Royal Engineer Abbreviations

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

  1. Hi Steve.
    Thanks for the revised update.
    I think it is important for me to try and complete this mission re the war diaries. I know exactly what he did through his war diaries of the 270th .F.C. R.E.this covers 1943 to 1946. It would be great If I / you can find out everything he done from August 39 till 26 /2 /43 when he arrived in North Africa. Near enough 4 years which will be the missing link! It would be great to find out if he actually got onto Inchmickery Island in the River Forth, especially as I live in Edinburgh with the River Forth and the Islands 5 minutes away by car. If I don't go for all the potential war diaries I will never be happy thinking I may have missed something to complete his journey!
    Can you please give me a potential cost to get what we can for the weeks /months /years he was involved 1939 - 1943 if this is a service you offer?
    With regards to the questions above, hopefully the downloads will supply the information I requested.:-
    1. Attestation of J. Guthrie into the TA. (too big to send, will try something different)
    2. " " " " " " "
    8. Soldiers Service & Pay Book.
    10. " " " " "
    13. Soldiers Release Book. CLASS "A" (too big to send, will try something different)

    My Dad thought he was off to France, when the train left the Waverly Station Edinburgh with the troops on board. He was most surprised when the train went North and they were all de-trained at North Queensferry and billeted in Carlingnose Army Camp adjacent to Carlingnose Point which had the gun battery overlooking the Forth.I cant find anything about Carlingnose Army Camp, only the gun battery, if you have nothing else to do I would be grateful to find out anything about this. Dad always said that they were shipped over every day to Cramond Island, but would be great to find id he was billeted in the camp or on the Islands?
    Regards Gordon.

    Attached Files:

  2. sjw8

    sjw8 Well-Known Member

    Hi Gordon
    The only information about 585 Fd Coy and Inchmickery Island was what I traced (through Google ) as per the link I gave you in my earlier post (#15).
    Re post #17 -
    8. a. Trade Group - this is usually determined by the nature of his Army employment and unit role. From looking at other RE records, it appears that the RE Pioneer Trade was re-classed from "E" trade to "D" trade, probably under an Army Council Instruction (ACI) (hence the ref AO 15/43).
    b. Class - the initial Class as a Recruit is Class IV, after basic training and trade testing re-classed as Class III, progressing over time to Class II, and finally Class I, subject to passing their Trade Tests. Also to be promoted you would have to be a minimum Class (e.g. L/Cpl - minimum Class III, Cpl - minimum Class II, Sgt & above - minimum Class I. (Sometimes it's possible to "leapfrog" if you hold outside qualifications, esp in wartime).
    10. AFW 5192

    War Diaries - sorry but I don't offer a copying service - I suggest you contact Drew5233 for this service. If you look at the following link - Anyone require War Diaries or other files from the National Archives? - he charges 10p per page. Total cost will depend on the number of pages in each Diary - the thinner the Diary the cheaper, but the larger the file, the greater the cost. You could ask Drew to copy specific Months if your dad's service only covered part of the year?
    Edited to clarify re-class from "E" to "D" trade
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2016
  3. Steve. Thanks again for the quick response. I will contact Drew 5233 who did the 270th F.C. R.E. diaries for me, with your added input ref Scottish Command.
    I don't know how to send the files that are too big, these were in jpeg format. Will keep you informed.
    Regards Gordon.
  4. Steve,
    Here are the 2 missing files as promised.
    Regards Gordon.

    Attached Files:

  5. sjw8

    sjw8 Well-Known Member

    Have just seen your reply. Currently away but will respond fully asap on return.
  6. sjw8

    sjw8 Well-Known Member

    Hi Gordon
    Back home and have had a further look at the further copied docs.

    Re the entry "Disrated ....etc.", having read it carefully, I think it actually reads
    "95/39 - 2/11/39 Disrated from Grade & Class (see PTO 88/39)" (PTO = Part Two Order)
    This is directly connected with the previous entry -
    "88/39 - 19/10/39 - Classified Electrician A3"

    The first entry (88/39) records his re-classification (probably as a result of Trade Testing), therefore they need to change his pay rate, hence the subsequent "Disrated" entry (95/39). There is nothing untoward in this entry.

