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Machine Gun Corps (Cavalry) conundrum


Cliff Lonsdale
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Mate,

Many of these man are not confirmed as 26 MG Sqn, thats why I note (?) after there unit.

Those confirmed are not so noted.

It appears there was some moving amoung sub units in the Camel Corps, Capt Leadbetter as noted came from the Lanank Yeo but is mentioned by name in camel corps records as commanding the the 265 MG Co/26 MG Sqn.

These names are at present my best guess, and should not be taken as all in that unit, my bad.

There is not a list of men in this unit (that I kinow of) but any help to confirm or not these names or others you mention in the 26 MG Sqn can only help.

Men from scottish yeomanry units help reform the 7th Camel Company around July 1916;

they came from;

The Scottish Horse

Lanark yeo

Fife and Forfar

Ayrshire Yeo

unders officers like

Gregory Fleming Clement Capt OC 7Co 8-16 to 11-17 MC Ex 1/3 County of London Yeo buried Ramleh War Cemetery Palestine DoW 29-11-17

Orchardson Charles Moxon Quiller Capt 2ic 7Co 8-16 to OC 9Co 3-17 MC WIA head & arm shell Ex 1/1 County of London Yeo (3471) prom 2/Lt buried Port Said War Cemetery Egypt WIA 21-4-17 DoW 26-4-17

Deas Edwin Hogg Capt OC 7Co MC - for his actions at Amman 28-3-18 Ex 2/Lt 1/1 Scottish Horse Yeo

Bell-Irving John J Capt OC 7Co 11-17 to ? -18 MID Ex Lanark Yeo

other scotish horse members are;

Archibald James 2/Lt 7Co 3-17 MC - for his actions in charge at Yahudiey (Yafa Hill) 27-11-17 to UK leave 10-18 Ex Sgt 1/3 Scottish Horse (118) DCM and Hussars WIA 29-11-17

Austen Robert M. 50256 Pte 7Co Ex Scottish Horse Yeo (1206) and Royal Highlanders (316047) to Royal Engineers (411875)

Beer Donald G. 50231 Pte 7Co Ex Scottish Horse Yeo (4960) and Hussars

Blackett Robert 50222 Pte 7Co Ex Scottish Horse Yeo (2399) and Hussars

Blyth David 50202 Pte 7Co Ex Scottish Horse Yeo (4629) to Royal Highlanders (316129) WIA 27-3-18

Blyth Francis 50245 Pte 7Co Ex Scottish Horse Yeo (1118) and Hussars

Braithwaite Jonathan 51241 A/L/Cpl 7Co Ex Scottish Horse RAMC (283) and Hussars WIA 27-3-18

Bryson James 50248 Pte 7Co Ex Scottish Horse Yeo (4065) and Hussars

Buchanan Hugh 50213 L/Cpl 7Co Ex Scottish Horse Yeo (3468) and Hussars WIA 8-8-18

Cooke Peter F 50191 Pte 7Co Ex Scottish Horse Yeo (5771) and Hussars

Coombe Robert C 50215 Sgt 7Co to 6Co DCM - for his actions at Rafa att 14 LHR Ex Scottish Horse Yeo (L3/5356) and Royal Highlanders

Cottnam James 50237 Pte 7Co Ex Scottish Horse Yeo (5754) and Hussars to Royal Highlanders (316171)

Crighton William 50251 Pte 7Co Ex 1/3rd Scottish Horse Yeo (6804) and Hussars WIA 29-3-18

Curran John 50249 Pte 7Co Ex Scottish Horse Yeo (6697) and Hussars WIA 28-3-18

Dick William R. 50206 Pte 7Co killed at Bir el Aweidia Ex Scottish Horse Yeo (5139) and Hussars WIA 8-8-16

Dinnie James 50192 Pte 7Co Ex Scottish Horse Yeo (5573) and Hussars

Douglas James 50241 Pte 7Co Ex Scottish Horse Yeo (1103) and Hussars

Dunsire Magnus W 50207 Pte 7Co Ex Scottish Horse Yeo (4616) and Hussars

Edgar William 50208 Pte 7Co Ex Scottish Horse Yeo (4717) and Hussars

Forrest Alexander 50209 Pte 7Co Ex Scottish Horse Yeo (6268) and Hussars

Gardener Alexander 50253 Pte 7Co Ex Scottish Horse Yeo (723) and Hussars

Gilchrist Dave 50252 Pte 7Co Ex Scottish Horse Yeo (1415) and Hussars WIA 28-3-18

