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Remembered Today:

787th Area Employment Coy

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I am trying to find out more about the sad demise of Pte JW Dennis (late of 8 Labour Coy RASC) who died on 21 Feb 1919 as Pte 300354 Dennis, 787th Area Employment Coy. He is burried at Abbeville but here the trail goes cold. PRO have no record of a Pte Dennis and a manual check of their war diaries has failed to turn up any reference to 787 Area Employment Coy (although 783 and 785 appear to have been part of the Canadian Division.

Can anyone shed some light on the unit? Or how Pte Dennis came to die far from his Norfolk home after the war had ended. He was formerly a supply specialist (SS/19964) in 8 Labour Coy RASC.



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I am afraid you have a problem in that there are no War Diaries for 787 Company and the only references in higher level Diaries are for the 20th and 27th April 1918 when they were working at St Valery in XIX Corps area.

To add to your problem Pte Dennis was originally in a different Labour Corps Company and without his service record there is no way of knowing when he moved to 787 Company.

I hope this will help shed a little light on his service.

As you say he was originally in the 8th Labour Company of the RASC. This Company was used on the Lines of Communications and undertook a variety of labouring tasks including road repairs and moving goods and ammunition.

Following the creation of the Labour Corps it was decided in June 1917 that the R.E. and A.S.C. Labour units should be transferred to the LC.

Your problem is that the 8th Labour Company, ASC became 718 Company of the Labour Corps. So Pte Dennis would have initially served in 718 Company.

There is not a great deal of information about 718 Company. In October 1917 they were in the Abbeville area and we know they moved in January 1918 to work in the area occupied by XVIII Corps although there is no detailed information about exact locations or the nature of their work.

The other difficulty, as I mentioned, is not knowing when he moved to 787 Company.

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