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 Mixed Civilian Labour Groups

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Paul
Maj Gen
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Number of posts : 817
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Localisation : Limavady, N.I.
Cap Badge : R.E.M.E.
Places Served : Arborfield (Basic training), S.E.M.E. Bordon (Trade training), Barnard Castle, Hemer, Belfast (Emergency Tour), Londonderry, Munster, Brunei, Hong Kong
Registration date : 2008-04-06

PostSubject: Mixed Civilian Labour Groups   20/11/2009, 19:43

Anyone have any idea where I can find details of these groups?

One of them came up in a message i received, and I know little or nothing about them. I would take it that they were a successor to the Civilian Mixed Labour Organisation etc. but that is about all.

Paul.
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Oliver (Trince)
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Localisation : 52°38'50.20''N 9°51'40.52''E, Germany
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Places Served : MSO Hildesheim, MSO Bracht
Registration date : 2008-06-17

PostSubject: Re: Mixed Civilian Labour Groups   21/11/2009, 09:29

Hi Paul,

maybe the former Works Council Chairman of 1 PLSU (3 BAD Bracht) can help you. He's now the CEO of the Camping Site "HeideCamp". It's just a try.

Norbert J. Henke, MBE
Sankt Barbara Strasse 43
41379 Brüggen
Tel.: 0049 (0)2157 873622
Fax: 0049 (0)2157 873636
Email: heidecamp@aol.com

Oliver
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Paul
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Registration date : 2008-04-06

PostSubject: Re: Mixed Civilian Labour Groups   21/11/2009, 09:46

Oliver (Trince) wrote:
Hi Paul,

maybe the former Works Council Chairman of 1 PLSU (3 BAD Bracht) can help you. He's now the CEO of the Camping Site "HeideCamp". It's just a try.

Norbert J. Henke, MBE
Sankt Barbara Strasse 43
41379 Brüggen
Tel.: 0049 (0)2157 873622
Fax: 0049 (0)2157 873636
Email: heidecamp@aol.com

Oliver

I knew that someone would come up with the goods Oliver Smile

Paul.
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burgess720
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PostSubject: Re: Mixed Civilian Labour Groups   7/7/2012, 05:11

Hi all,

Does anyone have information on the German Artizan Service Groups?

Unit 123 was based at Osnabruck in May 1947, reportedly in Barbara Strasse [which is now a school]

These units I believe were under the control of the Royal Engineers

How many units; what strength; where were they based

I remember seeing many of them in early 1950's often as drivers in Osnabruck; most had come from Eastern Germany and Poland

Cant find anything on Google

Regards
Tony
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steve
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PostSubject: Re: Mixed Civilian Labour Groups   8/7/2012, 17:18

Tony here goes...it goes on a bit...straight from the History of the Corps of Royal Engineers Volume X 1948-1960

WORKS SERVICES

"The static command structure of BAOR suffered a number of changes in the immediate post-war years. In 1946 the logistic support was administered by three corps HQs who also had responsibilities within their territorial boundaries.

On disbandment of the one remaining Corps HQ in January 1948 (incorrect 1st Corps District disbanded Jun 47), divisional district HQs were established causing a temporary controversy between the responsibilities of the district CE and the divisional CRE. By 1949 administrative district HQs each with a CE responsible for works services had been established on a geographical basis; however, 2nd Division District retained its function until 1950.

At this stage the works organisation was headed by Brigadier DCT Swan as CE BAOR assisted by Brigadier PF Foley as DDW. There were three district HQs, Hamburg (which had absorbed Schleswig early in 1949) CE-Colonel EHT Gayer, Hannover (renamed from Niedersachsen) CE-Colonel A MacG Stewart, and 2 Division District
CE-Colonel C D Reed.

There were CRE works in Berlin, Schleswig, Minden, Dusseldorf, Hannover, Dortmund and Hamburg, with seventeen subordinate DCRE and one independent garrison engineer for the Hook of Holland. They controlled fourteen German artizan groups and three plant groups. These groups were organized on military lines and consisted mostly of ex-servicemen who were dressed in green battledress.

