Locations of REME units in Middle East Base

Discussion in 'REME/RAOC' started by RosyRedd, Sep 10, 2011.

  1. RosyRedd

    RosyRedd Senior Member

    Hopefully this information, taken from the E.M.E. Directorate WO 169/8367, may help with the whereabouts of the following units in the M.E. in August 1943.

    Base Workshops:

    2 Base Workshops - Tel El Kebir
    3 Base Workshops - Haifa (Palestine)
    4 Base Workshops - Cairo
    7 Base Workshops - Alexandria
    533 Base Workshops - Cairo [although to be exact they were at Abbassia ;)]

    Advanced Base Workshops:

    2 Advanced Base Workshops - Beirut (Syria)
    3 Advanced Base Workshops - Tripoli (Tripolitania)
    503 Advanced Base Workshops - Benghazi

    Vehicle Assembly Workshops:

    43 R & H Base (MT) Workshops (V) - Ataka
    3 VAW - Port Said
    4 VAW - Alexandria
    5 VAW - El Shatt

    Tyre Maintenance Workshops:

    1 Tyre Maintenance Workshop - Tel El Kebir
    2 Tyre Maintenance Workshop - Rafa (Palestine)
  2. Jedburgh22

    Jedburgh22 Very Senior Member

    We sometimes forget what a huge technical and industrial complex the armies required in WWII
  3. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Jedburgh -
    that is exactly the kind of problem that Churchill failed to grasp when he complained that 8th army had 160,000 men line up for rations and pay - but only 100.000 lined up to fight - same at D day when there were 4.5 vehicles for 10 men.

    At one point in the war it was calculated that it took 16 men to support 1 man in the front line - sometimes felt that way as well as there seemed to be as many clipboards and pencils as there were Tanks
  4. hutt

    hutt Member

    I have correspondence from a service man stationed at 4 Sub Workshop, 4 Base workshop, REME, There is nothing in them to suggest a precise location other than 'Egypt'. Does the file at Kew (WO 169/8367) give any indication of Sub workshop locations?
  5. RosyRedd

    RosyRedd Senior Member

    I can't remember off the top of my head, but if you don't mind waiting a couple of days, I'll take a look through it :)
  6. hutt

    hutt Member

    Many thanks if you could do that but please don't put yourself out. There appear to be diaries for '4 Base workshop' at Kew which I am meaning to get out at some point. However, a basic location would still be useful at this stage as I try and piece together an Uncles movements.
  7. RosyRedd

    RosyRedd Senior Member

    Hi Graham,

    Sorry, I didn't find anything that can help you. The copy I made of WO 169/8366 is incomplete, I would guess because I ran out of time and had to catch a plane home. I checked through my copies WO 169/8366 (Jan - June 1943) and didn't find any reference to a sub-unit there either.

    The diary for 4 Base Workshop will most likely be your best bet. Normally I would check through other stuff that I have, but am in the middle of a house move and all my books and files are in boxes.

  8. hutt

    hutt Member

    Many thanks in any case. If I can get to Kew again in the next couple of months I will make a point of getting out these diaries for 4 Base Workshops and photograph them if they are not too thick. I can then post a quick summary of the general content so if you or anyone else are interested I can then share them.
    RosyRedd likes this.
  9. RosyRedd

    RosyRedd Senior Member

    That would be a great addition to this section of the forum. Thanks Graham :)
  10. Roddy1011

    Roddy1011 Senior Member

    Good Evening -

    What was the role of a Vehicle Assembly Workshop ?

  11. RemeDesertRat

    RemeDesertRat Very Senior Member

    quite simply: to assemble vehicles. vehicles were often CKD (completely knocked down or disassembled for shipping to save space). wiki ckd page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Completely_knocked_down
  12. hutt

    hutt Member

    I made a visit to Kew last week and was able to view a diary for the 4 Base Workshop. WO169-17184. It was quite thick and as it was near the end of the day so I started to flick through for some evidence of a more specific location and possibly the locations of any sub workshops. I must have been tired as nothing jumped out but - bingo! within a few pages of the front were the first of several sheets - Field Return of other ranks - on which was one of my uncles name and service number.

    Well, I guess that confirms for certain he was in that unit in 1944 but its going to take another visit to go through the file in more detail to see if there is any indication of sub workshop locations.

    One query. The Unit heading says 4 b Wksp. 17 Area M.E.F. - Can anyone point to a document that might give the 'geographic' extents of these areas. I've seen them mentioned in a number of diaries.
    RosyRedd likes this.
  13. RosyRedd

    RosyRedd Senior Member

    Great result for you !

    I haven't seen anything, so far, which provides the 'areas'. In diaries I have for Naples, Area 57 is mentioned quite often, but there is nothing to indicate how big Area 57 is.

    Thanks for the update :)

Share This Page