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[Page 26]

The Royal Engineers

Chapter 5

The engineers are a valuable asset to an army nowadays. They form a separate unit which are specially trained in various branches of engineering that present day warfare demand.

The different branches are formed into field companies who prepare the general construction of the trenches and their maintenance, signallers who are expert in the use of telegraph and telephone communication, miners and tunnelers, road making corps, cavalry troops, and companies who are trained in the full knowledge of asphyxiating gas.

The field are the most important. The are formed from mechanics from all trades such as civil engineering, surveyors, architects etc. Each company comprises 172 officers, N.C.O.s and sappers, 50 drivers and headquarters men. Their training in camp is made up of Pontoon bridging, entrenching and barb wire work, trestle & light bridging, demolition, and, of course, infantry training.

On Gallipoli the engineers were split up into small parties. Each party had its own special job to carry out.

Trench construction occupied the time of the bulk of the men who were continually fixing barb wire entanglements, strengthening the fire stands, and opening up new saps.

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