Author Topic: Royal Engineers 708th General construction company  (Read 1376 times)

Offline steveburton1000

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Royal Engineers 708th General construction company
« on: Thursday 12 July 18 15:04 BST (UK) »
I am looking for any details of the Royal Engineers 708th General construction company during WW2, particularly between September 1939 - June 1941, I believe they were in Greece from March 1941, and were at some stage on Crete during April - June 1941. Any information would be gratefully received.

Offline MaxD

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Re: Royal Engineers 708th General construction company
« Reply #1 on: Thursday 12 July 18 16:01 BST (UK) »
Welcome to Rootschat!

The period Jun 1940 - May 1941 is covered by two war diaries :

http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/results/r?_aq=708%20general%20construction&_ep=ENGINEERS&_cr=wo&_dss=range&_ro=any&_st=adv

although they are not digitised and would need you to visit or have them copied (expensive, don't embark on this without further advice!).  The lack of a war diary before Jun 1940 suggests they may well have served at home up to that point.

There don't appear to be any records of the company at the RE Museum.  Unfortunately, however valuable their services to the war effort, that type of unit does not attract as much limelight as the teeth arms, for example a quick look for information on the Battle for Crete mentions the construction of airfields but then concentrates entirely on the battle and I think that might be the experience looking at histories.

Others may have less gloomy suggestions.

MaxD

Double  Essex/Suffolk
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Offline steveburton1000

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Re: Royal Engineers 708th General construction company
« Reply #2 on: Thursday 12 July 18 16:32 BST (UK) »
Many thanks for this information, it fills in a couple of gaps for me.


Offline berryman

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Re: Royal Engineers 708th General construction company
« Reply #3 on: Tuesday 26 May 20 07:01 BST (UK) »
Hi Steve, My grandfather was in that company
He was Sapper WW2 - 1920910 Alexander B Ritchie (Alec) from Peebles, Selkirkshire, Scotland
My grandfather disembarked at Suez with the Royal Engineers 708th General construction company on 27 aug 1940.  He was reported missing in Greece on in apr 1941. He was kept prisoner for the rest of the war.
From his international red cross info he was captured in Kalamata, Greece and appears on prisoner list 11 Apr 1941. Taken to Stalag 306 XVIIID then on to XVIIIB on 31 jul 1941
Berryman
Bowles
Shea
Arnold

Offline steveburton1000

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Re: Royal Engineers 708th General construction company
« Reply #4 on: Tuesday 26 May 20 11:37 BST (UK) »
Thank you very much for this information, this has added another piece to the jig saw around when the arrived in Suez. My Grandfather was involved In the defence of Crete and was MIA 28th April 1941, reported as a POW on 6th August 1941, he was in Stalag 383. Any other information about the 708 would be gratefully received.

Offline Alicatt1

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Re: Royal Engineers 708th General construction company
« Reply #5 on: Friday 03 July 20 12:33 BST (UK) »
My father's Cousin, George Bisset, was a sapper in the same company, they were in the Middle East and Africa before going to Greece where he was wounded and captured on 2/8/41, he ended up in Stalag XVIII-A where there was a photo taken of him on 18/1/41.

Offline James Russell

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Re: Royal Engineers 708th General construction company
« Reply #6 on: Tuesday 13 April 21 22:44 BST (UK) »
My Uncle, William Hendry Russell [Dovish] was Sapper 1989030. [1] Two dates were given for his going missing when he dived from the ship to avoid capture by Germans  and [2] a few days later when he was killed on the run from German Forces. I have seen his Grave in Phaleron War Cemetery 14.A.9 . Was  he on Balmoral at Piraeus where I stayed?

Offline steveburton1000

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Re: Royal Engineers 708th General construction company
« Reply #7 on: Friday 16 April 21 07:48 BST (UK) »
I am still trying to piece things together in regards to his journey from the Suez to capture, so uncertain where he was captured at present, but from your information (Thank you) i would have an educated guess that he was captured at the same area.