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Pioneer Corps in the Second World War 1939-1945 - The Wartime Memories Project -

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- Pioneer Corps during the Second World War -

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World War 2 Two II WW2 WWII

Pioneer Corps

If you can provide any additional information, especially on actions and locations at specific dates, please add it here.

Those known to have served with

Pioneer Corps

during the Second World War 1939-1945.

  • Aspell Lancelot Morris. Pte. (d.27th Dec 1941)
  • Braidwood George. Corporal (d.17th june 1940)
  • Catlin Herbert Edward. Pte. (d.17th July 1940)
  • Croston Walter. Pte.
  • Dodds William.
  • Dorrington George.
  • Hicks Horace Victor. (d.17th June 1940)
  • Lally John. Pte.
  • Latham Albert Ernest.
  • Lowther Charles . L/Cpl (d.17th June 1940)
  • Rye Bertie. Cpl.
  • Staines . Sgt.
  • Sullivan William. Private (d.17 June 1940)
  • Tynan . Pte. (d.17th Jun 1940)
  • White William. Cpl

The names on this list have been submitted by relatives, friends, neighbours and others who wish to remember them, if you have any names to add or any recollections or photos of those listed, please Add a Name to this List

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Cpl William White Royal Pioneer Corps

My father's eldest brother, Cpl William White, had been a regular in the Royal Dragoons in the 1920s and served in India. He was transferred to the Pioneer Corps and went to France with the B.E.F. He was captured at Abbeville, after Dunkirk. He was marched with others, through various countries and ended up at Stalag XXa. Bill remained a POW until his release in 1945. He survived and returned to Shoreham by Sea in Sussex to his wife, Nell, and children, Gordon, Terry, and Renee. He lived until old age and died in 1977. He was a member of the Dunkirk Veterans Assn in Brighton. His pal was Edward Goldring.

Gerald White

Private William Sullivan Pioneer Corps (d.17 June 1940)

My uncle was one of the servicemen who lost their life on the Lancastria. He was Private William Sullivan B1904 of the Pioneer Corps, from Sculcotes, Hull. He had 7 children at the time the oldest was just 15. God Bless all those who lost their lives.

J Porter

Albert Ernest Latham 73 Company Pioneer Corps

Albert Ernest Latham of 73 Coy, Pioneer Corps, was on the Lancastria when he sunk. He was my great grandfather; I would like to find out more about it.

Kathleen Sibson

Corporal George Braidwood 75 Company Pioneer Corps (d.17th june 1940)

My grandfather, Cpl George Braidwood, 75 Coy Pioneer Corps, lost his life on the Lancastria.

Pauline Clare

L/Cpl Charles Lowther Pioneer Corps (d.17th June 1940)

For years when my father was alive, he told us how at the age of twelve he had to take over the roll of his father as he was killed off the coast of St Nazaire, France in the evacuation on the ss Lancastria. He also told us that his grave was somewhere on the cost of St Nazaire. About ten years ago my eldest brother went on the search to France to see if he could find his grave, to no avail, he searched for almost a week hunting around all the war cemeteries.

I served 12 years with the army and each year I don my blazer with badge on my pocket, poppy tucked into my epaulette to attend the annual remembrance parade where I live. On returning from the ceremony this year I decided to try my luck with the war graves commission and low and behold up pops my grandfather's grave. I was sickened to read about the awful way the ss Lancastria was overloaded and sunk so quickly and of how the survivors were in the water still been shot at.

My grandfather was 42 when he died and what I'm after is his history before that. My father died 17 years ago and my mother died last year, there are no more survivors of my father's family to retrieve information about my Grandfather so I'm asking in hope that someone reading this might just spark a memory of him whether in the forces or out. Thank you for reading this and I hope some one could fill this little gap I have for my very respected grandfather. I remain in your debt Granddad, God bless.

Robert Lowther

George Dorrington 172 Coy Royal Pioneer Corps

My Dad, George Dorrington, gave me this photograph and I wanted to share it with you. There may be some relatives of the people in the photo that would like to see it.

It was taken in 1942 at Arncot Camp, Bicester. On the back of the photograph he has named the men in it as; Slipper Ellis, Jackie Fisher, Charlie Game, Corporal Girdlestone, Joe Figoff, himself (George Dorrington), Fred Elwood, Harry Fathers. It was Sec 5 (could be S), 172 Coy, AMPC. This may mean something to you but not to me.

