The Royal Pioneer Corps

When war broke out in September 1939, the Jewish men in Kitchener camp were in a particularly painful position. Unable to return home, they must have known that their chances of getting families out of ‘Greater Germany’ had now been closed off.

As yet, we are still unsure about the exact numbers of men in Kitchener camp (although watch this space!). Many of the camp records were destroyed – in part to protect these men who had escaped to Britain. It was felt that their families would be at increased risk if the records fell into the wrong hands.

However, we do know a majority of the men joined the Pioneer Corps after the war had started, and if you are trying to find out information about your relative in this context there are a number of places to which you can apply for records.

One of these is the Royal Pioneer Corps website: they are incredibly helpful. They are also able to quickly access some Pioneer Corps records. If you email them with some basic information about your relative (name, place of birth, and date of birth), they will almost certainly be able to provide some information. In a few cases this is quite detailed.

Anyway – their contact page is here:

Good luck – and do let us know how you get on.