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 Could my information be useful? 194 Inf Wksp RCEME 1951/2

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Ted Sandilands
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Number of posts : 2
Registration date : 2018-04-17

PostSubject: Could my information be useful? 194 Inf Wksp RCEME 1951/2   17/4/2018, 04:04

My father Lt. R.H. Sandilands (194 Inf Wksp RCEME), was deployed to Hanover Germany in December 1951. The record I have states he embarked in Quebec City, 12 November, 1951 and diembarked in Rotterdam 21 November 1951.
Unfortunately he was killed in an automobile collision 4 September 1952. My mother, Pauline Sandilands never remarried and passed away 20 January of this year. As were her wishes, our family will be assembling at the gravesite of my father in the Hanover Military cemetery on what would have been Mom's 90th birthday, 29 June, 2018.

In preparing for my mother's funeral, I found a great deal of information including copies of my father's entire military record from 1943 to 1952. There are numerous photographs and letters with anecdotes about his service during this period.

All of this documentation is important to me since I really never knew my father. Having said that, I am sure there may be something in the over 500 pages and 500 photographs that could fill in the blanks for anyone compiling a history of Canadian activities in the region. I quite honestly don't know what I have. I believe my father may have been part of the initial deployment in 1951.

As a service project, I will be photographing a number of gravestones in the Hanover War and Hanover Military cemeteries during our visit in June. I learned that most of the sites have been previously photographed but there are about 25 still not recorded. My task will be to complete that mission. If there is any other service that I or my family could do while in Hanover, I would be happy to consider any reasonable request. We will be there June 28 - July 1.

Please contact me if I could be of service.
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JPW
Let Gen
Let Gen


Number of posts : 1059
Age : 76
Localisation : Berkshire
Cap Badge : REME
Places Served : Rotenburg Ploen Lippstadt Hamm Wetter Minden Munster Bielefeldt Dusseldorf
Registration date : 2008-11-09

PostSubject: Re: Could my information be useful? 194 Inf Wksp RCEME 1951/2   17/4/2018, 19:51

Ted

A very warm welcome and thank you for the very kind offer you posted at this very poignant time for you and your family

About seven years ago now Bob Ritter posted a series of contributions based on his time in Hannover as a Subaltern with the Rifle Battalion of 27 Canadian Infantry Brigade (your late father may have known him)

Unfortunately a change of ownership of the site meant that much information is now locked in the archives and is very difficult to trace

Bob did make brief mention of the RCEME Workshop located in the northern suburbs of Hannover, possibly in a former Volkswagen complex also used by a British Army REME Workshop for a time

I would be very much appreciate any details you may find amongst your father's papers concerning the precise location as to exactly where the living and working accommodation for the RCEME Workshop was which wouldthen enable the research team to refine the relevant master data base.

No hurry for a reply, you better things to do in preparing for your visit to Europe. Any contribution will be much appreciated not least amongst the Veterans of the Canadian Brigade who saw service in the Soest and Lahr areas of Germany in the 1960s/early 70s and who drop in from time to time
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Ted Sandilands
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Number of posts : 2
Registration date : 2018-04-17

PostSubject: Re: Could my information be useful? 194 Inf Wksp RCEME 1951/2   18/4/2018, 05:49

I have been researching a bit using google earth to relate to information contained in some of my father's letters, and statements made to the board of inquiry after his death.
The Canadian workshop was commanded by Maj. G.L. Lodge who on 3 Sept. 1952 had ordered officers to attend a social function at the quarters of Maj. F. Sharman commander 4 Armd Wksp REME. Those quarters are described as 186A Nenndorferstrasse EMPELDE. The collision happened during the return trip to the Canadian quarters, and occurred at Deisterplatz in central Hannover.

Capt. A.C. Racicot also with 194 Inf. Wksp. was at the event and testified that he left in a separate vehicle at 0045 to return to Chatham barracks. Capt. Racicot goes on to say he arrived at the barracks between 0100 and 0120.

I have several Photographs and my father was good at writing descriptions on the back. As soon as I can, I will scan them and upload them here.

On one, my Dad wrote, "This is my office in Chatham Bks."
Another he wrote, "Vehicles of 194 wksp on parade Chatham barracks."
And on a third, an interior photo, "Capt. Racicot, Maj. Lodge, Bob (my Father) and WOII Campbell in CO's office

Somewhere else on this site, and my apologies for being forum challenged, someone had offered 3 possibilities for the location of the 194 Wksp. one being Chatham barracks. I am pretty sure these photographs and Capt Raciot's testimony confirm the living and work location of the 194 was indeed Chatham barracks.

I don't know if that helps pinpoint the location of Chatham barracks. Maybe once I upload Dad's photographs.
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JPW
Let Gen
Let Gen


Number of posts : 1059
Age : 76
Localisation : Berkshire
Cap Badge : REME
Places Served : Rotenburg Ploen Lippstadt Hamm Wetter Minden Munster Bielefeldt Dusseldorf
Registration date : 2008-11-09

PostSubject: Re: Could my information be useful? 194 Inf Wksp RCEME 1951/2   18/4/2018, 08:16

Ted

Thank you useful thoughts.

The Canadian Field Artillery Regiment were the major occupants of Chatham Barracks but there would have been plenty of room for the Workshop as well

According to my information Chatham Barracks previously known as Emmich/Cambrai Kaserne and recently renamed Hauptfeldwebel Langenstein Kaserne is to the south east of the main Langenhagen motorway junction leading south into Hannover city centre and north to the civil airport terminals.

The whole area has changed in recent years and is much more built up compared to your father's time

A holding reply am very busy for the next week including the weekend, will come back with further thoughts in due course.
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