Royal Engineer Abbreviations

Discussion in 'Royal Engineers' started by MarcD, Oct 21, 2013.

  1. MarcD

    MarcD Grandson of Royal Engineer


    Dear All,

    I'm looking to confirm a couple of the abbreviations contained within my grandfather's army records.

    1) "EII and EIII". Is this the T.T (trade test) for a fitter/turner?
    2) "DII". What does this refer to?
    3) "reposted from DVN H.T to N.R" (if I'm reading that correctly)

    He was enlisted a driver (horses) in 1919, but it appears he was posted to dismounted duties in 1935 as a Driver (IC) - motor vehicles, but the records suggest he moved into new 'trades' at the outbreak of WW2.

    The other army record docs are on my gallery page.

    Any help greatly appreciated as always...

  2. Fred Wilson

    Fred Wilson Member

  3. MarcD

    MarcD Grandson of Royal Engineer

    I think the H.T is 'horse transport'. Not sure what N.R is yet.
    Still on the case
  4. 4jonboy

    4jonboy Daughter of a 56 Recce Patron

    I think the line reads: reposted from Dvr (Driver) H T to N R -not DVN
    (If you look at the other lines of writing the letter "r " looks like an "n", but I am sure it is Dvr

    Cannot help with abbreviations though!

    Jim O'Hagan likes this.
  5. MarcD

    MarcD Grandson of Royal Engineer

    Yep - I agree

  6. Hi all you abbreviators,
    I wonder if you can help me on the following listed below from my fathers records in WW2 with the Royal Engineers (sapper). I have listed them as they have appeared?
    1. 29c (age & service group)
    2. Pioneer AD (m) TT?
    3.504 costal DEL (504) List.
    4 to 3.(C of C) DB.
    5.No.1 GAD.
    6. GHQ. 2 Ech. X List to X(iv) List
    7. O2E. NA (northern army) Mic 691/44 to BNAF. to MEF.
    8. SOS.(signed on strength) ME (Med) to AAC (army air corps)?
    9. X11 List.
    10. Y List.
    11. Release to class Z (TA)
    12 No 2 Coy. E & L (engine & light) Works.
    13.Classified Electrician A3.
    14. Disrated from grade 9 Class
    15. posted to No.1 GBD X(4) List
    16. Posted from 2 Bps?? Rafts Unit
    17.Remustered pioneer DII
    18.SOS. ME. to AA1
    19. Adm (admitted?) 184 FD. AMB.(field ambulance) (NBC) TOS.x2?
    20. Discharged hosp. SOS x2 List? RTU (Return to Unit)?
    21. Ceased to be entilted to Med Allowance 28 days?
    Many thanks in advance to save me from my torment!

  7. 4jonboy

    4jonboy Daughter of a 56 Recce Patron

    I'll make a start

    Info here on all X Lists
    X lists (Service Records)

    NA = North Africa (not Northern Army)
    BNAF = British North Africa Force
    MEF = Middle East Force
    SOS ME to AAI = Struck off strength Middle East to Allied Army Italy

    SOS = Struck off strength (of the unit) NOT signed on strength

    RTU is returned to unit

    GBD = General Base Depot

  8. RCG

    RCG Senior Member, Deceased

    Hi Gordon.
    Without seeing the actual records, its hard to determine whether you have transcribed them correctly, as some of them were badly written.
    To add to what Lesley has already stated.

    1. 29c (age & service group)
    Guessing that it was his age.
    2. Pioneer AD (m) TT?
    nothing comes to mind except TT could be training Battalion.
    3.504 costal DEL (504) List.
    Maybe Coastal needs more investigation
    4 to 3.(C of C) DB.
    Church of Christ or bad E then would be church of England. DB date of birth.
    9. X11 List.
    not X11 but X(ii) X lists roman numerals in Brackets
    10. Y List.
    11. Release to class Z (TA)
    these 2 should be last entries in records TA Territorial army
    see here for my interpretations.
    Service records help please 114/115 Rd Con Coy Royal Engineers

