RE1017 dockopcoy

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North Africa - Mediterranean - Italy - Palestine and Egypt
WW2 Royal Engineers 1017 Docks Op Coy

WHMJ is standing on the right of the picture pipe in hand

NEW... The background and story of my father's involvement with the salvaging of the 'Saroena' off Beirut 1943 - 'The Beirut File 1943'

William Hugh Middleton-Jones' Bio

Royal Engineers – Regiment 1017 Docks Operational Company 1940-1945


North Africa – Palestine and Egypt


This is a site to research into the background and locations of my father William Hugh Middleton Jones (Army No. 2129077) who served in the above Military unit/regiment during WW2.


Military record in brief;

The below is a very brief overview of my father’s service, mainly in North Africa, Mediterranean, Palestine and Italy. When receiving army records for a relation, you only receive the briefest of details, and therefore locations, conflicts and unit diaries etc will have to be investigated and researched at various archives, such as at the Kew National archives.

Brief Overview

He joined the Royal Engineers’ regiment via a Territorial Army unit and was detached in the UK from 1940 to July 1941. From July/August 1941 to August 1945 my father was in North Africa.

His army records state he was at home from 17/10/40 to 27/7/41 (284 days) and overseas from 28/7/41 to 19/8/45 (4 years 23 days)


He actually embarked for overseas on 8/7/41 and was ‘released’ to class Z list in the January of 1946 – with a class A release On May 2nd 1946.


At the start of the outbreak of WW2 his rank and trade was 2129077 sapper Jones WHM Unit No 1 RTC RE.

His certificate of trade proficiency was undertaken at Longmoor camp (Hampshire) on 20 November 1940.

He completed his test for trade of checker (railway) Group D, on 17/10/40 signed off by Captain RE OC ‘B’ Coy No 8 Railway.



Active duty:


Docks Operational company 1017 Palestine 17/9/41

Egypt 6/4/43

Italy 9/10/43


Casualty card;

Admitted to hospital – 3/NZ General Hospital Beirut 19/7/42 and discharged two weeks later on 3/8/42


I know my father was involved in the first battle of El-Alamein, Egypt, July 1 to 27th 1942, and this coincides with his hospital admission.



I will add further details under various headings when I have researched and checked the locations etc. In the meantime various avenues of archival research will be looked into, such as the Kew National archives, The London gazette (awards and mentions of despatches etc) and the Royal Engineers’ Museum in Kent


The above photograph of my father was taken in January 1945 while still overseas - he is pictured here with a model galleon he made for the Officers' mess of HQ 5 Port operating group CMF - Italy
Click on picture for larger image

Letter from Officers mess of thanks for the making of the galleon

Please get in touch with any comments or reactions to my site.