Machine Gun Corps
A British Army regiment
- 1 Also see
- 2 Chronology
- 3 First World War
- 4 Records
- 5 Regimental histories and accounts
- 6 Regimental Journals
- 7 Regimental flashes
- 8 External links
- 9 References
- Royal Tank Corps for Armoured Motor Batteries and Armoured Motor Brigades of the Machine Gun Corps
- 25th Motor Machine Gun Battery (Calcutta Volunteers)
- 1915.10.22. Formed with three branches: Cavalry, Infantry, and Motors which incorporated the Motor Machine Gun Service.
- The Motor Machine Gun Service was formed prior to this date, and was in existence at 1 July 1915, when it was part of the R. F. A. [Royal Field Artillery]. It appears to have been formed 1914. Refer Historical books online below.
- 1916.11.18. Heavy Branch of Motor MG Service formed.
- 1917.07.27. Heavy Branch withdrawn to form Tank Corps, and Motor MG Service gradually disbanded.
- 1918.03. MG companies grouped in battalions.
- 1922. MG Corps disbanded.
First World War
Motor Machine Gun Batteries
- Motor Machine Guns of the First World War The Long, Long Trail. Includes India.
- The Motors Branch had small motorcycle mounted Motor Machine Gun Batteries, Light Armoured Motor Batteries (LAMB) and Light Car Patrols (LCP), most went to the Tank Corps in 1922.
- In January 1918, 3rd Battery (along with 14th and 15th Batteries) was sent out to India where it was stationed at Ambala. The unit participated in the Third Afghan War to the extent that it was sent to Kohat (there from 31 May 1919 to 23 June 1919) during the relief of Thal though does not appear to have seen any action. The unit was disbanded in India on 1 December 1919. National Archives catalogue reference WO95/5484 Order of Battle for India may possibly contain some information. 14th Battery discussion.
- Two Motor Machine Gun Batteries, numbers 19 and 22, served during the 3rd Afghan War (1919) and the revolt in Waziristan (1919-1920). 5 Officers and 68 men from M M Gun No. 22 Battery, with equipment embarked on the Ship 'Beltana' for India from Devonport on 26th February 1916. 22 Battery was in Rawalpindi in 1917. 22 Battery was briefly involved in the "suppression of disorder" following the Amritsar massacre of April 1919. There is a detailed account written by Sergeant Macro of 22 Battery, who was Mentioned in Despatches, regarding the Action at Badama Post - 30/31 Jul 1919, during the 3rd Afghan War. It appears likely that both 19 and 22 Batteries had been disbanded by September 1920, as there is no mention of these Batteries in Issues 1-5 of The Machine Gunner, first published September 1920.
- See 25th Motor Machine Gun Battery (Calcutta Volunteers)
Machine Gun Corps (Cavalry)
Machine Gun Corps (Cavalry) units, listed below, all appear to have been formed on the Western Front.
Machine Gun Corps (Cavalry) Squadrons The Long, Long Trail advises:
- Machine Gun Cavalry Brigade Squadrons
- 10: Formed after February 1916 in 2nd (Sialkot) Brigade in 1st Indian Cavalry Division. Machine gun sections taken from 17th and 19th Lancers and 6th King Edward's Own Cavalry (the latter being of the Indian Army).
- 11: Formed 29 February 1916 for 5th (Mhow) Brigade in 1st Indian Cavalry Division. Machine gun sections taken from 6th Inniskilling Dragoons, 2nd Lancers and 38th King George's Own Central Indian Horse (the latter being of the Indian Army). Broken up 14 April 1918.
- 12: Formed 29 February 1916 for 8th (Lucknow) Brigade in 1st Indian Cavalry Division. Machine gun sections taken from 29th Lancers (Deccan Horse) and 36th Jacob's Horse (of the Indian Army). Broken up 14 April 1918.
- 13: Formed 29 February 1916 for 13th (Secunderabad) Brigade in 2nd Indian Cavalry Division. Machine gun sections taken from 7th Dragoon Guards, Poona Horse and 20th Deccan Horse (both of the Indian Army).
