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Terry_Reeves

Royal Engineers Special Brigade

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Terry_Reeves

Tom

In 1915, 26 Section was part of 188 Company. In 1916, on the re-organisation into a Brigade, 26 section was with "E" Company . A further re-organisation took place in March 1917 and 26 section was moved to "F" Company.

Hope this helps.

TR

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Tom W.

Tom

In 1915, 26 Section was part of 188 Company. In 1916, on the re-organisation into a Brigade, 26 section was with "E" Company . A further re-organisation took place in March 1917 and 26 section was moved to "F" Company.

Hope this helps.

TR

Yes, it does. Thanks very much. I appreciate it.

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Ron Clifton

Just broinging this thread back onto Page 1 for the benefit of a new member.

Ron

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sallyb

Hi Terry, I wonder if you could help. I am researching my Grandfather William Cuthbert Thomas E Special Coy Royal Engineers no:113484. He joined 188th Coy and then E Special Co. I am trying to trace his route thro France and found a list - presumably of the battles he was part of starting with one in 1915 which I cannot make out followed by The Somme 1916, Veiny Ridge 1916. Arras 1917, Loos 1917. Hulbech 1917, Ashville 1917, 2 more I can't make out, Oppy 1917, Gavrelle 1917, St Quentin 21st March 1918, Givenchy Keep 1918, Cambrin or Cambrai 1918 ( where he has MM next to it ) where I think he was awarded the MM, Melven 1918, Nieppe Forest, Merville 1918 and Arras-Cambrai 1918. I am trying to read Major General C H Faulkes' Gas book but find it very difficult as it has a lot of techincial information but not much about the battles. My main hope is that some how I will find out what he won the medal for. I have a few photographs with names on the back which if anyone was interested could copy to you as well as two trench maps. I have tried to get Kew to copy the War diary for E Company for me without success. Any information you have on E Special Company would be gratefully received.

Thanks in anticipation. Sally

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Terry_Reeves

Sally

His service record has survived, and shows that his MM was presented to him in a public ceremony by Major General CJ Deverell (later Field Marshall and Chief of the Imperial General Staff, 1936-37) on 10th June, 1920 at Newport, Monmouthshire. It is a good bet that his would have been covered by the local press and may give some details of why and where. The date of his award is the one given in the London Gazette and not the date of the action for which it was awarded. Cambrin was well known to the Special Brigade as they had a large dump of cylinders there, outside the church. Trying to pin down exactly where the award was won from the war diary I don't think is possible in this case from what I can remember of E Company's diary, however you should go through it in any case as it will give a good overview of his time with them . I have say that you will not find it very exciting though as, like a lot of units in wartime, they spent a lot of time out of action, carrying out training and maintaining equipment.

If you haven't seen his service record let me know and I will supply the details.

TR

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sallyb

Hi Terry, Many thanks. I have seen a few of his service papers that are on Ancestory would those be his full service record? There was nothing about the medal being presented. Am I correct in saying that the Special Companies, E included would have been attached to the various Armies as along side a few of the places he has the figures 4, 3, 2, Cambrin was in the group 3 with Givenchy Keep and St Quentin.Would that mean that E coy was attached to the 3rd Army perhaps? Sorry for all the questions, I am really struggling to get my head around this!! Sally

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Terry_Reeves

Sally

There is a slip of paper towards the end of his file referring to the MM presentation. If you would be happy to e mail copies of the paper work you have I will have a look and see what I can make of it. I'll send you personal message with the contact details,

TR

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sallyb

Many thanks that would be fine. I have a few maps and photographs as well if they would be any help for your research. Sally

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tweety396

Hi Terry,

Further to all the information you gave me about my relative Samuel Oakes (posted on here in 2009), I have recently been given scanned copies of letters which he wrote to his mother, just months before he died, and to the sister (?) of a close friend of his called Leslie (possibly Green) who went missing, presumed dead, in the Battle of the Somme. I don't know if anyone might know more about him, whether they were in Z company together or not at that time I have no idea, but thought there may be relatives of Leslie (if he could be traced) who might be interested in the letter.

In the letter to his mother, dated April 1917, he writes that they are out of danger for the foreseeable future and that they have been exploring behind old enemy lines which the elaborate layout of is fascinating to him. He also says that in some of the dug outs which have been missed by the infantry, they happen across Germans who have been left behind and are "happy" to become prisoners.

I thought the details might be of interest to anyone who's relatives were there at the same time!