    19. Adm (admitted?) 184 FD. AMB.(field ambulance) (NBC) TOS.x2?
    (NBC) Non Battle causality.
  9. sjw8

    sjw8 Well-Known Member

    Hi Gordon
    My dad was also a Sapper and I have a copy of his service records. Can you attach a copy of your dad's records? It would help us to know which actual document(s) the above details were extracted as I cannot relate them directly to my dad's records?
    Anyway, just to add my twopennyworth -
    2. Pioneer AD (m) TT - this is his Service Trade (Pioneer) and classification i.e. D(III) (A could be a crossed out E) (note - my dad's record shows that, after initial training, he was initially classed as E(iii), and then re-classed to E(II). Later the trade was re-banded from E to D and the E is crossed through). TT = Trade Tested.
    3. 504 Coastal Regiment was a (pre-war?) Royal Artillery TA unit based in Broughty Ferry and was re-designated to a Medium Regiment. Did your dad transfer from the RA to RE?
    4. 3.(C of C) DB - I would suggest that this should read 3.(L of C) DB - i.e. 3 (Lines of Communications) Depot Battalion.
    7. Mic 691/44 - ME 691/44 (i.e. Middle East)
    16. Posted from 2 Bps?? Rafts Unit - could be Bridging Platoon.
    17. see 2 above.
    Hope this helps
    RCG likes this.
  10. Thanks Abbreviators for the updates. Will try & post his Military Records for your purasal!
    Still stuck on :-
    1. 29c written on his records when he joined up at 17 years?
    2. pioneer AD (m). (armoured division)?
    3. 504 coastal reg. to DEL (504) List (delivered)?
    4. to 3 (CofC) DB(depot batt)
    5 No1 GAD (Guards Armoured Division)
    6.02E. North Africa?
    7.SOS. ME. to AAC (Army Air Corps)?
    8.Classified Electrician A3?
    9. Disrated from grade 9 class?
    10. GBD X(4) List. (what does the 4 mean)?
    11. Remustered pioneer DII ?
    12. Ceased to be entilted to Med Allowance 28 days (why would this allowance cease)?

    Just tried to upload 6 pages of form B103. Page 1 says file too big to upload!!!!!!!!!

    Regards Gordon
  11. sjw8

    sjw8 Well-Known Member

    HI Gordon
    What format have you used to try to post your dad's records? Have you tried scanning and saving as Jpeg (jpg) format? (see copies of War Diaries at top of page as examples.)

    ETA - Just had a thought re AD(m) - if he was attached to a RA unit (504 Coastal Regt) could this be "Air Defence"?
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2016
  12. Hi Steve, Job for tomorrow me thinks!
    Just found out 29c = 29 was the number given to troops leaving the army based on age & length of war service. eg year born:-
    1894 & earlier List 1.
    1895 List 2.
    1896 List 3. etc.
    1922 List 29.

    Class A. = The general scheme of release by age & length of war service described above will be known as Class A. Release. It will come into operation as soon as practicable after the defeat of Germany, but a short period will elapse before releases begin so that the services may complete their arrangements. If you are in an early age service group a replacement may be necessary before you can leave your ship or unit. If you are serving overseas, transport & shipping must be provided to get you home as near you turn as possible, & every effort will be made to do this wherever you may be.
    Class B = Certain urgent work for construction, mainly building houses, will have to begin at once & the general scheme fo release by age & length of war service will not of itself provide for the return of men with the require skill & experiance in sufficient numbers & quickly enough for this reconstruction work. A limited number of men will therefore be given the option of transfer to selected industries out of their age & war service order, subject to special conditions.
    Class C = The Release & Resettlement Book does not mention Class C. The following pages after Classes A & B speak about Interrupted Apprenticeships (as applied to my father), Vocational Training, Professional Careers,Further Education & Training. It seems a good guess that this would be Class C.
    Regards Gordon

    Anybody else who would like any info from the Release & Resettlement Book just let me know.
  13. Hi Steve, Subject to Grandad Gordons computer skills,hopefully this should be my dads Military Records?
    Nos 1 &2 seem to duplicate of pages 3-6, Let me know if received OK.
    I have a photograph of the 3rd TB. RE. 6th June 1942. "The Fighting 68th in Newark" if this ties up with any threads you may have?
    Regards Gordon.

    Attached Files:

  14. RCG

    RCG Senior Member, Deceased

    Yes can see them, will need time to work it all out, but C of C is now clear as it is C of E and he was on the island of Cramond in Firth of Forth attached to the 160 heavy battery R.A. which was under the command of C Battery /504 Coastal Regiment R.A.

    A similar company was also on the island of Inchmickery.
    Robert Gordon University - Inchmickery, Royal Engineers memorial stone
    Postcard of Inchmickery, Royal Engineers memorial stone. Click to ... The inscription reads"No 10 Section, 2 Company, C of E (F), Royal Engineers, 1939-1940".