Green Maxwell L. 50228 Pte 7Co Ex 1/2 Scottish Horse Yeo (4051) to Royal Highlanders (316101) WIA 28-3-18

Innes George 50219 Pte 7Co Ex Scottish Horse Yeo (4062) and Hussars to Dragoons to Royal Highlanders (316104) KIA 29-3-18

Keith Wilson 50217 Pte 7Co Ex Scottish Horse Yeo (5459) and Hussars

Kerr John 50240 Cpl 7Co Ex Scottish Horse Yeo (876) and Hussars WIA 27-3-18

Kidd Peter 50199 Pte 7Co Ex Scottish Horse (3035) and Royal Highlanders (316070) and Hussars

King Daniel 50254 Pte 7Co Ex Scottish Horse (195) and Hussars (50254)

MacDonald John 50246 Pte 7Co Ex Scottish Horse Yeo (5056) and Hussars

MacGregor Walter WA. 3919 Pte 7Co Ex Scottish Horse (3919) and Royal Highlanders (316093) reported shot by arabs during operation at Hassana Post WIA 18-1-17

Macpherson William 50238 Pte 7Co Ex Scottish Horse Yeo (5811) and Hussars to Black Watch (316177)

McDonald James 50233 Pte 7Co Ex Scottish Horse Yeo (4011) and Hussars to Royal Highlanders (316098)

McDonald William 50257 Pte 7Co Ex Scottish Horse (173) and Hussars

McKenzie Alexander 50194 Pte 7Co to ECTC Ex Scottish Horse Yeo (5700) and Hussars to Royal Engineers (411877) to Royal Highlanders (316089)

McLaren Peter L 50196 Pte 7Co Ex Scottish Horse Yeo (4503) and Hussars

Miles Robert 50232 Pte 7Co Ex Scottish Horse Yeo (4795) and Hussars to Royal Highlanders (316184)

Millar William 50243 Pte 7Co Ex Scottish Horse Yeo (295) and Hussars

Neillands Robert 50189 L/Cpl 7Co Ex Scottish Horse Yeo (3932) to Dragoons (316093) to Royal Highlanders (316095) WIA 27-3-18 KIA 8-8-18

O'Hanlon Gerald D 50220 Pte 7Co Ex Scottish Horse Yeo (5747) and Hussars

Oliphant John 50201 Pte 7Co Ex Scottish Horse Yeo (4625) and Hussars

Reid Robert 50190 Pte 7Co Ex Scottish Horse Yeo (4362) and Hussars

Reid Robert 50234 Pte 7Co Ex Scottish Horse Yeo (5775) and Hussars to Royal Highlanders (316174)

Ritchie Douglas 50223 Pte 7Co Ex Scottish Horse Yeo (5516) and Hussars WIA 29-3-18

Robertson Francis 50204 Pte 7Co Ex Scottish Horse Yeo (4431) and Hussars

Rose Alexander C 50242 Pte 7Co to Sgt Ex Scottish Horse Yeo (1462) and Hussars to Royal Highlanders (316053) WIA 27-3-18

Russell John 50214 A/Sgt 7Co Ex Scottish Horse Yeo (2055) and Hussars to Dragoons to to Royal Highlanders (316058) buried Damascus War Cemetery Syria KIA 29-3-18

Russell John F 50258 Pte 7Co Ex Scottish Horse (180) and Hussars to Royal Highlanders (316008) WIA 27-3-18

Shand Alexander 50235 Pte 7Co Ex Scottish Horse Yeo (5058) and Hussars to Royal Highlanders (316142)

Sim James AB 50216 Pte 7Co to Sgt MID Ex Scottish Horse Yeo (5678) and Hussars to Royal Engineers (614797)

Sinclair William 50210 Pte 7Co Ex Scottish Horse Yeo (5270) and Hussars

Smith Bertram 50229 Pte 7Co Ex Scottish Horse Yeo (5896) and Hussars to Royal Highlanders (316190) Prom 2/Lt

Smith William 557 Pte 7Co reorted lost and died of thirst during night 16/17-9-16 Ex 1/3rd Scottish Horse Yeo KIA 17-9-16

