Jump to content


Remembered Today:

Photo

Royal Engineers Special Brigade


507 replies to this topic

#51 Silvia

Silvia

    Private

  • Members2
  • 1 posts

Posted 14 May 2007 - 09:59 PM

Hi Terry, My great uncle Walter Sargeant 321903 was a pioneer with "E" Special Coy, Royal Engineers. He died in a trench explosion March 18, 1918 and is remembered on the memorial at Pickworth in Rutland. How do I find out where he was and what his unit was doing on that day. I have found out it was the first day of the German assault on the Western Front. I am in Canada so not able to visit the National Archives or the RE museum to research.

#52 Tom Grieves

Tom Grieves

    Second Lieutenant

  • Old Sweats
  • 105 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Australia

Posted 15 May 2007 - 03:39 AM

Terry,
We have communicted some time ago I think.

I think you helped me to establish that my My Dad Christopher Grieves served in the Special Brigade. Does my information here gel with yours?

Regards,
Tom Grieves

Rank - Second Corporal
Service Number 214395
74th Section 'P' Company
4th Battalion
Special Brigade
Royal Engineers
1917-1918

#53 Charles Fair

Charles Fair

    Brigadier-General

  • Old Sweats
  • 1,765 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:from Hertfordshire and living in SW London
  • Interests:Territorial Force (19th London Regt, 1 Hertfordshires)
    47th and 60th Divisions
    development of tactics 1914-18
    L'Armee Francaise de 1914-18
    Salonika Campaign
    British Commission For Military History
    Centre For First World War Studies (U of Birmingham) - this links to my profile on its site: http://www.firstworldwar.bham.ac.uk/friends/fair.htm

Posted 16 May 2007 - 10:45 AM

Terry, I am researching a trench raid (see this thread: click here) which was supported by an officer and a number of ORs from No 4a Special Bn, Re. The OC was one Captain C.A. Garden. I just wondered if you had come across him. I would be interested to know how many Special Bde men would have been involved given that 1,055 cylinders of gas were discharged. Here is his report for your info.
Charles

Attached Files



#54 Terry_Reeves

Terry_Reeves

    Lieut-General

  • Old Sweats
  • 5,830 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 17 May 2007 - 05:23 PM

Charles

Thanks for the report. Captain Charles Garden MC served with 8 Oxs and Bucks Light Infantry, before transferring to the RE' s on 18th July 1915. His first command was 188 Company, which was one of the original special units who launched the first British gas attack at Loos. From Godalming, Surrey he was a mining engineer by profession. In November 1915, he took small detachment along with chlorine cylinders, to Alexandria, from where his small party was supposed to move to Gallipoli. This was cancelled however when the Government decided not to use gas against the Turks on the grounds that they had not subjected allied troops to gas themselves.

In February 1916, he was commanding H Company after the expansion of the Special Companies into a Brigade sized formation. Around the same time CH Foulkes, commanding the Special Brigade, formed a temporary Special Battalion, designated 4A, to support the proposed 5th New Army. This temporary unit was formed from C, J and O Special Companies and Garden was selected to command it from the 4th June 1916. In February 1917, he became OC Special Companies, 1st Army and after a spell in hospital from April to June, he rejoined the Brigade at it's depot at Helfaut thereafter becoming its Officer Commanding. He was demobilised in February 1919.

Four men would operate a battery of 24 cylinders, although this could change according to circumstances, casualties ect. Substantially more men would be needed to carry in the cylinders of course, often three to a cylinder, which was brought through the trenches on an improvised stretcher. Hope this helps.

Terry Reeves

#55 Terry_Reeves

Terry_Reeves

    Lieut-General

  • Old Sweats
  • 5,830 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 17 May 2007 - 05:30 PM

Tom

As far as I'm aware, you have the correct information. Do you have a photograph of him?

Best wishes

Terry Reeves

#56 Terry_Reeves

Terry_Reeves

    Lieut-General

  • Old Sweats
  • 5,830 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 17 May 2007 - 05:33 PM

Silvia

I you would like to contact me through the forum e-mail system with aas much information you have about him, I'll see what I can do to help.