- 14: Formed 29 February 1916 for 14th (Ambala) Brigade in 2nd Indian Cavalry Division. Machine gun sections taken from 8th Hussars, 18th Lancers and 9th Hodson's Horse (of the Indian Army).
- Disbanded 1 April 1918 on the Western Front. 
- 15: Formed 29 February 1916 for 15th (Meerut) Brigade in 2nd Indian Cavalry Division. Machine gun sections taken from 13th Hussars, 14th Lancers and Watson's Horse (of the Indian Army).
- This information from The Long, Long Trail is stated to be incorrect, the correct information is stated to be: 15th Squadron was part of the 6th (Poona) Cavalry Brigade and was formed from (originally) the MG Sections of the 14th Hussars, 21 Cavalry and 22 Cavalry. It went back to India in July 1918, [although there were some men in Mesopotamia in October 1918]. Most of the Indian machine gunners were replaced by men of MGC (Cavalry) sent out from the UK. The same source also advises:
- 16th Squadron was part of the 7 (Meerut) Cavalry Brigade and was formed from MG Sections from 13th Hussars, Watson's Horse and 14 Lancers.
- The 15th Machine Gun Squadron took part in the 3rd Afghan War 
- 22, 23 and 24: Formed in 1st Indian Mounted Brigade
- 25: Formed in 11th Indian Mounted Brigade
Machine Gun Companies
The Companies and Battalions of the Machine Gun Corps The Long, Long Trail
The following Machine Gun Companies are known to have been in India
- 222 Machine Gun Company. It was at Campbellpur at least for the period 1 March 1917 to 22 October 1917. The company then moved to Rawalpindi, where it remained past 18 April 1918. It was still in existence in June 1919.
- 263 Machine Gun Company. Formed in India, December 1917. There is a War Diary available for the period May-September 1919, for service during the 3rd Afghan War
- 282 Machine Gun Company. It was at Mhow, at least for the period 17 January 1919 to 5 June 1919
- 283 Machine Gun Company. It appears to have been In India In 1916 and was at Mhow, Christmas Day 1918
- 285 Machine Gun Company. There is a War Diary available for the period May-July 1919, for service during the 3rd Afghan War
- 287 Machine Gun Company was part of the Kohat-Kurram Force May – August 1919. A War Diary is available.
National Archives, Kew
Catalogue entries include
- WO 95/5391 Includes 1 Cavalry Brigade: 15 Squadron Machine Gun Company (1919 May - Aug) and 10 Cavalry Brigade: 24 Squadron Machine Gun Corps (1919 May - June).
- WO 95/5392 Includes Kohat-Kurram Force: Force Troops: 287 Machine Gun Company (1919 May - Aug).
- WO 95/5405 Includes 263 Company Machine Gun Corps 1919 May - Sept and 285 Company Machine Gun Corps (1919 May - July).
- WO 95/5409 Includes Divisional Troops: 222 Company Machine Gun Corps (1919 May - July).
India General Service Medal Rolls for the Machine Gun Corps may be found at WO 100/480, WO 100/485, WO 100/492 These are stated to be for the period 1920-1935, but also include the 1919 awards for the 3rd Afghan War. See Medal Rolls for more details of the subdivisions of these records. There may be additional references. All may be downloaded for free. This data is also available on the pay website Ancestry. An example on Ancestry is some MGC medals for the Waziristan 1919-1921 clasp, part of WO 100/480, being page 845 of 939. Note, classified by Ancestry as Battle of Waterlooo 1815. (to view this link you must be signed into Ancestry).
Regimental histories and accounts
- Machine Guns, their History and Tactical Employment (being also a History of the Machine Gun Corps, 1916-1922) by Graham Seton Hutchison; published Macmillan, London in 1938. Available at the British Library UIN: BLL01001778045 (with other copies also available).
