Personal website of Martin Halford

James Harold Halford

My father (James) Harold Halford was in France, Belgium, Holland and Germany towards the end of the Second World War as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Royal Engineers. We recently found some negatives of photographs he took during this period - in particular of bridges blown-up by the German Army during their retreat and the efforts to reinstate crossings over rivers and canals over the following year or so. There's also an insight into damage sustained in some of the towns and cities and some photographs showing how the RE's spent their leisure time in the immediate aftermath of the war.


The timescale as far as I can tell was roughly................

"The undermentioned Cadets, to be 2nd Lts., 9th July 1944................ ..........................14371726 James Harold HALFORD (324533)...............". Harold was only 21, having been born on 9 January 1923.

There is then a reference W.S./Lt. 9/1/45 under a heading of Regular Army Commissions. The W means for the duration of the war. I believe he joined the 210th 'Leeds' Field Company of the Royal Engineers, In January 1945 they were in Belgium at Houx near Dinant and nearby at Givet in France. They are then in Goch, Germany in February 1945 and there is reference to home leave in May 1945, roughly coincident with the end of the war in Europe. Around this time they are moving around a lot with references to Brussels, Hamburg, Arnhem, Essen and some leisure time at Steinhuder Meer and at Bad Harzburg, probably later. He seems to be back home in November 1945.

US Railway Bridge over the Meuse at Houx