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THE ROYAL ENGINEERS

Royal Engineers Ensignia

A Corps that can trace its roots back to 1716. Known throughout the Army as The Sappers it is one of the most innovative and versatile elements in the British Armed Forces. Among other things the Royal Engineers pioneered the introduction of Signalling, Mechanical Transport and Aviation into the military.

Tank Museum photo No. 1212/D4

The connection between tanks and the Sappers is a long one. Many of the pioneer Tank Corps officers were Royal Engineers, notably Swinton, Elles and Martel who, in 1918, developed a Royal Engineer tank based on the Mark V**. The Tank Museum's exhibit "Ol' Faithful" is one of these tanks.

Tank Museum photo No. 1212/D4

Tank Museum photo No. 0149/B/4

The use of specialised armour in World War II resulted in a massive amount of experimental work, notably by organisations such as the Obstacle Assault Centre. As a result it was agreed to raise three armoured engineer regiments for D-Day. Designated numbers 5, 6 and 42 Armoured Engineer Regiments and brigaded as 1st Armoured Engineer Brigade R. E. they would serve in Churchill AVREs throughout the North West Europe campaign with great success.

Tank Museum photo No. 0149/B/4

Tank Museum photo No. 0359/C/4

Churchill Mark IV AVRE with fascine. Note that the commander is obliged to con his driver from on top of the fascine itself. Many of the drivers were, in fact, Royal Armoured Corps personnel.

Tank Museum photo No. 0359/C/4

The Royal Engineers Museum is a Brompton Barracks, Gillingham, Kent.
museum@royalengineers.com
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