News reme-at-work

Wrexham Council is to consider awarding the honour of Freedom of the County Borough to 101 Force Support Battalion – Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME) at its meeting in late February.

The Battalion has been based at Hightown Barracks since 1999 and have formed close links with the County Borough by enlisting local men and women and work within the Community. They have also supported the wider armed forces in the area and assisted with many civic events.

Cllr Neil Rogers, Leader of the Council, said “Wrexham has a long and proud tradition with the military and the Battalion being based in Wrexham since 1999 has ensured this continues. The Battalion has provided employment opportunities for young people in the area and provides community assistance when required.”

Cllr David Griffiths, the Council’s Armed Forces Champion, said “I am sure members will welcome this report and look forward to presenting it to them later this month.”

If agreed a Freedom march will take place on 5 April. The Battalion are currently on UN peacekeeping duties in Cyprus and will return in April. They provide 30 Regular soldiers every year and 40 Reservists every two years for operations in Afghanistan. 10 soldiers were on duty at the Olympic Games and they continue to support British Army operations and training in the Falklands, Canada and Kenya.

The Council have provided us with this history of REME:

Maintaining and repairing the Army’s equipment has always played an important part in ensuring the fighting efficiency of the service. Until the late 19 Century however, the relative simplicity of the equipment in use with the Army made a specialist corps of tradesmen unnecessary. The soldier carried out minor repairs on his own equipment, assisted as necessary by the armourer, the regimental farrier, the carpenter and the leatherworker.

The early years of the Second World War brought the realisation that the existing repair system was not able to support the massive scale of equipment being deployed in the war efforts.

In 1941 the War Cabinet directed Sir William Beveridge to carry out an enquiry into the employment of technical manpower in the Services. As a result of this enquiry, The Royal Corp of Electrical and Mechanical Engineers was formed on 1 October 1942.

Since then it has evolved into a highly skilled and specialised Corps that is capable of meeting the toughest challenges anywhere in the world, playing a vital role in all of the Army’s operations.

The 101 Force Support Battalion is one of the largest battalions in the Corps of REME. It is known as a hybrid battalion because it is a mix of Regular and TA soldiers. the role of the Battalion is to provide repair and recovery skills to 102 Logistic Brigade.