The Royal Engineers Association was formed under the conditions of a Deed of Declaration of Trust by the amalgamation of the original Royal Engineers Association and the Royal Engineers Benevolent Fund Ltd on 19 November 1968.
The original Royal Engineers Association was founded in 1912 under the name of The Royal Engineers Old Comrades Association. Its name was changed to the Royal Engineers Association in 1952.
The Royal Engineers Benevolent Fund Ltd was originally established as the RE Charitable Fund in 1868. It was incorporated as a Friendly Society on 29 January 1925 and changed its name to the RE Benevolent Fund on 23 July 1943.
The Aims of The Association may be interpreted to be:
- To promote and support the Corps among members of the Association in the following ways:
- By fostering esprit de corps and a spirit of comradeship and service.
- By maintaining an awareness of Corps traditions.
- By acting as a link between serving and retired members of the Corps.
- To provide financial and other assistance to serving and former members of the Corps, their wives, widows and dependants who are in need through poverty.
- To make grants, within Association guidelines, to the Army Benevolent Fund and to other charities which further the objectives of the Association.
The Association is organised into a Headquarters, Groups and Branches. The Association Headquarters are located at Chatham and operate the day to day running of the Association. Group Headquarters are located geographically to supervise and organise Branches. Branches are established in towns, districts or units of the Corps and are administered by their elected Branch officials.
There are also a growing number of National Branches which relate to various activities within the Corps. Currently these are Plant, Bomb Disposal, Commando Engineers, Military Survey, Armoured Engineers, Radio, Junior Leaders, Airborne Engineers, Postal & Courier and Amphibious Engineers.
All men and women are eligible for membership who have served or are serving in the Corps of Royal Engineers, including the Reserve Army. Serving officers and soldiers who subscribe to the Day's Pay Scheme are automatically Life Members. Former Sappers who have not contributed to the Days Pay Scheme may apply for Life Membership by contacting HQ REA.
How does the Association Work?
There are over one hundred Branches at home and abroad under the day to day running of Headquarters. Each of the 11 Groups elect a member to both Council and Management committee who meet twice a year. Each Group has at least one meeting a year and the meeting is normally followed by a social event. The Association holds its AGM in London and each Branch, as well as the Group delegates, are represented.
Each Branch holds its own regular social functions and normally has an Annual Dinner where the Guest of Honour tends to be a senior Sapper officer who gives a run down of Corps activities. In addition there are several national re-union weekends each year, notably at Chilwell, Chatham and Minley. The Association holds an Annual Dinner each year in London