- War Cars: British Armoured Cars in the First World War by David Fletcher, published by HMSO in 1987. The book contains an Annex by Charles Messenger describing the various units of Motor Machine Gun Service, Lt Armoured Batteries et al. The book also has a lot of good photographs of armoured cars all over India and Persia in locations like Kohat. "The backgrounds are very interesting because they show forts, uniforms etc. Fletcher also describes very well and briefly the campaigns in the area from 1914 to about 1925." Available at the British Library UIN: BLL01010668542
- With a Machine Gun to Cambrai: the tale of a young Tommy in Kitchener's Army 1914-1918, by George Coppard. 1969. Available at the British Library UIN: BLL01002231878
- Machine-gunner, 1914-18. Edited by C. E. Crutchley. Available at the British Library 1973 UIN: BLL01000830024 . Re-issued as Machine Gunner 1914-18: Personal Experiences of The Machine Gun Corps 2013. British Library number BLLSFX3710000000114249
- The Machine Gun Corps Magazine. [Nottingham], -1918. Available at the British Library, however exact holding is not stated. Imperial War Museums also hold editons from Volume 1, No 1 November 1916 to December 1918.
- The Machine Gunner, The British Library hold issues Volume 1 No.1 September 1920 to Volume 1, No.5 February 1921. These journals are available on the subscription website database ProQuest "Trench Journals and Unit Magazines of the First World War", which is available at the British Library and elsewhere - see Subscription websites-online newspapers, journals and directories for access through some libraries.
- A LAMB [Light Armoured Motor Battery] soldier in Mesopotamia wore a sun helmet with a flash/badge showing a lamb.
- Refer Edwin Cross photographs below.
- Machine Gun Corps Pack compiled by Jim Parker, now an archived webpage. Multiple pages, keep scrolling past some blank sections at the bottom of sections. Research and detailed background information, including details of uniforms, from Machine Gun Corps Research, now archived.
- The Vickers Machine Gun The website of Vickers MG Collection and Research Association. This website also includes online Manuals, refer below.
- "Motor Machine Gun Service, Motor Machine Gun Corps, Machine Gun Corps (Motors)" Established 1914. Provides text of Army Council Instruction 289 of 26 October 1914, and Army Order 480 of 1914, which established the Motor Machine Gun Service. (Images of these instructions.)
- "Machine Gun Corps" Established 1915. Provides text of relevant Army Orders.
- Units That Used The Vickers: The Machine Gun Corps (Infantry): Companies. Includes Companies in India. Archived page from previous website vickersmachinegun.org. Includes dates in theatres.
- Machine Gun Corps Old Comrades Association
- Books and Journals about, or relating to, the Machine Gun Corps (Compiled by Graham Sacker), now an archived page. A document download, which depending on your browser, you may need to locate in your downloads folder. Check whether the website has a more recent working link, (but at 2021/Feb/05 the website link was not working)
- The Machine Gun Corps Research Database “Contains details of over 100,000 soldiers who served with the MGC. Continuously updated”. A research fee applies. The database includes information relating to the India General Service Medal (Afghanistan, Waziristan etc) from the medal rolls.
- Machine Gun Corps Regiments.org, now an archived website.
- Photograph: A motor cycle machine gun team, c 1919 North West Frontier, probably Miranshah, probably of one of Motor Machine Gun Battery number 19 or 22. From an album of 367 photographs compiled by W K Fraser-Tytler (later Ambassador at Kabul). NAM. 1982-02-31-174 National Army Museum
- Edwin Cross and his photographs of India during the First World War 31 items. Peoples Collection Wales. If URL is not permanent, use Edwin Cross in the Search. He served in the Machine Gun Corps. One of the photographs is dated "Bombay - Bangalore, Feb 26 1916". There are later mentions of 283 Machine Gun Company. The collection includes Photograph: Edwin Cross and comrades, Machine Gun Corps with machine gun and also showing tropical helmets with flash.
- Albert Victor Cook (1891-1973) On 1 March 1917 Albert transferred to the Machine Gun Corps (Infantry) Territorial Force. He was posted to the 222nd Machine Gun Company, at Campbellpore in the Punjab. 25thlondon.com
- Claude John Ainslie British Indian Army 222nd Coy. Machine Gun Corps. The Wartime Memories Project - The Great War
- "Kurdistan 1919: Military Operations in Mesopotamian Kurdistan" by Harry Fecitt. Harry's Sideshows. kaiserscross.com. The troops in these operations included 207th Company, 1 Sec. 238th Company, 239th Company, all 18th Indian Machine Gun Battalion. 1 Section L.A.M. Battery.
