The Corps of the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME) provides engineering support and is responsible for maintaining and repairing the Army’s equipment. They will be found wherever the army is located at home or overseas.
During the Second World War, the Army had difficulty providing its men with sufficient training in the maintenance and repair of its increasingly sophisticated vehicles and weapons. It was also impossible to enforce best practices, which resulted in efficiency falling off at a time when a consistently high standard was required. In October 1942, the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers was established to meet these technological challenges. This unit of dedicated technicians, mechanics and electricians drew its personnel from the Royal Army Ordnance Corps, the Royal Army Service Corps, the Royal Engineers and the Royal Signals.
By May 1945, the unit had 158,000 officers and men, most of whom had to be released at the end of the war to help revive British industry. In 1948, its work in the war was recognised by having ‘Corps’ officially incorporated into its title. It developed further in the immediate post-war period, taking on nearly all other units’ repair duties in 1951.
Since 1945, REME has played a vital role in all of the Army’s operations. It was present in Palestine(1945-48), Egypt (1945-56), Malaya (1948-60), Korea (1950-53), Kenya (1952-56), Cyprus (1954-2014), Northern Ireland (1969-2007), the Falklands (1982), the Gulf War (1990-91), Kosovo (1999), Sierra Leone (2000), Iraq (2003-11) and Afghanistan (2002-14).