Sapper in 3rd Div BEF ?? What coy

Discussion in 'Royal Engineers' started by AussieBrit, Jun 14, 2010.

  1. AussieBrit

    AussieBrit Junior Member

    G'day from Australia
    My father passed away in 1983.
    According to his service papers he was in the Royal Engineers

    I am looking for details as to his unit

    The details I have remembered from his talks was that he was a sapper in the 3rd Div in the BEF.
    His name is Frank Stephen Miller from Surrey
    He enlisted in Oct 1939 and was discharged on the 8th Oct 1942
    His Army number was 1879616.
    My research has turned up that the RE Coy's in the 3rd Div were 17 field Coy, 248 Field Coy, 246 Field Coy, 253 Field Coy, 15 Field Park Coy.

    I was hoing someone can help with directions as to where I can find out what unit he was in and any other info as to members of that unit who may remember my father.

    Any assistance would be gratefull
    Cheers from an Aussie Brit
  2. sapper

    sapper WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    You are right. Third Div landed at Cherbourg on Sept 28 1939. The fields companies RE spent the next 7/8 months around the Belgium border, the Lille area, then to Louvain. At Nieuport they constructed two piers for the evacuation, built from abandoned vehicles and timber, the last task before being evacuated. They reformed at Sutton Venney, near Warminster.
    Sapper 246 Field Co RE Third Div
  3. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Hello and welcome to the forum.

    246 Coy also fought at Furnes defending one of the bridges into the town which was part of the outer perimeter. When the Engineers along with a small infantry attachment crumbled an officer from the Coldstream or Grenadier Guards with his platoon was sent forward to stop them retreating. They refused so the officer shot one or two of the men and the rest were turned around at the point of the bayonet.

    The gap was plugged by the Engineers and the line was held. The Lieutenant Guards Officer got a Military Cross for his efforts.

    I think the only way you will effectively identify what company he was in, is by applying for his service records.

    All the info you need is in the link below.

    Army Personnel Centre - British Army Website

    Do you have any pictures of your father in the army?

  4. Suffolk Boy

    Suffolk Boy Member

    The 1st Suffolks were part of 3rd Division and their war diary for 30 May 1940 states that "the battalion together with 2nd Fd Coy RE and 8 A Tk Coy took over a position on the Yser Canal near Furnes about 9 miles NE of Dunkirk". That's all I have at present but the RE diary is on my list for a future visit to the NA at Kew. I'll post it after that if it turns out to be of interest.
  5. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter Patron 1940 Obsessive

    At any one time, the RE component of 3rd Division comprised a Divisional HQ RE which was a small unit supporting the C.R.E. (Commander, Royal Engineers) plus three Field companies who were allocated one per Brigade and a Field Park Company.

    You can effectively discount 248 Fd Coy as they were exchanged with 17 Fd Coy from 1st Div in November 1939.

    The territorial companies sometimes listed other ranks in their war diaries but it is unusual for regular units to do that.
  6. sapper

    sapper WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    17 246 253 and the 15 Park RE.

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