Jump to content
The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Employed Works Directorate, Temporary Captain

Guest dellow1

Recommended Posts

My great grandfather, William Woollett, 1875-1942, is listed in Forces War Records in the Royal Engineers as Employed Works Directorate, Temporary Captain.

I would like to know what the term means and would he have had an army number?

If he had a number, how can I trace it?

My father, David Woollett, REME in WW11, told me that his father, William Woollett worked for Chuter Ede in WW1 and used Deauville narrow gauge locos but had no other info about his father,my grandfather.

Many thanks in advance.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


The Works Directorate was responsible for the planning, design, and the supervision of the construction of camps, hospitals, veterinary hospitals , stables, stores, detention barracks and ammunition depots etc, and all the supporting infrastructure such as electric lighting, water supply, pumping stations and so on. A lot of contracts were carried out by civilian companies, both British and French on a tender basis, with the Directorate responsible for letting of these contracts and ensuring they were carried out to specification. They were also responsible for the maintenance of all the works carried out. Originally, they were also responsible for forestry and engineer stores, but as the war went on and these particular parts of the organisation got larger, they were separated and given their own Directorates.

The officers who served with the Works Directorate came from many disciplines: construction, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, architecture and so forth. I have a database over 600 officers who served at one time or another with the Works Directorate during the war, including Acting Captain William Woollett. He served with the Works Directorate from 2.12.16 to 1.7.18 after which he was transferred to the Directorate of Engineer Stores.

There is a file at the National Archives for a Major William Woollett R.E. in WO 339/77461. which might be worth checking out as I think it may be the same man. Incidentally , officers did not have numbers in WW1.

Hope this helps.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Create New...