Chief Royal Engineer

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The Chief Royal Engineer (CRE) is the official head of the Corps of Royal Engineers of the British Army. He was also the professional head of the Corps until 1941, when that role was moved to that of the Engineer-in-Chief.

Origin and development[edit]

Before the English Restoration a Chief Engineer was a pay grade and not defined. In 1660 King Charles II appointed Sir Charles Lloyd, who had served in the English Civil War, as head of a new department of engineers.[1] The position was confirmed in a Royal Warrant (26 May 1716), which also authorised the formation of the Corps of Engineers.[1]

When in 1802, Sir William Green, 1st Baronet retired, the office was abolished and Robert Morse became the newly created Inspector-General of Fortifications and of Royal Engineers (IGF).[2] Until 1855 the Inspector-General was attached to the Board of Ordnance and then was subordinate directly to the Commander-in-Chief.[2]

In 1862 the office was extended to Inspector-General of Engineers and Director of Work, keeping the affiliation in the former function while being now responsible to the Secretary of State for War in the latter.[3] On the resignation of Edward Frome in 1869, both offices were separated for one year.[3] The Director of Works was dropped in 1895 and the office was renamed to Inspector-General of Fortifications.[4] It was again abolished in 1904 and replaced by the Director of Fortifications and Works.

Modern times[edit]

In 1936 the post of Chief Royal Engineer was recreated and Sir Bindon Blood was appointed by King George V. Sir Bindon was commissioned into the Royal Engineers in 1860 and had a distinguished active career until he retired in 1907 aged 65. He was thus 94 years old when appointed Chief Royal Engineer. He resigned in 1940 and died a month later aged 97.

Since 1941 the professional head of the Corps has been the Engineer-in-Chief (EinC) who as 'Director of Royal Engineers', acts as the engineer advisor to the Chief of the General Staff (CGS) as well as to the Royal Navy, the Royal Air Force and other government ministries on matters of military engineering on behalf of the CGS. On the domestic (regimental) side of the Corps he issues instructions on behalf of the 'Chief Royal Engineer'.

Today the Chief Royal Engineer is head of the Corps of Royal Engineers and is invariably a distinguished officer of the Corps, his tenure in the post is normally for a period of five years. He is responsible for seeing that the Corps' traditions and customs are preserved and the continuity of important matters of Corps policy. He keeps the Colonel-in-Chief (as of 2009 Queen Elizabeth II) informed on Corps matters and maintains contact with engineer units in the Commonwealth. He will usually have previously served as a Colonel Commandant and will continue to fill one of the vacancies.

Chief Royal Engineers, 1660–1802[edit]

vacant for nine years

vacant for six years

Inspector-Generals of Fortifications, 1802–1862[edit]

Inspector-Generals of Engineers and Directors of Work, 1862–1869[edit]

Inspector-Generals of Engineers, 1869–1870[edit]

Inspector-Generals of Fortifications and Directors of Work, 1870–1895[edit]

Inspector-Generals of Fortifications, 1895–1904[edit]

Directors of Fortifications and Works, 1904–1936[edit]

Chief Royal Engineers, 1936–present[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Whitworth, p. 93
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r Whitworth, p. 94
  3. ^ a b c d e f Whitworth, p. 95
  4. ^ "No. 26685". The London Gazette. 3 December 1895. p. 6992. 
  5. ^ "No. 12804". The London Gazette. 18 November 1786. p. 551. 
  6. ^ "No. 24223". The London Gazette. 29 June 1875. p. 3303. 
  7. ^ "No. 24867". The London Gazette. 27 July 1880. p. 4137. 
  8. ^ "No. 25120". The London Gazette. 23 June 1882. p. 2904. 
  9. ^ "No. 25611". The London Gazette. 27 July 1886. p. 3621. 
  10. ^ a b "No. 26153". The London Gazette. 17 April 1891. p. 2116. 
  11. ^ "No. 26961". The London Gazette. 26 April 1898. p. 2592. 
  12. ^ "No. 27551". The London Gazette. 12 May 1903. p. 2988. 
  13. ^ "No. 27690". The London Gazette. 28 June 1904. p. 4108. 
  14. ^ "No. 28128". The London Gazette. 14 April 1908. p. 2851. 
  15. ^ "No. 28530". The London Gazette. 12 September 1911. p. 6731. 
  16. ^ "No. 30669". The London Gazette (Supplement). 3 May 1918. p. 5424. 
  17. ^ "No. 31865". The London Gazette (Supplement). 13 April 1920. p. 4434. 
  18. ^ "No. 33287". The London Gazette. 24 June 1927. p. 4043. 
  19. ^ "No. 34332". The London Gazette. 16 October 1936. p. 6610. 
  20. ^ "No. 34836". The London Gazette (Supplement). 23 April 1940. p. 2441. 
  21. ^ "No. 37562". The London Gazette (Supplement). 10 May 1946. p. 2271. 
  22. ^ "No. 39327". The London Gazette (Supplement). 4 September 1951. p. 4705. 
  23. ^ "No. 41508". The London Gazette (Supplement). 26 September 1958. p. 5955. 
  24. ^ "No. 42342". The London Gazette (Supplement). 28 April 1961. p. 3258. 
  25. ^ "No. 44357". The London Gazette (Supplement). 30 June 1967. p. 7386. 
  26. ^ "No. 45718". The London Gazette (Supplement). 3 July 1972. p. 7979. 
  27. ^ "No. 47376". The London Gazette (Supplement). 15 November 1977. p. 14320. 
  28. ^ "No. 49237". The London Gazette (Supplement). 17 January 1983. p. 746. 
  29. ^ "No. 51158". The London Gazette (Supplement). 21 December 1987. p. 15609. 
  30. ^ December 1987/supplement/8630 "No. 21 December 1987" Check |url= value (help). The London Gazette (Supplement). 17 May 1993. p. 8630. 
  31. ^ "No. 55481". The London Gazette (Supplement). 10 May 1999. p. 5195. 
  32. ^ "No. 57284". The London Gazette (Supplement). 11 May 2004. p. 5842. 
  33. ^ "No. 59058". The London Gazette (Supplement). 12 May 2009. p. 8060. 
  34. ^ "No. 60669". The London Gazette (Supplement). 29 October 2013. p. 21336. 

References[edit]

  • Porter, Whitworth (1889). History of the Corps of Royal Engineers. vol. II. London: Longmans, Green and Co. 

External links[edit]