Stewart Alexander 50212 Pte 7Co Ex Scottish Horse Yeo (3021) and Hussars

Stewart John 50239 Pte 7Co Ex Scottish Horse Yeo (5732) and Hussars

Strong James 50195 Pte 7Co Ex Scottish Horse Yeo (3020) and Hussars

Syme John 50224 Pte 7Co Ex Scottish Horse Yeo (5592) and Hussars

Tannock Thomas 50188 A/Sgt 7Co Ex Scottish Horse Yeo (4191) and Hussars WIA 27-3-18

Tassie Hugh 50230 Pte 7Co Ex Scottish Horse Yeo (5712) and Hussars to Royal Highlanders (316167) to Sherwood Rangers (276976)

Taylor George 50221 Pte 7Co Ex Scottish Horse Yeo (4935) and Hussars

Watson Walter 50226 Pte 7Co to BHQ Ex Scottish Horse Yeo (5594) and Hussars WIA 27-3-18

Wilkie William 50203 Pte 7Co Ex Scottish Horse Yeo (3508) and Hussars to Sgt Scottish Horse Scouts (386139) WIA 27-3-18

Wilson David M. 130974 Pte 26 MG Sqn? (7Co) Ex Scottish Horse (4363) and MGC

Winters James J 50198 Pte 7Co Ex Scottish Horse Yeo (4741) and Hussars

Young Thomas F 50247 Pte 7Co Ex Scottish Horse Yeo (1477) and Hussars

(like the other list there are gaps here and maybe other names not so far found)

If you are aware of some that maybe in the 26 MG Sqn please pass it on so they can be checked as possible members

Cheers

S.B

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The 13085_ to 139___ series of MGC numbers is definitely for men of 26 Squadron so it should be possible from MICs to fill in the gaps. I was aware that Captain James Greenshields Greenshields Leadbetter was in 26 Squadron - he is noted in the University of Edinburgh Roll of Honour as Machine Gun Squadron Camel Corps - but was not aware that he was the OC - thanks for that. He won the MC with the Squadron in March 1918.

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Mate,

Thanks for that number range as I picked up a few more men from it.

I now have around (193) possible 26 MG Sqn members listed.

Do you have any thing on this Scottich Horse member reported Pow during the war

Parker DR Pte 26 MG Sqn Ex 1/3 Scottish Horse PoW

Cheers

S.B

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193 is getting close to the full complement of a MG Squadron, circa 225. It would be nice to track down the officers as well: apart from Captain Leadbetter, I have only Lieutenants DHP Fleming and GHA Barron as possibles.

I have nothing on Private Parker. The only significant action I know of by 26 Squadron was on 27 March 1918 at the beginning of the 1st Battle of Amman. 130945 Private JH Pearson was killed, Captain Leadbetter won his MC and a Sergeant (130932 D. MacKenzie) and two Privates (130857 DT Andrew and 130969 DF Thomson) won the MM. Possibly Private Parker was a POW then.

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I am greatly indebted to all of you. Thanks very much. I hardly dared hope we would get this sorted out, but it seems we're making interesting progress.

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Gunner,

Mate, my records don't record any man captured for the 26 MG Sqn at Amman

"The Hong Kong and Singapore Battery had one other rank killed and one officer and five men wounded, the Brigade Machine Gun Squadron had one man killed and two wounded."

At Bald Hill (27 Nov to 5 Dec 1917) they record

"The 26th Camel MG Company reported two men killed and one officer and three other ranks wounded, of which one died of wounds. "

But so far only a few of these men have been found/recorded?

Cadenhead William George 56014 Pte 26 MG Sqn Ex 1/3 Scottish Horse (2392) and MGC WIA 28-3-17 at Amman

Fleming David Hood Philip Lt 26 MG Sqn? Ex Scottish Horse (3029) and MGC (Cav) WIA 27-11-17 at Bald Hill

these men are known KIA or Dow's;

Currie John Jardine 56017 Pte 26 MG Sqn (265 MG Co) Ex Scottish Horse (5137) and MGC buried Ramleh War Cmetery Palestine KIA 1-12-17 at Bald Hill

