Pictures of 240 Field Company

Discussion in 'Royal Engineers' started by Ben Blackwell, Feb 28, 2011.

  1. Ben Blackwell

    Ben Blackwell Member

    I hope the link works:

    IMG_0718 | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

    These are some of the pics that we have of my Grandad's unit. If anybody knows anything about them, then please let me know.
    There should be 9 pictures in all.
    dbf likes this.
  2. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Excellent pictures-Any idea on the location?

    Some serious contruction going on there and not a Hi-Vis vest or hard hat in sight :)
  3. Ben Blackwell

    Ben Blackwell Member

    I'm not sure where, I guess Holland, but I'm not sure. I just added another four pics, one of which looks like it could be them reading the paper on the day war ended, so some of them might be in Germany.
  4. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    I don't think its flat enough to be Holland-I'm sure some of the other chaps will be along soon with some pearls.
  5. Ben Blackwell

    Ben Blackwell Member

    Hopefully as it would be great to know. Did those bridges take long to finish? It must have been very difficult to construct one if you were under fire.
  6. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    I'm surprised no one has looked at them or commented. I think they are excellent pics.

    Sapper may know how long they took to build - I expect he would have built them.
  7. sapper

    sapper WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Great pictures. The Baileys would be built in hours. In some pictures you can see the "Nose" of the bridge built on to reach across to the opposite bank. (balance!)

    The bridge being constructed of wood, is known as a "Trestle Bridge" We built a wooden Trestle over the Molen Beek in Holland, between Overloon and Venraij, under fire...... nasty!

    Some Baileys had to be built twice the size needed to get across, where it would be countersunk and the nose gone. Sometimes the sheer weight of a long Bailey would be towed by an AVRE tank into position.
    Baileys come in several varieties Single. Double and damn near everything else in between. Tremendously versatile.

    Sometimes we would build an assault bridge. That is a very light bridge across the top of FBE (folding boat equipment!) We would then press on with the infantry, while shortly after, in daylight, the follow up Bridging companies would build a substantial Bailey.

    PS Hope this helps? if not ask!
    Cheers Sapper.

    PPS I have a large series of RE pictures for viewers.
  8. Oldman

    Oldman Very Senior Member

    Great photo's thank you for posting my father did the same job in Italy
  9. Mike L

    Mike L Very Senior Member

    Great picures Ben, 'The envy of the civilised world' - Baileys.
    If I might make a suggestion they would be even better if you could flatten them out using a piece of glass or similar
  10. Ben Blackwell

    Ben Blackwell Member

    Thanks for the comments, very much appreciated.
    I was watching a video on youtube about some Americans putting a Bailey Bridge together, a year or so ago after a flash flood had destroyed the previous bridge. The chief engineer had said that it would take about a week to finish the bridge, so to hear that you used to put them together in a few hours is really impressive.
    Does anyone reckon they know where they were taken?
  11. Old Git

    Old Git Harmless Curmudgeon

    Very nice pics mate. If I had to hazard aguess I'd say Holland for sure for the cold weather pictures. It's quite obviously perishing weather but there's no snow on the ground yet, so it could be November 1944 (of-course it could also be February 45). The Bridge they're building has got to be a class 70 at least given that it appears to be a double-double. That should narrow it down some for you. I have a large format book around here somewhere, which was published by the RE just after the war, and has lots of pics of all the Bridges built by the RE in Northern Europe, and a note on who built what. I shall see if I can find it and try to isolate what bridge they're actually building. No promises though, as I've got to find the book first and if you could see my place you'd know what a tough job that's going to be LOL!

    The earlier photograph with the chaps with their shirts off will most likely be Summer of 44. Again I'd guess at somewhere between July and August given how hot it must have been for them. It's hard to tell but they do look a wee bit on the white side so it might be early July before they've had time to build up their tans in the French sunshine
  12. Ben Blackwell

    Ben Blackwell Member

    That's very interesting. According to their War Diary they spent the vast majority of their time based at and near Benouville by Pegasus Bridge doing all sorts of tasks. Do you think that could be it?
  13. Old Git

    Old Git Harmless Curmudgeon

    Ben just spent a bit of time going through that book and whilst there are a few 1 corp bridges from France to Belgium and Holland there were none that matched either of the bridges shown in your pics (most of them were class 40 Bailey Pontoons of a single storey construction).

    Sorry mate.


  14. Deacs

    Deacs Well i am from Cumbria.

    Hi Ben did you find when these pictures were from as my granda was in the 240 field company from February 1945-June 1945.Have downloaded them to see if i can spot granda.

    Regards Michael.
  15. 71Engr

    71Engr Junior Member

    Hi Ben,

    Good to see you are making in roads into understanding the history of the 240th. The 240th Field Company was based at the Drill Hall, Coatdyke, Coatbridge which is the same drill hall that was used by 124 (lowland) Fd Sqn RE until 1999 when the sub unit was disbanded under SDR. I am currently researching the history of RE TA Units in this area and any Silver and Property handed down over the generations. I shall endeavour to obtain further info for you. Any info on the 240th that you have acquired so far, I would be grateful to know it.

  16. sapper

    sapper WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    I have tried to find out a little info to help. I do have a list of RE companies in the Sword Beach area, and 240 Fld Co RE according to my documents was not at Pegasus. But at the same time trying to unravel what happened in those times is very difficult... They moved units about here there and everywhere.

    Who they were with would indicate where they were, and what they did...
    PS As a Field Company RE, they would have seen a great deal of action. Sappers were always in short supply
  17. m58mw

    m58mw Junior Member

    Ben I found this thread looking for info on my wifes great grandfather, her grandfather recently died and we discovered the same photo you have image 0717
    his name was Raymond jones he was described as "swarthy"!!! and he is third row down , 3rd from the right.
    could I get copies of any info you have managed to discover please?
    It would be good to get to know his life
    thanks Dave
  18. Barrie Stevens

    Barrie Stevens Junior Member

    My late father Kenneth Harry Stevens was with 240 Field Company. He told me that they went in on D Day Plus Ten..Sadly the diary he kept and photos were stolen from me when I had copies made...I have two photos of him...I also have a wooden plate they had made celebrating 240 Field Coy..They trained in Scotland, England N Ireland and served in France (Normandy) Holland, Belgium, Germany...My Dad ended up as CQMS and a Sergeant demobbed 1946...I have some stories in my head I can send you plus two pix. They spent a lot of time on the "Meerdam?"...Regards...Barrie Stevens
  19. Barrie Stevens

    Barrie Stevens Junior Member

    Can I see or be sent these photos of 240 Field Company as my father might be there. He was in from 1942-1946. Sadly his diary and photos were stolen from me in a photocopy shop when I went to have duplicates made (Like the copy shop owner nicked em! We couldn't prove theft (Tho I had the Police in on the job) but I took the case to civil court and got £1,500 out of court settlement so it cost him dear! (Don't mess with 240 or their kinfolks!)..I can send you a pic of my Dad in uniform and one of him in stores in Germany (He became Sgt CQMS)
  20. Barrie Stevens

    Barrie Stevens Junior Member

    My father Kenneth Harry Stevens was eventually CQMS of 240 Field Coy...He told me that he was billeted in Lancashire in Accrington and possibly Clitheroe and in an abandoned cotton mill...He said the pverty was worse then he had seen in London...

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