The initial works task centred on the redeployment of the British forces, and the majority of the commitment was met by the rehabilitation of German barracks, but the responsibility extended to the areas occupied by Belgian, Danish and Norwegian occupation forces as well as to services required by the Control Commission. Many diverse enterprises were undertaken, a typical example being the provision in Hamburg of office and storage accommodation for twenty consulates and fifty sponsored industrial firms.

The Berlin Airlift brought additional tasks including work on airfields in the British Zone and arrangements to fly in coal. Other work carried out included building roads, temporary camps and store sheds, laying railway track, providing light for shift working and a variety of ancillary tasks which were mostly undertaken by employing directly enlisted labour at a cost of some 860,000 pounds, all projects in connection with the airlift had an operational priority which meant little time for detailed planning.

One of the largest items in the redeployment plan was the construction of the Hohne Barracks at Luneberg Heath, famous as the place where Field Marshal Montgomery accepted the German surrender, and a former German Army Training area. The village of Belsen, which gave its name to the Nazi Concentration Camp, is adjacent. The accommodation to be provided included four officers’ and sergeants’ messes, four other ranks’ cookhouses, fifteen office blocks and 200 married quarters, in addition there were to be four NAAFI canteens, workshops, garages, sports grounds, schools, cinemas and the necessary churches. Access to the field firing area had to be provided for tanks by construction of two miles of concrete road. A high pressure hot water system, of considerable technical interest, was installed which served an area 1.5 miles square from one central boiler house with distribution by a three-pipe system laid in concrete ducting. The system catered for two different temperatures, one for cooking and hot water supply; the other, at a lower temperature, for space heating. The size of the project may be judged from the final cost of nearly 2m pounds

Provision of married quarters was a continually increasing commitment. By the middle of 1950 same 1100 quarters had been provided by the German authorities under RE supervision and 250 quarters were actually under construction but many more were still required. At this time the Germans were persuaded to embark upon a new project known as Operation BUILD. This operation was to provide married quarters planned and built by the Germans themselves on the understanding that if and when they were not required for British families they would be de-requisitioned and handed over to the local German authorities; by the end of 1950 nearly 1200 married quarters had been provided by the German authorities under RE supervision. The formation of 11 Armoured Division and the build up of corps troops provided a fresh development for works in August 1950. The operation was given the code name HABITAT. The initial budget allocation was 2.5m pounds which was required for priority work to make existing German barracks habitable at austerity standards. At the same time a new works service unit was formed under Colonel RH Havers, known as DCE Niedersachsen, which combined the duties of the CE Hannover and Hamburg Districts. Soon after these arrangements had been made for 11 Armoured Division, warning was given that 6 Armoured Divison would be sent to Germany in late 1951. New buildings would have to be provided as few existing German barracks were available. Planning and control for this project was assumed by the CE BAOR with the German authorities being given responsibility. New barracks for twelve major and eight minor units were the first to be built in Germany at post-war scales for accommodation; they consisted of centrally heated hutted camps of standard layout and design. Sketch designs were prepared by the CE’s branch and issued to the German authorities who supervised detailed design and all contract procedure…"

By 1958

GE Comd (Maj Gen)
Deputy Director of Works (Brig)

DCRE Berlin – GE Berlin (East) – GE Berlin (West)

CE (Works) Rhine District East
CRE Hannover – 150 DCRE Osnabrück – Independent GE Verden – 400 DCRE Hildesheim
CRE Fallingbostel – 384 DCRE Celle – 410 DCRE Lüneburg

CE (Works) Rhine District West
CRE West Rhine – 154 DCRE Rheindahlen – DCRE Krefeld

CRE East Rhine – 205 DCRE Düsseldorf – 210 DCRE Iserlohn – 40 DCRE Munster
CRE Paderborn – 219 DCRE Minden – 268 DCRE Sennelager – 151 DCRE Herford

CRE Low Countries

Hope this helps

Regards
Steve
study
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pete26
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PostSubject: Re: Mixed Civilian Labour Groups   9/7/2012, 01:26

These were the MOJOs weren't they ?
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JPW
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PostSubject: Re: Mixed Civilian Labour Groups   9/7/2012, 09:34

Tony/Peter

The clue is the phrase "green uniforms" at the end of Steve's fourth paragraph. This indicates that the MCLG were part of the organisation known as the German Services Organisation (GSO) recruited by the British Army at the end of the War from former German Prisoners of War. They were organised along military lines, wearing a green uniform, but for obvious reasons were unarmed and if my memory is correct none ,apart from Doctors, had officer status.

