Chattenden

12 RSME REME Workshop

Neil McNulty sent me this - does it ring any bells with you?

I was posted to the REME Wksp in Chatternden as a Fitter RE  fullscrew in Nov 89. I was employed as the C vehicle inspector for the school so basically it was my job to PRE all the plant and its ancillaries in Chatternden and beyond sometimes.
All the plant was programmed in for its annual inspection well in advance and I would have to inspect on average 3 pieces of plant a day. This involved following a set inspection format and then writing up the report and entering the inspection into the docs.
The full screws who ran each section on the field i.e. wheels, tracks excavators etc. would bring the kit over then wait for me to pass it as serviceable or not. A fail was frowned upon by their bosses so I was every planties mate from the field lol
As I said earlier I wasn't just inspecting plant in Chatternden, I also did 33 EOD Regiments C Vehicles as well and on a few occasions I went to the local RE TA centres in the Medway area to do their kit (101 EOD TA) and once to the HAC in south London to do their kit.
I worked from a Portacabin inside the inspection bay where a REME Staffy would PRE the B Vehicles in the area. I sat next to a civvie who's job it was to in and out inspect all the C vehicles that came into the Wksp for 2nd line repair. He taught me a great deal and was a good friend at the time as we used to play golf together, sometimes before work. 
There were only about 6 RE's in the orbat of the Wksp as I remember the senior rank being a Ftr RE Sgt who ran the FRT by the main gate to wainscot camp but more of that later. Then there was me and the rest were sappers who worked in the FRT. The only military actually working in the workshops itself was the ASM. The HQ element of the unit consisted of a REME OC and AQMS and the rest of the REME soldiers were employed in the LAD up in Chatternden barracks at the top of the hill. They looked after the B vehicles for 12 RSME. 24 Fd Sqn, 17 Tpt Sqn and 33 EOD, so they were very busy, as was the FRT in Wainscott.
After 2 years I was asked to go on a special project which involved travelling around the world. The Army had decided that the world wide fleet of Medium Wheeled Tractors needed to conform to the latest legislation which meant they needed to have safe load Indicators fitted. This was to warn the operator by means of a audible and visual alarm in the cab if he was carrying to much weight in the bucket/forks.
I was asked if I would go as the Fitter in a team of 2 and it was my job to fit the sender unit into the hydraulic system. A REME Tech would fir the electrical side of the system into the cab. Another team of 2 was chosen from the REME and they travelled to Honk Kong. NI and Canada and my team went to FI, Cyprus and Belize.
As with all things military we weren't expected at most locations when we arrived especially in Belize. The roulement sqn was 9 Para and the QM wanted to put us up in with Sp Tp in Airport Camp. Luckily the boffins in Land had said that if we arrived anywhere and there was no accommodation available they would pay for a hotel. So I wasn't too happy with being billeted with 9 Sqn so I asked the QM to give us a non availability chit and we would stay in a hotel in Belize City. Luckily I had served with him  a couple of times before and he said OK. So off me and the REME chap went and booked into the Belize Biltmore hotel down town. A Land rover came and picked us up each morning and dropped us off each night. We were only there for a week but it was an experience. We only had 1 tractor to do there as well as the other one was away up country and could not be got too in the short time we were there. The one funny thing that happened there was that the other guys got stuck in the void between the engine cowling and radiator when he was fitting some of his electrical stuff out of sight. He was wedged in  upside down and hefty 9 Sqn bloke from Sp Tp couldn't pull him out so he had to be cut out with a gas axe, Scary at the time actually because of his position in the void (foetal) he was struggling to breathe which made him panic even more and I thought he was going to be really quite badly hurt. Anyway we got him out eventually and we had a slap up meal that night to celebrate his release.
I had a good time in Cyprus as we were put up with 62 Sqn and I knew a couple of the blokes there. we did 1 machine down in Dekhelia and 1 up on Troodos which was covered in about 6 feet of snow. But had a good social whilst in Cyprus. The FI was OK but it was still the FI so nothing special.
After I came back from that jolly I was cross posted into the FRT and was asked to start an FRT up with Sp Tp of 24 in Lodge Hill Camp. they had a couple of Muirhills up there and a REME LCpl who had experience of working on 432's and CVRT's was sent up there as well to look after their A Vehicles. This again was a good time as I made some great mates within 24 and when they deployed onto Ex Waterleap 91 to Nova Scotia I fought tooth and nail to go with them as part of their FRT support. Luckily they let me go and another great experience was had. when I first got there I was with a REME craftsman working with the local Canadian fitters in their small workshop. We were supposed to be looking after 24 but they had nothing going wrong so we were getting our hands dirty working on the local Canadian  mil vehicles.  After about a month one of the planties was sent home so Sp Tp were an operator down so they asked me to operate the roller as I had a roller license (part of the A1 fitter course). This was great for me as it got me outside in the good weather and as the roller is used last on any excavations it was my good operating that made the jobs look good when they were finished lol.
The social side to that tour was outstanding and I can't say anymore than that!!
When I came back from that tour they had closed the FRT at Lodge Hill so it was back down to the FRT at Wainscott. Our job there was to carry out first line repairs to all the plant at the school so it was a very busy job and we gained massive experience on working on the Corps current plant equipment.
Cities: 

