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Remembered Today:

RE Field Companies 224 and 231


DavidMillichope
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Are there any RE experts who knw anything about RE field companies 224 or 231?

When and where they were formed ?

Which units they were attached to ? ( I know they were part of 40th division in April 1918 )

It'll help me track down the whereabouts of an RE soldier .

Many thanks for any help.

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They were in 40th Division from November 1915 to the end of the war and didn't change Divisions at all.

http://www.1914-1918.net/40div.htm

Steve.

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They were in 40th Division from November 1915 to the end of the war and didn't change Divisions at all.

http://www.1914-1918.net/40div.htm

Steve.

My apologies, Steve , but my thinking has got very muddled on this. I've been asking the wrong questions.

My problem is I'm approaching this problem from several directions looking for circumstantial evidence that would lead me to a working hypothesis as to where he might have seen action ( Ideally I'd like to find a link to an infantry battalion so I can track him through their War Diary.) . It's the old problem - he's an RE who could have been anywhere !!

I've two massive clues -

1. He was admitted to a base hospital ( Dannes) with "Gas Poisoning ,Mild" on April 10th 1918 ( Hypothesis - he was gassed on the Lys on the morning of 9th April )

2. The photographs he passd on included an infantry soldier who was a Lance corporal . On the back it says "Harold Barber - your old bedmate". ( Hypothesis - he worked closely with this guy and shared a dugout) . There is only one Lance Corporal Harold Barber , and he was in the Sherwood Foresters.

I also know he enlisted in the RGA ( MIC) and later was in the Signals ( demob papers and verbal accounts from his son )

This all leads me to the 40th division ( Lys April 9th) , working in the RE Signals, possibly with the Sherwood Foresters and possibly maintaining artillary communications.

I'm trying to tighten my understanding of organisation of the RE, the RGA and the signals companies to see if the picture I'm building makes sense.

I know that the 40th division included :-

224 and 231 RE Field Companies

40th Divisional signals unit

18th( service) Sherwood Foresters

178, 181 and 185 RGA.

He lived in East Yorkshire so I'm looking to see if there is any local connections with the RGA and RE units above. Maybe it didn't work like that. ??

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David

224 Field Company was raised in Doncaster circa April 1915 for 40th Division. By November 1918 they had been converted to 224 Army Troops (Works ) Company RE.

231 Company was also raised in Doncaster at the same time as the above. They remained with the division throughout the war. The unit war diaries at the National Archive will give you a detailed account of their movements.

Given his transfer to the RGA, I would start by looking at the Divisional Signals Company war diary, having first checked to see if his service record has survived.

With regards to his "bedmate", I think that they shared adjacent beds in hospital, rather than a front line trench.

TR

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With regards to his "bedmate", I think that they shared adjacent beds in hospital, rather than a front line trench.

TR

Ah, of course. That has a more obvious ring about it !! What a shame though - it blows away one of my more promising clues. Actually I have a photo of of the men on the ward - I'll check and see if anyone matches Harold Barber's face.

I've checked for service records at the NA, but no joy.

However, your suggestion to check those war diaries seems my best way forward.

I could be in totally the wrong street with the 40th Division of course. However, one interesting fact. I was reading an article about the RAMC just today and and it confirmed that men were moved on from CCSs very quickly and trains were used to move them out to base hospitals - a period of 36 hours seems about right for that sort of "wound". The things you find out trying to trace soldiers !! It really brings the history alive.

Many thanks, Terry.

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