Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers
“The REME mission is ‘To keep the punch in the British Army’s fist*’ by providing technical support in every unit across the world.”
*Field Marshal Bernard Law Montgomery, 1942
Before the formation of the Corps of Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME), maintenance and repair of equipment was the responsibility of the arms and services that used it most. This spread of repair organisations was uneconomical and often difficult for those units that had multiple authorities covering their equipment. Attempts made to streamline repair into a centralised system were rejected on the grounds that it would weaken the self-reliance of a unit, the esprit-de-corps of those tradesmen involved and would be too expensive to set up during World War II.
By the time of the Second World War, however, technology had expanded so much that the existing repair system simply could not support the massive scale or complexity of equipment in use. Following the recommendations of a Cabinet committee chaired by Sir William Beveridge, REME was formed on 1 October 1942 from an existing branch of the Royal Army Ordnance Corps. This was supported by the transfer of technical tradesmen from the Royal Engineers, Royal Army Service Corps and other Corps.
Soon after formation, REME was tested at the Battle of El-Alamein and proved successful. The Corps grew and adapted throughout the war, not only in terms of repair, maintenance and recovery, but also by taking on crucial roles such as waterproofing vehicles, parts manufacturing, and beach recovery.
In 1949, the Corps took over full responsibility for unit repair. Light Aid Detachments (LADs) were provided for units that did not already have them under the old organisation and new REME workshops were created to take over field repairs.
REME Aviation has provided First Line support for maintenance and repair for all aircraft operated by the Army Air Corps (AAC) since it re-formed in 1957.
With the advancements in aviation technology, REME Aviation has adapted to support more sophisticated equipment and helicopters. This included a move to provide depth support at aircraft workshops keeping the repair and maintenance activity as close to the AAC user as practicable.
In support of British Army operations, REME Aviation has deployed to conflicts and peacekeeping missions around the world. They continue to provide essential support for the maintenance and repair of a wide range of aircraft, including helicopters and unmanned aerial vehicles. REME Aviation plays a crucial role in ensuring the readiness and operational effectiveness of the British Army’s aviation assets.
Demonstration and Trials Squadron Light Aid Detachment, Middle Wallop, 1980
Air Tech Wings
REME Aircraft Technician Badge
Desert Hawk III Uncrewed Air Vehicle