War Diary 1942
[
Update: Transcriptions now complete, from original copies 24 Aug 2013] 

591 (Antrim) Army Field Company Royal Engineers

January 1942

Commanding Officer: Major Arthur Gilbert White  R.E.

Woodbridge, Suffolk
01 -31 Jan 1942
Unit engaged in defence works consisting splinterproof roofs to 25 pounder gun emplacements, improvements and closing of pillboxes.

Signed:Major A.G. White R.E.




591 (Antrim) Field Company Royal Engineers

February 1942

Commanding Officer: Major Arthur Gilbert White  R.E.

Woodbridge, Suffolk
01 -28 Feb 1942
Unit engaged in defence works comprising construction of gun emplacements, improvement and closing of pillboxes etc. 
Took part in 11th Corp's 'Repulse' Exercise between 28 Feb and 02 Mar 42.
[16 Feb 1942] [Lance Corporal Albert William Parker died. ]

Unit Strength:
Officers=6     WOII=1     S/Sgts=1      Sgts=4      L/Sgts & Cpls=17
L/Cpls and Sprs=187        Total=216

Signed:Major A.G. White R.E.




591 (Antrim) Field Company Royal Engineers

March 1942

Commanding Officer: Major Arthur Gilbert White  R.E.

Woodbridge, Suffolk
01 - 31 Mar 1942
Unit engaged in defence works.
21 Mar 1942 P/228852 2/Lt M.C. Keer posted from 141 OCTU [Officer Cadet Training Unit] R.E. and taken on Unit's strength.
P/189687 2/Lt J.T. Hirst posted from this Unit to 286 Field Company R.E.
21 - 22 Mar 1942 Took part in 11th Corp's Exercise "Tulip".
Unit strength:
Officers= 6     WOII=1     S/Sgts=1     Sgts=4     L/Sgts & Cpls=16
L/Cpls & Sprs=179           Total=207
Permanently attached 2 A.C.C. personnel [Army Catering Corps]

Signed:Major A.G. White R.E.




591 (Antrim) Field Company Royal Engineers

April 1942

Commanding Officer: Major Arthur Gilbert White  R.E.

Woodbridge, Suffolk
01 - 15 Apr 1942
Unit engaged in defence works.
10 Apr 1942 57436 T/Capt A.W. Davies joined on posting to this Unit as 2/ic. [second in command]
13 Apr 1942 67513 T/Capt E.W. Widdowson left on posting to 742 OCTU RE [Officer Cadet Training Unit]
Layer de La Haye, Essex
16-30 Apr 1942
Unit Training at Bridging Camp.
26 Apr 1942 P/232455 2/Lt K.G. Brindley joined on posting from 142 OCTU RE
Woodbridge
30 Apr 1942
Unit returned from Bridging Camp.
Unit strength:
Officers= 7     WOII=1     S/Sgts=1     Sgts=4     L/Sgts & Cpls=19
L/Cpls & Sprs=180           Total ORs =205

Signed:Major A.G. White R.E.




591 (Antrim) Field Company Royal Engineers

May 1942

Commanding Officer: Major Arthur Gilbert White  RE

Woodbridge, Suffolk
01 - 14 May 1942
Unit engaged in general training and defence works.
[04 May 1942] [Lance Serjeant Edward Gledhill died in Hull. ]
15 May 1942

Company left Woodbridge for Wallingford Bridging Camp

16 Apr 1942

Company arrived Wallingford.

Wallingford, Oxfordshire
17 - 31 May 1942

At Wallingford Bridging Camp.

Unit strength:
Officers= 6     WOII=1     S/Sgts=1     Sgts=4     L/Sgts & Cpls=17
L/Cpls & Sprs=160           Total =189

Signed:Major A.G. White R.E.




591 (Antrim) Field Company Royal Engineers

June  1942

Commanding Officer: Major Arthur Gilbert White  R.E.

Wallingford, Oxfordshire
01 Jun 1942
At Wallingford Bridging Camp.
Woodbridge, Suffolk
02 Jun 1942
0700 hrs: Left Wallingford for return to Woodbridge.(No.1 Section remaining as rear party.)
1500 hrs: Arrived Woodbridge.
04 Jun 1942 No.1 Section returned to Woodbridge.
08 Jun 1942 Sections 1,2 and 3 proceeded to Shudy Camps. [Shudy Camps is a village in Cambridgeshire]
09 - 27 Jun 1942 Sections at Shudy Camps engaged in hutting.
28 Jun 1942 Sections returned from Shudy Camps
Unit strength:
Officers= 5     WOII=1     CQMS=1    Sgts=3     L/Sgts & Cpls=17
L/Cpls & Sprs=156           Total =183
Operation Orders 54B (issue 2)
Appendix I
Appendix II
Appendix III  [ Click  to View]

Signed:Major A.G. White R.E.




591 (Antrim) Field Company Royal Engineers

July  1942
Commanding Officer: Major Arthur Gilbert White  R.E.
Woodbridge, Suffolk
01 - 25 Jul 1942
Two sections of company engaged in Engineer training. One section on works and duties. 
08 Jul 1942 Demonstration of R.E. works and equipment given at 54 Division Battle School.
26 - 30 Jul 1942 Range practice at Middlewick Range, Colchester.
Unit strength:
Officers= 5     WOII=1     S/Sgt=1    Sgts=5     L/Sgts & Cpls=18
L/Cpls & Sprs=163           Total =193

Signed:Major A.G. White R.E.




591 (Antrim)  Field Company Royal Engineers

August  1942

Commanding Officer: Major Arthur Gilbert White  R.E.