The Mixed Services Organisation (MSO nicknamed Mojos by some)were slightly different As we have discussed elsewhere they wore dark blue uniforms, were recruited from the many Eastern European communities who were either unwilling or unable to return to their Communist dominated homelands. They were permitted to carry side arms (some units provided the Guard Force at major Headquarters or logistic depots) and their officers held appointments up to the equivalent of major though overall command was generally vested in the British Army system.

The GSO were disbanded in the early 50s after the signing of the German Peace Treaty and the increasing need for skilled workers in what was known as the "wirtschaftwunder or economic miracle" when West Germany was rapidly rebuilt from the ruins of World War2 and the creation of new factories and new housing.
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bigmal
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PostSubject: Re: Mixed Civilian Labour Groups   9/7/2012, 18:55

The only MSO`s i came across were the blokes that drove the Antars at the barracks next door and they always wore the standard green overalls.
Well, every time i saw them they were.
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JPW
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PostSubject: Re: Mixed Civilian Labour Groups   9/7/2012, 19:29

Big Mal

Are you referring to the famous 617 Tank Transporter Squadron who exclusively recruited from the exiled Polish community? After many years in Hamm they moved to Fallingbostel as part of the BAOR Options for change reorganisation

MSO definitely wore British Army BD dyed a deep dark blue colour throughout my time in BAOR (early 50s-early 80s) and there are photos of this dress elsewhere on this site. Could be some wore green coveralls as working dress in later years.
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bigmal
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PostSubject: Re: Mixed Civilian Labour Groups   9/7/2012, 20:53

When i was there it was 16 tank Transporter Regt, if memory serves right.
The Antars had white bumper ends.
I wasn`t with them but used to see them knocking about .


I never saw them in blue but don`t mean to imply that they didn`t, but it is an interesting detail to note for model making purposes, as i build TT`s in 1/76 scale.
In fact i will re-paint the uniform of the driver in my Mk3 Ballast Tractor, it will look a bit more authentic.
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brum
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Registration date : 2010-03-02

PostSubject: Re: Mixed Civilian Labour Groups   9/7/2012, 21:19

JPW wrote:


MSO definitely wore British Army BD dyed a deep dark blue colour throughout my time in BAOR (early 50s-early 80s) and there are photos of this dress elsewhere on this site. Could be some wore green coveralls as working dress in later years.

Seconded !
They wore dark blue BD, and a beret with the MSO badge which was a simple brass disc. The badge was polished that much, the "MSO" could not be seen.

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brum
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PostSubject: Re: Mixed Civilian Labour Groups   9/7/2012, 21:26

steve wrote:
Tony here goes...it goes on a bit...straight from the History of the Corps of Royal Engineers Volume X 1948-1960

WORKS SERVICES




One of the largest items in the redeployment plan was the construction of the Hohne Barracks at Luneberg Heath, famous as the place where Field Marshal Montgomery accepted the German surrender, and a former German Army Training area. The village of Belsen, which gave its name to the Nazi Concentration Camp, is adjacent. The accommodation to be provided included four officers’ and sergeants’ messes, four other ranks’ cookhouses, fifteen office blocks and 200 married quarters, in addition there were to be four NAAFI canteens, workshops, garages, sports grounds, schools, cinemas and the necessary churches. Access to the field firing area had to be provided for tanks by construction of two miles of concrete road. A high pressure hot water system, of considerable technical interest, was installed which served an area 1.5 miles square from one central boiler house with distribution by a three-pipe system laid in concrete ducting. The system catered for two different temperatures, one for cooking and hot water supply; the other, at a lower temperature, for space heating. The size of the project may be judged from the final cost of nearly 2m pounds


CSteve
study

Steve, no matter how many times I read the above it continues to say "the constuction of the Hohne barracks".
The barracks was Wehrmacht era, does the article mean to say that additional work was carried out ?
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pete26
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PostSubject: Re: Mixed Civilian Labour Groups   10/7/2012, 00:32

I don't remember any wearing blue.

