Machine Gun Corps in the First World War

This section of the Long, Long Trail will be helpful for anyone wishing to find out about the history of the units of the Machine Gun Corps. “No military pomp attended its birth or decease. It was not a famous regiment with glamour and whatnot, but a great fighting corps,born for war only and not […]

Machine Gun Corps (Cavalry) Squadrons

What was a MGC (Cavalry) Squadron The MGC (Cavalry) Squadron consisted of 8 officers and 203 other ranks, equipped with 299 horses, 18 limbers, 1 GS wagon and 1 water cart. These were formed up into six two-gun sections each of a Subaltern, 33 men and 46 horses. The Squadron was commanded by a Captain […]

The Companies and Battalions of the Machine Gun Corps

This section of the Long, Long Trail will be helpful for anyone wishing to find out about the history of the units of the Machine Gun Corps. Machine Gun Companies numbered 1-99 Unit Remarks 1st MG Company Formed in 1st Division, 26 January 1916. Moved into No 1 Bn, MGC 28 February 1918. 2nd MG […]

The Company of the Machine Gun Corps (Infantry)

What was a Company of the Machine Gun Corps (Infantry)? This was the basic tactical unit of the MGC from when it was first formed. In France, the companies were merged into MGC Battalions in early 1918. Composition and structure Headquarters: 1 Major or Captain in command 1 Captain or Lieutenant as second in command […]

Guards Machine Gun Regiment

The four Machine Gun Companies in the Guards Division were formed into a unit named the 4th Battalion Machine Gun Guards on 1 March 1918. By a Royal Warrant of 10 May 1918 and as stated in Army Order 161 of 1918, the Guards Machine Gun Regiment was formed. It comprised four Machine Gun Battalions: […]

Motor Machine Guns of the First World War

Formation and development Motor cycle despatch riders and armoured cars were used from the earliest days of the war, most notably by Commander Samson’s marauding cars that swept through Flanders in late 1914. Army Order 480, dated 12 November 1914 and sanctioned in February 1915, approved the addition to each Division of a unit known […]

Sir Douglas Haig’s sixth Despatch (German spring offensives, 1918)

The sixth Despatch of Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig, Commander in Chief of the British Armies in France and Flanders. This was a very long despatch covering the winter operations preceding the German offensives, the 21 March 1918 attack and subsequent developments (Operation Michael), the Battles of the Lys (Operation Georgette) and the Battle of […]

Winter operations, 1914-15 (Western Front)

23 November 1914 – 6 February 1915: Winter operations, 1914-15.¬†French orders for a major offensive in December lead to disastrous piecemeal British attacks. Localised operations seeking tactical advantage continue through winter. The defence of Festubert, 23-24 November 1914 Order of battle: Indian Corps (Willcocks): Meerut Division The Meerut Division beats off a determined enemy attack. […]

The Battle of Loos

25 September – 15 October 1915: the Battle of Loos. The first genuinely large scale British offensive action but once again only in a supporting role to a larger French attack in the Third Battle of Artois. British appeals that the ground over which they were being called upon to advance was wholly unsuitable were […]

Sir Ian Hamilton’s Second Gallipoli Despatch

The Despatch of General Sir Ian Hamilton, Commander in Chief of the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force. Printed in the Third Supplement to the London Gazette of 20 September 1915. The Despatch dealt with the Gallipoli fighting of May and June 1915. From the General Commanding the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force. To the Secretary of State for War, […]