Woodbridge, Suffolk
01 - 31 Aug 1942
Two sections of company engaged in Engineer training. One section on works and duties.
08 Aug 1942 Repair party consisting of 1 NCO and six men attached to 54 Division, Street Fighting Wing, West Ham.
17 Aug 1942

R.E. day at 54 Division Battle School.
Demonstration of R.E. works and equipment staged by this unit.

18 Aug 1942

2/Lt M.C. Keer posted to R.E. Depot, Halifax.

19 Aug 1942

R.E. demonstration given to 223 Infantry Brigade for benefit of neighbouring units.

24 Aug 1942

Works party of 1 NCO and 7 men attached to HQ R.E. 54 Division for construction work in Thorndon [Suffolk]area.

Unit strength:
Officers= 6     WOII=1     S/Sgt=1    Sgts=4     L/Sgts & Cpls=17
L/Cpls & Sprs=162           Total =191

Signed:Major A.G. White R.E.




591 (Antrim) Field Company Royal Engineers

September  1942

Commanding Officer: Major Arthur Gilbert White  R.E.

Woodbridge, Suffolk
01 Sep 1942
Lt C.D. Clark posted to 561 Field Company R.E.
01 - 30 Sep 1942 Unit engaged in training in the Bailey Bridge.
14 Sep 1942 Demonstration of R.E. works and equipment given at 54 Division Battle School.
16 Sep 1942 Above demonstration repeated for benefit of 198 Infantry Brigade.
20 Sep 1942 2/Lt R.A. Bridgeford posted to this unit.
Unit strength:
Officers= 5     WOII=1     S/Sgt=1    Sgts=5     L/Sgts & Cpls=18
L/Cpls & Sprs=163           Total =188

Signed:Major P.A. Wood R.E.




591 (Antrim) Field Company Royal Engineers

October  1942

Commanding Officer: Major Philip (Andy) Andrew Wood R.E.

Woodbridge, Suffolk
01 Oct 1942
Major A.G. White R.E. quitted and Major P.A. Wood R.E. joined this Unit on change of Command.
12 Oct 1942

Demonstration of R.E. work and equipment given at 54 Division Battle School.

01 - 31 Oct 1942

Unit engaged in various defence works in area including-
(a) Clearing minefields in Bawdsey area. [Suffolk]
(b) Destruction of pillboxes - Ipswich area. [Suffolk]
(c) Construction of bridges over Anti-tank ditches in Bawdsey area, using Bailey Bridge for crossing of ditches by bulldozer (D8) engaged in clearing field of fire. In co-operation with R.A.C. [Royal Armoured Corps]practising crossing of Anti-tank ditch and preparation of "smoke" for minefield clearance.

Signed:Major P.A. Wood R.E.




591 (Antrim) Field Company Royal Engineers

November 1942

Commanding Officer: P.A. Wood Major R.E.

Woodbridge
01 - 13 Nov 1942
Whole company engaged in preparations and rehearsal for 54 Division Assault Demonstration
08 Nov 1942

2/Lt F.G. Harbord joined for duty and posted OC [Officer Commanding] No. 2 Section

12 Nov 1942 T/Capt A.W. Davies quitted on posting to 54 Division for duty as OC Field Company
A/Capt J.H. Masterson  joined for duty as 2i/c [2nd in Command/Adjutant]
16 - 19 Nov 1942 Clearing up after Demonstration and salving material
20 - 21 Nov 1942 Move by road and rail to Halton
Halton
22 - 30 Nov 1942
Bridging Training at Halton including use of Bailey Pontoon Bridge, Full report on training will be submitted with December War Diary,

Appendix 1
Copy of letter received from Major General E.H. Barker C.B.E.,D.S.O.,M.C. Commander 54 Division on conclusion of the Demonstration. 
[Click  to view]
Appendix 2
Copy of report on Demonstration.  [Click  to view]

Signed:Major P.A. Wood R.E




591 (Antrim) Field Company Royal Engineers

December  1942

Commanding Officer: P.A. Wood Major R.E.

Halton, Lancashire
01 Dec 1942

Bridging Training continues at Bridging Camp.
04 Dec 1942 CE [Commander Engineers]  Eastern Command visits the unit and discusses training and administration.
13 Dec 1942 P/253398 2/Lt D.H. Thomas reports to this Company from 141/142 OCTU RE. [officer cadet training unit]
15 Dec 1942 OC attended conference called by Commander 54 Division to discuss preliminary details of assault on prepared defences. Exercise later to be known as EXERCISE "KRUSCHEN".
19 - 20 Dec 1942 Move of Company by road from Halton,[just north of Lancaster on the River Lune] staging night 19/20 at WALCOTE near LUTTERWORTH, Leics.
Woodbridge, Suffolk
21 Dec 1942
Four No.21 Wireless Sets received by this Company. The first wireless on charge to this Company.
22 Dec 1942 OC attended conference at H.Q.R.E. and received details of Company employment on EXERCISE KRUSCHEN viz: to build one heavily reinforced pillbox (concrete) and one heavily re-inforced concrete shelter as Static targets on Anti-tank gun range. Target date for completion 16 Feb 43.
23 Dec 1942 Company mobile exercise to test Platoons in movement, protection and carriage of G1098 equipment in a mobile role.
[Sections now called 'Platoon'and sub-sections 'Sections' on instructions from War Office to bring into line with infantry.]
28 Dec 1942 Work commences on EXERCISE KRUSCHEN
Appendix 7
Report on Bridging Training [Click to view]

Signed:Major P.A. Wood R.E.




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