Terry Reeves

#57 Charles Fair

Charles Fair

    Brigadier-General

  • Old Sweats
  • 1,765 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:from Hertfordshire and living in SW London
  • Interests:Territorial Force (19th London Regt, 1 Hertfordshires)
    47th and 60th Divisions
    development of tactics 1914-18
    L'Armee Francaise de 1914-18
    Salonika Campaign
    British Commission For Military History
    Centre For First World War Studies (U of Birmingham) - this links to my profile on its site: http://www.firstworldwar.bham.ac.uk/friends/fair.htm

Posted 17 May 2007 - 08:52 PM

Terry, very many thanks for the information on Capt Garden MC and 4a Battalion. Most useful.

Carrying of the cylinders into the British Front Line was done by a couple of companies of the 19th over 3 nights prior to the raid.

Charles

#58 Derrick

Derrick

    Lance-Corporal

  • Members2
  • 6 posts

Posted 11 July 2007 - 09:19 AM

Dear all,

I am researching names on our local WW1 memorial in Stoke Climsland (Cornwall). One of these is:

Sergeant Nathanial Lobb MM
5818 HQ Special Brigade, Royal Engineers
Died 10th March 1917
Buried at Longueness Souvenir Cemetery at St Omer.

Has anyone any information that might help me fill out the details of his service and how and where he may have died? HAs anyone any suggestions as to how I can find out how he won his MM?

Many thanks in advance.

Derrick Parsons

#59 Draynats

Draynats

    Lance-Corporal

  • Members2
  • 7 posts

Posted 08 October 2007 - 08:11 PM

Hi Terry
On Remembrance Sunday, I am conducting the Salvation Army services at Parkhead Corps Tollcross Road Parkhead Glasgow.
The memorial in the worship hall has three names on it. One of them is the following:
Pioneer David Caldwell
130203 1st Company, 5th Battalion, Special Brigade, Royal Engineers
He was killed on 29th April 1916 and is buried in Calais Southern Cemetery
He was the son of James and Rose Ann Caldwell, of 3, Dalmarnock Street, Parkhead, Glasgow.

He was a member of the Salvation Army and would have been a soldier at the parkhead Corps.

Do you have any further information on David Caldwell? I am working on a tribute to the men named on the memorial for the sunday morning service.

Any help you can offer would be greatly appreciated

John Stanyard
WFA 11894

#60 meltow

meltow

    Corporal

  • Members2
  • 24 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Harrogate, N Yorkshire

Posted 31 December 2007 - 10:56 AM

Cecil RYDER, C220207, RE Special Brigade, F Company
Cecil Ryder was my grandfather and served in the war and survived. I do have a copy of his medal card.

He was born and brought up in Leeds and at 16 years old was a dyestuffs chemist at the Yorkshire Dyeware and Chemical Company. No doubt this work experience led to him to being called up into the Special Brigade. He was 18 when he enlisted in December 1916 and after training at Withnoe Camp near Plymouth he was drafted to Helfaut, near St Omer, arriving here in April 1917. I understand he joined section 10 of F company, camping on the edge of a wood, some distance from Vimy Ridge. Here he experienced his first nightly visits to the front. He would go out into No Mans Land at night to dig-in cylinders of gas and projector drums. He remembered the area being periodically raked with German machine gun fire.

Amongst the very small account I know of his service he mentions mustard gas bombardments in the sand dunes in Belgium; moving on to Ypres which was comparitively quiet after the terrible battles of earlier periods, and in April 1918 being in Erpinay near Armentieres. He recalled seeing the whole village burning in one huge fire. When the armistice came he was near to Nancy. Lorries were sent to the front to collect British prisoners and for the first time he saw the headlights used on these vehicles. His firm applied for him to be released early and he came home in February 1919. I understand he gained the rank of Lance Corporal.

Terry, I wonder if you have anything further to add to the above? I would be grateful for any pointers to his active service.

Mel


#61 jones75

jones75

    Lieutenant

  • Old Sweats
  • 163 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Widnes, Cheshire, UK

Posted 03 January 2008 - 07:54 PM

Here is another Special Brigade serviceman for your database, he is commemorated on the Widnes War Memorial in Victoria Park, Widnes Cheshire.

Pnr William Morrey
No.130519
21st Section
1st Bn, Special Brigade#
Royal Engineers
Born : Widnes, Lancashire.
Enlisted : Manchester, 20th January, 1916.
Resided : The Lodge, Halton View, Widnes.
Died of wounds in France on 27th June, 1916, aged 21.
Buried at Beauval Communal Cemetery, Row B, Grave 17.
Commemorated at St Ambrose church in Halton View.