17 Squadron

From Rob Wood - 17 Sqn title was actually 17 RSME Transport Sqn, initially staffed by a mixture of RCT, WRAC & civilians with a few sappers. it then had a change around and the RCT troop moved out and a full sapper troop came in mixing with the WRAC and civis, closed down when Chattenden closed

This is the main page for the squadron or unit. More info will be added here as I get the time, but for now it's a "base" for establishing comms with other members of the same unit. You can post messages for other members of the same unit using the messages link above this blurb, and you can also search for other members of this unit. Once you find them, click on their name to send an email direct to them. Please note that this website doesn't "remember" your emails, they are sent direct from you to the recipient without sappers.co.uk getting in the way. That helps you get in touch quickly and it keeps everything simple and free. Have fun. Gordon

The link to the main EOD website is http://www.royalengineersbombdisposal-eod.org.uk/rea_bd_branch.html

18 Squadron

This is the main page for the squadron or unit. More info will be added here as I get the time, but for now it's a "base" for establishing comms with other members of the same unit. You can post messages for other members of the same unit using the messages link above this blurb, and you can also search for other members of this unit. Once you find them, click on their name to send an email direct to them. Please note that this website doesn't "remember" your emails, they are sent direct from you to the recipient without sappers.co.uk getting in the way. That helps you get in touch quickly and it keeps everything simple and free. Have fun. Gordon

21 Squadron

Apparently this became 21 Postal and Courier Squadron at some point, according to one member.  Anyone got any more info on when this happened?

This is the main page for the squadron or unit. More info will be added here as I get the time, but for now it's a "base" for establishing comms with other members of the same unit. You can post messages for other members of the same unit using the messages link above this blurb, and you can also search for other members of this unit. Once you find them, click on their name to send an email direct to them. Please note that this website doesn't "remember" your emails, they are sent direct from you to the recipient without sappers.co.uk getting in the way. That helps you get in touch quickly and it keeps everything simple and free. Have fun. Gordon

The link to the main EOD website is http://www.royalengineersbombdisposal-eod.org.uk/rea_bd_branch.html

22 Squadron

This is the main page for the squadron or unit. More info will be added here as I get the time, but for now it's a "base" for establishing comms with other members of the same unit. You can post messages for other members of the same unit using the messages link above this blurb, and you can also search for other members of this unit. Once you find them, click on their name to send an email direct to them. Please note that this website doesn't "remember" your emails, they are sent direct from you to the recipient without sappers.co.uk getting in the way. That helps you get in touch quickly and it keeps everything simple and free. Have fun. Gordon

The link to the main EOD website is http://www.royalengineersbombdisposal-eod.org.uk/rea_bd_branch.html

24 Squadron

This is the main page for the squadron or unit. More info will be added here as I get the time, but for now it's a "base" for establishing comms with other members of the same unit. You can post messages for other members of the same unit using the messages link above this blurb, and you can also search for other members of this unit. Once you find them, click on their name to send an email direct to them. Please note that this website doesn't "remember" your emails, they are sent direct from you to the recipient without sappers.co.uk getting in the way. That helps you get in touch quickly and it keeps everything simple and free. Have fun. Gordon

24 Field Sqn RE Shirt

The 24 Field Squadron RE Jersey,
Corp Colours, personalised with your
Name or Nickname,
Troop   (1, 2, HQ, etc)
and years you served there.  (eg 1972 - 1978)


They are taking orders now at this link - 

http://www.tour-tops.co.uk/store.html#!/~/product/category=8438106&id=33...

 for a discounted price of £36.50 for the first 30 tops sold,
giving a fantastic saving of £7.00 per top.


These are made to order and are not produced in bulk.


Squadron logo on the front left breast

and dominating the rear of the shirt.


Made from 320gm Heavy Weight Eyelet material which will not shrink or fade,
they wash at low temps and dry quickly naturally.

40 Squadron

This is the main page for the squadron or unit. More info will be added here as I get the time, but for now it's a "base" for establishing comms with other members of the same unit. You can post messages for other members of the same unit using the messages link above this blurb, and you can also search for other members of this unit. Once you find them, click on their name to send an email direct to them. Please note that this website doesn't "remember" your emails, they are sent direct from you to the recipient without sappers.co.uk getting in the way. That helps you get in touch quickly and it keeps everything simple and free. Have fun. Gordon

49 Squadron

From Pete Markham

Oh those happy times in the little family that was 49 Field Squadron (EOD). I arrived in March 1982 first impressions where is everybody, answer out on jobs. What is the makeup of the unit two troop’s civilian clearance Ops two troops military. Greeted by the SSM John Phillips straight talking no bull, you start your course next week, fail and you will be with a new unit beginning of the next week.  Advice if you get through you will be out on jobs often living in digs, you will be paid subsistence, if you muck up with your money see me and we will sort. Here started  the best five years of my military career.

Course passed, out to Manston to clear pipe mines and many more such jobs. Within a short period of time the Falkland kicked off. Our guys went out with the task force, those of us left behind all wanted to be with them. Sadly on the 23 May 1982 aboard HMS Antelope S/Sgt Jim Prescott CGM was killed and SSM John Phillips DSC lost his arm.