- "Mesopotamia 1920-21: The Machine Gun Corps during the Arab Insurrection" by Harry Fecitt. Harry's Sideshows. kaiserscross.com. The book by Haldane mentioned within is available online, see below.
- Imperial War Museums Their online collection contains many items on the Machine Gun Corps in India. Try the search terms "machine gun corps india". The following interviews may be listened to online:
- 1976 interview with Walter Cousins, British private served with 1/5th Battalion, East Surrey Regt in India, 1914-1916; NCO served with 222nd Coy, Machine Gun Corps in India and Afghanistan, 1916-1920.
- 1977 interview with Charles Douglas Armstrong, British officer served with 7th Bn Machine Gun Corps in India, 1920- 1921; served with 1st Battalion, East Surrey Regt in India, 1926-1929; served as staff officer with Manzai Bde on North West Frontier in India, 1929-1933; served as adjutant with 1st Battalion, East Surrey Regt in India, 1933-1938
Historical books online
- Also see Western Front - Historical books online.
- Also see Indian Army List online for a listing of the Officers in India, subdivided into Cavalry, Motors and Infantry, with an indication of the Squadron, Battery, or Battalion/Company, but no additional unit information, apart from the fact that the Training Centre was at Mhow (January 1920).
- The website of Vickers MG Collection and Research Association includes online Manuals, Handbooks etc., relating to mainly to machine guns and tanks, but also including other subjects, from c 1908. There is a drop down menu from "Manuals" at the top of the webpage. Some, but not all (at 2019/12/18), of these publications have been uploaded to Archive.org in a collection Vickers MG Collection & Research Association.
- The Book of the Machine Gun by F.V. Longstaff and A. Hilliard Atteridge. 1917 Archive.org.
- "Formation and Growth of the Machine-Gun Corps (May 1920)" page 174, Statistics of the military effort of the British Empire during the Great War, 1914-1920 published by HMSO 1922 Archive.org.
- There is a brief mention of the Machine Gun Corps in a short chapter "Royal Tank Corps", page 113 in The Army in India and Its Evolution: Including an account of the establishment of the Royal Air Force in India 1924. Compiled Officially. Digital Repository of GIPE (Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics [Pune, India]). A pdf download to your computer.
- War in the Garden of Eden by Kermit Roosevelt, Captain, Motor Machine Gun Corps 1919 Archive.org. Location Mesopotamia. The author was an American, the son of (pre WW1) US President Theodore Roosevelt, who was appointed an honorary Captain in the British Army in August 1917. Page 66 indicates the author was in the 14th Battery, Light-armoured motor-cars (14th L. A. M. B.). The fighting cars were Rolls-Royce.
- Through Palestine with the 20th Machine Gun Squadron 1920 Project Gutenberg at Archive.org, or from Gutenberg.org
- The Motor Cycle. Link is to Volume 16, January to June 1916. Links for other available online volumes may be accessed here. Archive.org. Mention of Despatch Riders and the Motor Machine Gun Service (MMGS).
- "Motor Machine Gun Service: Vacancies for Motor Cyclists, Mechanics and Car Drivers" to enlist in the M.M.G.S. (R. F.A). The Motor Cycle, Volume 15, July 1st, 1915, page 10
- "“The Motor Cycle” Recruiting Section" Recruiting in Coventry, England for the Motor Machine Gun Service. The Motor Cycle, Volume 16, March 16th, 1916, page 256.
- "Motor Machine Gun Batteries" of the Motor Machine Gun Service including 22nd Motor Machine Gun Battery, The Motor Cycle, Volume 16, March 23rd 1916, pages 282-283 Archive.org. Includes a photograph of the Battery. “The MMGS which is now a Branch of the Machine Gun Corps sanctioned last year by His Majesty the King, has lately been extended, and embraces all forms of mobile machine guns.”
- "“The Motor Cycle” Recruiting Section" The Motor Cycle, Volume 16, April 13th, 1916, page 351. Includes a photograph of 25th Battery, Motor Machine Gun Section. Note: this is a different Battery from the 25th Motor Machine Gun Battery (Calcutta Volunteers)
- "In India with the MMGS" Letter from Sgt A Fielder page 35, July 13th 1916 The Motor Cycle, Volume 17. With photograph. The unnamed Battery is stated to be 22 Battery.
