270, 670, 715 & 221 Companies Royal Engineers

Discussion in 'Royal Engineers' started by Den Tricker, Jun 28, 2021.

  1. Den Tricker

    Den Tricker New Member

    Hello ww2 talkers,

    I have just joined after receiving my father's military record following a long long wait of 18 months due to covid.

    He was in the Royal Engineers and always summed up his wartime service by saying he 'walked up Italy'

    I am now trying flesh out more details. His early units were

    270 RE (1937-41) TA in UK
    670 AW (Artisian works) Company RE (Nov41-Sep42) Uk
    715 AW Company RE (Sep42-Sept44) UK then Italy
    221 Company RE (Black Cats) (Sept44-Apr46) Italy

    Does anyone have any hints or information about these units ? I've found a few references on the web to 221 but little on the others.

    I hope to get info from the war diaries in due course, however one of the 715 diaries is marked "Closed For 29 years" is that normal?

  2. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

  3. gmyles

    gmyles Senior Member

    Hi Dennis

    From a RE Order of Battle (OOB) document I found online a few years ago.

    270th Field Coy RE 2nd line TA; 3 Sep 1939: Sheffield; embodied 3 Sep 1939 (46th Infantry Division became operational 2 Oct 1939). Disbanded 1946.

    670th Gen Cons Coy RE Served with BEF 1940. By Sep 1940 670th Artizan Works Coy RE (WO Reserve). Served with 21st Army Group 1944-45 [Normandy landing (102nd Beach SubArea)]. Disbanded Sep 1945+.

    715th Gen Cons Coy RE Served with BEF 1940. Later 715th Artizan Works Coy RE. Served in Italy 1943-45. Disbanded Sep 1945+.

    221st (2nd London) Field Coy RE 1st line TA; 3 Sep 1939: Chelsea (GHQ); embodied 3 Sep 1939. As 221st Army Field Coy RE assigned I Corps 1940. Reverted to 221st (2nd London) Field Coy RE; assigned 1st London [later 56th (London) Infantry] Division 3 Jul 1945. Disbanded 1946.

    Hope this helps

  4. minden1759

    minden1759 Senior Member


    221 Field Company RE was one of three Field Companies in 56 Infantry Division. There was also a Field Park Company RE which looked after all the heavy plant and dished it out to the Field Companies as the tasks required.

    A Field Company was routinely attached to an Infantry Brigade although without checking my notes I can recall whether 221 Fd Coy RE supported 167 Infantry Brigade, 168 Infantry Brigade or 169 Infantry Brigade. So, if you establish which Infantry Brigade was supported by 221 Fd Coy RE from Sep 44 to Apr 46, you will be able to work out exactly where he went during his time with them.

    If it helps, 56 Infantry Division were part of the assault on the Gothic Line at Rimini in Sep 43 and then pushed into the Po Valley and along Route 9 towards Bologna into the Winter. The Division was still there for the Final Offensive that kicked off on 9 Apr 45.


  5. minden1759

    minden1759 Senior Member


    I have checked my notes.

    221 Fd Coy RE supported 169 Infantry Brigade.


  6. Den Tricker

    Den Tricker New Member

    Many thanks for the information everyone, that fits in well with what I know.

    My father finished the war in Trieste, Italy and remained there until April 46. I think the story was that there was a shortage of
    heating oil for schools etc so his job was to convert all the boilers to run on diesel. He had a team of German POWs to help.

    In what seems a random collection of papers I've found the attached. I think it is an army order. No date but the place mentioned Meldola is south of the Po river, so given the assignment I wonder if it was something to do with the crossing ! 2013_0214_dt0095.JPG

  7. minden1759

    minden1759 Senior Member

    It is a real shame that it is not dated. My hunch is that it is late Nov 44 when 56 Inf Div we’re getting ready to cross the River Cosina to NW of Forli.

    A Fd Park Coy RE is a large and unwieldy affair so it would not have been close to the front line.

    563 Fd Park Coy RE served 56 Inf Div so he would have had to go out of area.



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