No. 4 Siege Company in World War 1
from Low & Everett’s history of the Regiment

A war-time Coy., authorized 26th August, 1914, formed 14th September, 1914.

To Chatham 18th November, 1914.

Embarked Southampton 13th December, 1914 for B.E.F.

This Coy. was the first of the war-time Coys. raised by R.M.R.E. On landing - after a short period under C.R.E. G.H.Q. troops - the Coy. was posted to V Corps as Corps troops at Ypres and worked in area of "Hill 60." For the next two years and eight months it served continuously in the salient of Ypres. During this long period its tasks followed the usual pattern for Corps troops, R.E.

It was in the vicinity of the first German gas attack in the spring of 1915, but seems to have escaped without any casualties from that cause.

The Coy. greatly distinguished itself at the Battle of Messines, June, 1917. An immediate award of the M.C. was made to Capt. Crawford-Clarke (2 i/c). In late 1917 the Coy. for a short time moved from 2nd Army Area to 1st Army Area and then was withdrawn to the L. of C. for a period. Early in 1918 it was moved to Nancy in the French zone and was employed on the erection of hutting for the R.A.F. whose special task was the bombing of the Ruhr. At this time the “endurance" of loaded bombers would not allow them to reach the Ruhr from the British zone.
The late summer of 1918 found the Coy. back in Northern France, where it took part in the final advance to the Armistice line of 11th November, 1918.

This fine Coy. was recruited from the first rush of men who responded to Kitchener's call for 100,000 men - "The first hundred thousand." They enlisted for the duration of the war and were magnificent material. No.4 suffered more fatal casualties - 31 - than any other R.M.R.E. Coy. Several decorations and mentions in despatches were awarded to officers and other ranks.

About September, 1917, on leaving X Corps, the Coy. received a special commendation. C.E., X Corps (Major General Tulloch, late R.E.) wrote:- "On leaving the Corps, the Chief Engineer wishes to thank the 4th Siege Coy. R.M.R.E. for the good work they have done during the two years and eight months they were in the Ypres salient, which constituted a record for any unit, and the 4th Siege Company have reason to be proud of their fine performances. Their contribution towards the success of the operations has already been referred to by the Corps Commander, and I am glad to think that the traditions of the Royal Engineers have been so well upheld by this fine ‘Special Reserve’ unit."

The Company was disbanded in France and the cadre reached Monmouth on 20th June, 1919.