- Photograph: Members of a Machine Gun Battery now in India The Motor Cycle, Volume 17, August 31st, 1916, page 184.
- "Military Notes" Includes a photograph of Sgts Fielding and Barton, with a motor machine gun battery in India. The Motor Cycle, Volume 18 May 3rd, 1917, page 395
- "“The Momagu” A Service Journal of a Battery of the MMGS in India" The Motor Cycle Volume 20, March 28th 1918, page 310.
- "Report of Captain J A S Ewing 19th Lancers on operations of Mobile Column in Sialkot area during the Punjab Disturbances" Includes Motor Machine Gun Battery under Major Maloney, page 200 Evidence taken before the Disorders Inquiry Committee: Volume V: Gujranwala, Gujrat, Lyallpur and Punjab Provincial. 1920. HathiTrust Digital Library
- The Insurrection in Mesopotamia 1920 by Lieutenant General Sir Aylmer L. Haldane 1922. Archive.org. Missing title page noted. Another version on Archive.org (links to a series of pdfs, most of which contain the text ”on its side”, so may be difficult to read.) HathiTrust Digital Library, accessible in North America and limited other areas only. This book is one of the sources used in the article by Harry Fecitt, see above.
- French-English Dictionary of Machine Gun Terms by Major H J Maloney, 1st Lt Frank Short, 1st Lt. H Morton [USA Army] 1918 Archive.org
- Regiments.org, see External links above.
- Machine Gun Corps Pack compiled by Jim Parker, see above
- CanadianJane. soldiers and civilians in India Great War Forum 24 March 2015. Retrieved 22 May 2018. Jane Canadian. RASC attached to the 3rd motor machine gun service ? Great War Forum 19 August 2009. Retrieved 9 April 2020. pjwmacro. 3rd Motor Machine Gun Battery India 1919 Great War Forum 8 April 2020. Retrieved 9 April 2020.
- pjwmacro 14th Motor Machine Gun Battery in India 1919 Great War Forum 16 April 2020. Retrieved 18 April 2020.
- Description of online photograph NAM. 1982-02-31-174, refer above.
- pjwmacro. 22nd Battery Machine Gun Corps (Motors) Great War Forum 22 April 2017. Information from TNA WO 25/3544. Retrieved 22 May 2018
- [India] - Rawalpindi 22 Battery Motor Machine Guns. Retrieved 24 March 2015
- mcassell. 22nd Battery Machine Gun Corps (Motors), post #626, Great War Forum 23 October 2017. Retrieved 5 February 2021.
- pjwmacro. 22nd Battery Machine Gun Corps (Motors) post #199, Great War Forum 22 June 2017. The Action at Badama Post - 30/31 Jul 1919. Retrieved 22 May 2018.
- parbo 14 Machine Gun Squadron (Cavalry) Great War Forum 25 March 2014. Retrieved 22 May 2018.
- mcassell. 6th Indian Cavalry Brigade - 15th Squadron Machine Gun Corps? Great War Forum 17 February 2014. Retrieved 22 May 2018.
- Hone, Mark et al. Photos of Afghan Campaign 1919 Great War Forum 26 June 2013. Retrieved 22 May 2018.
- pjwmacro. Armoured Car Units, Navy, Army, MGC, confused? Great War Forum 8 January 2018. Retrieved 5 February 2021.
- nickbalmer. Re 114th Marathas Rootsweb India Mailing List 17 February 2001. Scroll down, now archived.
- Murdoch, David 22nd Battery Machine Gun Corps (Motors), post #28, Great War Forum 11 May 2017. Retrieved 22 May 2018..
- themonsstar. Formation Motor Machine Gun Service - Army Order 480 Great War Forum 21 August 2020. Retrieved 21 August 2020.
- The London Gazette Publication date: 5 March 1920. Supplement date: 8 March 1920, Supplement: 31813 Page: 2882. Despatch commences page 2877.
- mcassell. 22nd Battery Machine Gun Corps (Motors), post #44, Great War Forum 25 May 2017. Retrieved 22 May 2018.