This blog commemorates the donation of a new addition to the Museum’s collectionREME Electricians at Sea.

Written by Staff Sergeant Rodney Harpham, it covers the period 1956 to 1992 and is a record of the service of Marine Trained and Sea Duty REME Electricians who served with 20 Maritime Regiment, and the Royal Corps of Transport and its predecessors.

SSgt Harpham is well-placed to have written the book, as he formally served with HMAV Arakan, NMAV Ardennes and 17 Port and Maritime Regiment RCT (HMAV now stands for His Majesty’s Army Vessel).

He writes:

little if anything has been written concerning the part played by the REME Electrician himself and the unique role he occupied as a member of the ship’s company…..The Maritime and Sea Duty Electricians were a breed apart, they served in arduous conditions on equipment and in surroundings which much of their Corps never knew existed, they wore uniforms of naval blue, were posted to a specific vessel as a member of the ship’s company and rarely, if ever, was it noticed that they wore the REME cap badge and shoulder badges…..these men should be remembered.

The book is a suitably comprehensive and thorough overview of the important contribution made by this dedicated group of men, and we are very grateful to SSgt Harpham for his generous donation. We are delighted to add it to the Museum’s collection.

 Three men (one in camouflage, two in suits) stand in front of a vehicle in a museum. The centremost man holds a book.

The official presentation of the book in the World War Two Gallery at the Museum. From left to right: Warrant Officer Class 1 (Corps ASM) Mark Lynch, SSgt Rodney Harpham, and Museum Curator, Richard Davies.

Our Archives has a large collection of papers, books, manuals and other publications that tell a multitude of stories of REME units and personnel in training and on operations. Some of these are donated to us by units themselves, while others are more personal accounts from REME personnel recalling their experiences.

Would you like to know more about a specific subject? Take a look at our Research services or contact us. 

How to donate

Do you have something at home related to REME personnel, units or other aspects of REME History? Find out how to Donate an Item and our processes for accepting items into our collection.

Curator, Richard Davies