220 Field Company RE in Italy 1944

Discussion in 'Italy' started by Skoyen89, Nov 7, 2019.

  1. Skoyen89

    Skoyen89 Senior Member

    I am trying to learn more about 220 Field Coy Royal Engineers. It served with 56th Infantry Division throughout WWII but details on its activities online are few and it seems that the War Diary for Kew is there for 1943 but only has records for May and June 1944.

    It would be good to know which of the three Brigades in the Division it supported as that may indicate the actions it was involved in and the Brigade War Diary may be useful as a proxy for the Company War Diary.

    I bought a small book called 'Oh to be a Sapper.....' by M Salmon as he served with 220 Field Coy but he left them just before it went to Italy having been wounded on 8th August 1943 in an accident in Tripoli.

    Any info or references I can follow up much appreciated.
  2. Gary Tankard

    Gary Tankard Well-Known Member

    All of the diaries for 220 Field company are present for 1943-1945. The ones for May and June are when they were in the Middle East refitting. I have all the diaries plus all the brigade ones - which period are you interested in?
  3. Skoyen89

    Skoyen89 Senior Member

    Thanks Gary. I must have missed it in the searches I did in Discovery. A friend in the walking group is interested in finding more about his father's war. He thinks he was with them most of the war but will send off for his records from the MOD to confirm. He was definitely there in Italy because he mentioned it and I can find him on the casualty list for Jan 1944 and he told how he was disabled towards the end of the war. Hence I am trying to build up a picture of the activities of 220 Field Coy and at the moment am mainly interested in 1944 and 1945 so those for Italy. Are the War Diaries 'basic' or are there attached orders, operational instructions etc?
  4. minden1759

    minden1759 Senior Member

    If he was wounded in Jan 44, that would put him mostly likely on the Garigliano crossing which involved both 5 Inf Div and 56 Inf Div.


  5. Gary Tankard

    Gary Tankard Well-Known Member

    They are pretty good as they go. For example, the January 1944 WD has the Commanding Officers report on the operation mentioned by Frank. For that the company supported 167 Brigade.
  6. Skoyen89

    Skoyen89 Senior Member

    Thanks Frank and Gary. He was wounded on 19th January 1944 so that would put him in the Garigliano crossing. 167 Brigade were attacking Mt Damiano and Colle Salvatito if I have got it right. My friend said that he got hit by some shrapnel which bounced off the road. The Casualty Report says that he (and a couple of others from 220 Field Coy) stayed with their unit so the wounds couldn't have been that bad.

    I bought a copy of Salmon's book 'Oh to be a sapper' as he served in 220 Field Coy. He did from 1940 through to August 1943 when he was injured in North Africa just before the Company left to go (eventually) to Italy. he then went to Italy later with another unit.

    I've been reading Monte Cassino by Matthew Parker for an overview as this is not my primary area of interest, but it is hard to follow and seems to skate over the top. Need to look for something a bit more targeted.
  7. Gary Tankard

    Gary Tankard Well-Known Member

    220 Field Company Report on the crossing:




    minden1759 likes this.
  8. minden1759

    minden1759 Senior Member


    Great find.

  9. Isaf0815

    Isaf0815 New Member

    I just read the thread that you have copies of the 220 Field Coy RE diaries are you able to copy or send me a copy of these! I ask as I'm doing a new exhibition next year at the National Army Museum, where one of the officers I'm researching was part of 220 Field during the period of 1443-45?

    Thank you.
  10. minden1759

    minden1759 Senior Member


    Were you aware that Christopher Robin Milne was an Officer in this Fd Coy RE over that period?

    I have some drawings that he did for the Garigliano crossing.


  11. AB64

    AB64 Senior Member

    I'll chance my arm, does anyone have the Company WD's for Tunisia? looking for 5/5/43 as I have a Service Book to a Sapper wounded that day with them and I've no idea of the circumstances or location

  12. Gary Tankard

    Gary Tankard Well-Known Member

    Hi Isaf0815,

    Sorry, I missed this. Did you get the info you required?

  13. Gary Tankard

    Gary Tankard Well-Known Member

    I don't have them but I can have a look next time I'm in Kew.
    AB64 and 4jonboy like this.
  14. AB64

    AB64 Senior Member

    Cheers Gary, no need to go to any trouble, it was just in case you had them to hand

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