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1950's era BAOR REME serial numbers


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What were the serial numbers inside REME Arm of Service markings in the BAOR from 1949 to 1959?


According to an unknown reference found on the wdbsa.nl website, they were 40 for Div HQ; 88, 90, 99, and 100 for Bde Workshops; and 73 for LAD Rgt, during the war. And I have seen 66 and 104 on REME AoS squares on preserved BSA M20's, which are serial numbers that I have not been able to date or identify.


Does anyone know what the REME serial numbers were after the war in the British Zone of Occupation?


More specifically, I have an all original, near complete BSA WD M20, with BAOR registration numbers on the mudguards, and a 1955 REME rebuild tag marked "4 BASE WKSP REME", which was located at HQ, BAOR, in Bad Oeyenhausen.

I have recovered the ilegible remains of a REME AoS marking. I am preserving the bike, a barn find, in its current condition (1959 demobilization/surplus sale), but I would like to restore the AoS marking with a historically accurate serial number.


It's my understanding that the REME Base Workshops did not mobilize to NW Europe until after the war, so they would not have had any of the serial numbers cited above, I don't think.



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Hi Clive,


Thanks very much for those links. By happenstance, I was just reading your EMLRA articles on the same subject, which look to have been formed from the same sources.


If I'm reading them correctly, it looks as if REME units assigned to Divisions (HQ, and Bde Workshops) in the BAOR used the same serial number scheme they used in wartime up through 1959.


In 1952, additional serial numbers were assigned for HQ REME (70), Corps Workshops (71), Recovery Units (72), and Medium Workshops (73). If I'm reading that correctly in concert with a tidy information paper I found on-line about REME, this mirrored the basic US logistics and maintenance system (or vice versa as the case may be), where the Divisional workshops performed 2nd echelon tasks (general maintenance), the Medium Workshops performed 3rd echelon tasks (repair), and the Corps Workshops performed 4th echelon tasks (overhauls/re-builds). But I'm not sure about Base Workshops. Is that term synonymous with Corps Workshops? Or would the Base Workshop level vehicles be a 5th echelon and wear a '70' for HQ instead? My bike was rebuilt by Base Workshop 4, so I am keen to understand that.


Then, in 1959, it looks as though the entire serial number system was revamped and expanded. HQ REME Corps Troops became 260, Medium Workshops were assigned 262, 262, and 264, Arm'd Recovery Units were assigned 270 and 271, Inf. Recovery Units to 274 and 275, and Tels Workshop got 279. (Incidentally, what does "Tels" refer to? The only thing I can think of is 'Transporter erector launcher', which I suspect is not right.)


In conclusion, it looks as though if I want to portray my BSA WD M20 as belonging to a 1950's era BAOR REME line unit, I should use 40, 88, 89, or 90, and if I want to portray it as a Base/Corps bike at a Base/Corps level workshop, I should use either 70 or 260. Would you agree?

Edited by Wingnutt
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