstract
    To drill boreholes for water supply, the Royal Engineers raised ten ‘Boring Sections’ between September 1939 and May 1943, eight in the UK, two in Egypt. While supporting campaigns in World War II, two deployed briefly to France, seven served widely within the Middle East (one of these in Iraq and Iran and later Malta, the others mostly operating from Egypt), one deployed to Algeria/Tunisia, four to Sicily and/or Italy (one of these onward to Greece), two deployed to support the D-Day Allied landings in Normandy and the subsequent advance via Belgium to Germany, and three served long-term in the UK. Greatest use was by Middle East Command, which at its peak had about 35 officers, 750 men and 40 drilling rigs assigned to water supply, and whose boreholes attained a cumulative length of some 40 km. The British Army used geology to help guide emplacement of boreholes in all these regions. Innovations included groundwater prospect maps at scales of 1:50 000 and 1:250 000, to help planning for the Allied invasion of Normandy and the subsequent campaign in NW Europe. Geology also helped guide groundwater abstraction by Indian Engineers in the Far East, and British/South African troops in East Africa.
     
  10. morrisc8

    morrisc8 Under the Bed

    Royal Engineers Boring Sections in ww2. Number 3 RE Boring Section was founded in the UK from the civilian firm Duke & Ockenden Ltd at Littlehampton West Sussex on the first of Feb 1940 and the officer commanding was J.H.Elliott . I hope to link the photos to No 3 Section if poss and have had a lot of help from Dr E.P.F.Rose.
    Archives at Kew WO 169/1832 and WO 166/3531 i need to get.
    Keith
    water well drilling RE ww2  photo 15.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2019
  11. morrisc8

    morrisc8 Under the Bed

    The No 3 Section prepared for
    mobilization for service in the Middle East, two officers
    and 95 other ranks finally departing by ship from
    Liverpool on 17 February 1941.
    Here is a list of ships that left on 17th Feb 1941 from Liverpool from the website of Arnold Hague Ports Database
    The ship Yoma was a troop ship Liverpool, Feb 17, 1941WS.6B (Clyde - Freetown)Freetown, Mar 5, 1941Freetown, Mar 5, 1941IndependentDurban, Mar 25, 1941Durban, Mar 31, 1941WS.6D (Durban - Dispersal Off Aden) IndependentSuez, Apr 20, 1941 It might fit the bill ?.

    Keith
    convoy 1.jpg convoy WS 6B.jpg convoy WS 6B stop for water Capetown then to Durban jpg.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2019
  12. morrisc8

    morrisc8 Under the Bed

  13. ploughman

    ploughman Junior Member

    These locations appear to be along the line of the railway West from Ismalia.
    Would it have been for water supply for the locos?
    This line would have been in use by the RE Transportation units in the Middle East.
     
  14. morrisc8

    morrisc8 Under the Bed

    Hi Bryan,
    Yes most of these would have been used for the supply of water for the steam trains and water to supply the troops.
    Keith
     
  15. Jaimie

    Jaimie New Member

    My Great Uncle was with No. 10 Boring Section. I requested his war diaries and several entries pertain to his unit being in what is now modern day Iraq. He was CSM and hailed from Brighton. Mentioned in the London Gazette: No. 2032493 Company Sergeant-Major (acting) William Albert SMART, Royal Engineers. Perhaps he is in one of your photos?
     
    morrisc8 likes this.
  16. morrisc8

    morrisc8 Under the Bed

    All the photos are of number 3 Boring Section RE, i now can confirm.
    Keith
    water well drilling RE ww2  photo 4b stores .jpg water well drilling RE ww2  photo 28  The New New Inn Toby Ales .jpg
     
  17. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian researcher

    For those of us obsessed with vehicle camouflage the several vehicles in "Caunter" pattern are quite nice. Particularly the drilling machine in the first picture! Mind if I share some of these with a friend?
     
  18. morrisc8

    morrisc8 Under the Bed

    Number 3 Boring Section RE was part of 798 Water Boring Company.
    Yes Chris that would be ok, I can send you them via email if you wish, just let me know which ones.
    Here is a link with more info.

    Military Aspects of Hydrogeology
     
  19. morrisc8

    morrisc8 Under the Bed

    Original Photos from my collection of Number 3 Boring Section RE .
    Keith
    water well drilling RE ww2  photo 12.jpg water well drilling RE ww2  photo 36 .jpg
     
  20. morrisc8

    morrisc8 Under the Bed

    I did offer a copy of all photos to the RE museum but they said they had no room for them in there collection.
    Keith
    water well drilling RE ww2  photo 4.jpg
     

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