12 Squadron

12 Field Squadron and 55 Field Squadron, part of 28 Field Engineer Regiment, went from Korea to Christmas Island in 1956.

The email below was received on 8th December 2012 - can anyone help?

Hi. I signed up to your well organised site in an attempt to find out more about the 12th Independent Field Squadron RE’s, it is not mentioned on your site nor the Royal Engineers sites anywhere! The squadron went out to Christmas Island and helped to build the Air strip in 1956 and again in 1957/8 to build the Main Camp sewage system and started the constructing of the permanent wooden accommodation. They also saw all 5 Hyd/Atomic during that second tour. I did the Accommodation store with one other Sapper and a R.A.S.C driver. One reason for my interest is that I received a Commendation from the Grapple commander but have never known who recommended me for it. I can supply a copy of the commendation and photos of the time I was on the Island.

This commendation held me in good stead in getting a Civilian job as soon as I left the force. I joined the UKAEA and was a radiation worker for 32 years, plus the three bombs, you would think that I would  glow in the dark! I retired, in good health, when 52 years of age on a full pension and at 73 am still enjoying good health and the pension!

I was also at Farnborough ,3TRRE and went on to NCO Cadre in the mid 1950’s but am unable to be precise for I have mislaid my pay book after some 60 ish years. I have tried to get my service records, to no avail, any help in this direction would be appreciated. I also have photos of this time.

I didn’t get my first L/Cpl stripe until my return from Christmas Island and was posted to Barton Stacey, I don’t know who recommended me for that stipe either! I was a 9 year regular but as I didn’t seem to be getting anywhere and I had joined before my eighteenth birthday I had the 3 year option to come out, which I did. I would like to know the Regiment I was with at Barton Stacey.

If you can give me any pointers I would appreciate it.


Cliff Barnard 

Middle East Land Forces

After 1945, the Middle East Command was reformed as Middle East Land Forces. Middle East Land Forces commanded the forces in Libya (25th Armoured Brigade, which was later subsumed into 10th Armoured Division) until 1957, and the 1st Infantry Division3rd Infantry Division, two armoured regiments and other forces, in the Suez Canal Zone until the early 1950s.

In 1959 Middle East Command was divided into two commands split by the Suez Canal.

The two parts were British Forces Arabian Peninsular, which was based at Aden, and the rump of the former Command which was based in Cyprusand which in 1961 was renamed Near East Command.

Middle East Command was disbanded on 28 November 1967 and the command of British forces in the Persian Gulf was transferred to Headquarters, British Forces Gulf which was based in Bahrain.

taken from Wikipedia