    So have come to the conclusion that C of E must mean "Construction of emplacements."
  15. sjw8

    sjw8 Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the copies of your dad's records.

    First of all long reply so my apologies in advance!

    Have had a look at your dad’s records and have tried to re-construct his service. You may have already worked this out as a lot of the entries are fairly easy to follow; my apologies if I am repeating anything you have deciphered. I have tried to expand where possible – see brackets.

    24/08/39 – enlisted and posted to City of Edinburgh (Fortress) Royal Engineers (NB - abbreviated to C of E (F) RE. Originally consisted of 3 companies but reduced to only one company - No 1 Electric Light & Works Company). (Installation of engines, searchlights etc.)

    08/06/40 – Posted to 585 (C of E) Corps Field Park Company (part of Edinburgh Corps Troops RE), and attached to 160 Heavy Battery, RA, part of 504 (Fife) Coast Regiment. (Possibly under overall command of Scottish Command / 3rd Army Troops RE?)

    (This is an interesting piece about the above units in the following link -
    Forth Defences, Middle, Inchmickery Battery | Canmore

    Inchmickery has been defended in both world wars. In World War I the island was manned and armed by 1915 and two coast batteries with associated searchlights were built. The calibre of the guns was altered during the war, and the guns were removed in 1917 and 1924 respectively. In September 1939, the island gun positions re-armed and 160 Heavy Battery RA (Forth Heavy Brigade) under the command of Major Anderson were mobilized to man the various coast positions throughout the Forth area. However, it was not until March 1940 that a detachment from Cramond proceeded to Inchmickery, which at this stage had no guns mounted. At this time a detachment of the Royal Engineers were installing engines, searchlights and laying surface cables, while civil contractors, John Best & Sons, Edinburgh were building the accommodation. By July 1940, the concrete pier was complete, thus allowing boats to approach and land on the island in safety. The guns were installed in early April, No.1 gun being taken to its emplacement via a sleepered track from the pier and No.2 was taken by the existing path past the N engine room.

    In May 1940 the guns were tested and by July a further two were installed with two more in February 1942. June 1941 saw the completion of the accommodation in the form of wooden huts, however, it was decided that these created too high a fire risk, and in July 1941 they were pulled down and the paths torn up, so that nissen huts could be substituted. This work was carried out by 585 (Edinburgh), Field Park Company, Royal Engineers and was completed in May 1942.)

    24/06/40 to 29/06/40 – Attended Course at S E L Gosport (School of Electric Lighting (Searchlights) based at Fort Gilliker).

    03/03/42 – posted to 3 (L of C) DBRE (No 3 (Lines of Communications) Depot Battalion RE).

    06/05/42 - posted to 3 TBRE (No 3 Training Battalion RE). (Unit re-designation?)

    03/09/42 – posted to CRE No 1 Division (Commander Royal Engineers 1 Div).

    05/09/42 – posted to 238 Field Company (part of 1st Division).

    11/09/42 - posted to 23 Field Company (part of 1st Division).

    26/02/43 to 09/03/43 – in transit to North Africa.

    12/03/43 – posted to No 1 GBD (No 1 General Base Depot – as per Lesley).

    19/04/43 – posted from No 2 Corps Reinforcements Unit (Bps = Cps; Rfts = Reinforcements) to 270 Field Company (part of 46 West Riding Infantry Division).

    30/01/43 – remustered Pioneer DII (trade reclassified from E to D – entry appears to have been backdated).

    21/09/43 – awarded 21 days F.P. (Forfeiture of Pay - entry appears to have been backdated).

    21/02/44 - SOS BNAF to MEF (Struck off Strength British North Africa Forces to Middle East Forces - on arrival in Egypt).

    21/02/44 - TOS ex BNAF (Taken on Strength ex British North Africa Forces) (counter-entry by receiving unit).

    28/06/44 - SOS MEF to A.A.I. (Struck off Strength Middle East Forces to Allied Army Italy – as per Lesley).

    21/03/45 – admitted to 184 Field Ambulance (NBC) (NBC = Non Battlefield Casualty as per RCG).

    03/04/45 – discharged and RTU (Returned to Unit – as per Lesley).

    30/06/45 – ceased to be entitled to Med Allce. (I think that any Medical allowance was / is payable for 28 days after which it was / is reassessed – seems to have been renewed until 17/11/45?).