    Now for C.M.D. & D.C.U. This is an intriguing one as there are several mentions of C.M.D. & D.C.U. in the forum and online (relating to No 11 C.M.D. & D.C.U.). There are two interpretations of this abbreviation:
    a. Command Military Dispersal & Dispersal Control Unit - as referenced in the description of badge(s) sold at auction and on E-bay. However I am disinclined against this one as the use of word "dispersal" twice is unusual to say the least.
    b. Combined Military Dispersal & Demobilisation Camp Unit - this is the description used by the auctioneers Bonhams and the one that I prefer, as Bonhams would have access to the best military experts, and the name does suggest a unit to manage the dispersal and/or demobilisation of personnel. In addition Aldershot was one of the biggest bases (camps) to accommodate the large amount of service personnel in transit following mass demobilisation.

    DoD likes this.
  7. Hi Steve,
    Thanks for the above, fills in another answer to the questions.
    Regards Gordon.
  8. Hi Steve,
    Still struggling on with the postings & war diaries!
    Above you mention in the paragraph beginning "Inchmickery" 160th Heavy Battery R.A. (Forth Heavy Brigade) ?
    I have a war diary for the 160th Heavy. A.A. Battery RA. WO 166/2451 which is based in "Bexleyheath" London Area.
    This canot be the same regiment I suppose? Any ideas on the difference between the two or a war diary for your Heavy Battery (Forth Heavy Brigade)?

    Regards Gordon Confused!
  9. sjw8

    sjw8 Well-Known Member

    Hi Gordon

    Firstly, I am not an expert on the R.A. and am only going off what I have researched. Perhaps one of the gunners on the forum can help further.

    From what I can gather, Artillery Regiments were previously known as Brigades but in 1938 the Brigades were re-named "Regiments" so I think the wording in the extract - referred to in my post #15 above - is misleading as, by 1940, it wasn't "Forth Heavy Brigade" but “Forth Heavy Regiment”. “Heavy” in this context refers to the calibre of the artillery guns held.

    Put simply, 160 Heavy Battery, to which your dad was attached was not Anti-Aircraft but was part of “Forth Heavy Regiment R.A. (T.A.)” which comprised 160th, 161st, and 162nd Batteries, and which was part of the fixed coastal defences, which also included City of Edinburgh (Fortress) Regiment, R.E. (your dad’s first unit) - see following link: - go to the bottom of the page. It is possible that the unit was re-named 504 (Fife) Coast Regiment as shown in your dad’s records (MR3 - top right). NB - depending on the clerk sometimes there is some inconsistency in unit titles, esp. if these keep changing over a short period e.g. if you look at MR4 (column A, 2nd entry), the entry shows “Fife Hvy Rgt”.

    Heavy Batteries are different beasts to Heavy Anti-Aircraft Batteries and therefore would conclude that your father was not attached to 160 Heavy A.A. Battery.

    For your information, there is a War Diary for 504 Coast Regiment – WO 166/1706 – covering Aug 1939 to Dec 1941.

  10. Hi Steve,
    Thanks for your prompt reply.
    Thanks also for the update above which makes sense. I have the war diary WO 166/1706 which is being cleaned up prior to printing, so hopefully this will make it a bit clearer for me to understand? Never like this in the Navy, we just had ships!
    Regards Gordon.
  11. sjw8

    sjw8 Well-Known Member

    Yes, it took some time to get my head around the possible change of unit names etc. but it is always worthwhile going back and re-reading the entries, as this can sometimes bring up something missed first (or second) time around!!
    Hopefully WO 166/1706 will add a bit more background and colour to your research, and mention of your dad's R.E. unit.
  12. rooboy3199

    rooboy3199 Junior Member

    Hello Gordon,
    My father was also in 3TBRE He was posted to no 2 bomb disposal 14/11/1940 -His name was Stuart Roy Arnold. Have you heard this name before?
    Cheers Andrew
  13. rooboy3199

    rooboy3199 Junior Member

    Hello Marc
    I went to the wordpress link you have for 84 Field company and saw my father in the front row, he is the 14th person counting from the left. Is there any chance you can send me a copy of this photo please

