Teme bridge demolition ? Exercise Hops 1941 ?216 A Fd Coy REs

Discussion in 'Royal Engineers' started by Kington, Mar 9, 2018.

  1. SineNomine

    SineNomine New Member

    I came across this thread by chance. It interests me because I visited the bridge a couple of weeks ago. I know nothing about explosives, but have some interest in canal history. For what it is worth, the channel through which the canal flowed over the aqueduct would have been lined with a thick layer of clay. Would it be fair to say that the presence of the clay lining would have contributed to the difficulty of blowing out the central arch? Thanks.
     
  2. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    When up in Shropshire I got the number of a local historian who might be able to help if you want the number let me know

    regards
    Clive
     
  3. Kington

    Kington Member

    Thanks SineNomine. Canals is my angle also
    Absolutely on. a clay base and below that whatever . Stone , brick , infill
    It did take at least two goes

    Yes please Clive . How do you pass it on
    If their initials are RR I know him!!
    Regards
    David
     
  4. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    private message sent with name and number
     
  5. SineNomine

    SineNomine New Member

    Many thanks for your reply, David. It is interesting that you should bear out my suspicions. It looks as though the Home Guard and Royal Engineers may not have appreciated quite what sort of structure they were dealing with.
    Regards, SineNomine.
     
  6. Kington

    Kington Member

    Many thanks Clive
    Picked up number
    Kind regards
    Kington
     
  7. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

  8. Robert-w

    Robert-w Well-Known Member

    Have seen a copy of a diary of a young lady who lived in St Michaels (just outside Tenbury Wells) at the time. She refers to the exercise as "The Battle of the Teme", "Parachutists" advanced along the road from Leominster. The locals were pre warned to ensure that there were no friendly fire incidents. Apparently there was much roaring about by dispatch riders on motor bikes. It sounds as if a good time was had by all.
     
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  9. Robert-w

    Robert-w Well-Known Member

    J R Tolkein in part based The Shire which appears in the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings and some short stories on the Teme Valley where he spent part of his childhood
     
  10. Kington

    Kington Member

    Many thanks indeed Fascinating. Yes indeed . This part of Exercise Hops was indeed called the Battle of the River Teme. The Home Forces side of the Exercise had support from 13 Squadron RAF and concentrated around Leominster . It is possible that they also did dive bombing against the enemy with bags of flour!! A very nice find
     
  11. Kington

    Kington Member

    Many thanks. I wasn't aware of this
     
  12. Kington

    Kington Member

    Just to say that finally after many years of research the truth seems to have been discovered about the Teme aqueduct demolition. This included at least 100 war diaries and loads of other sources including the IWM and NAM
    The aqueduct was blown in Western Command Exercise Hops in the Battle of the River Teme ( along the NW part of the Teme Stop-Line)
    It was blown during the afternoon of Thursday 31st May 1941
    III Corps oversaw this part of the Exercise
    The Enemy were the 31st and 36th Ind Infantry Brigades ( coming from South Wales as apart of Exercise David 2 days previously as part of a mock invasion of England and Wales)
    The 36th was the Brigade involved in the length from Little Hereford to Lindridge
    In the 3mile stretch with the aqueduct it included:
    216 Army Field Com RE ( TA) . They did the blowing. 42 Div held the explosives. The bridges were blown by the Enemy to create bridging conditions for the exercise. The disused aqueduct was the only real demolition permitted by Western Command to give reality to the Exercise.
    139 Army Field Reg RA ( TA)
    5 Battalion Royal East Kent Regiment ( the Buffs)
    1 Battalion Belgium ( Foreign Liason)
    The Home Forces were the 18th Div ( 53rd and 54th Brigades ) , Czech Liaison and 13 Sqn RAF
    In all about 20000 troops
    The Shropshire and Leominster Home Guards were observers only . The 5th ( Bideford ) Devon HG joined the 31st Ind Inf Brigade
    The Friends of the Leominster Canal are unveiling a plague on the aqueduct this Saturday in memory of the event
    This has now been published by the Railway and Canal Historical Society : RCHS Journal 235 July 2019 487-97 . Also RCHS Waterways History Research Group Occasional Paper 135
     
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  13. Kington

    Kington Member

    Sorry .Slip Thursday 29th May 1941!!!
     
  14. Kington

    Kington Member

    Yes indeed. Many thanks
    However, nothing to do I am afraid with Exercise HopS
    There were also serveral Exercise ....... Hop e.g. Exercise Long Hop . Again not connected
    NA Discovery has nothing on Exercise Hops or Battle of the River Teme . You need to go to the War Diaries
    Role on the digitalised WW2 War Diaries . What has taken years of research will take seconds!!! Hopefully before 2040s when officially open
     
  15. Kington

    Kington Member

    To see Major Bryan Heatley unveiling the plaque go to

     
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  16. Kington

    Kington Member

    The plaque HopsTemePlaque.jpg
     
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