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HLI to Machine Gun Corps


alexdickson
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Hi first post

My Great Uncle joined the Highland Light Infantry in Glasgow

David Anderson service No 3937(looking at this number would he have joined early in the war) and was killed in the Palestine Campaign 30/11/1917

but was in the 157th Company of the Machine Gun Corps Service No 120603

He has a memorial Reference on the Jerusalem Memorial Panel 55, is this because he has no known grave and his body was never found

Did he have to have any special skills to have been transferred to the MGC or were people just picked at random?

I have tried to find his war records but there seems to be very little information on him. I might be looking in the wrong places

Any information about him or the 157th Company MGC in general would be very much appreciated.

Regards

Alex

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Hi Alex

Welcome to the forum,No 14 or 14/15 star on your mans MIC, so earliest date for his enlistment is 1916 can`t tell you much about H.L.I. or M.G.C the experts will be along shortly.All the best Gary.F.

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157 Company was part of 157 Brigade (known as the 'Highland Light Infantry' Brigade as its original constitution was HLI TF units) 52nd (Lowland) Division.

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Welcome to the forum,No 14 or 14/15 star on your mans MIC, so earliest date for his enlistment is 1916 can`t tell you much about H.L.I. or M.G.C the experts will be along shortly.All the best Gary.F.

A small correction, but not being entitled to a Star shows he did not serve overseas in a war zone prior to 1916, but could have enlisted some time before that.

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Hi Alex,

It is not possible to pin down your great uncle's original HLI battalion from online MICs. However, since he went on to serve with the 157th Company, MGC, it is likely that he originally served with either the 1/5th, 1/6th or 1/7th HLI in the 157th Brigade of 52nd (Lowland) Division before transferring to the MGC sometime in 1917.

From the MICs we can rule out the 1/5th HLI:

3936, John H Boyd, later 201437 (5th Bn.)

3937, Robert McBain, later 201438 (5th Bn.)

3938, John Innes, later 201439 (5th Bn.)

That leaves 1/6th or 1/7th Bns:

3936, Alexander S Brack, later 241452 (6th Bn.)

3938, George McLellan, 241454 (6th Bn.)

3937, David Anderson, later 120603 MGC

3938, James Baker, later 149143 MGC (likely 7th Bn.)

Can't get any further than that at the moment. However, his number gives potential enlistment dates of Oct/Nov 1915 for both battalions (the two battalions appear to have similar enlistment rates). Perhaps his residence could give a clue to the battalion - 6th HLI was City of Glasgow, HQ at Yorkshill Street, while 7th HLI was Blythswood, HQ at Bridgeton.

His transfer to the MGC was sometime after March 1917, so he would have been renumbered with a new 6-digit number which if 1/6th HLI would have been 241453. If 1/7th HLI, it would have been one of three 281509-281511. Someone may be able to give you an estimated date of transfer to the MGC; I suggest you start a new topic in 'Units and formations' with a heading along the lines of 'MGC numbering - estimated date of transfer'.

He has a memorial Reference on the Jerusalem Memorial Panel 55, is this because he has no known grave and his body was never found? Yes.

Did he have to have any special skills to have been transferred to the MGC or were people just picked at random? He would almost certainly have been a trained gunner.

Cheers,

Stuart

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Hi Stuart

Thanks for the reply

His service numbers were 3937 HLI and 120603 MGC

He was at Glasgow University when he joined up (training to be a doctor which I find strange, going on to the MGC where he may have killed hundreds) That is the reason I asked wither you would have to have a special skill or just told you were going into the MGC

I am not to sure which would be the nearest recruitment centre to the University

Regards

Alex

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