Coat ofArms

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Search for World War II Royal Engineers bomb squad

I got this article from my former Combat Engineer TQ-3 and Basic EOD HA Instructor Jean-Yves Vermette that is now with the RCMP Bomb Data Centre in Ottawa, Ontario.  I thought I would share it with you.  Chimo - Ubique
For information about Guy Fawkes, the mascot of explosives disposal technicians, see About Guy Fawkes.

In August 1940, six Royal Engineers were killed while trying to defuse German bombs in a field near Alvaston Hall between Crewe and Nantwich.

At the time the incident was kept secret for national security reasons.
But with the 100th anniversary of the Royal Engineers approaching in 2012, Cheshire East Council wants to honour the men's bravery.
Plans are now under way to erect a small memorial to Sergeant Edward Greengrass, Sapper Harold Thompson, Sapper Michael Lambert, Sapper Albert Edward Fearon, Sapper George Lucas and Sapper John Percival.
The men successfully defused three bombs which had fallen in the field near Alvaston Hall. But as they worked on the final bomb it exploded, killing all six men.
According to the War Graves Commission, Sapper Thompson, Sapper Lambert, Sapper Fearon and Sapper Lucas were killed instantly and Sgt Greengrass died two days later in hospital. There is no official record of a John Percival.

'Ultimate sacrifice'

Cheshire East Council wants to make contact with the families of the men, who could help to provide any memoirs to help the authority create a lasting tribute.
Sgt Greengrass is buried at Wandsworth, London; Sapper Thompson at Hornchurch, London; Sapper Lambert at Kensall Green, London; Sapper Fearon at Newcastle-upon-Tyne and Sapper Lucas in Manchester.
Councillors Dorothy Flude and Chris Thorley were instrumental in bringing the story to the attention of the rest of the council cabinet.
"This was such a tragedy but due to issues of security and morale, the incident was not reported in the press at the time and their names are not recorded locally," said Ms Flude.
"Our brave and well-trained men and women are currently defusing bombs in places like Afghanistan. But these six men did not have such a luxury of training and knowledge and found themselves making the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.
"It is only right they are remembered."

'Special memorials'

Council leader, Wesley Fitzgerald, said: "As an authority we take the role of the military, both past and present, very seriously.
"These six men sacrificed their lives in order to protect the local population. The fact that their bravery wasn't recognised at the time makes this new memorial all the more important."
Desmond Curtis, Chairman of the Crewe branch of the Royal Engineers Association, said: "I fully support the move by Cheshire East Council to erect a memorial to remember these brave men.
"The work of many bomb disposal units from the Second World War has gone unnoticed so memorials such as this are very special."

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