My Dad is still alive and aged 91 but I have not been able to get him to talk very much about his experiences of the war, apart from the fact that he was in France and Sicily.

Patricia Langham-Service

Cpl. Bertie Rye Pioneer Corps

Bertie Rye was my grand father. He was wounded at Gallipoli during the Great War.

He re-enlisted in the Pioneer Corps in the Second World War aged 44. Was captured by the Germans, but escaped and then served with Monty. I am currently trying to research more of his history, a little difficult as I live now in Australia. I'd love to get more info on the 1/4th during World War 1 as I would like to build a history for his future generations to be aware of.

Ivan Rye

Horace Victor Hicks Pioneer Corps (d.17th June 1940)

I have a friend who lives in Australia and whose father, Horace Victor Hicks died on the Lancastria on 17th June 1940. My friend is hoping to visit England some time next year and would like to go to Dunkirk to visit the spot where his father died when he was a young boy. He would like to find out if there is any memorial or if, in fact, there may be a named burial site to the soldiers who died on the Lancastria. Can anyone help?

Therese Hayes.

Pte. Herbert Edward Catlin Pioneer Corps (d.17th July 1940)

Whilst researching my family tree I discovered that my great great uncle, Herbert Edward Catlin, died upon the Lancastria, I was just wondering if anybody had any information on him. He was in the Pioneer Corps.


Pte. John Lally Pioneer Corps

My grandfather, the late John Lally was a POW at Stalag 8b after he was taken prisoner at Dunkirk. He was wounded in his left leg which he then lost. He was in the camp for almost 4 years until his repatriation in late 1943. His details are- Pte. John (Jack) Lally. Army No.13006468. Pioneer Corps and his POW number was 30842. I would be very grateful if you can help me with any of this. I'm attaching some photos I have of when he was in the camp. Could you advise on the best way to trace any of the men in the pictures? If they are still alive or even just the names. I do believe the ships involved in the repatriation were the SS Drottningholm and the Hospital Ship Atlantis. This is not very much to go on but I would greatly welcome any information about any of the above. I'm trying to gather information on his days as a prisoner.

Malcolm Lally

Pte. Lancelot Morris Aspell Pioneer Corps (d.27th Dec 1941)

Lancelot Morris Aspell died at the age of 28 whilst serving with the Pioneer Corps. He was the son of Lancelot and Edith Ellen Aspell (nee Richardson) of Jarrow. His younger brother Robert was also one of the fallen

Lancelot is buried in Jarrow Cemetery.

Vin Mullen

Pte. Tynan 50 Company Auxiliary Military Pioneer Corps (d.17th Jun 1940)

Died Age 40. he was the son of Patrick and Mary Ann Tierney and husband of Mary E. Tierney of Jarrow He is remembered on the Dunkirk Memorial and is commemorated on the WW2 Roll of Honour Plaque in the entrance of Jarrow Town Hall.

Vin Mullen

William Dodds Pioneer Corps

An uncle of mine, William Dodds, is recorded as having been a POW at Stalag XXA. He had the dubious distinction of being gassed in WWI and then of spending most of WWII as a POW. He was captured at Dunkirk in 1940. He was always regarded as something of a black sheep and his father's only reported comment on hearing of his capture was that 'Hitler would have to watch out.'

Although I remember him, most of what I know about his experiences is second hand. I was told that the POWs had a radio under the floorboards which kept them informed of progress throughout the War. This story may be somewhat exaggerated in the telling, although I see from the information on the Web that the POWs certainly did hear about the end of the War before their German captors. I also heard that he had a Polish girl friend who used to help with supplies of food.

I had heard he was on a march out of Poland at the end of the War, which is presumably the one described by many of the other POWs. He apparently jumped into a ditch in the course of the march, but this only resulted in his being liberated after the other POWs. My father met him at Newcastle Central Station about a week after everyone else had already arrived home. He got frostbite on the march and in later life had to have the affected leg amputated.

It is a long shot, but it would be interesting to know if this stirs any memories with anyone else. William Dodds came from Bedlington, Northumberland, and was with the Pioneer Corps. He would be in his early 40s when he was taken prisoner.

Chris Fisher

Sgt. Staines Pioneer Corps

My father was a Sargeant in the Pioneer Corps, serving in North Africa, where he was wounded. I am trying to find people who remember him.

John Staines

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