William Morrey was the second son of William & Lydia Morrey and died in No.4 Casualty Clearing Station on the 27th June as result of gas poisoning on the previous day. His sister, Mrs Dutton of Milton Road, Widnes, received a letter from an Army Chaplain, Reverend H.D.W. Dennison, CF, in it he wrote...."It is with deep regret that I have to tell you of the death of your brother, Pioneer W. Morrey. He was admitted into this hospital yesterday afternoon suffering severely from gas poisoning, and though everything possible was done for him, he died early this morning. I am burying him this afternoon with four of his comrades who suffered the same fate in Beauval Cemetery. May he rest in peace and, and may God comfort sad hearts that his loss will cause......"
An old boy of Simms Cross school, William Morrey also attended St Ambrose church and Sunday School and was a member of the Gymnasium at St Paul`s Parochial Rooms. On leaving school, he worked for five years as an apprentice gas & water fitter at the Corporation Gas Works in Widnes. Before his enlistment under the Derby Scheme he worked as a fitter at the Zoological Gardens at Belle Vue, Manchester. He joined up on 20th January, 1916 into the 14th Bn, The Manchester Regiment, regimental number 32486 and in March that same year was transferred to the Royal Engineers and sent to France.
He wrote his last letter home in mid June and in it he said he was in the best of health and expected to be moved nearer to the front line.##
# Special Brigade, Royal Engineers was a unit formed to counter the German Gas threat, they were employed to dispense poison gas from the allied trenches towards the enemies lines, it is possible that William Morrey was gassed carrying out this task as accidents and the effect of shell-fire on the equipment caused leaks on a regular basis.
## WWN 1916.
Do you have him already or is he an addition.

Regards Soldier75

#62 peterinkent

peterinkent

    Sergeant-Major

  • Members2
  • 70 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Kent

Posted 12 March 2008 - 04:25 PM

Hello Terry

I am guessing this is one of your chaps From the CWGC 129065 Corporal GEORGE HENRY COLLINS, Special Bde. Depot (Saltash), Royal Engineers
who died on 21 October 1917 Remembered with honour TIVERTON CEMETERY

This chap was also Pte 5428/20363 Devons and had a QSA CC Tvl SA01 SA02

I assume this must be a Gas depot across the river from Plymouth?

Peter


#63 Terry_Reeves

Terry_Reeves

    Lieut-General

  • Old Sweats
  • 5,830 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 14 March 2008 - 04:24 PM

Many thanks for that Peter, and to all who have replied. Keep them coming. If I find any extra information about any of these men, I will inform you all.
With regard to the SB Depot at Saltash, many of the men who went there were sent to the Porton Down Company at the Porton Experimental Establishment on Salisbury Plain.

Terry Reeves

#64 bill oliver

bill oliver

    Corporal

  • Members2
  • 23 posts

Posted 17 March 2008 - 04:49 PM

Lieut. Jesse Dell Berridge, MC, “J” Special Coy, RE was killed in action on May 24th 1918 and lies in grave II D 4 in the Bac-du-Sud British cemetery, Bailleulval, France. “Dell” aged 21, was the 4th son of Canon Jesse and Edna Adeline Berridge of The Rectory, Little Baddow, Essex.

Supplement to the London Gazette 1 January 1918. 29
Awarded the Military Cross
Lt. Jesse Dell Berridge RE


#65 Terry_Reeves

Terry_Reeves

    Lieut-General

  • Old Sweats
  • 5,830 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 17 March 2008 - 07:59 PM

Bill

Thanks for that. I visited his home village last year. The rectory still stands and his name is on the memorial in the village hall. Just by coincidence, one of my other research areas is Army School Mistresses. Jesse Berridge's father conducted the marriage ceremony one of them in the church at Little Badow.

TR

#66 sotonmate

sotonmate

    Lieut-General

  • Old Sweats
  • 10,395 posts

Posted 26 March 2008 - 01:40 PM

Terry

I am trying to find a Sapper for an old guy in his 80s,the Sapper was his Grandad. I wonder if you have any details on this man so that I can research his war and get those questions answered ! I have bottomed out at Kew,he has no service or pension record that I could find. The details I have are from his MIC and a bit from old Bill (not the boys in blue,the grandson!).

