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Remembered Today:

19th Motor Machine Gun Battery in India 1918 and 1919


pjwmacro
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19th Motor Machine Gun Battery. Another of the Motor Machine Gun Service Batteries which served in France initially and then was redeployed to India. Attached to 33rd Division from 9 November 1915, but moved independently to the Western Front. Joined 30th Division 10 February 1916, and moved to 18th Division 6 June 1916. By January 1918, was with 4th (Quetta) Division in India. From Quetta the Battery formed part of the Baluchistan force during the Third Afghan War. The Official History specifically records 19th Motor Machine Gun Battery as being in action, with 2 sections, north of Hindubagh and Karezgi Fort, approx. 50 miles / 80 km NE of Quetta, in late July (26th-30th) 1919. The nominal roll below is drawn from the IGSM08 Afghanistan /NWF1919 medal roll, but I am puzelled. So far I can find only about 18 names (approx. 1 section, rather than the 2 or 3 sections + battery HQ which I would expect). And so far, no officer names, attached ASC identified.

 

Any help appreciated.  Regards, Paul

 

Service No.Rank.Name

 Captain 

 Lieutenant 

 Lieutenant 

 2nd.Lieutenant 

 2nd.Lieutenant 

   

M.M.G.S  

   

807  Gunner Robert Robertson HAY

815  Serjt.Thomas MORRIS

1164  Gunner Thomas KIRK

1166  A/Cpl.William LESLIE

1187  Serjt.Richard STORIE

1386  Gunner John BURTON

1646  Gunner David MILLIE

1996  Gunner James McMORRAN

2144 A/Bmbr P ALLAN

2513  Gunner Clarence Ward LISTER

2710  Gunner P M VINCENT

  

  

MGC(M)  

   

38808 Pte William WOODCOCK

68797 Gunner Albert V DYER

79383 Gunner E A TROTT

79449 Gunner Horace Henry HAKIN (Service record exists)

79456  Gunner Joseph HALL

191865  Gunner Leonard LAMBERT

191866 GunnerFrederick W LEGG

      

ASC  

 Sgt.  

 Private

Private 

 Private 

   

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One of the officers.

Lt Maurice Arthur Haines Ex RNAS pilot who joined MMGS in April 1915.

Born London 11th May 1896 and died in Vancouver 22 February 1974

In 1919 he moved sideways  into the Indian Army so likely in Waziristan in 1920. By 1936 he was a Major in the Indian Army. WW2 he was Lt Colonel 8th Punjabi Regiment.

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Edited by david murdoch
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CO was Major Archibald Gray. He was owner of A.Gray and Go. Auto Engineers in Guilford prior to the war. Joined the ranks of King Edwards Horse then transferred to MMGS Promoted Major July 14th 1916. His date of entry 6th February 1916 is the date 19th Battery landed in France. 

30850_A000634-01288.jpg

Edited by david murdoch
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MGC(M) Gunner John William Winfield 191876 shows up on the GSM Tank Corps roll renumbered 7817682. He is another ex Royal Warwickshire Regiment and in similar numbering to the RWR 30850_A001709-00043.jpg.1921d76f59730b1a4c988c49fc6d750e.jpggroup who went to 3rd MMG.

31794_221579-00266.jpg

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19 hours ago, david murdoch said:

Lt Maurice Arthur Haines

Thanks as always David. I assume nothing to do with Haines manuals??

 

I have updated my spreadsheet with all 3 of these.

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Two MGC casualties for 19th Battery in India  - both died and buried in Quetta.

1159  Gunner William Hayes died 28 Jul 1918 age 23 of some medical condition (maybe enteritis) From Hanley, Staffs

https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/1437262/hayes,-/

2027 Gunner James Shaw Rennie died 6th August 1918 age 32 of meningeal haemorrhage. From Glasgow,Scotland. He married Jennie Ramsey in Glasgow on 27th December 1915, giving his occupation as Cart Master and Gunner  MMGS. Residence Bisley camp. He was presumably home on Christmas leave not long before the battery went to France in February 1916. They had a daughter Margaret Mary born 12th January 1917 - he must have been home again on leave from France as he registered her on her birth certificate.

https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/1437753/rennie,-/

 

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40 minutes ago, david murdoch said:

Two MGC casualties for 19th Battery in India  - both died and buried in Quetta.

Thanks David.

 

Remembered still

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Another officer. Captain Ernest Henry Carnochan MiD Born 19th  April 1884 Portsea Island, Hampshire, Died 14th September 1946 Gosport Hampshire.I think he was 2OC and some time commander of the battery. Joined MMGS as Temporary 2nd Lieutenant 23rd April 1915. He went to France with the battery as a Lieutenant, Captain as of 19/10/1916 and later seen signing off on the war diary month ends just prior to going to India as OC- with Major Gray coming and going. He does not have an IGSM but sure he went to India with the battery. He was a bank clerk in 1901, bank cashier on the 1911 Census and Captain of Arundel, Bognor football team. He continued as a banker in India/Burma after WW1 He married D'arcy La Roche Salter (a bank managers daughter) in London on 9th June 1932 (listed in The Tatler). She went out to India with him - seen returning to UK in 1937. He appears in 1939 list as Banker - Retired from India and in the wartime newspapers as Senior Air Raid Warden at K post, Hayling Island. His widow born 4th September 1904 remarried in 1948 and actually outlived a further three husbands. Two of those had been born in India and all three were former officers in the Indian Army. She died Lady D'arcy La Roche Pratt on 28th April 1982.

