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Whites Battalion

#1
Total stab in the dark this but does anyone in the kent area know of any info on the White's cement factory battallion.
They were made up of local cement workers from the factory in Swanscombe, Kent and served as RE all through WW2.
I also know that they were definitely in France with the BEF and also served later at Monte Cassino. I know the CO was
a major Keeble. I had two great Uncles who served and would be interested if anyone knew anything about them or
could point me in the right direction to find out about the unit.

look forward to any responses. Cheers
 
#4
Are they the guys who blew up oil installations? If they are I have a book at home about them.

I will hook out the ISBN later and post it.
 
#5
Hi Yeoman,

They were indeed. Kent Fortress Engineers. They undertook XD Ops during the war.

I believe they were featured in a book about XD Ops written by a CH Brazier. I am trying to get hold of that one at the moment.
 
#7
My Great Uncle Frank (hayward) was with the unit as a 17 (lied about his age) year old in france during the retreat blowing up bridges.

He worked for the APCM, not sure if it was at Bevins or Whites, one was at Swanscombe, the other around the corner at Northfleet. Most local men worked for the APCM, so most were in the local TA.

Will Try to get in touch with Frank some time & see what he remembers.
 
#8
Okay, have spoken to Uncle frank, the book that you want is called:- XD Operations: Secret British Missions Denying Oil to the Nazis (Hardcover) by C.C.H. Brazier.

Much of what the Kent Fortress Engineers did is apparently in there. They lost 8 men in their operatons in Holland & France.

Happy reading.
 
#9
I managed to get hold of it. It is a good read, a very brave bunch of men

I had two great uncles in the battalion Ernie hugget and Bill Twocock wonder if your uncle remembers them??
 
#10
Will run the names past him, or rather I will get my dad to.

Ernie hugget and Bill Twocock, your 2 Uncles....My Dad knew a Hugget whose Dad worked at the Northfleet works & my mums father (late) knew a John (?) Twocock also @ the Northfleet works.
 
#11
There was also a guy named Vic Hugget in the battalion as well, he is heavily featured in the book.
No relation to me or my great uncle ernie as far as I know.

I'm not sure about John Twocock. Bill never actually worked at the cement factories. He worked at the paper mill on Swanscombe marshes
Ernie twisted his arm to enlist as he knew war was coming and he wanted to make sure they were together. An account of the action is
submitted by Bill in the book.
 

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