    As regards your other queries –

    D E L – still no clue about this, possible related to Electric and Light

    O2E – relates to GHQ 2nd Echelon who were responsible for collection and collating sub-units reports of strength returns, casualty reports etc.

    Hope the above helps

    Ramiles likes this.
  16. HI Steve,
    Thanks very much for the above, you have made an "Old Man Happy".
    The information is great. Although he joined in August 39, his war did not start until early 43. Four years is along time to be under training as I thought, but obviously was not. As his time was spent at war in the UK. He never mention Inchmickery Island, was always Cramond Island. So it will be very interesting to find out if he moved around the Islands in the Forth Defences. One of his stories was that he /they as Sappers were supposed to warm up the generators an hour or so before dusk on Cramond Island, but at this stage nobody seemed to bother! (just what you want to hear?) Of course this was the 16th October 1939 in daylight hours (not quite corresponding with my story) when the Luftwaffe's first ever attack on British soil to try & sink the RN Ships at anchor in the River Forth, which holds Rosyth Naval Base.(wikipedia Battle of the River Forth) It states that the gun magazines only had practise rounds in them and hurriedly had to change to live rounds from other magazines. So it was not only my dad who was caught napping! RAF 602 Spitfire's from Glasgow & 603 from Edinburgh intervened and chased them off.
    I have all the war diaries of the 270th which takes car of his actual fighting days, but trying to find the war diaries up to this is proving more difficult. As on Investigation by member Drew 5233 it seems some of the early diaries are not found? Anyway fingers crossed we will find enough to fill in some of the early years.

    Regards Gordon.
    B.Z. Bravo Zulu as we say in the RN for a job well done.
  17. Hi Abbreviators,
    Thanks very much for all the replies above.
    Latest List requiring updated:-
    1.Oct. 39 Classified Electrician A3. ?
    2. Nov. 39. Disrated from Grade 9 Class (Disrated sounds bad)?
    3. TA (N) Territorial Army (N)? (Service & casualty form No.1 military records above)
    4. Industry Group TB? ( " " " " " " " " " )
    5. Occupational Classification 310\2? ( " " " " " " " " " )
    6. posted to DEL. List? (504. Fife Coastal Reg.RA.(see service & Casualty form) (MR.3 2016)
    7. 7 days Leave with R/A at L/R?
    8. Record of Employment as an Army Tradesman.
    Trade = Pioneer. Group = D? Class = 2. ? Remarks = AO. 15/43? Date = 30th. Jan 1943.
    9. For what would he get a medical allowance for at 28 days at a time?
    10. A.F.W.? (army form for duty free labels.
    11.Pioneer AD (M)2 active duty / air defence / Armoured division?
    12 .LIAP. ? System of leave given to soldiers who had served the longest. (Long ------- ----- pay)
    13.No 10. CMD & DCU. ( Stamped on notification of release form?) (Capt. military dispersal)? (dispersal Civilian unit)?

    Thanks in anticipation - Nearly There. Gordon
  18. sjw8

    sjw8 Well-Known Member

    HI Gordon
    Glad to have been of some help - always a pleasure when we can help each other out.
    I see that you have the War Diaries for 270 Field Coy.
    Based on your dad's posting details, I have had a dig around the National Archives site and using a bit of lateral thinking (e.g. CoE (Fortress) possibly under direct command of Scottish Command etc.) have come up with the following -
    City of Edinburgh (Fortress) - 24/8/39 to 8/6/40
    585 Field Company - 08/06/40 to 03/03/42

    WO 166/122 - COMMAND HEADQUARTERS: SCOTTISH: Royal Engineers (RE). From - 01/11/39 to 31/12/40
    WO 166/136 - COMMAND HEADQUARTERS: SCOTTISH: Royal Engineers (RE). From - 01/01/41 to 31/12/41
    WO 166/6041 - COMMANDS: SCOTTISH COMMAND: Royal Engineers (RE). From - 01/01/42 to 31/12/42
    585 Field Company - 08/06/40 to 03/03/42 (Specific unit diaries)
    WO 166/3821 - ROYAL ENGINEERS: COMPANIES: 585 Field Company. From - 01/01/41 to 31/12/41
    WO 166/8241 - ROYAL ENGINEERS: FIELD COMPANIES: 585 Company.. From 01/01/42 - 31/12/42
    238 Field Company - 05/09/42 to 10/09/42

