Jump to content
Free downloads from TNA ×
The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Royal Engineers


SteveE

Recommended Posts

I've recently obtained a photo of my GGFather as part of a working detail of the 30th Railway Labour Battalion.

There are 24 men in the photo in total:- 1 Officer, 1 Serjeant, 1 Corporal, 1 Second Corporal and 20 Pioneers/Sappers.

I know that the battalion was split into four companies, A to D, but I was wondering if this photograph illustrated the 'platoon strength' of one of them.

As always, any and all help appreciated.

Steve

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Try Army Council Instructions, Army Orders or War Establishments. At the same time I have the ORBAT of the British Armies in France for November 1918 and no 30th Railway Labour Battalion is listed. Why's that I wonder??

Graham.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Try Army Council Instructions, Army Orders or War Establishments. At the same time I have the ORBAT of the British Armies in France for November 1918 and no 30th Railway Labour Battalion is listed. Why's that I wonder??

Graham.

Graham

Thanks for the ideas, a path I will have to try when next at Kew.

As for the 30th not being mentioned in the ORBAT for November 1918 I can only assume that by then they had been broken up into four separate companies although I have no idea when this would have happened. The only reference to this occurence I've found so far was on the LLT mothersite.

Any ideas as to what a Royal Engineers company/platoon strength was?

Cheers

Steve

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Company and platoon strength varied greatly from one type of engineer unit to another.

When I get back to my library, I'll post some sample war establishments for engineer units other than field companies.

By the way, my upcoming book on the BEF in 1917 (due out from Osprey in 2008) will have quite a bit on both specialized RE units and labour units.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Steve,

I'm afraid all I have is the "War Establishments for July 1915", which is establishments for Reserve Battalions and Depots only, although it does include "R.E. Raiway Troops Depot", which probably isn't of any use to you.

Graham.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The RE did not have platoons, but sections, which were roughly equivilent to an infantry platoon. A section strength might vary depending on the type of unit though.

Terry Reeves

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The RE did not have platoons, but sections, which were roughly equivilent to an infantry platoon. A section strength might vary depending on the type of unit though.

Well I've learnt something today if nothing else :) , thanks Terry.

In your opinion could 1 Officer, 1 Serjeant, 1 Corporal, 1 Second Corporal and 20 Pioneers/Sappers constitute a section? and were sections numbered in the same way as infantry platoons or did they have their own unique system?

Steve

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Bruce and Graham

Thanks very much for your input. I'm a relative newcomer to researching the Royal Engineers' 30th Railway Labour Battalion so any help is always appreciated.

Steve

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Steve

It looks very much like a section. They were normally ordered numerically, but the Signal Service had a different system altogether.

Terry Reeves

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here is an establishment (from the autumn of 1916) for a 'Railway Labour Company'. From the lack of 'sappers', '2nd corporals' and the like, this looks like one of the labour units that was formed by the direct enlistment of civilian labourers (who became privates) and civilian foremen (who became corporals).

post-3068-1153760190.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here is an establishment (also from the autumn of 1916) for a Railway Company (Construction), which has the ranks peculiar to the Royal Engineers.

post-3068-1153760462.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here's one more extract from the War Establishments for the Expeditionary Force (autumn 1916) that may shed some light on this question.

post-3068-1153760694.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Bruce

Thanks for posting the extracts, all very interesting. I'll peruse them at my leisure and I'm sure I'll come back with some more questions ;).

Thanks again

Steve

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Bruce

First question, although not based on the establishments. I'm having trouble reading the details on the images, would it be possible to email them to me?

I'll PM my email address if it's ok.

Regards

Steve

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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...