Tuesday, 15 February 2011


These pages have brought their first reunion between the author and the family of a member of RE Bomb Disposal, Malta, thanks to a comment by Pauline Godwin about her father, L/Sgt Rowland Hilliar, on these pages last year. He never spoke to them about his work in bomb disposal but now the family have read UXB Malta they can be justly proud of his achievements.

It is hoped that other families will do the same, and learn how these men coped in extraordinary circumstances to deal with thousands of unexploded bombs. All of the Royal Engineers Bomb Disposal Officers who served in Malta during World War 2 are named below, taken from official records and War Diaries of 1940-44.

The list of Other Ranks (with Army Service Numbers in brackets, where known) is based only on available secondary information, so it may not be completely accurate.

If you recognise any names, or have any questions, please use the Comments section to get in touch.

Lt Ellis Edward Arthur Chetwynd Talbot (served November 1940 to May 1941)
Lt George Daniel Carroll (served April 1941 to April 1942)
Lt Thomas Walter Townsend Blackwell (served December 1941 to February 1943)
Lt Frederick William Ashall (served April to July 1942)
Lt Thomas Whitworth (served July 1942 to November 1944)
Lt Henry Lavington (served February to October 1943)

Members of 24 Fortress Company, Royal Engineers believed to have served in Malta’s Bomb Disposal Sections during World War 2.

Sgt Holland (102309)
Sgt Reginald Charles Parker (1871236)
Sgt Thomas Piggott (1863676)
L/Sgt Cecil Arthur Brewer (1866450)
L/Sgt George Henry King (1864077)
L/Cpl Rowland Hilliar (1873804)
L/Cpl Cyril Thomas Meager (1872626)

Spr Joseph Birchenall (1872550)
Spr George Codling
Spr Robert Cushen
Spr Rex Garvin
Spr Thomas Hammond (1872638)
Spr James Lee Leonard (858620)
Spr Lockyer
Spr Duncan MacDonald (1871171)
Spr Daniel McCarthy (1875751)
Spr Laurence Miller (1875725)
Spr Rattenbury
Spr Henry James Reeves (1877565)
Spr C E Reeves (“Inky”)
Spr William Douglas Scott (1871172)
Spr Harry Turner (1875560)
Spr Robert Henry Walter (1873669)

1 comment:

  1. Hello - My Father (Francis Joseph Wilson - army number 1872545) served in the Royal Engineers during the war (in Malta between 15th December 1937 and 6th September 1943 - moving onto the middle east from 1943 and then back to the UK until 1944 when he went on to North Europe) and was in Bomb disposal. For a large proportion of his service he was a lance corporal and/or corporal. Since his passing in 1991 my Mother tried to find out anything possible about his time in the army and past in general prior to their meeting in the 1960's, and very little regarding his army experience has come to light despite some quite concerted efforts on my Mother's part. Sadly Mum died last September and I have now got all the family tree stuff and have decided to try and find out more but again I too am finding it very hard. I have found a couple of photo's that have cropped up in searches that appear to have someone who looks very like Dad, including one in your book but obviously there's no way to be sure whether it is him or not as we have no photo's of him from before the 1960's to compare with. We do know that he was at one point lucky to miss a blast at his barracks that killed all his friends and destroyed all his possessions - he was on guard duty at the time. We don't know at what point during his service this occurred, whether that was in Malta, The middle east or Europe etc.
    He had scars in the back of his neck that he had obtained form shrapnel during this explosion.
    I don't really know exactly why I'm writing all this other than in the small hope that someone may have some knowledge - no matter how small - or even photo's - relating to my Dad and his army career during the war or even before/beyond. He enlisted in the army as a boy in 1933 in Wrexham.
    Thanks, Stephen Wilson (Cambridge)