    Thanks Andrew
  14. Hi A
    Hi Andrew, Sorry for the late reply, as just back from holiday!
    Sorry I can't help as my Father was there on the 6th June 1942 according to his doc's.
    The photograph I have of the Coy is tilted the "Fighting 68th" I assumed that this was the 68th course that had passed through this "Training Battalion"?
    I do know that the Wartime Camp in Newark Nottinghamshire was originally to help cope with the flow of recruits into new army units.
    Regards Gordon.
  15. GRW

    GRW Pillboxologist

    Realise I'm a few years behind on this thread, but as far as I'm aware, RE troops engaged in the construction of defences on the Forth islands were billeted in Port Laing barracks, next to Carlingnose battery.
    They were down on the shore in the small bay next to Carlingnose, and it had been a seaplane base in WW1.There is a pier fed by a ramp from the barracks' site used for loading purposes.
    The barracks were demolished in the late 1980s; the gunsite has partly been built over and partly remodelled, while the pier remains as a seabird sanctuary.
  16. Thanks for the update. Carlingnose Camp / Barracks, what would be the purpose of this camp / barracks if directly above Port Laing barracks? Would this be a tented camp or have brick type accommodation for Carlingnose & Port Laing?
  17. GRW

    GRW Pillboxologist

    Hi Gordon,
    I would imagine Carlingnose camp was for the battery's garrison; I remember visiting it in March '93 when it was still derelict, and there were various piles of demolition rubble across the hinterland behind the battery. These were probably barracks/stores etc for the gunsite, since the Mess was actually underground and connected to the battery (believe it's now an art gallery/studio), while the offices were above ground next to it.
    The gunpits have been restored (or at least cleaned out), and I believe the shell hoists from the underground magazines are still in place, as is the signal office. The Battery Observation Post was demolished at some point in the '90s.
    The Port Laing camp (also demolished by this point) was accessed via a snaky road down to the beach, and was probably the former seaplane base accommodation. There are now four houses on the site of the barracks, but a couple of concrete hut bases survive in the trees beyond them.
    Directly in front - and to the left -of the gunsite is a WW1 bunker which was an XDO (Extended Defence Officer) post; the idea was that all the local minefields were connected to a masterboard and could either be fired individually, or in one fell swoop, in the event of an invasion.
    In Cruick's quarry directly in front and below the gunsite are two barrage balloon site moorings, though these are lost in the undergrowth these days, but a crew shelter still exists. Saw it about three years ago. These were RAF of course.
    If you have Facebook, look for groups called "World War Two Military Buildings", "The British Army 1939-45", and "UK Second World War Heritage" for more info.
    Hope this helps.
  18. Hi,
    Thanks for the reply.
    My dad never mentioned "Port Laing" when he occasionally mentioned the war! I have the war diary of the City of Edinburgh (Fortress) R.E. TA. which was the Regiment he joined & was billeted in Carlingnose. All the diary statements of what they carried out & where in the Forth, in August 39 onwards, there is never a mention of Port Laing in the diaries? (brother has diaries) so will need to check to confirm!
    Perhaps it was just easier to say Carlingnose if Port Laing was a part of Carlingnose?
  19. GRW

    GRW Pillboxologist

    Yes, probably didn't realise they were two different places, Gordon.
    However, if you go to and look at the 1961 OS 1:2500 map of North Queensferry, it quite clearly shows them as two separate camps.
    Port Laing doesn't seem to appear on prewar maps, although Carlingnose does.
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2020
  20. Tom Bolger

    Tom Bolger New Member


    I have just joined WW2talk today but have found many of the discussions very useful. I am currently trying to decipher my grandfather's records and would really like to understand the madical categories used in his Royal Engineer record. He had founght in WW1was old when he joined up and spent a few months in France, then several years in Britain and finally went back to France. I suspect that his health had something to do with his postings. I attach the extract which show the categors of interest. Any healp would be marvellous.



    Attached Files:

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