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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

2/1st Cornwall (E.L.) Coy. R.E.?

fifth horseman

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Can anyone help?

2/1st Cornwall (E.L.) Coy. Royal Engineers - I wonder if anyone can identify this unit and tell me where it was between Dec 1916 and Dec 1917? I believe it was based near Falmouth, Cornwall (possibly) but this is all I have been able to find out. I also have no idea what the (E.L.) refers to - the man I am researching, who was in the unit, was employed as a mason and bricklayer!

Here's hoping!

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Hello fifthhorseman

"Electric Light" is correct. They operated searchlights in connection with coast defences. Falmouth was designated as a "Defended Port" and had a relatively strong set of defences. I don't know of any other defended ports in Cornwall.

Masons and bricklayers would have been needed to build emplacements for the searchlights, or to repair them if they were damaged.


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It is very likely that they were at the Drill Hall, Bar Rd, Falmouth, the pre-war station for the Cornwall Fortress Company, from which 2/1st was eventually drawn. The company was formed in October, 1914 and designated as 2/1st Reserve Electric Light Company.Up until that time No1 Electric Light Company had been responsible for working the lights at Falmouth, but they did not have the technical expertise to maintain the equipment. For that they relied on 18th Company, a regular Fortress unit. On the outbreak of war many of the regular NCOs and men were dispersed to units going overseas which meant that there were insufficient specialists to carry out the work. To overcome this problem, 2/1st was formed from electrical and mechanical engineers were posted in from around the company to carry out the maintenance. Men of a high medical category, who originally served with 2/1st, were eventually transferred to other units, their places being filled with men of a lower category.


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