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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

185th Tunneling Coy - Royal Engineers


battle of loos

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good morning,

 

here is a British theatre company -"The Blue Tommies":

 

315432484_troupedethatre-185RE.JPG.84f06381bf4c8f75fb3afe0d09486776.JPG

 

here's another picture of the same unit but here with a name.
 

2111147125_185thCoyR.E.Sgtbattys.jpg.ae5593deb23a8b0f0368f1bc8536eb7c.jpg

 

these men are part of the 185th Royal Engineers Company.
the photo was takenon Arras in 1917

 

185th Tunnelling Company :

Formed in Rouen in October 1915, moved immediately to the Somme area, for work at La Boisselle. Moved to the Labyrinth sector near Vimy in March 1916. This Company dug subways near Neuville St Vaast in early 1917. Troops of the Company were the first British to enter Douai, on 17th October 1918, during the great advance to victory.

Source : LONG, LONG TRAIL

 

here's a small set of land from the Royal Engineers :

 

Royal Engineers.JPG

 

I would like to know if it is possible to find information about the men who make up this theatre company "the Blue Tommies" and about the sergeant in the 2nd photo.

on the other hand, I am looking for the composition of a tunnelling company.

 

thank you in advance for your help.

 

Kind regards

 

Michel

Edited by battle of loos
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good morning,

 

Thank you so much for the link.

regars

 

Michel

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Michel

I have the WD for 185 TC (WO 95/245/1) which covers 1915 to 1919. I have read WO 95/245/2 (as shown in the link) at Kew but I did not download it. I can only assume that it contained Weekly Mining Reports and did not name names.

From January 1917 until 09/04/1917 185 TC constructed Douai Subway, Zivy Subway, Bentata Subway and Barricade Subway which, according to the WD, proved to be of great use to the Infantry on 09/04/1917. I could not see any mention of Sgt Batty or of the The Blue Tommies.

Brian

Edited by brianmorris547
typo
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Good evening,

 

I downloaded the WD but I found nothing to pros of Sgt BATTY and "the Blue Tommies".

also have a map showing the names of the tunnels you mentioned.

 

the name of ZIVY, I know its location because there is a cemetery and I go from time to time (I live not very far from there).

 

Thank you in advance.

 

regards

 

Michel

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good morning,

 

Thank you for the link.
I did find Sgt BATTY.
he is buried in Neuville St Vaast.

 

regards

 

michel

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  • 1 year later...

Hello Michel

I have just found your post with the two very interesting photographs. I had seen the photo of Sgt Batty’s section reproduced in the book ‘Somewhere on the Western Front’, but not the whole image. I had never seen the photo of ‘The Blue Tommies’ or found any mention of a 185th concert party. There was a history of 185th Tunnelling Company written in 1927 entitled ‘The Life of a Tunnelling Company’ which mentions the dog, who was named Sapper and taught tricks by the Sergeant Major, including sitting up with a toy rifle and a pipe in his mouth. 185th also including a member of the Carcass family, which ran Punch & Judy shows, but I do not know whether he is included in the photo. Here is a drawing of Sapper, from a collection of portraits of Officers of 185th.

Thank you for posting the photos.

Regards, Simon

1549169263_Sapper(2)-res.jpg.a8c048f41f7ee3603a2ed740c8365dd5.jpg

 

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  • 2 years later...

good morning,

Thank you for your reply which has a particular history with this dog.

Kind regards

michel

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