Tammy

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Terry_Reeves

Tammy

I can only find this match:

L Green

PioneerService No:178921Date of Death:24/08/1916Regiment/Service:Royal Engineers 1st Bn. Special Bde.Grave ReferenceI. B. 1.CemeterySAILLY-AU-BOIS MILITARY CEMETERY

Name:Louis GreenBirth Place:Konin Kaliska, RussiaResidence:Stoke Newington, Middx.Death Date:24 Aug 1916Death Location:France & FlandersEnlistment Location:Hackney, Middx.Rank:PioneerRegiment:Corps of Royal EngineersNumber:178921Type of Casualty:Killed in actionTheatre of War:Western European TheatreComments:1St Battn. Spec. Bde., R.E.

Sources: CWGC

Soldiers Died in the Great War

There are some naturalisation certificates for a Russian with the name Louis Green from Russia at the National Archives. These can be found in HO 334 and are often good for building up the background of an immigrant.

Terry

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pegasus

hi terry, please could you have a look and see if the following officer appears anywhere within your records, thanks.

RANKIN william Lieutenant RE

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johnnie

Hi Terry,

I sent you a private email a while back but I'm not sure it reached you.

Anyway, I am trying to find out more about Cpl. John Johnson (106055) who served with the Special Companies of the RE during the Great War. He landed in France on the 13th July 1915 and was MID twice. The first MID was in the LG of the 14th December 1917 by which time he was a Sgt. This was Haig's Despatch of late 1917 and I assume it may have been for the Third Battle of Yepre.

His seconf MID was in the LG of 7th July 1919 and his unit is given as HQ, "nd Army Special Company. I assume this is Haig's Despatch covering the battles of 1918.

At the moment I have no other information on Johnson and would very much like to find out more about him. Does he appear in any of your rolls or do you have any avenues you can suggest that might help my research.

Any help would be great,

Johnnie

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Terry_Reeves

Pegasus

I'm afraid i don't have any information about this officer. Do you have any evidence that he served with the Special Brigade?

TR

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Terry_Reeves

Johnnie

Thanks for your post. I have jus checked my e mail for it and have found that it was identified as junk mail and automatically diverted to tyne junk mail file, along with messages from other people I may add.

I have no record of your man, but I can tell from his number and his disembarkation in July 1915, date that he was one of the early enlistments into the Special Companies as they were titled at that time. At a guess he had a chemistry, or other relevant scientific qualification, or had been studying for one when he responded to a call for men with such qualifications to enlist. He almost certainly joined 186, 1877, 188, or 189 Companies and would have taken part in the first British gas attack at Loos. Without his service record, it will be a time consuming to see if he appears in any of the war diaries. Are you a relative of his?

TR

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johnnie

Dear Terry,

Many thanks fopr the reply and the possible research routes. I'll have to pull to war diaries out for the units you mentioned next time I'm in the PRO to see if I can find a mention of him. I did think he might have been one of the early members from his date in France but it's good to have it confirmed.

He's not a family member but somebody I came across when carrying out research.

Johnnie

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pegasus

no, just on the 'off chance' - he was hq attached at some time.

thanks for checking terry, appreciated, rules another possibility out at least.

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rob_everitt_1999

Terry

You may already have this one on your list but I came across his records on Ancestry when researching the 216th AT Coy in which this guy's brother was serving.

220347 L/Cpl Alec Thomas Streather.

He served in the Special Brigade and was wounded 4. 6. 18. He was shipped home and discharged 30. 1. 19 as unfit for further service. He was awarded the Croix de Guerre which his niece believes was as a result of throwing himself across his Officers body and as a result receiving the wound which was responsible for his discharge.

RobE

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Terry_Reeves

Rob

Many thanks.

TR

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rinty333

Hello Sally

I have just read your posting today and was interested in it as my husband's father was also in E Special Company, , but he did not join up till much later. He was wounded just before the battle of Vimy Ridge and invalided out of the war. His name was Edmund Hirst Sanzen Baker. You mention that you have two trench maps. What areas do they cover, as I am wondering if my husband's Grandfather would have been there too, dependant on date?

I too have been in contact with Terry Reeves and he provided me with a great deal of information that you may be interested in, covering the period of Edmund's service.

