John Hampden “Jack” Bingley (1902-1980) and World War II
On 12 August 1939, three weeks before Britain declared war on Germany, my maternal grandfather – John Hampden Bingley, usually known as “Jack” – applied to join the British Army Officers’ Emergency Reserve.
At the beginning of July 1940, Jack was called up for duty. As he was a qualified mining engineer he was assigned to the Royal Engineers, where he belonged to several of its companies, rising through the ranks to become a ‘Major’.
Jack’s British Army records show that he served in the following groups / companies:
- 11 July 1940 – training at Royal School of Military Engineers, Chatham, Kent – 2nd lieutenant
- 20 July 1940 – No. 3 Tunnelling Group, 180 Tunnelling Company, Chatham, Kent
- 19 September 1940 – 179 Tunnelling Company, Chatham, Kent
- 23 July 1941 – 4th Tunnelling Engineers, Scarborough, Yorkshire – acting captain, then temporary captain
- 28 November 1941 – 179 (Special) Tunnelling Company, Scarborough, Yorkshire – commanding officer (acting major, then temporary major) – constructing defences, including mine-laying, along the English coast
- 11 February 1943 – HQ 23 Airfield Construction Group, Hatfield, Hertfordshire – field engineer (major)
- 24 / 25 November 1943 – 88 Road Construction Company, Eastbourne, Sussex – officer in command
- 16 May 1944 – 23 Airfield Construction Group – field engineer and 2nd in command – included arriving in Normandy, France, on D-Day+6 (12 June 1944) and constructing airfields behind the Allies front line as they moved across France and Belgium (see maps by clicking here)
- 15 November 1944 – 231 Works section – in Belgium and the Netherlands – giving engineering support to other parts of the army. He was hospitalised in both March and April 1945 (reasons unknown).
In March 1945 Jack was mentioned in despatches:
The war ended in Europe on 8 May 1945, and Jack remained in Belgium / the Netherlands until his return to the UK on 13 September 1945. Then he was on leave until 25 November 1945 when he was released from army duties, nearly three months after WWII finally ended in Japan:
Jack Bingley – details from his British Army service records
1. UK, “British Military Records (Army),” John Hampden Bingley – Application for registration in the Officers’ Emergency Reserve for appointment to a temporary commission in His Majesty’s Land Forces on mobilization (Army form E564A); Army Personnel Centre, Support Division, Historical Disclosures, Glasgow. Cit. Date: 20 Jun 2021.
2. UK, “British Military Records (Army),” John Hampden Bingley – record of service (Army form B199A – original and duplicate copies); Army Personnel Centre, Support Division, Historical Disclosures, Glasgow. Cit. Date: 20 Jun 2021. Click here to see his record of service (original version).
3. UK, “British Military Records (Army),” John Hampden Bingley – officer’s record of service Army Book 439; Army Personnel Centre, Support Division, Historical Disclosures, Glasgow. Cit. Date: 20 Jun 2021. Book now held by Maskill family. Click here for a photo of this book (at the end of the slideshow).
4. Other documents in collection of Maskill family.
© Caroline Maskill, New Zealand Family History Search