In fact, they all seemed to dress similar to TA.

They drove the antars and 10 tonners. They also drove the coaches down to such as Exercise SNOW QUEEN down in Bavaria.

I think they also drove the green buses as well IIRC.
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burgess720
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PostSubject: Re: Mixed Civilian Labour Groups   10/7/2012, 02:53

Hi all,

Many thanks for the interesting replies

I remember these men in a dark uniform, but not sure of colour; did they have the old German military type cap?

Unit 123 German Artizan Service Group in May 1947 occupied "wooden huts" in Barbara strasse, Osnabruck

Also in 1947 they were still entitled to "free mail" as ex Prisoner's of War; any idea how long this lasted?

Regards
Tony
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JPW
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PostSubject: Re: Mixed Civilian Labour Groups   10/7/2012, 08:40

Tony

The GSO definitely wore a green German Army style ski cap in the late 40s/early 50s The MSO wore the British Army issue dark blue beret as described by brum.
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steve
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PostSubject: Re: Mixed Civilian Labour Groups   10/7/2012, 08:43

brum wrote:
steve wrote:
Tony here goes...it goes on a bit...straight from the History of the Corps of Royal Engineers Volume X 1948-1960

WORKS SERVICES




One of the largest items in the redeployment plan was the construction of the Hohne Barracks at Luneberg Heath, famous as the place where Field Marshal Montgomery accepted the German surrender, and a former German Army Training area. The village of Belsen, which gave its name to the Nazi Concentration Camp, is adjacent. The accommodation to be provided included four officers’ and sergeants’ messes, four other ranks’ cookhouses, fifteen office blocks and 200 married quarters, in addition there were to be four NAAFI canteens, workshops, garages, sports grounds, schools, cinemas and the necessary churches. Access to the field firing area had to be provided for tanks by construction of two miles of concrete road. A high pressure hot water system, of considerable technical interest, was installed which served an area 1.5 miles square from one central boiler house with distribution by a three-pipe system laid in concrete ducting. The system catered for two different temperatures, one for cooking and hot water supply; the other, at a lower temperature, for space heating. The size of the project may be judged from the final cost of nearly 2m pounds


CSteve
study

Steve, no matter how many times I read the above it continues to say "the constuction of the Hohne barracks".
The barracks was Wehrmacht era, does the article mean to say that additional work was carried out ?

Brum need to repeat...straight from the History of the Corps of Royal Engineers Volume X 1948-1960...the camp was clearly made a lot bigger have seen images of the original Wehrmacht Kaserne somewhere...not sure about "Luneberg Heath" though that is a lot further north...
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BobG
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PostSubject: Re: Mixed Civilian Labour Groups   10/7/2012, 17:31

As has been ststed MSO and GSO were two different organisations. The GSO in about 1957 became Mobile Civilian Tranport Group (MCTG), Mobille Civilian Labour Group (MCLG) and the Mobile Civilian Artisan Group (MCAG). MCTG were employed as drivers and controlled by the RCT/RLC driving coaches in most garrisons and vehicles used by the BAOR Freight Service,etc, tasks which did not require a squaddy to drive on a regular basis, the exception to this was Tank Transporters. MCLG provided labour in ammo depots, pet depots and training areas/camps. MCAG were controlled by RE and provided labour with a trade input required in the maintenance of training areas/ranges - road and bridge repairs, track maitenance, tree felling, etc.

Tank Transporters were a MSO/Brit Mil responsibilty. Until Options for Change there were 3 Tk Tptr Sqns, 612 Sqn (later re-titled 16 Sqn) in Fallingbostal, 617 Sqn in Hamm and 3 Sqn in Sennelager. 612 and 617 were MSO, 3 Sqn were regular RCT. After Options the one remaining Sqn - 16 Sqn became a mixed MSO/Brit mil sqn.

I can deffinitely confirm that the GSO and later civilian orgs wore green when actually dressed in uniform and the MSO wore Navy blue. All wore standard issue overalls when working which has probably led to some of the confusion regarding colour of uniforms.