Angela

quote name='cuth' timestamp='1329650771' post='1713601']

Hi Terry, I wonder if you could help. I am researching my Grandfather William Cuthbert Thomas E Special Coy Royal Engineers no:113484. He joined 188th Coy and then E Special Co. I am trying to trace his route thro France and found a list - presumably of the battles he was part of starting with one in 1915 which I cannot make out followed by The Somme 1916, Veiny Ridge 1916. Arras 1917, Loos 1917. Hulbech 1917, Ashville 1917, 2 more I can't make out, Oppy 1917, Gavrelle 1917, St Quentin 21st March 1918, Givenchy Keep 1918, Cambrin or Cambrai 1918 ( where he has MM next to it ) where I think he was awarded the MM, Melven 1918, Nieppe Forest, Merville 1918 and Arras-Cambrai 1918. I am trying to read Major General C H Faulkes' Gas book but find it very difficult as it has a lot of techincial information but not much about the battles. My main hope is that some how I will find out what he won the medal for. I have a few photographs with names on the back which if anyone was interested could copy to you as well as two trench maps. I have tried to get Kew to copy the War diary for E Company for me without success. Any information you have on E Special Company would be gratefully received.

Thanks in anticipation. Sally

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rinty333

Dear Terry

I understand from this message that you have lost some of yourpersonal Email messages and I wonder if mine might be some of them. I sent youan Email some time ago about Edmund Hirst Sanzen Baker of E Company, Specialbrigade and you very kindly sent me some very comprehensive information.Subsequently, I sent you a few Emails that |I had no replies to. Did youreceive the one with a photo of his Chemists shop? Please let me know whichEmail you received last from me and I will resend the later ones.

I wondered if I had offended you in some way.

Sincerely

Angela Baker

Johnnie

Thanks for your post. I have jus checked my e mail for it and have found that it was identified as junk mail and automatically diverted to tyne junk mail file, along with messages from other people I may add.

I have no record of your man, but I can tell from his number and his disembarkation in July 1915, date that he was one of the early enlistments into the Special Companies as they were titled at that time. At a guess he had a chemistry, or other relevant scientific qualification, or had been studying for one when he responded to a call for men with such qualifications to enlist. He almost certainly joined 186, 1877, 188, or 189 Companies and would have taken part in the first British gas attack at Loos. Without his service record, it will be a time consuming to see if he appears in any of the war diaries. Are you a relative of his?

TR

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warrenasbury

Hi Terry

Not sure if you have any information on one of my relatives that served in the RE Special 'H' company. His name was Pioneer James Asbury and he died of his wounds on March 25th 1918 in a Rouen military hospital. He is buried in St Sever Military Cemetery.

He originally enrolled in the 6th Royal Warwicks in 1915 so not sure how he ended up in the Royal Engineers.

Any information greatfully received.

Warren Asbury

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Terry_Reeves

Warren

I can't help with specifics, but can point you in the right direction. From his number, he was an infantry transfer from a small group of about half a dozen men from 6th Royal Warwicks, probably 3/ 6th. This would have happened in the first quarter of 1916 when the original four companies were used as the basis for forming the brigade sized formation it became in 1916. Men were transferred compulsorily from many regiments and corps from across the army. To find out about the day to day doings of H Company, the following war diaries at the National Archives will be of interest:

2nd Battalion, Special Brigade - WO 95/121

H Special Company - WO 95/334

If I can help further please let me know.

TR

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warrenasbury

Hi Terry

Not sure if you have any information on one of my relatives that served in the RE Special 'H' company. His name was Pioneer James Asbury and he died of his wounds on March 25th 1918 in a Rouen military hospital. He is buried in St Sever Military Cemetery.

He originally enrolled in the 6th Royal Warwicks in 1915 so not sure how he ended up in the Royal Engineers.

Any information greatfully received.

Warren Asbury

Hi Terry

Thanks for the information and suggested way forward. I will investigate the war diaries

Cheers

Warren

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davidbohl

Hi Terry, research on one of the founder members of my rugby club (Sefton RUFC, Liverpool) reveals he was in Special Brigade, Royal Corps of Engineers.

His name was Lt James W.A Taylor (b. 1883) and gazetted with the Military Cross, losing his commission in 1921.

Do you have anything about his activities or his company ?

Many Thanks

Dave Bohl

Club Historian

Sefton Rufc

Liverpool

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Terry_Reeves

David

Lt JWA Taylor MC

3 Tilney Street, Orrel Park, Liverpool

Teacher - Inter BSc, London

Joined ranks of 10th Liverpool Scottish Sept 1914

Ranks, Special Brigade, 8.9.15

2Lt RE, 12.05.16

Lt RE, 12.11.17.

Served in Q Special company

Wounded at duty - 29.6.16 and 29.6.18

to England (sick) 28.10.16

Rejoined unit 22.2.17.

Demobilized, 17.2.19.

The activities of Q Company can be found at the National Archives in WO 95/122 and WO 95/402.

Hope this helps.

TR

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