Gordon William McAdam 50447 Pte 26 MG Sqn (265 MG Co) Ex 1/1st Ayrshire Yeo (2138) buried Ramleh War Cmetery Palestine KIA 27-11-17 at Bald hill

Pearson John Henry 130945 Pte 26 MG Sqn Ex Lanark Yeo (2245) and MGC buried Damascus War Cemetery Syria KIA 27-3-18 at Amman

Corson James D 50443 Pte 26 MG Sqn Ex 1/1st Ayrshire Yeo (1761) to 211 MG Co MGC buried Port Said War Cemetery Egypt DoW 18-12-17 fromn wounds at Bald Hill

But at lest three men were reported MIA in the Camel Bde following the battles at Bald Hill and 11 men following the Amman battle.

Most of these were KIA and there bodies unrecoverable, but at lest one aussie was captured at Bald Hill when he lost is way at night and captured by a German officers patrol.

Have you seen a war Diary for the 26 MG Sqn at Kew?

Cheers

S.B

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Gunner,

Can you confirm GHA Barron?

I checked but could only see

Barron, George H Corps Regiment No Rank King Edwards Horse 1066 Private South Notts Hussars Lieutenant

but notthing to confirm MGC (Cav) to be in the 26 MG Sqn?

While this bloke comes close?

Barron James Runciman

Corps Regiment No Rank

Fife and Forfar Yeomanry 1860 Private

Machine Gun Corps 49935 Serjeant

Machine Gun Corps Second Lieutenant

S.B

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GHA Barron is listed in the November 1918 Army List as MGC (Cavalry), seconded from Scottish Horse. He is noted as promoted Lieutenant Yeomanry 28 March 1918 and to remain seconded MGC in the London Gazette. That's it. Thanks for info regarding DHP Fleming - we can add him to the list of officers of 26 Squadron.

I notice that the 26 Squadron casualties you list for Bald Hill (Currie and Gordon) are listed under MGC (Infantry) in SDGW and are 265 Company in the CWGC register. Pearson, on the other hand, is listed under MGC (Cavalry) in SDGW. So, it would appear that between December 1917 and March 1918, 265 Company MGC (Infantry) became 26 Squadron MGC (Cavalry).

I have never found WDs for either 265 Company or 26 Squadron at Kew.

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Mate,

As to officers (if you) haven't picked them up from my list are ;

Barron George Herbert Alderson 2/Lt 26 MG Sqn Ex Scottish Horse and MGC (Cav)

Clement Walter Albert Lt 26 MG Sqn? Ex A/Sgt Scottish Horse (7005) (152099) and MGC

Fleming David Hood Philip Lt 26 MG Sqn? Ex Scottish Horse (3029) and MGC (Cav) WIA 27-11-17

Hunter George Arnold Lt 26 MG Sqn (265 MG Co) Ex Scotish Horse buried Port Said War Cemetery Egypt DoD 3-8-17

Leadbetter James G Capt 26 MG Sqn (265 MG Co) MC - for his actions at Amman 27-3-18 Ex Lanark Yeo

Leckie Robert Wright Lt 26 MG Sqn? to Capt Ex Scottish Horse and MGC

McKenzie William HP. Lt 26 MG Sqn? Ex Scottish Horse and MGC

McPhail John Alexander Lt 26 MG Sqn? to Capt Ex Scottish Horse (2099) and MGC

Millar Gordon Logan Maj 26 MG Sqn? Ex Lt Scottish Horse and MGC

Munro Ion Smeaton A/Capt 26 MG Sqn? Ex 2/Lt Scottish Horse and MGC

Raine ED A/Capt 26 MG Sqn? Ex Scottish Horse (151) prom 2/Lt and MGC

Wattie James Lt 26 MG Sqn? Ex Cpl Scottish Horse (2091) (1521) and MGC

A number are still not confirmed as 26 MG Sqn so any help with them would be great.

S.B

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From your list, I think only Leadbetter, Fleming and Barron are likely for 26 Squadron as they all are listed in the 1918 Army List under MGC (Cavalry). The rest are all listed under MGC (Infantry) though could have been 265 Company. Lt. WHP McKenzie was definitely never an officer with 265 Company/26 Squadron. He transferred in 1916 to MGC (Motors) and commanded a Light Car Patrol before transferring to MGC (Infantry) in 1918.

