Structure of WW1 RE Field Company

REMEwalt

Old-Salt
I am researching the war records of my Great Grandfather who served in 1st (East Anglian) Field Company Royal Engineers (Later renumbered as the 483rd Field Company) attached to 2nd Division in France. They entered France on Christmas Day 1914 and he was discharged in January 1919 from Germany.

I have two questions:

1/ What was the organisational structure of an RE Field Company at that time? The Long, Long Tail website (I can't post a link) references three sections, each commanded by a Lieutenant. However, the Company War Diaries clearly refer to four dismounted sections plus the mounted section. I'm also used to an INF company being 120 strong but RE was clearly double that.

2/ I have my Grandfathers medals, they are stamped SPR FC Brown R.E. but I have a photo of him (claimed to have been taken in 1918*) with Corporal's tapes up. Were the medals stamped with rank on entry or discharge?

* I think the picture is post-war because he continued to serve in the TA and I have his Territorial Efficiency Medal that must have been awarded in 1936 and is stamped CPL.

Thanks.

Edit to add pictures now that I'm allowed: He is on the left in the first picture and on the right in the second. The second picture is the one I mention above.

Screenshot 2022-05-11 at 21.28.27.png
Screenshot 2022-05-11 at 21.28.43.png
 
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Try contacting the RE Museum, they should be able to either gibe you the answers or point you in the right direction

 
You will need to take a trip here:


and contact them here:

 

exspy

LE
I'm also used to an INF company being 120 strong but RE was clearly double that.

An infantry rifle company during The Great War was 227 all ranks (officers and men). With secondments from the company's to battalion headquarters they worked with a strength of 200 men each.
 

REMEwalt

Old-Salt
You will need to take a trip here:

link removed

and contact them here:

link removed
Thanks, I already have pdf copies of the Company War Diaries from 23/12/14 when they departed from Bury St Edmunds, to 31/12/18 when they were in Vanikum, Germany.

The material in the Wartime Memories Project link seems to just be a summation/transcription of the diaries.
 
I am researching the war records of my Great Grandfather who served in 1st (East Anglian) Field Company Royal Engineers (Later renumbered as the 483rd Field Company) attached to 2nd Division in France. They entered France on Christmas Day 1914 and he was discharged in January 1919 from Germany.

I have two questions:

1/ What was the organisational structure of an RE Field Company at that time? The Long, Long Tail website (I can't post a link) references three sections, each commanded by a Lieutenant. However, the Company War Diaries clearly refer to four dismounted sections plus the mounted section. I'm also used to an INF company being 120 strong but RE was clearly double that.

2/ I have my Grandfathers medals, they are stamped SPR FC Brown R.E. but I have a photo of him (claimed to have been taken in 1918*) with Corporal's tapes up. Were the medals stamped with rank on entry or discharge?

* I think the picture is post-war because he continued to serve in the TA and I have his Territorial Efficiency Medal that must have been awarded in 1936 and is stamped CPL.

Thanks.
The Great War Forum is the home of real WW1 experts. I strongly recommend that you ask your questions there.
 
Thanks, I already have pdf copies of the Company War Diaries from 23/12/14 when they departed from Bury St Edmunds, to 31/12/18 when they were in Vanikum, Germany.

The material in the Wartime Memories Project link seems to just be a summation/transcription of the diaries.

What was his full name and service number(s)?

I'll have a rootle around and see if I can find anything else about him if you wish.
 

REMEwalt

Old-Salt
What was his full name and service number(s)?

I'll have a rootle around and see if I can find anything else about him if you wish.
Thanks for the offer.

His name was Frederick Charles Brown service number 928 and then 522044. His Territorial service number was 2209782. He was in 1st (East Anglian) Field Company of the 1st Bedfordshire Battalion RE (Volunteers).

In some records that I've seen him listed as F C Brown, in others just C Brown.

He had a younger brother William Brown (usually known as Will) who was a Regular (9999, L/Cpl, B Coy, 1st Bedfordshire Regiment) and killed in October 1914 during the battle of La Bassée. His body was never found and he is listed on the memorial at Le Touret.

As is usually the case with these things, he died when I was too young to appreciate him and ask questions.

Incidentally, back in 1976 Anglian TV made a documentary where they took my Great Grandfather back to France, specifically to talk about his experiences on The Somme (his unit was in Delville Wood from 26 July). Either the BFI or IWM have the original. It was called "Charlie Brown's Great War" and, when I was a kid, used to be shown around Remembrance Day.
 
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Incidentally, back in 1976 Anglian TV made a documentary where they took my Great Grandfather back to France, specifically to talk about his experiences on The Somme (his unit was in Delville Wood from 26 July). Either the BFI or IWM have the original. It was called "Charlie Brown's Great War" and, when I was a kid, used to be shown around Remembrance Day.

As a starter for 10:


which suggests that an archived copy exists.

Maybe an enquiry here?:

 
(Frederick) Charles Brown:

As you say, he mostly pops up as 'Charles'.

His Medal Index Card (MIC). As a pre-War TF, I would have expected an older version - the ones used at the beginning of the War were a different layout then the one below.

Also, given his date of entry into Theatre, I mildly surprised that he shows entitlement to a 14-15 Star and not a 1914 Star.

