110 PROVOST COMPANY CMP

From deep within the archives I have found a short history of 110 Provost Company CMP

which covers the period 1st June 1944 to the 8th May 1945. I do not know the author and I

will transcribe it just as it is written.

At the beginning of June 1944, just prior to “D” Day, 110th Provost Company C.M.P. were

stationed at Wakehurst Place, Ardingly, Sussex, where they went through the final preparations for

the invasion of Europe with 8th Corps.
Certain elements of the Company, attached to Tac H.Q. 2nd Army, arrived in Normandy on “D”

Day, and sections 1 and 6 arrived on “D” plus 2. The remainder of the Company were phased in and the first Company H.Q. was set up at BRETTEVILLE, a small town a few miles west of CAEN on the main CAEN – BAYEUX road on “D” plus 14.    During the initial bridgehead battles this Company had control of routes and tracks used for both operational and maintenance Traffic. A large amount of the operational traffic was Armour, which made conditions doubly difficult.

For the crossing of the ORNE 110th Provost Company had to police the approaches and

bridges across the river which were continually under fire and aerial attack. When 8th Corps was switched to the right flank at CALMONT the first F.M.C. was opened, signed and policed by this Company.

Came the FALAISE GAP and the chase across France and Belgium. During this operation

110th Provost Company signed and policed a 265 mile stretch of HAT route, which was used firstly to maintain other formations, and later to move up 8th Corps formations to join the battle of Holland. 110th Provost Company finally stopped at the Belgium village of ACHEL, 1 mile from the Dutch border.

While we were there 8th Corps had the role of holding the flank for the NIJMEGEN –

ARNHEM airborne operation. When, however, the enemy cut 30 Corps only operational and supply

route at UDEM a Sergeant and 6 N.C.O.s of this Company, led by the A.P.M. 8 th Corps, Lt.-Col.

Fitzgerald O.B.E., signed an un reconnoitered route under the noses of enemy fighting troops thus reopening the way for 30 Corps. 1500 vehicles were waiting on the road while they did this.

Company H.Q. was set up for the first time in Holland on 20th September 1944, and after two

moves to MILL and HELMOND, finally settled down for the winter at LEENDE where we stayed till March 1945.   Duties this time consisted of policing and road patrols of various districts where 8th Corps   Troops were stationed, including the Corps F.M.C. This task was further complicated by the severe frost and disastrous thaw which followed.   Until the move into Germany in March, we first operated bridges over the MAAS and later worked with operational troops for the crossing of the RHINE. For this latter crossing one section operated with the Commando Brigade for the assault

crossing and were commended by the Brigade Commander for their good work under fire. Elements of the F.M.C. section went forward on the initial crossing, while a third section controlled the bridges under constant aerial attack for four days and nights.

For the crossing of the WESER a section was attached to the 6th (Guards) Tank Brigade, and the whole Company moved rapidly forward to the ELBE once again being stretched out over more than 100 miles of route, from just over the RHINE to LUNEBURG.   Once again Sections of the Company operated with the assault troops of 15th (S) Division and 79th  Armoured. Division. On this operation one section had to improvise a P. W. cage at H plus 2 until a regular cage was set up the next day.

V.E. Day found the Company H.Q. at LUBECK controlling Corps routes and the last F.M.C. the sixteenth since “D” Day.   Through all these operations from “D” Day to V.E. Day the casualties of the Company were three killed and approximately 12 wounded. On Sergeant died in England of wounds received.

Awards were as follows:-

1 M.B.E.   2612483 WOI (RSM) W R Wakefield

1 Croix de Guerre  No.187802 Capt J D Brown, Sherwood Foresters, OC 110 Pro Coy.    (Orne river crossing).

9 Mentioned in Despatches,

6 C. in C. Certificated for good service during the campaign.

Ed: The photograph shows Brigadier JN Cheney OBE PM (BAOR) visiting the unit sometime after VE Day. The Company was in Lubeck on the 8th May 1945.  

 29th June 1946 the Company was disbanded detachments at Preetz, Plon, Neumunster, Kiel.

Original document held by RMP Museum.

See extracts from 110 Pro Coy War Diaries, North West Europe No's WO 171/3377 and WO 171/7822 and WO 171/10790.

