REME - 146 Inf Bde W/S

Discussion in 'REME/RAOC' started by Brian12345, Aug 23, 2018.

  1. Brian12345

    Brian12345 Junior Member

    I have obtained certain artefacts of my uncle who recently passed away. I know little of his army service except that he went to France on D-Day +3.
    One item is a cigarette case with the inscription '146 Inf Bde W/S REME France-Germany 1944-45'.
    What would be the meaning of the W/S?
  2. idler

    idler GeneralList

    Workshop, though the usual abbreviation was Wksp.
  3. Brian12345

    Brian12345 Junior Member

    Thanks, that's what I suspected.
    If one assumes that vehicles are maintained by the RASC, what equipment would normally be looked after by a REME workshop attached to an Infantry Brigade?
  4. idler

    idler GeneralList

    It's easier than that - REME would look after all units' vehicles and everything else.
    The RASC used to have their own workshops but I don't think they kept them after the formation of REME.
  5. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

    REME was formed in 1942. It would appear that they were not responsible for RASC vehicles until 1949.

    From REME History:
    The first phase, implemented in 1942 saw the REME Corps being formed on the existing branch of the Royal Army Ordnance Corps (RAOC) and supported by the transfer of certain technical tradesmen from the Royal Engineers (RE) and Royal Army Service Corps (RASC).
    The new Corps was made responsible for repairing the technical equipment of all units (with certain major exceptions).
    Soon after it’s formation, REME was tested at the Battle of El-Alamein and proved successful.
    By May 1945, REME had proved to be indispensable and had expanded in response to the scale, variety and deployment of the weapons and equipment in service.
    Phase 2 began in 1949 and by 1951. This included the provision of Light Aid Detachments (LADs) for units that had not possessed them under the old organisation. It also included the provision of new REME workshops to carry out field repairs in RASC transport companies and to vessels of the RASC fleet.

    From Wiki:
    Such a major re-organisation was too complex to be carried out quickly and completely in the middle of a world war. Therefore, the changeover was undertaken in two phases. In Phase I, which was implemented immediately, REME was formed on the existing framework of the RAOC Engineering Branch, strengthened by the transfer of certain technical units and tradesmen from the RE and RASC.
    At the same time a number of individual tradesmen were transferred into REME from other corps. The new corps was made responsible for repairing the technical equipment of all arms with certain major exceptions.
    REME did not yet undertake:
    • Those repairs which were carried out by unit tradesmen who were driver/mechanics or fitters in regiments and belonged to the unit rather than being attached to it.
    • Repairs of RASC-operated vehicles, which remained the responsibility of the RASC; each RASC Transport Company had its own workshop.
    • Repairs of RE specialist equipment, which remained the responsibility of the RE.[3]
  6. idler

    idler GeneralList

    Cheers for the clarification.
    It's probably worth a look at the Trux pages here to see the scope of the RASC workshops in the transport companies.
  7. gmyles

    gmyles Senior Member

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