Photo postcard of Royal Engineers of UK with Christmas and New Year's wishes.
Label LR ‘RATTLE & CO. PORTSMOUTH', store locate in that town.
Mailed from Portsmouth to Kingston, dated postmark ‘DEC 23 15’
Some toning spots on back. Card is 'curved'
The First World War saw a rapid transformation of the Royal Engineers as new technologies became ever more important in the conduct of warfare and engineers undertook an increasing range of roles. In the front line they designed and built fortifications, operated poison gas equipment, repaired guns and heavy equipment, and conducted underground warfare beneath enemy trenches. Support roles included the construction, maintenance and operation railways, bridges, water supply and inland waterways, as well as telephone, wireless and other communications. As demands on the Corps increased, its manpower was expanded from a total (including reserves) of about 25,000 in August 1914, to 315,000 in 1918.
In 1915, in response to German mining of British trenches under the then static siege conditions of the First World War, the corps formed its own tunnelling companies. Manned by experienced coal miners from across the country, they operated with great success until 1917, when after the fixed positions broke, they built deep dugouts such as the Vampire dugout to protect troops from heavy shelling.