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

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Ted Sandilands
Cpl
Cpl


Number of posts : 11
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 : 1071
Age : 77
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
Cpl
Cpl


Number of posts : 11
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 : 1071
Age : 77
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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Dan M
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Number of posts : 118
Age : 62
Localisation : Mississauga
Cap Badge : The Royal Canadian Regiment
Places Served : 1977-80, London ON, Gagetown NB
Registration date : 2010-03-22

PostSubject: Re: Could my information be useful? 194 Inf Wksp RCEME 1951/2   28/4/2018, 22:49

Ted,

I echo Paul's sentiments. Anything you can provide on your Dad's service would be welcome. I belong to another forum on Canadian military vehicles. Your photo of the Workshop's vehicles sounds like something they would very much like to see.

Personally, I'm a documents guy. Any documents from your Dad's service, from wartime to post-war, would be interesting to me.

What I've found, and what you will find, is that no matter how arcane the subject matter, when it comes to amateur military historians, someone will be interested in it. So please, scan, copy and post away. It will all be welcome.

Cheers,
Dan.
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Ted Sandilands
Cpl
Cpl


Number of posts : 11
Registration date : 2018-04-17

PostSubject: Re: Could my information be useful? 194 Inf Wksp RCEME 1951/2   8/6/2018, 13:41

Sorry I have been AWOL on this. No good excuses.

Here is a link to some of my Father's photographs. I have more to come later.

I hope they are useful.


https://pixbyted.smugmug.com/RCEME
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Ted Sandilands
Cpl
Cpl


Number of posts : 11
Registration date : 2018-04-17

PostSubject: Re: Could my information be useful? 194 Inf Wksp RCEME 1951/2   8/6/2018, 14:53



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Ted Sandilands
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Cpl


Number of posts : 11
Registration date : 2018-04-17

PostSubject: Re: Could my information be useful? 194 Inf Wksp RCEME 1951/2   8/6/2018, 14:54



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Ted Sandilands
Cpl
Cpl


Number of posts : 11
Registration date : 2018-04-17

PostSubject: Re: Could my information be useful? 194 Inf Wksp RCEME 1951/2   8/6/2018, 14:56



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Ted Sandilands
Cpl
Cpl


Number of posts : 11
Registration date : 2018-04-17

PostSubject: Re: Could my information be useful? 194 Inf Wksp RCEME 1951/2   8/6/2018, 15:03

My father didn't date the photographs but all would have been taken between Nov 1951 and September 1952
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JPW
Let Gen
Let Gen


Number of posts : 1071
Age : 77
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   8/6/2018, 17:21

Ted

Thank you very much for these latest photos, all an invaluable insight into a way of life long forgotten.
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Dan M
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Number of posts : 118
Age : 62
Localisation : Mississauga
Cap Badge : The Royal Canadian Regiment
Places Served : 1977-80, London ON, Gagetown NB
Registration date : 2010-03-22

PostSubject: Re: Could my information be useful? 194 Inf Wksp RCEME 1951/2   8/6/2018, 20:24

Ted,

These photos are fantastic! Thanks for coming back. I haven't looked at the album yet, but I have all weekend to spend on it.

If you don't mind, I'd like to take the photo with the vehicles and see if the types can be identified. I'll post back here what I find out.

Cheers,
Dan.
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Ted Sandilands
Cpl
Cpl


Number of posts : 11
Registration date : 2018-04-17

PostSubject: Re: Could my information be useful? 194 Inf Wksp RCEME 1951/2   9/6/2018, 19:57

By all means Dan. If you go to the linked site, you can view and download a full resolution version of any of the photographs.

I was curious if that number 49 that is visible on the building in Dad's "poor man's panorama" meant anything. Could that pinpoint the location of Chatham barracks?


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Ted Sandilands
Cpl
Cpl


Number of posts : 11
Registration date : 2018-04-17

PostSubject: Re: Could my information be useful? 194 Inf Wksp RCEME 1951/2   9/6/2018, 20:15

Here is one that was sent to my Grandfather by the Canadian Ministry of Defense in 1952. It was meant to be some kind of press photograph, so the photographer probably had my Dad and the others strike that pose. My Dad is the one pointing at something.




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Dan M
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Number of posts : 118
Age : 62
Localisation : Mississauga
Cap Badge : The Royal Canadian Regiment
Places Served : 1977-80, London ON, Gagetown NB
Registration date : 2010-03-22

PostSubject: Re: Could my information be useful? 194 Inf Wksp RCEME 1951/2   9/6/2018, 20:18

Ted Sandilands wrote:
I was curious if that number 49 that is visible on the building in Dad's "poor man's panorama" meant anything.

