Do you have ancestors’ who served in the Royal Engineers during the Second World War? Explore this collection of Royal Engineers journals from 1939 to 1945. The Royal Engineers Journal was formerly a private newspaper which was converted into a journal and supplement in magazine form.
Each record is available in a PDF format. Use the previous and next buttons at the top of the page to browse through the publication. The PDF search experience can be different from searching transcribed records. Use our search tips below to get the most out of this collection.
To the left of the PDF, you will find the Transcription Box, which includes:
Title – the title of the publication
Month – of the publication
Image number – this will tell you where you are in the publication and help you to explore the publication further.
The Royal Engineers journal was formerly a private newspaper, it was converted into a journal and supplement in magazine form.
Formed in 1716, the corps of Royal Engineers assist the British Army in the field by providing engineering and technical support. The Royal Engineers, known as ‘Sappers’ have served in all of the Army’s campaigns.
The Royal Engineers have had prominent roles in both World Wars. During the First World War, the corp’s duties included tunnelling, duties expanded into tunnelling, trench-building, forestry, quarrying, gas warfare, inland water transport, aerial survey, topographical photography and camouflaging techniques.
Many of the roles from the First World War continued during the Second World War. New roles were also added, including bomb disposal, mine clearance, airfield construction, laying Bailey bridges, and the use of tanks adapted for battlefield engineering.
Probably the greatest achievement of the Royal Engineers during the Second World War was the construction and operation of the Mulberry Harbour and its support for the Battle of Normandy in 1944.
Searching through a PDF (Portable document format) is different from searching through fully transcribed record sets. Here are some tips to keep in mind while you search for your ancestors:
A name search will return results which have the search terms on the same page within the document. This means that searching for John Smith will return pages where the names 'John' and 'Smith' occur. For this reason your search may return the name William Smith or John Brown. By inserting quotations around the full name the search function will locate the terms together; for example, “John Smith.”
To search for your ancestor by their name, write it as it would appear on the document. For example, if your relative was known as ‘Will’ it is likely that the name used for official records was ‘William.’
If you are unable to find your relative on your first search you can try different name variations. A number of register books only use abbreviations for first names. For example, if your search is unsuccessful for William Smith, try W Smith or Wm Smith.
Perusing the PDF
If you wish to read through the whole document you are searching, then order the results by page number. You can start from the beginning of the document and read through to the end using the next button above the image.
Page numbers often correlate with the individual images of the documents rather than the page numbers used within the publication. Therefore page 1 starts with the cover page.