The origins of the Royal Engineers Association of today can be traced back to the mid-19th Century, when a number of regiments of the British Army established organizations to alleviate the plight of many of their ex-members and their families. As part of this movement, the Royal Engineers Charitable Fund was founded in 1868.
This concept of the Corps accepting responsibility for its own was extended further in 1912, when the Royal Engineers Old Comrades Association was formed, with its Headquarters in London and some 21 Branches at home and abroad, of which the Medway Branch was one of the first. The aims of the Association were to foster comradeship, family spirit and mutual assistance among members and ex-members of the Corps, to assist them in finding employment and to provide general advice on legal, financial and domestic matters. Even at this early stage, there was close co-operation between the Charitable Fund and the Old Comrades Association when their interests overlapped, as they often did.
The Royal Engineers Charitable Fund became the Royal Engineers Benevolent Fund in 1943 and, subsequently, extended its scope to cover officers and their families, as well as soldiers. In 1952, the Royal Engineers Old Comrades Association streamlined its name to the Royal Engineers Association. Finally, in 1968, the two organizations combined to form a new Royal Engineers Association which has now taken over all the responsibilities of both of its predecessors.
The Medway Branch is one of over 100 Branches throughout the United Kingdom and overseas, run by our President, Chairman and Committee. The Branch meets the first Friday of each month at the WOs & Sgts Mess, Brompton Barracks, with the kind permission of the RSM.