Ted,

Along with the "49" there is also a "45" on the front of the Officer's Mess. I think they're building identification numbers.

Is there a chance that you can scan your Dad's photos to get even higher resolution images? They really are good photos of the period.

By the way, you asked if your Dad was part of the first wave of soldiers sent to Germany with 27 CIB. With the dates you provided, he was. If you can, get a copy of War Without Battles by Sean Maloney. He provides very good detail on the first shiploads of soldiers sent to Europe in '51.

Cheers,
Dan.
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Dan M
WOI
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Number of posts : 118
Age : 62
Localisation : Mississauga
Cap Badge : The Royal Canadian Regiment
Places Served : 1977-80, London ON, Gagetown NB
Registration date : 2010-03-22

PostSubject: Re: Could my information be useful? 194 Inf Wksp RCEME 1951/2   9/6/2018, 20:24

Ted Sandilands wrote:
Here is one that was sent to my Grandfather by the Canadian Ministry of Defense in 1952. It was meant to be some kind of press photograph, so the photographer probably had my Dad and the others strike that pose. My Dad is the one pointing at something.

Ted,

Now I'm intrigued by the insignia above the Sergeant's stripes on the soldier at the top. It looks like a crown with some writing? I'm going to try and track this one down, as well.

Cheers,
Dan.
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Ted Sandilands
Cpl
Cpl


Number of posts : 11
Registration date : 2018-04-17

PostSubject: Re: Could my information be useful? 194 Inf Wksp RCEME 1951/2   9/6/2018, 20:25

This is the funeral procession for my Dad on Sept 10, 1952. It is also an official MoD photograph.

I am not certain, but this might be the entrance road to the barracks. The buildings in the background look like the ones my Dad photographed.

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Ted Sandilands
Cpl
Cpl


Number of posts : 11
Registration date : 2018-04-17

PostSubject: Re: Could my information be useful? 194 Inf Wksp RCEME 1951/2   9/6/2018, 20:38

From some of my Father's records there was an advance group of RCEME sent to Hannover in October 1951. Then there were several more groups sent I think in roughly 2 week periods. I think my Dad was in the second wave, sailing to Rotterdam in November 1951.
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Dan M
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Number of posts : 118
Age : 62
Localisation : Mississauga
Cap Badge : The Royal Canadian Regiment
Places Served : 1977-80, London ON, Gagetown NB
Registration date : 2010-03-22

PostSubject: Re: Could my information be useful? 194 Inf Wksp RCEME 1951/2   9/6/2018, 23:23

Ted,

I have a copy of the RCEME Quarterly from July, 1952. There are several articles in it from 194 Workshop, including one written by your Dad which includes a photograph of him. It starts by saying that soldiers from 27 CIB didn't get weekend passes, but were allowed to tour local sites accompanied by an officer. Your Dad took a group of 30 soldiers on an overnight trip to Braunlage for skiing and sightseeing. As soon as I get to a scanner, I'll post the article here. It's the only mention of your Dad in the issue.

Cheers,
Dan.
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JPW
Let Gen
Let Gen


Number of posts : 1071
Age : 77
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   11/6/2018, 06:06

Dan, Ted

I too am intrigued by the shoulder flash. My first thought that it was a crown but I noticed that the Sergeant's colleague is wearing a similar one (half hidden)

Bob Ritter in his splendid series of postings to found in the Forum archives entitled 27 Canadian Infantry Brigade describing life in Hannover in the early nineteen fifties mentions (with sketches) that there were unit identification shoulder flashes worn in shirt sleeve order containing the word Canada.

I wonder if this is the case in "our photo"? Cannot think what the RCEME emblem might have been. perhaps may spot the answer amongst his archives or perhaps another of our Canadian veteran contributors might be able to help if the practise continued after the move to Soest or Lahr.
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Dan M
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Number of posts : 118
Age : 62
Localisation : Mississauga
Cap Badge : The Royal Canadian Regiment
Places Served : 1977-80, London ON, Gagetown NB
Registration date : 2010-03-22

PostSubject: Re: Could my information be useful? 194 Inf Wksp RCEME 1951/2   12/6/2018, 00:33

JPW wrote:
My first thought that it was a crown...

I think you're correct. I posted the photo on a Canadian Army forum, and it was thought to be the style of King's crown being worn in 1952, before the change over to the St. Edward's crown. I'm trying to find a close-up photo of an example to post.

Also, the vehicle pulling the 25-pdr in the funeral photo is a Canadian-made light anti-aircraft tractor or LAAT. FYI for you vehicle enthusiasts.

Cheers,
Dan.
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