 

The Alliance Bank of Simla was a British-run though India-registered bank that commenced operations in Simla in 1874 under the management of James Lewis Walker. The bank was established to take over the business of the United Bank of India, established in 1866, which had operations in Simla and Umballa. Its board put the United Bank of India in voluntary liquidation on Saturday 21 March, and Alliance Bank commenced operations on Monday, 23 March.[1] Alliance Bank failed on 27 April 1923 due to speculation by its management. At the time that it failed it had 36 branches, including ones in Lahore, Lucknow, Peshawar, Rawalpindi, and Rangoon.

 

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Edited by david murdoch
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Still to identify "Sgt. Burke" 19th Battery who appears (on the left) in one of the 22nd Battery photos. Original caption states at Pindi in June - so most likely has to be June 1918  Whether he was  MGC(M) or ASC there was some contact between the two batteries at this point. 19th was certainly in Quetta in July/August 1918. It's possible a journey was made to pick up  or trade motorcycle  spares. 

5946d38a2594a_IMG(3).thumb.jpg.90698fa5cd6bd95d31128dc0665e7f61.jpg

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On 02/05/2020 at 20:52, david murdoch said:

1159  Gunner William Hayes died 28 Jul 1918 age 23

 

William Barrett Hayes. Appears just above James Rennie in Soldiers Effects.

Soldiers-effects-Hayes.jpg

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12 hours ago, david murdoch said:

Still to identify "Sgt. Burke" 19th Battery who appears (on the left) in one of the 22nd Battery photos. Original caption states at Pindi in June - so most likely has to be June 1918  Whether he was  MGC(M) or ASC there was some contact between the two batteries at this point. 19th was certainly in Quetta in July/August 1918. It's possible a journey was made to pick up  or trade motorcycle  spares. 

 

@abowell97 - this was a Walter Patrick photo. I was thinking about this just the other day, but David beat me to it. I wonder if there is a connection between the 5 men?

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  • 3 months later...

The Official History of the Third Afghan War specifically records 19th Motor Machine Gun Battery as being in action, with 2 sections, north of Hindubagh and Karezgi Fort, approx. 50 miles / 80 km NE of Quetta, in late July (26th-30th) 1919. (The Battery formed part of the Baluchistan force.)

 

Can anyone tell me more about this action? Is it described in George Molesworth's book, "An Account of Operations in the Third Afghan War" - sadly I don't have a copy! Or in Brian Robson's "Crisis on the Frontier" - my copy has been left in storage while on posting!

 

Thanks, Paul

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  • 1 year later...

Seems I missed this thread as well! Attached are first, a group photo of 19 MMG Battery at Gumbaz Fort in Baluchistan in 1918, and second of the signallers of the Battery at Quetta in 1918. These came from a nice photo album I have concerning 19 MMG Battery - possibly by an officer Lieutenant H. Erlebach - with many annotated pictures, particularly of their role in the largely unknown campaign in Baluchistan in 1918. I have a list of officers of the Battery which I will post once I find my notebooks. Of interest, most of the original officers of the Battery decamped after the end of the Great War (and didn't serve in the Afghan War nor received the medal) and the Battery received two replacement officers, in India on their way home for demob: Lieutenant G. Turner of MGC (Cavalry) and Lieutenant A.M. Ketley, formerly with 8 LAMB, who both served with the Battery during the Afghan War. I have photographs of both these officers and will post if interested.

19MMGGUMBAZFORT1918BW.jpg

SIGNALLERS19MMGQUETTA.jpg

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Few corrections and additions. The photo album was created by Lieutenant F.G. Squire (OC No. 2 Section) and presumably he took the top picture which shows the other two Battery section officers: on the left, with mustache, is Lieutenant W.B. Erlebach (No. 3 Section) and next to him with pipe is Lieutenant C. M. Frank. I can confirm that Captain (later Major) Archibald Gray was OC the original battery in France but whether he went to India is unclear. Two other officers are potential 19 MMG members: the MIC of Lieutenant W.L. Allnatt lists 19 MMG Battery but no details. He was in India in 1919, attached to No. 5 AMB; a Captain B. England, ex-19MMG Battery, is listed in the MGC Officers Association membership list for 1934.

The 1918 campaign in Baluchistan involved punitive actions against the Marri tribe who had made a serious attack on Gumbaz Fort on 19 February 1918, nearly capturing it (Gen Monro's despatch 13 September 1918 refers).

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1 hour ago, mcassell said:

Lieutenant H. Erlebach

There appear to be 2 other Erlebach's who served and died with the RFC - Edward Eustace (45 Sqn) and Arthur Woodland (57 Sqn). I have seen mention of a 3rd brother, Henry Woodland, who also was killed. Could this be the H Erlebach you mention?