From my notes I have two other possible officers of 26 Squadron: Lieutenants Henry Barnes Scottish Horse seconded MGC (Cavalry) 13 July 1918 and John MacIntyre Scottish Horse promoted Lieutenant 1 July 1917 and remain seconded MGC (Cavalry).

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Mate,

Thanks for that detail.

I couldn't find Barnes while details on MacIntyre are limted?

MacIntyre, J Corps Regiment No Rank Scottish Horse Lieutenant

did you notice this man?

MacIntyre, Robert Hamilton Montgomery Corps Regiment No Rank Scottish Horse Second Lieutenant 7th Light Car Patrol Lieutenant

S.B

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Yes, Lieutenant MacIntyre was with Lieutenant McKenzie in No. 7 Light Car Patrol and was also in MGC (Motors). No7 LCP appears to have been manned, at least originally, by 9 men from the 1/1 Scottish Horse who transferred to MGC (Motors). They have numbers in the 560-- range so may have come from 265 Company.

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I agree with Martin, the Scottish Horse were specifically given permission to retain their identity as a unit, even though they came under the umbrella of the 13th Black Watch ( can't remember where I read it exactly but have an history of the Scottish horse 1901-195 so probably there) My great uncle was with them from 1915-18 and no mention of the Black Watch.

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As follows:

55985 Gunner Frederick FAULDS (fmly. 4703 1/1 Scottish Horse); medals known with Protection Certificate which has 'LCP'.

56013 Corporal Frederick BELL (fmly. 5493 1/1 Scottish Horse)

56045 Corporal George BROWN (fmly. 190 1/1 Scottish Horse)

56048 Corporal Peter DONALDSON (fmly. 536 1/1 Scottish Horse)

56049 Corporal Otto Alexander DIETRICH (fmly. 4644 1/1 Scottish Horse); DCM with No.7 LCP; MID 16 Jan 1918

56055 Gunner David Hector KENNEDY (fmly.1041 1/1 Scottish Horse)

56063 Sergeant George Leith MEIKLEJOHN (fmly. 490 1/1 Scottish Horse)

56067 Gunner Albert William OGILVIE (fmly 774 1/1 Scottish Horse)

56072 Sergeant Frederick THOLE (fmly. 5 1/1 Scottish Horse) DCM with No. 7 LCP Rafah 9 Jan 1917; MID 6 July 1917

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  • 6 months later...
Guest Ozziepossum

Hi Steve

You mention my great uncle, 130877 Alexander Foote. Just wondering whether you or anyone else had anything else on him. I have his medal index card but unfortunately his service record was destroyed. Eck was born in Perth, Scotland but grew up in Auchterarder. Happy to share photos etc.

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  • 7 years later...

A quick update to bring this very helpful thread full circle. All the evidence I can find, as Steve suggested, indicates Arthur Forbes (my maternal grandfather) was transferred to the 26th (later called 265) MGC in the Imperial Camel Corps. Other possible patrhs have all shown to be unlikely by dint of the campaign medals he did or didn't get.  But the red-herring/mystery of why he said he'd been in the Black Watch, which was where all this started, may finally be solved.  

His initial unit was 1/2 Scottish Horse, which indeed had no connection with the Black Watch. But after evacuation from Gallipoli in December 1915, the 1/2 Scottish Horse was attached to 52nd Division in Egypt, out of which new units were formed from the various remnants. In February 1916 the 1st Dismounted Brigade was formed within 52 (Lowland) Division as part of this process, and the Scottish Horse remnants were parked there as reorganization plans were made. According to sources I have recently unearthed, the 1st Dismounted Brigade was technically considered part of the Black Watch, although it came under the command of Brig-Gen Marquis of Tullibardine, who had previously commanded the Scottish Horse Mounted Brigade. Arthur would have been transferred initially to the 1st Dismounted, along with all the others survivors withdrawn from Gallipol while the chaos was being sorted out, so there's his passing - perhaps fleeting - connection to the Black Watch. Clearly he thought highly of the BW to make a point of the connection!