BobG
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Mike_2817
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PostSubject: Re: Mixed Civilian Labour Groups   13/7/2012, 17:37

The MSO was divided into several specialist services:

MSO Armed Guard Service, guarding army installations (wore navy blue Battle Dress uniforms and armed with obsolete .303 calibre Lee Enfield rifles) - Became MSO Guard Service & Watchkeepers.

MSO Dog Handlers, guarding army installations, controlled by the Royal Army Veterinary Corps (came under MSO Guard Service)

(GSO merged with/became)

MSO Labour Service, providing manual labour, controlled by the Royal Pioneer Corps. Later known as MCLG - Mobile Civlion Labour Group

MSO Transport Service, driving 4 and 10 ton lorries, coaches and tank transporters, controlled by theRASC then the RCT- Later became MCTG - Mobile Civlion Transport Group

MCAG - Mobile Civilian Artisan Groups - controlled by RE

There were also Mechanics in the MCTG controlled by the REME

Add to this the Directly Employed Civilians within BAOR





_________________
Sua Tela Tonanti


Last edited by Mike_2817 on 15/7/2012, 15:20; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Mixed Civilian Labour Groups   15/7/2012, 07:12

Hi all,

Good to see some detailed replies; many thanks

The Osnabruck unit in Barbara strasse was in part of Woolwuch Barracks formally Von Stein Kaserne; they seem to have been housed in wooden huts constructed [by them?]

Anyone remember going inside Woolwich Barracks?

Regards
Tony
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PostSubject: Re: Mixed Civilian Labour Groups   19/11/2012, 14:39

All fascinating subjects, but have you forgotten that it is time now that you put your mind to those presents for Christmas and not leave it to the last minutes. You, or most likely your Dad’s or his Dad will want something thoughtful and interesting as a gift. I have worked hard and burnt much midnight oil to make this possible for you. Why not look at the following internet site and happy reading to all.

world wide web.farewelltohamburg.com
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Pborn3
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PostSubject: Re: Mixed Civilian Labour Groups   22/2/2017, 00:01

see also   http://bfg-locations.editboard.com/t2294-719-artisan-works-company-re#36112


My research shows there were artisan works groups RE in admin tail of the 21 Army Group advance in to Germany to make and mend accn as the columns moved forward.  The core personnel used and oversaw local german tradesmen doing the emergency running repairs (cutting off gas leaks, repairing power damages and water pipe bursts etc) or preparing buildings to be used by the Town Resident (fore runner of the Liaison officers) and the District Officers RE and Pioneer Corps recruiters. .  Eventually when the movements ceased and peace broke out  the (Royal 1946)  Pioneer Corps started recruiting local civilian labour  to  work alongside troops making major repairs to roads and barracks, driving trucks, and labouring. Somewhere there is a complete hierarchy of all the units raised courtesy of the (R)PC in theatre.

In addition the Ministry of Works (1962 MPBW) came from England to lend expertise and carry responsibility for repair and maint of captured offices, houses, residences, barracks, airfields, especially as a specialist point of contact within Control Commission for Germany (BR Sector).  
Min of Wks had to agree for materials to be expended from local or supplied from UK resource.
Tasks passed to RE were carried out by local labour resources and supervised by Regular Officers and SNCOs.  So even when Pioneer Corps recruited Civilian uniformed Work Groups they quickly took on Corps affiliaton/identities.

Sennelager Range was maintained (during the 4 week maintenance close down) by a 256 MCPG RE which were originally based in Krefeld. MCPG and MCAG personnel lived in Barracks! and had tasks throughout BAOR (see link below vis-a-vis Reinsehlen Camp).

http://www.wow.com/wiki/Reinsehlen_Camp

During the Cold War, in Germany, there was an Entire Engineering group based in Willich near Düsseldorf (40 Regt RE?) called the Military Civilian Plant & Engineering group that had a similar large scale Engineering, Plant and Support role for British Army of the Rhine. Each Command Plant Troop was commanded by an RE Major supported by a Military Plant Foreman.


Last edited by Pborn3 on 22/2/2017, 00:16; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Reinsehlen ink)
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