Known casualties:

17/4/43 No. 4694323 L/Cpl Ambler, G R, buried Greetland (St Thomas) church yard, Halifax in Sec G Grave 30.   Unit at West Acres, Norfolk, no mention of death in War Diary WO 166/13683.

13/9/44 No. 5629921 L/Cpl Burbridge W Y, 8 Section was killed whilst on duty and was buried at MR 673418 in grave B1381. He is now buried in St. Charles De Percy War Cemetery, Calvados, France, grave. VII.B.6.   He was riding a motor cycle when he was hit by a lorry and killed instantly.

5/4/45 No. 14251494 L/Cpl Cooke S T, 8 Section was killed in an accident on the canal bridge (GR 960026.   Kellen, Ladbergen and Schmedehausen bridges.   He is buried in Rheinberg War Cemetery, Germany, in grave 13. C. 22.

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110 PROVOST COMPANY RMP

110 Provost Company RMP was formed on the 1st April 1977 on the restructuring of 1 (Br) Corps.

The Company Headquarters was based in Normandy Barracks, Sennelager and a detachment was

based at Bindon Barracks, Hameln. The Company was five platoons strong, Nos 1 and 2 forming
Hameln Detachment, 3, 4 and 5 being based in Sennelager. Prior to the formation of the Company,

Sennelager had been policed by a detachment of 115 Provost Company, based in Werl, and Hameln

by a detachment of 114 Provost Company in Detmold. The staff on formation was:

OC Major R H Poole MBE BEM RMP

2IC Captain I R Barton RMP

Ops Offr Lt J Dransfield RMP

RSM WO1 D T Powell RMP

Hameln Detachment

Commander WO2 M H R Burgher RMP.   The photograph below was taken on the 24th August

1977 and shows the PM BAOR speaking to Corporal Marsh during an inspection of the unit.   On the 1st October 1977 the Company became operational. At the time it was declared operational the

Company was assisting in the control of Ex Autumn Sales.   During this exercise the River Rhine was bridged at two points simultaneously in the area of Remagen. For the first time since the war the local population saw an advance and assault across the Rhine by the British Army.

By 1st October 1978, after one year’s operational role, the Company had undergone changes. The OC was Major BW Faulkner RMP, Captain Dransfield RMP was now 2IC and Lt RJ Stirrat RMP had taken over as Ops Offr. WO1 M Kent had taken over as RSM and Mick Burgher was still at Hameln. On the 1st October 1978 the Company took Bielefeld and Gutersloh into its areas of responsibility. The Company at that stage had an area of responsibility in each of the four divisions. It policed the Garrison towns of Paderborn, Gutersloh, Bielefeld, Hameln, Hannover, Hildesheim and Wolfenbutel which contained a total of 26,000 servicemen, dependants, UK based civilian dependants.   The following changes were made to the status of 110 Provost Company during the period April 1994 to March 1995. Werl Detachment closed in March 1994 as a result of Draw down and the area of responsibility was assumed by Dortmund Detachment. At the same time Bielefeld Detachment was reduced to a Police Post. Later that year, in November Detmold Detachment was also reduced to a Police Post.   As at the 31st March 1995 110 Provost Company had its Headquarters and Sennelager Detachment in Normandy Barracks, Sennelager BFPO 16. Gutersloh Detachment was located in Princess Royal Barracks BFPO 47. Dortmund Detachment was in Suffolk Barracks BFPO 20 and there were Police Posts at Bielefeld (BFPO 39) and Detmold (BFPO 41).   The next piece of information I discovered was that in 1995 the role of the unit was to provide Provost Operational Support to 1 (UK) Armoured Division and 20 Armoured Brigade and RMP Support to Paderborn and Gutersloh Garrisons and Dortmund Station. The OC at the time was Major P C House, 2IC was Captain C H Barker and the RSM was WO1 S Ansell.   Since those days there has been a lot of water under the bridge and many changes but somehow 110 Provost Company has survived and I know you are all avid readers of the RMP Corps Journal (Who

said, I’m not?) so you would be bang up to date in that the Company, as recorded in April’s edition, is part of 1st Regiment, Royal Military Police and is in the process of establishing itself in Leuchars

where one Company Main Body and one detachment is based with detachments at Sennelager and

Gutersloh.   Unlike most of my write-ups on provost units, history is still being made by 110 Provost Company and long may it continue to do so.

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