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18 hours ago, Cliff Lonsdale said:

 According to sources I have recently unearthed, the 1st Dismounted Brigade was technically considered part of the Black Watch, 

An interesting thread, thank you for giving it a bump.  I wonder if you can enlarge upon the sources you have recently unearthed.  Technically considering a formation to be part of a regiment appears to be a rather odd arrangement :unsure:

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20 hours ago, Cliff Lonsdale said:

A quick update to bring this very helpful thread full circle. All the evidence I can find, as Steve suggested, indicates Arthur Forbes (my maternal grandfather) was transferred to the 26th (later called 265) MGC in the Imperial Camel Corps. Other possible patrhs have all shown to be unlikely by dint of the campaign medals he did or didn't get.  But the red-herring/mystery of why he said he'd been in the Black Watch, which was where all this started, may finally be solved.  

His initial unit was 1/2 Scottish Horse, which indeed had no connection with the Black Watch. But after evacuation from Gallipoli in December 1915, the 1/2 Scottish Horse was attached to 52nd Division in Egypt, out of which new units were formed from the various remnants. In February 1916 the 1st Dismounted Brigade was formed within 52 (Lowland) Division as part of this process, and the Scottish Horse remnants were parked there as reorganization plans were made. According to sources I have recently unearthed, the 1st Dismounted Brigade was technically considered part of the Black Watch, although it came under the command of Brig-Gen Marquis of Tullibardine, who had previously commanded the Scottish Horse Mounted Brigade. Arthur would have been transferred initially to the 1st Dismounted, along with all the others survivors withdrawn from Gallipol while the chaos was being sorted out, so there's his passing - perhaps fleeting - connection to the Black Watch. Clearly he thought highly of the BW to make a point of the connection!

From the Long Long Trail

1/1st Scottish Horse Yeomanry

August 1914 : moved to Scone after mobilising. Attached for short periods to Highland and West Riding Divisions.
By November 1914 : in Northumberland and under command of 1/1st Scottish Horse Mounted Brigade.
From January 1915 : brigade attached to 63rd (2nd Northumberland) Division for work on coastal defences.
17 August 1915 : dismounted and sailed on “Transylvania” from Devonport. Went via Malta and re-equipped as infantry for service at Gallipoli.
2 September 1915 : landed at Suvla Bay, where brigade came under orders of 2nd Mounted Division.
28 December 1915: evacuated from Gallipoli and moved to Egypt.
February 1916 : brigade absorbed into 1st Dismounted Brigade, which was under orders of 52nd (Lowland) Division on Suez Canal defences.
1 October 1916 : became 13th (Scottish Horse Yeomanry) Battalion of the Royal Highlanders (Black Watch).


2/1st Scottish Horse Yeomanry

Formed as a Second-Line regiment in September 1914. Moved to Kettering, coming under orders of 2/1st Scottish Horse Mounted Brigade.
Toward end of 1915 moved to Alford (Lincolnshire).
July 1916 : converted to a cyclist unit. Brigade was initially 19th Mounted Brigade but renamed 12th Cyclist Brigade and in November 1916 the 8th Cyclist Brigade..
Late 1917 : brigade moved to Fife, regiment going to Ladybank.
April 1918 : brigade moved to Ireland, regiment to Limerick where it then remained.

My interest in them (1/1st) is that their mechanised recce unit was taken over by Machine Gun Corps (Motors) to become 7th Light Car Patrol, who continued to fight in Palestine and Syria. They show up in photos from the Middle East as they were allowed to keep their Scottish Horse headgear. 

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Thanks, David. I have seen this.  Unfortunately many of these sites compress more complex processes, as has been done here.There are more detailed - but still incomplete -versions available elsewhere. The 1st dismounted did became a Black Watch outfit, and perhaps was really one from inception, but the more detailed evidence shows it was treated in the interim as a kind of holding tank for remnants, some of whom moved on to other units before the 1st DM went into operations in its finished form. My grandfather clearly moved from it (volunteering, evidently) to 26 Squadron Machine Gun Company, which was formed initially from the machine gunners of 3rd Scottish Horse, supplemented by volunteers from the machine gun groups in the 1st and 2nd SH. It looks as if 1st Dismounted only really made much of the Black Watch affiliation once all this shuffling has been sorted. It seems the formation of the Machine Gun Company for the Camel Corps was only one of several re-organizations being done at that time. There are many contradictions in the different accounts, and steps skipped perhaps where records are thin or non-existent. I have seen quite a few articles about the Machine Gun Corps (motors). In hope they are more definitive!  

