War Diary 89th Royal Engineers 1944 Jan - Dec

Discussion in 'Royal Engineers' started by MSGrover1, Jun 4, 2014.

  1. MSGrover1

    MSGrover1 Member

    I have uploaded the War Diary for 89th RE part of 8th GHQ Troops for Operation Overlord, If you like bridges then a couple of nice plans :)
    [sharedmedia=gallery:albums:708]
     
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  2. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    I know a certain member on this forum will be taking a WW2 vet from this unit to Normandy in the next day or so - He may even be there now actually :lol:
     
  3. MSGrover1

    MSGrover1 Member

    I heard a rumour they might be... wish I could make it!.....
     
  4. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    I've spoken to said member on FB and he's happy to ask any Qs to the vet if you post them on here, assuming the vet is happy to talk about his war. May be do a list of Q's numbered and then the forum member can list the answers below?
     
  5. Jonathan Ball

    Jonathan Ball It's a way of life.

    Dodgy thing is listening to rumours...

    I am indeed going to be spending the next 4 days with a Gent who landed with 89 Field Coy as a young Lieutenant on 6 June. If he's up for it I'm more than happy to ask anything you like. He's listed in the diary for June 1944 in the return of Officers.
     
  6. MSGrover1

    MSGrover1 Member

    Thanks Jonathan, They are........
    I hope to return to Normandy next year with my father son of Richard Snelgrove 89th RE and he has always been keen to establish to the nearest possible grain of sand the landing location of his father, this forum has helped me to establish it as Gold Beach and all my Grand Father ever said was something about a big "white house" which may or may not be useful establishing King/Red or Green Sector would be great! but I know a challenge. So any help on finding a landing location would be fab if he knew my Grand Father who returned from the war and can be seen in the below picture from July 1945 Germany middle row in the middle (5 in from either end)

    I wonder if he is in the pix himself or recognises anyone?
    [sharedmedia=gallery:images:25985]

    Feel free to PM Thx Malcolm
     
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  7. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    If I may add two penith to help Malcolm...

    What Troop Richard Snelgrove in? If he doesn't know what Troop was he in? That should narrow Richard down to two possible Troops.
     
  8. MSGrover1

    MSGrover1 Member

    Hello..... unfortunately the only facts we have are Richard Snelgrove 2133350 89th RE part of 8th G.H.Q Troops Engineers?
     
  9. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Hi Malcolm


    Off the top of my head a RE Company can consist of between a 100 and 200 men. If you can ID your Grandfathers Troop it will narrow him down to around 50 to 100 men.
     
  10. MSGrover1

    MSGrover1 Member

    Hi Andy
    Yes, I know needle........... have nothing on the troop just a personal letter from the boat (4/6/44) says 89 Field Coy RE A.P.O and he is awaiting the 2nd front to start which is post postponed 24hrs due to weather on aprx 6000 tonne boat and then will hop into small boats for the landing... so that should narrow things down for me :) Further letter says he was 40mins after the first landing........
     
  11. MSGrover1

    MSGrover1 Member

    Andy, I think re reading and cross checking all the War Diaries that you got for me and my notes...... I can pin point the landing down to King close to La Riviere which is where HQ was set up for 89th RE so I doubt i'll get any closer than that.
     
  12. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/SearchUI/Details?uri=D7407480

    [​IMG]
     
  13. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

  14. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/SearchUI/Details?uri=C9276501



    Name Gaidon, Alfred Joseph
    Rank: Sapper
    Service No: 2133964
    Regiment: 89 Field Company Royal Engineers, 8 General Head Quarters Troops Engineers
    Theatre of Combat or Operation: North West Europe 1944-45
    Award: Military Medal
    Date of announcement in London Gazette: 24 January 1946

    [​IMG]
     
  15. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron

    Malcolm,

    As you know I am just starting on my detailed study of Gold. I have some thousands of pages of material. However the clues you give above have narrowed the search somewhat. If we are looking at 89 Field Company landing about H+40 minutes by LCA from LSI(L) then there are few possibilities.

    At H+45 minutes a wave of LCAs from Empire Weapon Class LSI(L)s landed the reserve battalion of 69 Brigade. This was 7 Green Howards landing on King Green. Four of the craft were carrying reconnaissance and advanced parties from 89 Field Company. Two parties were of six men and two of five men. I am guessing that this indicates two parties of 11 men each with the section of six including an officer. They were to carry out a reconnaissance and be ready to deploy the rest of the company as it landed. The company role was to improve the beach exits on King Green.

    There should have been a halftrack and a jeep ashore, having landed from LCT(A)s at H Hour but these were delayed.

    This stretch of beach was devoid of buildings but the most obvious landmark was on the hills inland. This was a villa which is referred to as Lavatory Pan Villa because of the shape of its drive on maps and photos.

    More in the fullness of time. I don't work quickly.

    Mike
     
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  16. MSGrover1

    MSGrover1 Member

    Hi Mike,

    Many thanks again for the information much appreciated and great to be able to narrow things down this far!
    Cheers
    Malcolm
     
  17. Jonathan Ball

    Jonathan Ball It's a way of life.

    Malcolm

    I had a good chat with our Veteran. He is Lt. Anthony Hart and whilst he didn't instantly identify your Grandad he did say that the surname rang a bell.

    Tony landed around 150 yards to west of WN33 on King Red Sector of Gold. He gave a talk to our group entirely off the cuff and the details tallied beautifully with the diary. Interestingly he told me about the tidal pontoon bridge they built across the River Orne near Ranville. He said the specific reason given for its construction was for 2 recovered Tiger Tanks to be brought across. It was felt that the existing bridge which we all now know as Horsa Bridge would not be able to do so given the weight involved.

    Tony also brought a superb personal photo album with him. It mainly featured the bridges they built throughout the remainder of the war.
     
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  18. MSGrover1

    MSGrover1 Member

    Many thanks Jonathan and must of been a fantastic few days.... Very helpful info and I have a couple of pix of the bridge across the River Orne that my Grandfather took.
     
  19. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron

    Malcolm,

    I have carefully read the diaries for 89 and 90 Companies for June at least. Quite a contrast. 89 Diary is very economical with simple statements like Beach maintenance, Mine clearing, water point operation etc for each day. 90 Diary is an in depth study with a preamble, details of what each platoon was doing each day plus appendices giving details of the planning and operation and comments, often critical, of other units efforts. A pretty complete picture which would apply to other Beach Companies.

    Thanks again.

    Mike.

    PS any idea what flexi boards were. 90 Company found then useful on soft patches of beach but they had to be taken up before the tide came in or they floated away. Presumably wooden boards, plywood perhaps.
     
  20. ploughman

    ploughman Junior Member

    Flexiboard implies something that flexses. Possibly a hinged plank or similar?

    Just checked my old REPB p227 and in there is listed Somerfeld trackway now this is / was wire mesh netting used for temporary trackways, but it could be used as a Somerfeld Sandwich with timber wheel tracks.

    Why I list this is because on the resources required page p231 it states:-
    "275m of Somerfeld Sandwich trackway Requires 8 x 4t trucks, 3 of track and 5 of FLEXBOARD"
     

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