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Royal Engineers 1043 Docks Operating Company

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Adrian Report 5 Oct 2021 10:56

I wonder if anyone can help me find more information about the Royal Engineers 1043 Port Operating Company, aka Docks Operating Company?

I have received my father’s WW2 service record in the Royal Engineers, as a sapper. In March 1944 he was posted to the 1043 Docks Operating Company. D Company 3. Then on 3 June 1944 (Order number 2E/21/6827/44) embarked UK.

Was he involved on one of the Mulberry harbours, helping to unload the vital supplies?

He would not talk about the war, but he did say that he went through some lovely places in France and Belgium.

Thank you,


ArgyllGran Report 5 Oct 2021 12:45

There doesn't seem to be much online.
There are some records of other Port Operating Companies, but not about 1043 specifically.

For example:

The Mulberry Harbours were floating artificial harbours designed and constructed by British military engineers during World War 2.

WW2, RE's as they did in WW1, maintained the railways, roads, water supply, bridges and transport etc'. From 1940 disposed of bombs. Maybe the most, greatest achievements of the RE’s were the construction and operation of the Mulberry Harbour its support for the Battle of Normandy.

The proposed harbours called for many huge caissons of various sorts to build breakwaters and piers and connecting structures to provide the roadways. The caissons were built at a number of locations, mainly existing ship building facilities or large beaches, like Conwy Morfa, around the British coast. The works were let out to commercial construction firms including Wates Construction Balfour Beatty, Henry Boot, Bovis & Co, Cochrane & Sons, Costain, Cubitts, French, Holloway Brothers, John Laing & Son, Peter Lind & Company, Sir Robert McAlpine, Melville Dundas & Whitson, Mowlem, Nuttall, Parkinson, Halcrow Group, Pauling & Co. and Taylor Woodrow. On completion they were towed across the English Channel by tugs to the Normandy coast at only 8.0 kilometres per hour (4.3 kn),
>>>>>> assembled, operated and maintained by the Corps of Royal Engineers <<<<,
under the guidance of Reginald D. Gwyther, who was appointed CBE for his efforts. Various elements of the "Whale" piers were designed and constructed by a group of companies led by Braithwaite & Co, West Bromwich and Newport.


ErikaH Report 5 Oct 2021 12:52


Adrian Report 6 Oct 2021 11:14

Thank you both for this information.

I will look at these links now.