Army Rumour Service

Register a free account today to become a member! Once signed in, you'll be able to participate on this site by adding your own topics and posts, as well as connect with other members through your own private inbox!

Pioneer Corps

Jonnynoname

On ROPS
On ROPs
A guy i know who was an ex Anglian always goes on about how he wished he had transferred to the Pioneer Corps. Talking before it was RLC. I just remember them with the Kahki infantry beret around 85? onwards. Saw then attached to the R Sigs in a more Infantry role. so was this the norm more Infantry as before around 85 i think they did other roles when they had the Blue beret & Blackpool tower badge. just curious. Guy keeps saying yeah i would have got this licence & forklift ..etc. working in ammo dumps . any chunkies out there?
Have to add that i found our fairly recently that an Uncle served in the Pioneers in N Africa. My Brother has a certificate from him signed by Monty. will get him to send me it. I know my Mother said he Drove Monty. exactly when ..etc i have no clue.
 
Last edited:

Jonnynoname

On ROPS
On ROPs
The Chunks (back in the day) carried out the Inf APWT as opposed to Other Arms version.
yes i know some worked in training wings too. They did at 1 UK Armd Div in Herford . Took the Staff officers on the ranges among other things. Had a bit of a bad rep back in the day but i do not believe it myself.
 

Bubbles_Barker

LE
Book Reviewer
The Chunks (back in the day) carried out the Inf APWT as opposed to Other Arms version.
Because they had a role providing HQ defence platoons and also special weapons protection.
 
I recall that the RPC had a dual role, as labourers and also as Defence Platoon for headquarters in the field.
Hence the concentration on infantry skills.

Despite them being the butt of many a disparaging remark, they had a respectable WW2 record, many serving alongside RE and NCC in bomb disposal work. Their forebears, The Labour Corps did a pretty decent job in WW1, too

Their cap badge, the crossed rifle and shovel with a wreath of immortalles was, I thought, a good one and it was a pity that they felt insecure enough to change their cap badge shortly before being absorbed. New cap badge, apparently designed by one of the royal dukes (Gloucester?) with the crossed axes showed a lineage to the infantry pioneers which never really existed.

I only recall coming across the individual RPC guy but I found them to be invariably good lads.
 
Yep, they were good lads. We had a pet chunky - a mad Jock who liked wearing RAF kit and used to wander around camp attired as such. Mental.
 

Bubbles_Barker

LE
Book Reviewer
Monty was driven by RA and RTR at a couple of times in WW2 but mainly Cpl John Burford MM RASC:

736ADECF-57FB-4B1B-9EA1-636495E53113.jpeg
 
My mate Piggy joined the Pioneers in 83, in his words 'Cos no other regiment would have me'
Now, I will admit that Piggy was as thick as a Gurkhas foreskin, but he was a great lad.
I think they were known as the labourors of the army, hole diggers and things like that.
We had a Combat Pioneer attached, and he was well liked.
 
My mate Piggy joined the Pioneers in 83, in his words 'Cos no other regiment would have me'
Now, I will admit that Piggy was as thick as a Gurkhas foreskin, but he was a great lad.
I think they were known as the labourors of the army, hole diggers and things like that.
We had a Combat Pioneer attached, and he was well liked.


Memory jog:- I got called out to attend a diamond 3 location, armed RMP, barbed wire enclosure, the whole works, one of their gennys had packed up, i was escorted by a RPC lad, very helpful, couldn't do enough. It was at the same location i was asked by a septic officer, what i was doing, while shoulder deep into the inner workings of a large generator.....1979-80ish
 
Yeah, that's one of those 'Are you the driver of this vehicle' moments, asked by some div whilst you're sat in the drivers cab of a Chally.
 
As a Selection Officer at Sutton ColdfieldI interviewed a man for the Pioneers. He had about six GCSEs at grade c and above so I asked him why he had chosen Pioneer. His answer was "I'm quite clever so I think compared with others in the Pioneers I should progress quicker"
He passed Phase 1 & 2 training (I didn't get a "Failed in training" letter") so I often wonder how far and how quickly he got on!
 
As a Selection Officer at Sutton ColdfieldI interviewed a man for the Pioneers. He had about six GCSEs at grade c and above so I asked him why he had chosen Pioneer. His answer was "I'm quite clever so I think compared with others in the Pioneers I should progress quicker"
He passed Phase 1 & 2 training (I didn't get a "Failed in training" letter") so I often wonder how far and how quickly he got on!
For every "failed in training" letter you got, was your pay docked accordingly?
 

Bubbles_Barker

LE
Book Reviewer
I will post the certificate when i get it from my brother.
I'm not disbelieving you - just saying that driving Monty was a bit like being on the balcony.
 
As a Selection Officer at Sutton ColdfieldI interviewed a man for the Pioneers. He had about six GCSEs at grade c and above so I asked him why he had chosen Pioneer. His answer was "I'm quite clever so I think compared with others in the Pioneers I should progress quicker"
He passed Phase 1 & 2 training (I didn't get a "Failed in training" letter") so I often wonder how far and how quickly he got on!
I worked with the pioneers at HQ 1(BR) Corps for 4 years and they sent some with us to the gulf (HQ FMA/FFMA). Sound blokes all.
I did bump into many in the years after, from Belize to Bosnia and later, Kosovo, the ones who did rather well were the brighter ones, and they were as sharp as any you'd meet.
As regards them doing crap jobs, at 1 (BR) Corps on ex you'd find Defense Coy setting up all the wire and external security and we RCT had to put up all the tents, tables etc. inside the wire.
Not sure who got the best deal there!
 

Joshua Slocum

LE
Book Reviewer
My Grandfather William Curtis was in the Labour Corp in the Great War, he was also and old contemptible, having joined up early and lying about his age
I know he was injured a few times as he started with one the Surrey Regiments
he ended up working on tanks, and decoy tanks and general shifting and tidying stuff, then got moved to Koln until 1920 with the BAOR, again shifting and fixing stuff
 

Jonnynoname

On ROPS
On ROPs
only asked me what i was joining never really said much. liked his whisky.
Says N W Europe on it so maybe i got it wrong. Was my understanding He served in N Africa. First time i have read it but as i wrote i never knew He was a pioneer untill a few months ago.
Was a good man.
 
Last edited:
Several places I served at had Pioneer platoons as guard force. Always seemed decent chaps. A friend of my dad’s had got to WO1 in the Int Corps then took an LE Commission in the RPC. Said it was the best 5 years of his career
 

Latest Threads

Top