Sapper James Roy TAPPER,3 service numbers 1294 ; 4369 and 495117.
Into theatre 18.9.1915 France.
Wounded twice. Survived the War, being put to Z Reserve on 29.4.1919.
Home town Bridgwater Somerset.
Old Bill has a phrase he tells me,in relation to which unit,he says Somerset and Dorset Brigades.

I have been poking about the Catalogue at Kew and have a hunch that he might be referring to the 1/1 and 1/2 Wessex Field Companies,but that IS only a hunch !

I wonder if you could take a look and see if you have any data at all on this man in your research.
I have asked RE Chatham what they can tell me but they say it will be several months before they can answer.

Best wishes
Sotonmate

#67 Terry_Reeves

Terry_Reeves

    Lieut-General

  • Old Sweats
  • 5,830 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 26 March 2008 - 05:14 PM

His last number is a 1917 TF number. Assuming he started the war with them, it is one of a block issued to the 1st South Midland Field Company, 48th South Midland Division. The RE units for the for the Division came from Bristol. In 1917 , they were renamed 474 Field Company.

Hope this helps.

TR

#68 sotonmate

sotonmate

    Lieut-General

  • Old Sweats
  • 10,395 posts

Posted 26 March 2008 - 05:20 PM

Terry

Thank you. I will look into that. I would not be surprised if the 1 SMFC was a unit he joined after one of his woundings though.

Sotonmate

#69 Maureen Fletcher

Maureen Fletcher

    Private

  • Members2
  • 2 posts

Posted 06 April 2008 - 09:52 PM

QUOTE (Terry_Reeves @ Dec 22 2002, 04:21 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Over the past few years I have been compiling a roll of men who served in the RE Special Brigade and Special Companies. This formation was responsible for Britains chemical warfare effort.

I am now able to identify some 2-3000 of these men but would like to hear from any forum member who has information about any individual whom they believe served in the Brigade.

In particular, I would be interested in number and rank, any snippets of personal information, and in the case of those men who were killed, the location of any town or village war memorial that they may have been commemorated on.

If I can help anybody with identifying men whom they believe were in the Specials I will be pleased to do so.

Terry Reeves


#70 John_Canberra

John_Canberra

    Private

  • Members2
  • 1 posts

Posted 27 May 2008 - 01:20 PM

Terry

My father, 128680 L/CPL Joseph (Jim) Benjamin Lines, born Great Yarmouth 05 Mar 1899, enlisted with the Norfolk Regiment as PVT 22999 on 24 Jan 1916. He served 'at home' 24-01-1916 to 27-01-1916; 'BEF' 28-01-1916 to 27-01-1918; 'at home' 28-01-1918 to 18-4-1918. Sometime after his arrival in France, he transferred to 4 Special Coy, 5th Mortar Bn, Special Brigade RE, and was with this unit when awarded the MM vide London Gazette 21-08-1917 Page 8644. He received his discharge 'being no longer physically fit for war service' on 18 Apr 1918 and remained crippled for the rest of his life. He died in Braintree Hospital in 1972. My understanding is that his military records, including the citation for his MM, no longer exist and the foregoing information comes from scanty papers contained in what I think was referred to as a 'Red Book' given to soldiers on discharge. For all practical purposes, I left England in the early 1950s and although I was also a soldier then, sadly I never had an opportunity to talk to my father as an adult. I know that he was wounded on at least one occasion before the incident that left him totally incapacitated. I also have his MM. If you do not already have his details, I am happy for them to be added to your collection of names for the RE Special Brigade. Should you by any chance have additional information concerning his military service, I would of course, welcome it.

Regards

John (Lines)
Canberra



#71 Hett65

Hett65

    Lieut-Colonel

  • Old Sweats
  • 570 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Land of the Prince Bishops
  • Interests:Research on local war memorials and police officers from north eastern forces who served during the 1st WW.

