Reconnaissance Regiment

New Acquisition

11th August 2017

The Archive has just received a fascinating collection of documents relating to 1st Reconnaissance Regiment RAC from the family of Recce Corps veteran Kenneth Nellar. These papers include photographs, newspaper cutting, journals and a membership card for the Comrades Association of the Reconnaissance Corps

recce insertThe black and white photograph seen here is an official photograph which shows the crew of 1st Recce Regt. Humber Mk IV posing for the camera. Handwritten annotations on the reverse of the photograph identifies the location as Camp 520 Beir Jenja in Palastine, 1945. The crew member standing on the right is Kenneth Neller.

What is perhaps most fascinating item in the donation, is the ledger. The rather unassuming plain brown paper cover hides and protects the water damage and general wear and tear which has resulted in loose pages being held in place with sellotape. Titled ‘1st Reconnaissance Regt. RAC 1941-1946’, the ledger lists the officers and men alphabetically and records which Squadron; HQ, A, B, and C they are in. Each entry is handwritten in a variety of pen and pencil in a hand drawn grid featuring their service number, rank, name, relationship and address of each soldier. Interestingly some entries even include additional details such as ‘died of wounds’ or on happier note which regiment they transferred to which allows us to track some service personals movements.

The Recce. Corps RAC was formed following an analysis of the performance of the British Expeditionary Forces in France in 1940, a new corps, named the Reconnaissance Corps, was officially created on 14th January 1941. The corps was charged with providing reconnaissance for the infantry divisions, though in truth they were deployed in a wide variety of roles. The Reconnaissance Corps served throughout the Second World War in all major theatres. On 1st August 1946, after exemplary service at the vanguard on the Army, with only the enemy in front, the Recce Corps was finally disbanded but not forgotten as The Recce Corps Comrades Association, journal and affiliates provide testament to.