Who are we?

What is the Royal Engineers Association?

The Royal Engineers Association (REA) is the Regimental Association of the Royal Engineers. Charity numbers 258322 and SC 041832.

The original REA 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.

What we do

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:

(1) By fostering esprit de corps and a spirit of comradeship and service.

(2) By maintaining an awareness of Corps traditions.

(3) 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 spouses, widows, widowers and dependants who are in need through poverty.

To make grants, within Association Guidelines, to ABF – The Soldiers Charity and to other charities that further the objectives of the Association.


The Association is organised into a Headquarters, Groups and Branches. The Association HQ is located at Chatham and operates the day to day running of the Association. There are eleven Group Headquarters, these are located geographically in major Royal Engineer military bases, and supervise and organise Branches within their regional area. Branches are established in towns, districts or units of the Corps and are administered by their elected Branch officials. There are over one hundred Branches at home and abroad. Each of the eleven 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. 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. There is an aspiration to widen the scope of National Branches to include community interest groups.


Meet the HQ Team

Kenneth Kirk - Controller - Royal Engineers Association
Email: controller@rhqre.co.uk
Telephone: 01634847005

Ken is served with the Corps from 1981 to 1989 serving mainly in BAOR with 28 Amph Engr Regt, 23 Engr Regt, 25 Engr Regt and Junior Leaders Regiment RE.  As a keen skier he was took the opportunity to spend several winter seasons with various Regimental teams in Austria.  On leaving the Corps he joined the Port of London Authority at Tilbury Docks as part of their recruitment drive to bring in a new management team from the Armed Forces. He held various senior management posts in Forth Ports Plc, including project managing major capital infrastructure projects building new Port Operating Facilities. Following this he  became Managing Director of a major UK Port Operator for several years with operations across the UK in several major Ports including Liverpool, Tyne and London He then went on to own and run a marine manufacturing business based on the South Coast.

Having enjoyed a varied and rewarding career, he was delighted and honoured to have the opportunity to return to serve the Corps as Controller of the Royal Engineers Association. Ken is married with two grown up sons and lives in Rochester.

Iain George - Assistant Controller
Email: asstcontroller@rhqre.co.uk
Telephone: 01634 822407

Iain George joined the Corps in 1972 as a Junior Leader at Dover. He served 25 years in the ranks and finished as the Corps Regimental Sergeant Major and was commissioned in 1997. He served until 2015 in various roles which included AI & SI Mobility at the BEW, RCMO and Ech Comd 20 Fd Sqn at 36 Engr Regt. His final posting was SO2 Transition London District and then worked for the Stoll Foundation which is a Veterans charity in London looking after homeless and vulnerable veterans.

As the Assistant Controller, some of Iain’s responsibilities will be the assessment of benevolence cases and the staffing of benevolence cases to the REA Benevolence Committee. Make all arrangements for the Annual Dinner and Sapper Sunday. The production of the HQ Circular, Branch submissions to The Sapper magazine and production of the Branch & Group contact list.

Iain is very pleased to be joining a very enthusiastic and helpful team and is keen to assist all REA members, so if you have any question or queries then please ask.

Iain has been married to Melanie for 40 years in June and they have two grown up children and one grandchild. As he is now too old to play rugby, Iain has been a Volunteer Steward at Twickenham for the last 10 years where he assists at all the International matches.

Ann Richardson - Membership Team
Email: membership@rhqre.co.uk
Telephone: 01634 822409

Ann Richardson is part of the Membership Office team and has worked with the REA since 2008. Her first employment was dealing with Benevolence cases which she found really rewarding. In 2012 the opportunity to obtain a higher grade arose and she moved over to the Membership Team.

Her role within the Team is to maintain all Membership records of which we have over 70,000. She is the focus for all membership enquiries and processes all new membership applications which she receives by post, email and even sometimes in person. Whenever possible she encourages our former Sappers to activate their Life Membership.

Ann also assists with setting up new Branches, advising on the membership status of the founding members; she is always particularly pleased when a new Branch is formed. Her skills extend to editing the REA website, keeping it up to date with Branch and Group officials contact details. Although Membership is her main role, she frequently advises on benevolence matters and lends a hand in the Benevolence Department when needed.

As part of a very hands-on and enthusiastic team Ann is always ready to offer support and advice on REA matters, so please don’t be afraid to contact her. If she doesn’t know the answer to your question she will find someone who does.

Ann is married to John. Between them they have 8 adult children and 15 grandchildren who keep them particularly busy. She also has 4 dogs and a cat. When not at work she loves gardening, reading, crafts and music, but mostly loves spending time with her grandchildren.

Julie Ferguson - Membership Team
Email: membershiptypist@rhqre.co.uk
Telephone: 01634 822409

Julia Ferguson is part of the Membership Office team. Her employment at the Royal Engineers Association began in March 2002. She worked in Benevolence up until December 2008 and later transferred to Membership Team in January 2009 as she wanted take on a wider variety of roles within the office environment.

She has a very busy and varied life in the office. She co-ordinates ticket requests for external annual events (Royal Hospital Chelsea Founder’s Day, Trooping the Colour, Field of Remembrance, Cenotaph march-past) and assists with administration for the Association Badge of Merit, notifications of RE In-Pensioner admittance to the Royal Hospital Chelsea, Notifications of Medical Discharge, Notifications of Retirement, Notifications of Death, receipt of donations and legacies. Julia is key to organising the Association Annual General Meeting & Annual Dinner and coordinates REA Branch submissions of articles and photographs for publication in The Sapper magazine; this includes publication of obituaries in The Sapper magazine and the online Corps Memorial Book.

She is the point of contact at HQ RE for the arrangement of Standard Bearer representation at cremations and funerals and is responsible for the movement of the Association coffin drape when it is loaned out on such occasions.

Julia lives with her partner Tim, a former Royal Engineer who served 22 years with the Corps. Outside of work (and when time permits!) she enjoys walking, gardening and researching her family tree. Julia and Tim are both animal-lovers and are ‘parents’ to their adopted (and rather bossy) cat, Ariana.