Help required. 26 assault sqn

Discussion in 'Royal Engineers' started by bigmark1874, Oct 30, 2018.

  1. bigmark1874

    bigmark1874 Junior Member

    Hi, my grandfather served with the 26th assault sqn R.E during the WW2, he's buried at bergen-op-zoom. I've seen a picture of his grave on here but wondered if anyone could tell me the function.ofhis unit or had any documentation about it.

    Sapper A.L. Nelson
    D.O.D 26/10/44

    Thanks in advance.

    Mark Nelson
  2. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery

    Last edited: Oct 30, 2018
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  3. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

  4. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery

  5. Trux

    Trux 21 AG


    26 Assault Squadron was a very interesting unit. Their equipment was the Armoured Vehicle Royal Engineers (AVRE) which was a converted Churchill tank with a demolition mortar and fittings for carrying a variety of specialist equipment. They were amongst the first vehicles and troops to land on Juno Beach on D Day to clear obstacles and open up beach exits.

    There is a lot about the Assault Squadrons and AVREs on this forum. Use the search box to find some threads and posts. There are also some very knowledgeable members if you need more help.


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  6. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member


    One would assume from where he is buried he would have been involved in

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  7. Trux

    Trux 21 AG


    In the autumn of 1944 the four squadrons of 5ARRE trained on the Buffalo LVT amphibian and then used them in operations to clear the Scheldt estuary. There was no separate establishment for this work. The ARRE War Establishment remained in force and was modified as required. The regiment was still regarded as a specialist engineer unit carrying out assault roles with Buffalo instead of AVRE.

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  8. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Nice to see you awake Mike

    Another map to help the OP see what the big picture was and his Grandfathers part in the liberation of Europe

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  9. bigmark1874

    bigmark1874 Junior Member

    Guys, you are a brilliant help, many thanks for all your replies, it's great to get an insight into the involvement of his squadron.
  10. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    This is a rather good file on the Division that this Sqn was in:
    CAB 106/998 Report on specialised armour techniques, Commander, 79 Armd Div 1944-45
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  11. Wildcamper

    Wildcamper Member

    My father AQMS David Dickie REME served with 26 Armoured Engineer Squadron on DDay
    I have a booklet “5 Armoured Engineer Regiment”
    It recognises your Grandfather, “Sapper Nelson A S Beveland 16 Oct 44”
    “Roll of Honour”
    It also states “The following also served in BLA with 26 Armoured Engineer Squadron, REME , Spr Nelson A”
    So it seems he too was in REME attached to 26 Squadron, My Father probably knew him
    I was given incorrect information that my Father was with 80 Assault Squadron RE, now with the help of this booklet I know he was with 26 Armoured Engineer Squadron. I’m travelling to Normandy on 2June19 to celebrate the 75th Anniversary, I’ll be at Courseulles (Juno Beach) then follow 26 Squadron route through France, Netherlands and Rhine Crossing using placenames from the booklet
    I’ll try to find the cemetery where your Grandfather is laid to rest
    I hope this information is of interest to you
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  12. Cecilia123

    Cecilia123 New Member

    Dear Ian,
    Do you know where I could get a copy of this book?
    My granddad was also serving with the 26th Armoured Engineer Squadron on D Day. He was a Churchill III tank driver.
    What a lovely thing to be doing over the next few days, remembering all those from 75 years ago. It is a trip that I too would like to take at some point.
    Kind regards
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  13. Wildcamper

    Wildcamper Member

    Hello Zara
    The booklet has no authors name or publisher, it was probably produced by a Regiment Association Member shortly after the war
    I tried to copy pages of it to show to Mark Nelson but at every attempt to upload the file it said the file was too big
    If you advise me your Grandfathers name I’ll look to see if he’s listed in the Roll of Honour
    I’m following the route as shown in the booklet, I was at Villiers Bocage yesterday evening, I’ve returned to Juno Beach this morning for H Hour, I’m very near to “Charlie 1” ( the Churchill with the Pethard that sunk in a bomb crater on the beach) it was recovered by 26 Armoured Engineer Squadron in the 1970’s and is now on display meters from its original spot
    It’s manic here with roads closed and parking is a nightmare
    I’ve got to go now so that I’ll be on the beach at H Hour
    Later I’ll list the destinations that are shown in the booklet that show the route taken by 26 Armoured Engineer Squadron from Juno Beach through France Netherlands and the Rhine Crossing to the Final Persuit
  14. Wildcamper

    Wildcamper Member

    54AD2B0E-B337-42CF-9BF5-8B6D214146B6.jpeg I’m very discouraged after travelling all this distance to find Gendarmes everywhere and all access closed
    I’m lucky to be parked outside “ Camping Municipal “ about 1km west of Juno Beach, I walked along the sands to where “ Charlie 1” is displayed through the sand dune but was turned away
    So I have time on my hands to write this
    If you google “ Hobart’s Funnies” it shows the various modified Churchill tanks used by 26 Armoured Engineer Squadron
    It looks like on this occasion I’ve been able to upload something, the journey of 26 Squadron from D Day to “Final Persuit”, a picture of 1 Charlie just west of the Juno Beach Centre
    The last pages are gap Mark Nelson

    Attached Files:

  15. Wildcamper

    Wildcamper Member

    FAO Mark Nelson
    I was able to visit your Grandfathers grave at Bergen Op Zoom, there’s another war cemetery, The Canadian War Cemetery at Bergen Op Zoom, it’s less than a mile further down the road
    So many young men
    It was a pilgrimage for me too , I have a b&w photo of my Father standing next to the grave of his friend from 26 Squadron in the 1970’s
    Henn CS , KIA 1Nov44 at Walcheren, I was able to visit the exact spot
    I’ve been to Hoofdplaat (Operation Switchback)
    South Beveland (Operation Vitality)
    Walcheren (Operation Infatuate)
    Between River Maas (aka River Meuse) and the Rhine (Operation Veritable and Blockbuster), I’m at Kleve tonight
    Tomorrow it’s on to Rhine Crossing at Rees and Bienen (Operation Plunder)
    I still have to research where 26 Armoured Engineer Squadron went under the last entry
    “Final Persuit” 29Mar45-8May45
    Sorry! It won’t allow me to upload photos again tonight
  16. bigmark1874

    bigmark1874 Junior Member

    Thank you Wildcamper for the tribute to my Grandfather. I'm really touched by that

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