Title: Tunnellers – The Story of the Tunnelling Companies, Royal Engineers during the World War
Author: Grieve, W Grant and Newman, Bernard
Edition: 1st Edition
Publication Date: 2010
Cover: Soft Cover without Dust Jacket – 335 pages
Comments: A history of the Tunnelling Companies, Royal Engineers, during the Great War and the war underground on the Western Front.
Thirty-two British and Dominion companies were formed. Tasks included dealing with booby traps, demolitions and anti-tank mines.
A very good, comprehensive account.Undoubtedly the best and most comprehensive account of the war underground, a history of the Tunnelling Companies, RE, during the Great War. In all twenty-five British, three Australian, three Canadian and one N Zealand company were formed.
After a shaky start in December 1914 the miners of the BEF gradually overcame their opposite numbers in the grim warfare under the trenches, and had finally defeated them by the time of Messines in June 1917. But, as the narrative shows, the war for the miners did not end there as they fought through the German Spring 1918 offensive and the BEF’s Advance to Victory. Demolitions, booby traps, neutralising anti-tank mines, even fighting as infantry (No 1 and No 2 RE Battalions) were among the tasks and roles allotted to them.