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    " It was the removal of beach obstacles, the building of
    ammo, food and supply dumps and construction that the
    majority of the 6,000 Pioneers, who landed on D-Day, were
Much of the work was carried out under artillery

    and small-arms fire with the ever present risk of touching
    off a land-mine… "

Major E H Rhodes-Wood

  Latest News               last updated -






Summer / Autumn 2024 - we are updating the site at last !

So far I have put on all the newsletters upto the last one we did last December. The updated links are over on the right of this message!

Also I have updated the Contact details, the research details (now moved to National Archives, from Personnel Office) and varous other out of date details.

This is an on-going process. I am looking at finally getting online, now that we have capacity to upload all of our photo galleries !

Please bare with me as we are also working on The Fighting Pioneer Book and in addition another book, that I will let you all know more about in due course!

In addition this year we have the 75th Reunion Weekend taking place in Bicester.

 Events Calendar

Events are now published on the Facebook Group Events Page,
which can be accessed by clicking the above link.
We also publish details in our newsletter.


 Joining the Royal Pioneer Corps Association

It is now over twenty years since our Corps converged with the other Forming Corps' to form the Royal Logistic Corps, it is pleasing therefore to report that the Association is standing the test of time and still going strong. So far this year we have recruited hundreds of new members, some who served during World War 2, many from the National Service days of the Fifties and a great number from the Sixties and Seventies who for one reason or another failed to join when they were serving.

Over 21,000 have joined the RPCA since its formation. When you make contact with ex Corps members or ex RLC Pioneers ask if they receive the newsletters - tell them it is FREE!

If they do not please send me their address. If you would like to join the RPCA, drop me an email and I will send you details on how to join. Our reunions are open to all Pioneers and we look forward to seeing you all.

A group photo from the Reunion in 2013.

  The Royal Pioneer Corps Association Online...

HRH The Duke of Gloucester  KG GCVO

Vice Patrons

Major General G W Field  CB OBE


Brigadier D Clouston MBE


Lt Colonel Billy Dilkes (Retd)

Although the Royal Pioneer Corps disbanded in 1993 when it was amalgamated with 4 other Corps to form the Royal Logistic Corps, the Royal Pioneer Association still runs and does valuable work with the financial help of the Army Benevolent Fund. It's main work is the relief of "need, hardship and distress" of ex-Pioneers, their wives, widows and dependants.

The Corps has quietly got on with business in hand, sometimes with recognition, often with none at all. A price was paid and you will find the graves of Pioneers in most War Cemetaries overseas - they paid heavily. Our overseas Pioneers must never be forgotten; they too gave their lives and served loyally. The Association will provide the focal point for the Royal Pioneer Corps affairs both socially and supportively. It will need your involvement and encouragement.

The Association publishes a very large magazine once a year (we used to do 2 smaller ones, but it is cheaper to produce one large one, than 2 smaller ones!). These newsletters are published on this website. Under the umbrella of the Association there are also a number of organisations - details of their activities are also to be included. In the main these are:

  •  39/93 Club Dinners
  •  Warrant Officers and Senior NCO's Pioneer Reunion Club
  •  Northampton Branch of the Royal Pioneer Corps Association

» website, editorial & assistance - Paul Brown
» historian & research - Lieutenant Colonel John Starling

and many thanks to all the ex-pioneers, serving
pioneers, relatives and everyone who has submitted articles
and stories to the association, for the benefit of everyone

      The Pioneer

Dec 2023

   Dec 2022

   Dec 2021

   Dec 2020

   Nov 2019

   Nov 2018

   April 2018

   Oct 2017

   April 2017

   Oct 2016

   April 2016

   Oct 2015

 There are many
 ways to stay in
The best way is
 via Facebook,  where we have
 quite an active
 group and for 
 which there are
 a few other
 Pioneer related  groups.

 The other way is
 via our forums
 which are still
 there and for
 which there are
 hundreds of
 posts containing
 a wealth of
 information on
 Pioneer and
 Labour Corps
 research by
 Norman and our
 resident historian
 Lt Col John



 Please read the
 forums section  for more info
 on how to use


  The strength of the   Corps in May 1945
  was probably one
  of the largest in the   Army and included   12,000 officers,
  16,000 UK
  personnel and
  400,000 Pioneers
  from other parts of
  the Commonwealth.
  It was responsible
  for a civilian labour
  force of 1,074,000
  and a prisoner of
  war force of

  Very little has been
  said about the
  Pioneer units that
  landed on the
  beaches on D-Day,
  June 6, 1944 and
  they are the
  forgotten Corps.

. The Pioneers
  however played an
  essential role on
  D-Day and many
  other campaigns
  and suffered many

  At 7.45am, the first
  Pioneers landed,
  53 Coy, and, after
  them, in quick
  succession the men
  of 129 Coy, 170
  Coy, 225 Coy and
  209 Coy. The
  smaller men were
  up to their necks in
  the heavy swell
  which accounted
  for a number of
  those reported
  missing by nightfall.

  26 Pioneer
  Companies went   ashore on D-Day in   Normandy on
  6th June 1944,
  some 6,000 men.
  By D-Day plus 79
  there were 231   Companies. Over
  68,000 men.

  With each group
  that landed on
  D-Day was a
  Pioneer Corps
  Unit. Their task
  was to clear mines
  and underwater
  obstacles, unload
  landing craft, build
  ammunition and
  other dumps,
  construct beach
  tracks to carry the
  guns, armour and
  vehicles to the firm
  land beyond, act as
  stretcher bearers,
  collect and
  evacuate the
  wounded, guard
  prisoners and, if
  necessary, join the
  assault forces in
  the battle. Many
  of the tasks
  undertaken by the
  Pioneers were done
  under enemy fire.

  Army Commanders
  in every theatre of
  war paid tribute to
  the work of the
  Corps without
  which they freely   admitted that the
  war could not
  have been won.

  Over 2,800 British   personnel of the
  Corps laid down
  their lives overseas,
. suffering more
. than 26,000
. casualties.

  This website is
  here to remember
  the role of the
  Pioneers and to
  honour those whom
  have made the
  ultimate sacfifice.



Labor Omnia Vincit