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Remembered Today:

3rd Battalion Special Brigade R.E. War Diary


JMButchart

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I'm researching Pioneer 128910 John Lawrence who was in 'L' Special Company and was killed in action 02/06/1917. I believe he joined the 3rd Battalion in March 1916. I have found WO 95/334, 'L' Special Company's war diary from March 1917 to May 1919. However I would like to know more about what John was doing in the 12 months March 1916 to February 1917.

I have found a Terry Reeves' post in which he said the 3rd Battalion has a war diary at the National Archives reference numbers WO 95/121 and WO 95/40. Both have very unspecific titles, but since WO 95/40 seems to cover September to November 1918, I assume the 3rd Battalion's war diary for the period I'm interested in must be in WO 95/121. However its title is just "General Headquarters Troops" and it appears to have no subdivisions. Will I really find a 3rd Battalion war diary in it? I'm puzzled and would be grateful for someone to put me right.

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Hello JMB

Here are the contents of WO95/121:

WO 95/121 1 Battalion Royal Engineers 1916 Jan. - 1917 Feb.
WO 95/121 2 Battalion Royal Engineers 1916 Jan. - 1917 Feb.
WO 95/121 3 Battalion Royal Engineers 1916 Jan. - 1917 Feb.

All three battalions were classified as part of GHQ Troops.

They diaries have not yet been made available online, but I think they are being digitised now and may be online by the end of the year.

Ron

Ron

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The Special Brigade formerly came into being on 17th January , 1916. but took several months to be brought up to strength. The companies allocated to it, including L company, did not keep their own war diaries, the battalion headquarters being responsible for that. There will be brief entries for L company in 3rd Battalion diary. In March 1917 the Special Brigade was reorganised with individual companies becoming responsible for their own administration, including war diaries. In 1916, the Special Brigade were part of GHQ troops. Could you say where WO95/40 comes from please as it is not a Special Brigade or Special Company diary.

TR

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Terry, it's the QMG's diary for Sep-Nov 1918.

WO95/240 is the WD of HQ Special Companies RE with First Army, from March 1917 to March 1919. Possibly a typo?

Ron

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Grateful thanks to Ron for explaining WO 95/121 does have the third part i want. also for correcting 95/20 to 95/240. Terry - do you still wish to receive research about Special Brigade men? I did try to PM you, but got a message saying you could receive no more messages.

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Ron

Thanks. It should have been WO 95/401 I think, which is the diary for HQ Special Companies 3rd Army. All the SB's HQ's were redesignated in 1917 as part of the reorganisation that year.

TR

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