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9/249 Field Companies (Airborne) Royal Engineers  


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9/249 Field Company (Airborne) Royal Engineers

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Of the Royal Engineers that were a part of the 1st and 6th Airborne Division, two Field Companies feature most prominently:

9 Field Coy, Royal Engineers, (Airborne) also known as the “Shiny 9th” were part of the 1st Airborne Division.  They were most notably deployed in Op. MARKET, under the command of Maj. John Wincester, and fought in the Battle of Arnhem.

249 Field Coy, Royal Engineers, (Airborne) were a part of the 6th Airborne Division, under the command of Maj. Sandy Rutherford and attached to the 6th Air landing Brigade.  Number Two platoon, under the command of Capt. Jock Neilson, were for D-Day assigned the task of removing any explosive charges and discounting any wiring they found attached to the Caen Canal Bridge at Benouville and River Orne Bridge at Ranville (today known as Pegasus and Horsa Bridge respectively).

The history of the Royal Engineers itself is vast. They have a history dating back to William the Conqueror’s Military Engineers who at the time of the invasion in 1066 were directed by Humphrey de Tilleaul, to the formation of the Corps of Engineers in 1716, and finally the amalgamation of the soldier Corps of Royal Sappers and Miners with the officer Corps of Royal Engineers to form the Corps of Royal Engineers in 1856.  They count amongst their ranks such people as Generals Gordon and Kitchener, John Rouse Merriott Chard VC, Maj. Gen Sir Percy Hobart (a forward thinker of modern armoured warfare, and instigator of the “Hobart Funnies” used during Operation Overlord), and Brigadier Mike Calvert (Chindit Commander and founder of the Malayan Scouts). 

The following pages relate only to the history and actions of 9 & 249 Field Companies:


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