The Squadron has seen many changes since then and is now part of a much larger EOD family

The link to the main EOD website is http://www.royalengineersbombdisposal-eod.org.uk/rea_bd_branch.html

58 Squadron

This is the main page for the squadron or unit. More info will be added here as I get the time, but for now it's a "base" for establishing comms with other members of the same unit. You can post messages for other members of the same unit using the messages link above this blurb, and you can also search for other members of this unit. Once you find them, click on their name to send an email direct to them. Please note that this website doesn't "remember" your emails, they are sent direct from you to the recipient without sappers.co.uk getting in the way. That helps you get in touch quickly and it keeps everything simple and free. Have fun. Gordon

From Pete Markham - 

58 who the hell are 58 was heard to echo across Lodge Hill Camp when members of 3/4 troop arrived back from another Falkland tour. They are the new Squadron in the Regiment and on your return from leave your part of it. Goodbye 49 our happy family. 

Well we returned and formed 58 Field Squadron (EOD)  and life carried on, yep some more tours of the Falklands but now with a longer break in between. Some new skills learnt for containment exercises and after the IRA's attempt on the Iron Lady plenty of search jobs. Plenty of subsistence weren't life a bitch in the mid 80's

For all our bitching we had a busy but good time

The link to the main EOD website is http://www.royalengineersbombdisposal-eod.org.uk/rea_bd_branch.html

71 Squadron

This is the main page for the squadron or unit. More info will be added here as I get the time, but for now it's a "base" for establishing comms with other members of the same unit. You can post messages for other members of the same unit using the messages link above this blurb, and you can also search for other members of this unit. Once you find them, click on their name to send an email direct to them. Please note that this website doesn't "remember" your emails, they are sent direct from you to the recipient without sappers.co.uk getting in the way. That helps you get in touch quickly and it keeps everything simple and free. Have fun. Gordon

In July 1972 No 71 EOD Sqn was formed at Shoeburyness, with the specific task of the clearance of Maplin Sands, the site of the newly proposed ‘third London airport’. Major R I Radford RE was the first O.C. The unit had a complement of four officers and twelve other ranks. It also had 110 civilian Explosive Ordnance Searchers, Drivers and Admin staff. The proposed project eventually fell through and the squadron was disbanded in April 1974. - this info is courtesy of

 http://www.bombdisposalclub.org.uk/BD_history.htm

Counter Terrorism Search Wing

This is a holding page for this unit until someone gives me some info to put here.  Thanks, Gordon

Cities: 

Defence EOD School

This is the main page for the squadron or unit. More info will be added here as I get the time, but for now it's a "base" for establishing comms with other members of the same unit. You can post messages for other members of the same unit using the messages link above this blurb, and you can also search for other members of this unit. Once you find them, click on their name to send an email direct to them. Please note that this website doesn't "remember" your emails, they are sent direct from you to the recipient without sappers.co.uk getting in the way.

The link to the main EOD website is http://www.royalengineersbombdisposal-eod.org.uk/rea_bd_branch.html

Field Engineer Wing

This is a temporary holding page for this unit until I get some more info to put here. REgards, Gordon

Cities: 

HQ 33 Engr Regt EOD

This is a holding page for those in the regt who were not part of one of the basic squadrons but were based elsewhere in the regiment.  Please add your name and service history to this unit only if it's relevant to you. 

Ponderosa

Ok folks - Tell me where is the original RE Ponderosa? I have a feeling it refers to some sort of plant training place in Chatham off the top of my head, but I'm not actually sure. Anyone fill me in?

    •  
      Kaz N Jim Profitt hmm..could you mean chattenden? (kaz) (and i have no clue what ponderosa is.).
      30 minutes ago · 

    •  
      Bob Llanelly Ranch that used to be on tele with the Cartright family Joe Hoss Pa and some others LOL.
      29 minutes ago ·  ·  1

    •  
      Frank Gilzean Yip it was down the hill at Chattenden where us planties played
      28 minutes ago · 

    • Gordon Brady Frank - what unit would you have been posted to in order to spend time at the Ponderosa? I'm asking because I've set up Ponderosa as a "unit" on sappers.co.uk but I'm not sure whether it was somewhere you spent more than a few weeks at, or whether it was a full time posting?
      13 minutes ago · 

    •  
      Taff Evans ‎18 sqn mate
      12 minutes ago via Mobile · 

    •  
      Joe Duffy Gordon the ponderosa was the POM's house when they were learning how to eat PIES and pull levers
      12 minutes ago · 

    •  
      Colin Lee the ponderosa was the training field for planties, 0-2 was 6months 2-1 was 3 months, first few weeks was at RSME then you went over the water to wainscot camp and walked the hill to the ponderosa to become a jedi god . :-)
Cities: 

RSME

Not sure how to put RSME on here, as they are currently based at Minley, Chatham, and somewhere else.  They are now known as HQ RSME, but in my time you went to 12 RSME.  Can anyone enlighten me with the best way forward for this please?  REgards,

Gordon