 

Edited : just seen your second post.  So not Harry Erlebach. Maybe a cousin? Also wondering, Erlebach sounds German - could W B Erlebach have been sent to India owing to German ancestry? (As per Max Roescher of 22 MMG Battery?)

Edited by pjwmacro
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1 hour ago, mcassell said:

The photo album was created by Lieutenant F.G. Squire (OC No. 2 Section) and presumably he took the top picture which shows the other two Battery section officers: on the left, with mustache, is Lieutenant W.B. Erlebach (No. 3 Section) and next to him with pipe is Lieutenant C. M. Frank

Thank you for sharing.

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1 hour ago, mcassell said:

The 1918 campaign in Baluchistan involved punitive actions against the Marri tribe who had made a serious attack on Gumbaz Fort on 19 February 1918, nearly capturing it (

This would have been almost immediately after 19 MMGB's arrival in India, from Marseille. 

1 hour ago, mcassell said:

Battery received two replacement officers, in India on their way home for demob: Lieutenant G. Turner of MGC (Cavalry) and Lieutenant A.M. Ketley, formerly with 8 LAMB, who both served with the Battery during the Afghan War. I have photographs of both these officers and will post if interested.

Yes please - most interested.

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1 hour ago, mcassell said:

Lieutenant F.G. Squire (OC No. 2 Section) and presumably he took the top picture which shows the other two Battery section officers: on the left, with mustache, is Lieutenant W.B. Erlebach (No. 3 Section) and next to him with pipe is Lieutenant C. M. Frank

The top picture particularly interesting  - I count 33 men, so approximately 2 sections. Which fits with the 2 sections described as being in action north of Hindelburg in late Jul 1919. But still cannot identify those sorts of numbers on the IGSM NWF 1919 medal roll?

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Captain Woodland Bernard ERLEBACH Machine Gun Corps, has officer service records available in TNA - not digitized.

https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C1114184?descriptiontype=Full&ref=WO+339/60343

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1 hour ago, pjwmacro said:

Captain Woodland Bernard ERLEBACH Machine Gun Corps, has officer service records available in TNA - not digitized.

https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C1114184?descriptiontype=Full&ref=WO+339/60343

Woodland Bernard Erlebach
1888–1967

BIRTH 10 March 1888 • London, United Kingdom

DEATH March1967 • Hove, Sussex, England

I have him on the absent voters roll.

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8 hours ago, david murdoch said:

Woodland Bernard Erlebach
1888–1967

Hi David

That looks like the man - but the MIC doesn't indicate an IGSM. Does he show separately on an officers IGSM roll? Or is he one of those officers that @mcassellsuggests decamped after the end of the war and were replaced by Lt's Turner and Ketley?

Regards, Paul

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13 hours ago, mcassell said:

Lieutenant C. M. Frank.

Lieutenant Charles M Frank was Gloucester Regiment and didn't head home at the end of 1918. He was attached to 263 MGC Coy for the Afghan War. I can find no IGSM medal roll listings for FG Squires or WB Erlebach. Nor can I find W.L. Allnatt or B. England on the IGSM medal roll. (Doesn't mean they weren't there(?) - they may not have claimed the medal?)

Lt-Charles-M-Frank-IGSM.jpg

Edited by pjwmacro
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Dear David and pjwmacro,

Brilliantly researched!

Kindest regards,

Kim.

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13 hours ago, mcassell said:

Lieutenant G. Turner of MGC (Cavalry) and Lieutenant A.M. Ketley, formerly with 8 LAMB, who both served with the Battery during the Afghan War.

Both appear on the IGSM medal roll.  Photos would be much appreciated.

Lt JT Turner MGC - IGSM Roll.jpg

Lt-AM-Ketley-19-MMGS-IGSM.jpg

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Attached are photos of (left) Lieutenant G.T. Turner and Lieutenant A.M. Ketley. The picture of Turner, formerly of the exclusive Royal East Kent Yeomanry, later commissioned in MGC (Cavalry) and MID for Mesopotamia, was included with paperwork accompanying medals. Though no specific mention of 19 MMG, a letter to his father dated 1 September 1919 indicates Turner was then at Deolali awaiting a ship to UK. The picture of Lieutenant Ketley comes from an annotated photograph album made by Lieutenant J.L. Wood MC of 8 LAMB in Mesopotamia. He was originally a POM in the RNAS before commissioning in MMGS. He did not apply for his medals until 1939 and hence his IGSM is a Royal, rather than Calcutta, Mint issue.

My feeling is that the officers with 19MMG in 1918 had all gone home by early 1919 - Baluchistan is not the healthiest of places with endemic malaria and dengue - and Ketley and Turner, on their way home via India, were co-opted as replacements and served in the Afghan War. Both men left India after the Afghan War and were replaced by Allnatt and others though admittedly the latter may not have claimed the IGSM for Afghanistan.

TURNERUNIFORM.jpg

KETLEYWOOD4.jpg

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