Posted 27 May 2008 - 02:08 PM

Terry
One for your records is George Taylor, Pioneer 104085 Royal Engineers, Special Survey Company, Special Brigade, Flame Projectors.
Born Kirklington, Yorkshire
Appointed to Durham County Constabulary 1st February 1914 as PC747, 3rd class constable.
April 1914 Recruit to Stockton. 1.8.1914 2nd class constable.
14.7.1915 Resigned to join HMF, enlisted Stockton on Tees.
29.10.1916 Died of wounds in France aged 24 years.
Buried Varnennes Military Cemetery, Somme, France. Grave reference I. C. 10
He is commemorated on the Durham County Constabulary War Memorial, Aykley Heads, Durham City and Kirklington War Memorial, St Michaels Church (In churchyard and inside church)
John

#72 Fred W

Fred W

    Major

  • Old Sweats
  • 457 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Nelson Lancs

Posted 27 May 2008 - 03:13 PM

Terry,

Cpl 197441 Fred Parkinson Long, "A" Special Company Royal Engineers.
Born at Rawden, Yorkshire 9 Nov 1891, the son of John William Long, a warp dresser, and Bessie Long of 392 Leeds Road, Nelson, Lancashire. He went to Carr Road Elementary School and was admitted to Nelson Seconsary School on the 9 Nov 1904. He won an Oxford Senior Pass in 1908 and an Oxford 3rd Hons. in 1909. He left school on 24 June 1909 to become a student teacher at Trinity College, North Wales. Previous to joining the army he was assistant master at Bradshaw Street Council School, Nelson and a member of the choir at Scotland Road Primative Methodist Church. He played full back for Colne football club. He enlisted in February 1916 at Chester, in the Chester Yeomanry, afterwards transferring to the Manchester Regiment, and later to a special company of the Royal Engineers. he was recorded as the second Nelson teacher to be killed in action on 21 July 1917. His brother Lawrence, a science master at Douglas Secondary School, Isle of Man, served for eighteen months in the same regiment as Fred, but was then transferred to a research departmnt at the Ministry of Munitions.
FredParkinson Long is remembered in the Book of Remembrance of Nelson Secondary School.

Fred

#73 cliff brown

cliff brown

    Major

  • Old Sweats
  • 382 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Cambridgeshire
  • Interests:The Cambridgeshire Regiment

Posted 27 May 2008 - 04:01 PM

Terry, Have you got this one?

William (Billy) Henry Turtelbury: 220302 Pioneer, J Special Company, Royal Engineers. DoW 10-11-17, at 11th Stationary Hospital, Rouen, (severely wounded 23-10-17, sent to 43rd CCS), age 23. Only son of William & Susannah Turtelbury, 180 Creek Road, March, Cambridgeshire. Enlisted January 1917, to France April 1917. A chemist in Southend. St Sever Cemetery Extension, Rouen, France. Listed on the town war memorial in Broad St, March, Cambs, & the March Grammar School memorial (now located in the Neale-Wade Community College).


#74 Terry_Reeves

Terry_Reeves

    Lieut-General

  • Old Sweats
  • 5,830 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 27 May 2008 - 04:27 PM

Many thanks to John Lines, John (Hett65), FredW and Cliff Brown for taking the time to post this information. It is very much appreciated.

Terry Reeves

#75 David Stirling

David Stirling

    Private

  • Members2
  • 2 posts

Posted 17 June 2008 - 08:33 PM

QUOTE (Terry_Reeves @ Dec 22 2002, 03:21 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Over the past few years I have been compiling a roll of men who served in the RE Special Brigade and Special Companies.
....would like to hear from any forum member who has information about any individual whom they believe served in the Brigade.
If I can help anybody with identifying men whom they believe were in the Specials I will be pleased to do so.

Terry Reeves

Terry,
I have recently found, from his service records from "ancestry.co.uk", that my father served in the RE Special Brigade. The records are in poor condition, some only fragments, but here he is:
Name: Frederick CORRIGAN.
Unit: 4th. Spec. Co. R.E.
Rank: Pioneer.
Reg.No.: 225028
He seems to have enlisted in March 1917, and was admitted to No.1 Canadian General Hospital on 18 Aug 1917.
The hospital diagnosis was P.U.O. (Pyrexia of Uncertain Origin) but family legend has it that he was gassed. He never spoke about it and, as a child, I never asked any questions.
After a year in hospital he was eventually discharged from Springfield War Hospital, no longer physically fit for war service, on 26 Aug 1918. (diagnosis: Neurasthenia).
He went on to achieve academic success in Chemistry and in Music but died of a stroke in 1952.

It is interesting that another contributor to your database mentions a man who was killed by German action exploding our gas shells on 18 Aug 1917. I wonder if it was the same place.
How could I find out where it was ??

Rgds. David Stirling
ps. My father changed his name to Stirling before marrying in 1933.