Gravelroots 13 Field Survey Squadron
main index Fernhurst Index The Rother Valley
West Sussex, England

13 Field Survey Squadron

Vintage trail | Rother valley trail | photo galleries | local travel | Venue | pubs | churches | headstones | emergency services archive | old railways | contact us | more



13 Field Survey Squadron, Royal Engineers, at Fernhurst
A short history extracted from the Souvenir programme on the 150th Anniversary of the Squadron
The unit under Major. Wise moved to Egypt some time in early 1948. Authority was given in July 1948 by GHQ MELF for the disbandment of 13 Fd Svy Sqn RE and this took place at Fayid on 31 August 1948 when the personnel of the squadron were absorbed into 42 Survey Engineer Regiment, at that time commanded by Lt Col C. Belfield.
13 Field Survey Squadron RE was reformed at Tolworth in, as far as can be determined, April 1950. No 1 Survey Computing Unit RE had moved to Tolworth from Bushy Park sometime in 1949, and it was this unit, which redesignated, formed the nucleus of the squadron.
Maj C St A Wylie was in command, and a year later in April 1951 he moved the unit to Fernhurst Camp, West Sussex. In this particularly pleasant location the squadron was to remain for close on 13 years.
Maj E H T Silva assumed command in August 1953 and in turn handed over to Capt E. Halliday in July 1956. Since arriving at Fernhurst the unit had been involved in many field survey and map production tasks.
The main role in the summer months however was the training of the Army Emergency Reserve survey units. The squadron was also responsible for all Survey Service recruiting displays.
The late summer of 1956 saw the Suez Crisis and the squadron became closely involved in the survey support provided for the operation.
Maj W L Covington RE commanded the unit from January 1957 to August 1959, during this period field survey detachments were sent to Cyprus, the Arabian Peninsula, British North Borneo, the Seychelle Islands and Christmas Island.
The establishment was increased in June 1958 by one captain and 10 ORs for the geodetic surveys necessary for 'Operation Emily', the installation of Thor Guided Missile sites. The task was to continue until September 1962 when the weapons became obsolescent.
more here
In August 1959 Maj W W Ker took over command to be followed in August 1960 by Maj E Halliday MBE. The unit continued in its role of providing survey parties for classified and special tasks in UK. In 1961 the squadron assumed responsibility for producing the indexes for the Army Map and Chart Catalogue, this was to continue through 1962 and 1963.
Maj D P S Wilson MBE assumed command of the squadron in April 1962. Early in 1963 a troop was sent to Kenya to carry out surveys for a large land settlement scheme and demarcation of a regional boundary. The troop was located at Kinangop and the survey covered approximately 50,000 acres.
In January 1964 the unit left Fernhurst Camp and moved to Aden. The establishment of the squadron was revised and consisted of 5 Officers and 92 other ranks.
The Squadron arrived at Falaise Camp, Little Aden, in January 1964 and moved from there to Normandy Lines, Khormaksar, in August 1964, where until its return to the United Kingdom in June 1967, it provided mapping and general survey support for operations within Middle East Command, as well as completing survey commitments for the Ministry of Defence. Maj Wilson handed over command of the unit to Maj E W Barton MBE RE in August 1965.
The principal field survey tasks consisted of second order traverses from Ethiopia through Perim Island and along the South Arabian coast as far as Riyan. Traverses were also extended northwards into the Radfan Mountains and the Beihan State, and the combined topographic troops spent two seasons traversing in the Dhofar Province of the Sultanate of Muscat and Oman, covering an area of 25,000 sq. miles. Other tasks included assisting the US Army Map Service in their satellite tracking projects, providing gravity, astronomical and magnetic surveys in South Arabia, carrying out scale checks on the existing Trucial Coast Triangulation, boundary surveys at Buraimi Oasis, survey attachments for the Combined Services Expedition to Socotra, and miscellaneous control and large scale surveys in Bahrain, Masirah Island, Sharjah, Yas Island and Aden. A topographical troop was deployed to the Radfan during the operations there to supply height control for essential mapping.
The reproduction work of the Squadron included the compilation of new maps, both at large scale and for town plans, the production of air photo mosaics, the reprinting of existing maps to maintain stocks, and the provision of overprints for operations, boundaries and restricted areas. In 3½ years a total of 500,000 maps were printed.
The main party of the squadron left Aden by air at 24 hours notice on 29 June 1967. On returning the Squadron was located in 'B' Camp, Barton Stacey.

return to previous page
Fernhurst index
This section is ongoing and changes or additions are being made. If you wish to add to, or comment on, the above please contact us. Anyone wishing to contact the contributor may do so by emailing us and your message and email address will be passed on.
Gravelroots publish historical information, as presented to us, in good faith. The authors of researched family history have invariably attempted to create an accurate account or no purpose would have been served in researching it. Although we do seek to ensure that information contained throughout the website is accurate it is impractical to check the accuracy of all the information contained therein. As with all historical research, you should check other sources for corresponding data, rather than rely on any one source.


Not found it?
try main index
or search whole site below
use one or two keywords
search index of every
word on Gravelroots


Visit the Rother Valley Trail
Visit the Vintage Trail


Gravelroots is a locally operated website based at Fernhurst on the Sussex, Surrey & Hampshire border.
Information and images are updated throughout this site on a constant daily basis. If you regularly use or
have visited these pages previously remember to refresh the pages for any new entries...Refresh page.
If you are searching for specific information and unable to find it, or you see errors, please let us know.


Why do we show adverts?
How is the site funded?
Support us

Many of the images shown on our pages are often available as downloads via email.
click for more information
Our offline archives are very extensive. If you are seeking a particular image, let us know.

Todays photos, observations and news are tomorrows history, be part of it.
You can add photos, documents or information to these pages, or even start a new one.
Simply e-mail your material to us & share it with everyone. Your material will be credited to you.
A short selection of links to some of the many other sections from Gravelroots
The Vintage Trail - - emergency services archive - - The Rother Valley Trail - - Churches - - Headstones - - Venue - Gigs & musicians - - Pubs & Hotels - - more
Rother Valley Modern Communities
Chithurst - - Cocking - - Didling - - Duncton - - Easebourne - - East Lavington - - Fernhurst - - Fittleworth - - Graffham
Harting - - Heyshott - - Iping - - Lickfold - - Linch - - Lodsworth - - Lurgashall - - Midhurst - - Milland - - Northchapel
Nyewood - - Petworth - - Rogate - - Selham - - South Ambersham - - Stedham - - Sutton - - Tillington - - Trotton - - Upperton
This page is part of Gravelroots
Searching for something specific, use the indexes
This site is best viewed full screen, F11, in 1024 x 768 or higher
WaterAids vision is of a world where everyone has access to safe water and sanitation

Why do we show adverts, how is the site funded? - Support us
copyright information
page top
main index
All we have of freedom
All we use or know
This our fathers bought for us
Long and long ago
Rudyard Kipling

    last page edit Aug.2017

Fight SpamValid CSS
page protected by copy sentry