RE: Companies to Squadrons


I was wondering if any of you could answer the following:

RE Sqn's used to be Coy’s, Fd Coy, FD Pk Coy etc. They changed to Sqn’s Circa 1945 – 1948.
I was wondering if anyone knows of the reason why?

I have asked several people with little success and I have done a little research (not to much because I am basically lazy), however, I have had no success.

I know I could contact the RE museum, however, see above (ref lazy) and I just wondered if any one knew the answer ‘from the top of their head’


Just so I don’t appear totally thick (no change there then). I am aware that the RE adopted a Regt structure in 1947 (before that all Coy’s were semi autonomous), however, why change from Coy to Sqn
I acknowledge that the Assault Engineers where raised as Sqns, however even earlier than that (1942), Airborne units where also being raised with the title Sqn, as well as Coy.

I was just curious as to why the decision was made, to change all units the title of Sqn.

The answer may be as simple as uniformity!!!!
Have you tried asking the RE Museum at Chatham?


What was worse, is that not only did they change, but some of the most famous RE Field Companies vanished.

My old war time company 246 Field Company RE, of the Third British Infantry Division was disbanded, That is was unforgivable, for one of the very best has gone,Though not forgotten, as it has a very handsome entry in the RE History. Although we could not have a reunion, due to the casualties we sustained from Sword to Bremen. it would have been great to have their name still active.
Ex Sapper Swordman


Companies are usually infanteers, Squadrons are Cavalry! Had pre WW1 military snob value. Also adds shiny riding boots and spurs to No1 dress.
- more things to bull!
WW2 led to less time for status arguments, and more real soldiering.
Not sure if it helps but ...

If you were with a cav unit you were a Sqn, with Inf or general you were a coy. I imagine that someone thought Sqn seemed more exclusive when it came to standardise.
Thanks for the replies.

So it seems that it was as simple as a uniformity thing, and the fact that Cav mess dress and spurs give a greater ‘Snob’ Value.

Shame really, as has been said, there where some Fd Coy’s with a mighty fine tradition.

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