FC Brown - MIC.jpg


FC Brown-15 Star Roll.jpg


But the Medal confirms that it's a 1914-15 Star, which should be numbered '928'.

FC Brown-BW VM Roll.jpg


And his British War and Victory Medals should bear his later number.

Sadly, there seems to be no Service Record which I'd hoped to find, given his early enlistment.

. . . and finally: can you confirm that his group includes the 'Territorial Efficiency Medal': the date of award (1936) is off as the medal was superseded in 1930 by the 'Efficiency Medal'.
 

REMEwalt

Old-Salt
(Frederick) Charles Brown:

As you say, he mostly pops up as 'Charles'.

His Medal Index Card (MIC). As a pre-War TF, I would have expected an older version - the ones used at the beginning of the War were a different layout then the one below.

Also, given his date of entry into Theatre, I mildly surprised that he shows entitlement to a 14-15 Star and not a 1914 Star.

View attachment 662271

View attachment 662272

But the Medal confirms that it's a 1914-15 Star, which should be numbered '928'.

View attachment 662273

And his British War and Victory Medals should bear his later number.

Sadly, there seems to be no Service Record which I'd hoped to find, given his early enlistment.

. . . and finally: can you confirm that his group includes the 'Territorial Efficiency Medal': the date of award (1936) is off as the medal was superseded in 1930 by the 'Efficiency Medal'.
The qualification cut off date for the Mons Star was 22 November 1914.

Edit to add. The records indicate that he enlisted in August 1914. I have no evidence that he was TF pre-war.

You are correct about the Efficiency Medal. It’s a George V issue with Territorial Suspender Bar. I have this record for it. Edit to add. This suggests that he joined the TF some time after the war, probably 1924 given that it was awarded in 1936 for twelve years service. There's no clasp so he can't have served a further six years.

1652293567127.png
 
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Thanks for the offer.

His name was Frederick Charles Brown service number 928 and then 522044. His Territorial service number was 2209782. He was in 1st (East Anglian) Field Company of the 1st Bedfordshire Battalion RE (Volunteers).

In some records that I've seen him listed as F C Brown, in others just C Brown.

He had a younger brother William Brown (usually known as Will) who was a Regular (9999, L/Cpl, B Coy, 1st Bedfordshire Regiment) and killed in October 1914 during the battle of La Bassée. His body was never found and he listed on the memorial at Le Touret.

As is usually the case with these things, he died when I was too young to appreciate him and ask questions.

Incidentally, back in 1976 Anglian TV made a documentary where they took my Great Grandfather back to France, specifically to talk about his experiences on The Somme (his unit was in Delville Wood from 26 July). Either the BFI or IWM have the original. It was called "Charlie Brown's Great War" and, when I was a kid, used to be shown around Remembrance Day.

Deville Wood is worth a visit, the arrse tour group often visited precovid.
As battles go it really is humbling reading the sacrifices made there.
 

REMEwalt

Old-Salt
Deville Wood is worth a visit, the arrse tour group often visited precovid.
As battles go it really is humbling reading the sacrifices made there.
Reading the war diaries has certainly been a humbling experience. Their time on the Somme and the period of the German offensive in March 1918 particularly so.

One anomaly that I haven't resolved though: he claimed to have been involved in securing the Golden Virgin on the Albert Basilica with steel hawsers. (In civilian life he was a roofer.) However, the unit war diaries never mention Albert or a detachment being sent there. The closest named location is Pozieres.
 
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Reading the war diaries has certainly been a humbling experience. Their time on the Somme and the period of the German offensive in March 1918 particularly so.

One anomaly that I haven't resolved though: he claimed to have been involved in securing the Golden Virgin on the Albert Basilica with steel hawsers. (In civilian life he was a roofer.) However, the unit war diaries never mention Albert or a detachment being sent there. The closest named location is Pozieres.
It’s possible, if you look at the somme map you’ll see it’s a Roman road used as a main supply route.

D3457CD0-E1C2-42C5-9CB3-043C081E2D7C.jpeg
 
@REMEwalt - some stuff wrt William Brown:

First, his MIC:

William Brown - MIC.jpg


then his entries into the Medal Roll for the 1914 Star and the BW and VM combo:

William Brown - 14 Star Roll.jpg
William Brown - BW VM Roll.jpg



Finally - and probably the most emotive - his entry into the Register of Effects:

William Brown - Register of Effects.png
 

REMEwalt

Old-Salt
@REMEwalt - some stuff wrt William Brown:

First, his MIC:

View attachment 662456

then his entries into the Medal Roll for the 1914 Star and the BW and VM combo:

View attachment 662454View attachment 662455


Finally - and probably the most emotive - his entry into the Register of Effects:

View attachment 662457
Thanks for that @FourZeroCharlie, I was just starting to look into William, without much success.

However, I did find a B&W copy of his medal card (attached) any idea what the clasp comment means? We don't have his medals, just the death plaque. Immediately pre-war he was based in Ireland but the battalion was also in India at some point.

Edit to perhaps answer my own question: I guess its the '5th August - 22nd November' bar and rosette.

The register of effects is also useful to me because it gives the married name of his step sister.

I found the 1st Beds War Diaries yesterday, "B" Coy was on detachment to the Cheshire Regiment when he was killed.

1652362473714.png
 
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