    WO 166/8149 - ROYAL ENGINEERS: FIELD COMPANIES: 238 Company.. From 01/01/42 to 31/12/42
    23 Field Company - 11/09/42 to 19/04/43
    WO 166/8058 - ROYAL ENGINEERS: FIELD COMPANIES: 23 Company. From 01/01/42 to 31/12/42
    WO 169/10583 - Royal Engineers: 23 Field Company (RE Fd Coy). From 01/07/43 to 31/12/43

    Unfortunately I am unable to locate anything definite for either 3 (Lof C) DBRE or 3TBRE for the periods 03/03/42 - 6/5/42 and 06/05/42 - 03/09/42 respectively.

    ETA - just seen you latest post - will have a further look after I've eaten (!) but to be going on with "Leave with R/A at L/R = "Leave with Ration Allowance at Local Rate" and LIAP related to the "Python" scheme (explained elsewhere in the forum)- sjw8
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2016
    Jim O'Hagan likes this.
  19. Steve, - Cant be tea time already?
    Sorry I don't know the etiquette for this site, but I have spoken with member Drew 5223 about the diaries above. Drew very kindly got me the 270th diaries. This was last week on the forum Royal Engineers. 270th Field Company RE. I presume you have seen this? You seem to have had better luck at the moment as you probably have the latest updates.
    In the above does the 504th (Fife) Coastal Reg. RA. appear in any of them? He was there 23rd June 40 - 3rd March 42 ?????
    You can please advise me on the etiquette bit?
    Do we need to download all the diary as he was only attached to the 585th for approx 11 days. & the 238th approx 5 days.
    If this is not possible there is no problem.

    Regards My Tea Is Now Ready Also. Gordon.
  20. sjw8

    sjw8 Well-Known Member

    Ref you latest post above re War Diaries, no I hadn't seen your post last week re 270 Field Coy; nor do I know the contents of the above Diaries.
    a. You will note from MR.4 2016 that the first two entries refer to 3rd Army Troops - I suspect that both City of Edinburgh (Fortress) & 585 Field Coy would have been under the umbrella of 3rd Army Troops and thus of the higher formation (e.g. Scottish Command). I could not trace any Diaries for 3 Army Troops.
    c. As I cannot trace any specific Diaries for City of Edinburgh (Fortress) for the period to 08/06/40, there may be mention in WO 166/122 - COMMAND HEADQUARTERS: SCOTTISH: Royal Engineers (RE) as this covers the missing period.
    d. As I cannot trace any specific Diaries for 585 Field Coy for the period 08/06/40 to 31/12/40, again there may be mention in WO 166/122 & WO 166/136 as these covers the missing period.
    e. Your dad was with 585 Field Coy for some 21 months (08/06/40 to 03/03/42) so you may feel it worthwhile to obtain the 2 specific War Diaries.
    f. I doubt 504 (and 160 Heavy Battery) would appear in the Diaries listed as these relate to RE activities only.
    g. I would agree that as your dad was with 238 Field Coy for only a week, it may not be worthwhile.

    Moving on to your earlier post and further list, I have printed out your dad's record to see if I can decipher them any better. Is there another document missing? as I cannot identify location of questions 1, 2, 8, 10, & 13.
    Otherwise -
    3. TA (N) - not known but I note your dad was 17 when he enlisted and I wonder if this indicates that he was not to be sent on active service as he was below active service age.
    4 & 5 - the Ministry of Labour and National Service classified each Trade into an Industry Group & Occupation, making it easier to allocate personnel to the correct service arm etc.
    6. DEL - still cannot trace any relevant meaning (possibly Director, Electric & Light?)
    7. Leave with R/A at L/R = "Leave with Ration Allowance at Local Rate".
    9. Maybe similar to a sick note - "signed off" for a period subject to nature of injury / periodic review?
    11. A D (M)II - definitely looks as if struck through, based on my dad's form / entry. Looks like his initial Trade Class / Pay Band - seems to have been replaced with entry above.
    12. LIAP - Leave in Addition to Python. An additional period of leave following repatriation back to UK to be demobilised under the PYTHON scheme, under which any man who had served over 4 years overseas (later reduced to 3 years).
    13. I have seen this before but cannot trace the exact meaning. CMD - something to do with "Manning" and DCU - Dispersal Collection Unit?
    If you could supply any further docs we may be able to help further.
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2016

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