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3 hours ago, Bordercollie said:

An interesting thread, thank you for giving it a bump.  I wonder if you can enlarge upon the sources you have recently unearthed.  Technically considering a formation to be part of a regiment appears to be a rather odd arrangement :unsure:

There are many references to association with the Black Watch, usually quite vague. The most reliable info relates to the 3rd SH after it was absorbed in Egypt into the 1st Dismounted. But I think thus is all a question of semantics. I have seen various vague references to the link from that time on, and some that - wrongly - conflate the SH with the BW (Royal Highlanders) from the start. It all seems rather anecdotal, but I was only concerned with finding a reference that could plausibly mean my grandfather wasn’t making it up from whole cloth, as they say. (I saw him only once, 73 years ago when I was about 2, and he’s long  dead, of course.)

The best source to help you through the confusion seems to be Jim Underwood, whose carefully researched and documented account in 2 parts of “The Organization of the Imperial  Camel Brigade, 1916-1918” starts at:

https:/www.thefreelibrary.com/The+organisation+of+the+Imperial+Camel+Brigade%2C+1916-1918.-a0112355099

There’s a link to part 2 at that address  I hope this helps you get a feel for the complexity of the situation in Egypt at the time and I think some mention of cars and/or motorcycles.   He documents many other sources too  a good place to start and get an overview, anyway.  Good hunting!

 

 

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Thanks for the links Cliff, very interesting and as you say a complicated picture but I found no evidence of any sort of link between the 1st Dismounted Brigade and the Black Watch.  I would suggest that the 1st Dismounted Brigade was simply an attempt to create a formation with 66% more firepower and therefore better suited to hold ground in the Canal Zone defence scheme than a yeomanry brigade of 3 regiments.  Ultimately what was needed was to convert the yeomanry who were to be used in the dismounted role to the infantry battalion organisation but that would take time to achieve.

Major Becke’s Order of Battle of Divisions records that the 1st Dismounted Brigade formed on 5th February 1916 and disbanded on 16th October 1916.  Brigadier James’s British Regiments 1914-1918 records that 1/1st Sco Horse, 1/2nd Sco Horse and details from 1/3rd Sco Horse formed 13th (Scottish Horse Yeomanry) Bn Black Watch at Abassia on 1st October 1916.  The battalion then moved to Salonika on 21st October 1916.

We know from your grandfather’s medal records that he did not transfer to the Black Watch. Instead he transferred to the Machine Gun Corps (Cavalry) but the surviving records do not give us a date for the transfer.  However, there are some other surviving service records that might give us some clues about what may have happened. 

Donald Waterhouse was a trooper in the East Riding of Yorkshire Yeomanry.  His surviving service records record that he was attached to the Camel Corps at Abbassia on 6th May 1916.  He rejoined his regiment in January 1918 and in July transferred to the Machine Gun Corps (Motor).

Edwin Feast enlisted on 10th December 1915 and after training with a Training Reserve Battalion he transferred to the Machine Gun Corps (Cavalry) on 3rd March 1917 and was given the Regimental Number 130872. He was posted to the 26th Camel Squadron on 9th May 1917.

As your grandfather’s Regimental Number is 130878 it seems likely that he transferred to the Machine Gun Corps (Cavalry) around March 1917.  Between October 1916 and March 1917 he may well have been attached to the Camel Corps like Donald Waterhouse.  So during that period he remained in the Scottish Horse but he knew that his regiment had been amalgamated with 1/1st Sco Horse and details of 1/3 Sco Horse to form a battalion of the Black Watch and so as he saw it he too was in the Black Watch until he transferred to the Machine Gun Corps.

I suspect that the purpose of attaching yeomanry troopers to the Camel Corps was to test how they coped with working with camels.  No doubt some (like your grandfather) were happy and saw the camel as something like a horse with a hump.  Others probably found camels impossible to work with and made odious comparisons with their trusty troop horse back in the day.  The attachment was, of course, a temporary arrangement and this later group would have been returned to their unit as soon as it became apparent that continued service with the Camel Corps was not in the best interests of the man or the camel.  For your grandfather had he been returned to his unit he would probably have gone to 13/Black Watch and so it would have been absolutely reasonable for him to see himself as Black Watch during the period of his attachment even though he was never actually transferred to the Black Watch. 

Regards

Greg

Edited by Bordercollie
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