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Chris

Special Coy Royal Engineers - Photo help please

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Chris

Hi

Bought this picture a while ago but totally forgot about it until i was filing this weekend, and thought i would eventually get around to asking about it. I believe that it states 54 S?? Section; No 3 Special Coy, Royal Engineers. i am under the impression that this would imply involvment in gas. Can anyone tell me to which division/brigade of the Army this unit was attached from the details on the card? One of the men is Pioneer Donald Dick and has the number 289039; again does the number help indicate unit? Sorry my knowledge of RE is very limited. Finally is anyone kindly able to tell me more about the mortars in the picture please?

post-1012-1165238632.jpg

Cheers

Chris

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Paul Reed

They are 4-inch Stokes mortars used by the Special Coys to fire mortar bombs with gas in them. The Special Brigade was not attached to a Division, but used as and where needed.

Very poor photo of the weapon and bomb here:

http://www-cgsc.army.mil/carl/resources/cs...images/pg20.gif

Projectile shown here:

tn_4%20Inch%20American%20Stokes%20Mortar

Details of TMs on Chris Baker's site:

http://www.1914-1918.net/trenchmortars.htm

And Special Companies:

http://www.1914-1918.net/specialcoyre.htm

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Chris

Much obliged Paul, thanks for the links and diagram; just the type of reply i was hoping for.

Cheers

Chris

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bob lembke

I thought that the companies of the special brigade were identified with letters, not numbers. I know that the flame thrower company was "Coy. Z", and when it was converted to a gas company the company letter was retained. Am I right here?

Bob Lembke

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SFayers
I thought that the companies of the special brigade were identified with letters, not numbers. I know that the flame thrower company was "Coy. Z", and when it was converted to a gas company the company letter was retained. Am I right here?

Bob Lembke

Bob,

The 'mortar companies' of the special brigade (can't remember off hand if there were 4 or 5 of these companies), specifically, were numbered (and their constituent sections lettered). Conversely all the other special companies (ie: those that traditionally operated the gas cylinders, and as you say the flame-thrower company) were lettered and their constituent sections numbered.

cheers

Steve

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SFayers
Hi

Bought this picture a while ago but totally forgot about it until i was filing this weekend, and thought i would eventually get around to asking about it. I believe that it states 54 S?? Section; No 3 Special Coy, Royal Engineers. i am under the impression that this would imply involvment in gas. Can anyone tell me to which division/brigade of the Army this unit was attached from the details on the card? One of the men is Pioneer Donald Dick and has the number 289039; again does the number help indicate unit? Sorry my knowledge of RE is very limited. Finally is anyone kindly able to tell me more about the mortars in the picture please?

post-1012-1165238632.jpg

Cheers

Chris

Chris,

Great photo by the way! On your image it says 54 (or possibly 56?) Sub Section. Not sure how many subsections there were in a section, but each of the special (mortar) companies comprised four (lettered) sections. No. 1 Special (Mortar) Company, for example, comprised sections A, B, C & D. Since these seem to have been consecutive, I would think No. 3 Special Company would have comprised sections I, J, K & L (but I might be wrong).

As Paul has said, these companies were essentially independant and would be attached to Corps, Divisions, etc. as and where they were needed. Also, it was not unusual for individual sections to be seconded to support other special companies.

cheers

Steve

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