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I'm researching a Royal Engineer: Sapper James Carmichael Mentiplay Clark 44796, St Andrews Fife,Scotland. I have his medal index card from TNA and i notice Pioneer (Pnr) in one box and Sapper in the one below, can anyone explain why this would be written in this way, i dont have his medals but would assume they would be the engraved the same way?

If anyone has information on him I'd be more than delighted, Ancestry.co.uk does not have anything apart from an image of the original medal card.

i have e-mailed the RE Museum but waiting out on them getting back to me with anything, 8 week wait...Glasgow does not hold anything below 1920,

And i assume his records were amongst the 'Burnt records' of 1940....?

his items were disposed of some years ago, by his wife who in the 1970's gave them away,to a local 'rag man ' but she was sadly suffering from Dimentia... James died in 1961.

We would like to know what unit he belonged to within the RE's, not sure if his Service Number 44796 would show where he joined, we think it would possibly be in Dundee. He was in civilian life working as a Engineer/Fitter, aged about 24 when joined up in 1915?

from memory,his son mentions him being wounded, light wound, and he was possibly batman to an Officer, and at Passchendaele, Although his index card has France (1)

Any information or leads in another direction most welcome...Thank you,


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Not much help really, but re the line "Passchendaele, although his index card has France" The entry of (1) France is a generic term for France and Flanders, it doesn't just mean he served wholly in France, as a Royal Engineer he would have been all over the show. In my experience the RE Museum are not much help I am afraid so don't hold out too much hope. Ralph.

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A Pioneer was a Royal Engineer who had not been passed as proficient in a trade (either Proficient / Superior / Very Superior) whereas a Sapper was. The 1914-15 Star would have been inscribed with his rank at the time of arrival in the Theatre of War, whereas the BWM/VM were inscribed with the highest rank attained (Sapper in this case).


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