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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Machine Gun Corps


harrison

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I hope no-one minds me posting this image, which appears on the later pages of my post on the "Soldiers" thread ("Lancashire Fusiliers / Machine Gun Corps"), in the hope that some of the uniform experts out there can help with some guidance on date.

I've had some really useful feedback regarding the "MG" shoulder flash (thanks especially to Phil and Tim), and seem to have narrowed the options down to 125th MGC (if pre-Feb 1918) or 42nd Battalion MGC if post Feb 1918. These suggestions being corroborated by other information. But the limitations of a B&W image mean it's almost impossible to tell which.

So I'm hoping that there may be other aspects of the uniform that provide further hints.

Steve

PS: What's in the fact that the five guys wearing halyards on their left shoulders are also wearing laced leather boots?

post-6689-1113939552.jpg

post-6689-1113939575.jpg

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Hi Steve

As I noted in the other thread there do not appear to be any men wearing overseas service stripes. These were issued in 1918 so the photo most likely predates the issue of these stripes.

Steve

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Hi Steve

Stirrup straps as well, my guess is drivers attached to the particular MGC unit. Does the inference of Horse drawn transport help with more precise dating?

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None of them have a 14 Star ribbon.... not even the officers. I would have thought that one or two of the men would have had either/both QSA or KSA ribbons.

My guess would be sometime in very late 1914 (as the "Motorised Machine Gun Service came about in November 1914) or early 1915 - but it is a guess!

Les

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None of them have a 14 Star ribbon.... not even the officers. I would have thought that one or two of the men would have had either/both QSA or KSA ribbons.

My guess would be sometime in 1914 or early 1915 - but it is a guess!

Les

Hi Les

The MGC wasn't formed until October 1915 and 1914 Stars were not sanctioned until 1917

Steve

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Steve,

That's what I initially thought. But having checked my little red book - "Locations of British Cavalry, Infantry & Machine Gun Units 1914-1924" - I found this entry.........

Les.

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The MGC looked after their own Riding,Heavy Horses and Mules.

I also think they were trained as Machine Gunners as well.

My Great-grandad was a Groom by trade,before he became a part of the MGC,and i have often wondered wether that is why he ended up in the Corps.

Perhaps they were part of a course,then went back to their horses in the MG Company,or they were ex Calvary men,who just didn't want to give up the boots!

Made them stand out a bit,and were a lot less hassle than doing Puttees and wearing the good old Hobnail,which had a tendency to fall apart if you marched to far on them.

Bet they were a dash,with the ladies.

All the best.

Simon

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I thought it was October 1915 that the MGC came into being.

MG Sections within battalions were around before that,but the MGC Corps badge only came into being with the forming of the corps.

All the best.

Simon.

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Hi Steve,

I think the patches are probably all one colour...I am leaning towards light blue with some slightly different, faded or otherwise, shades. If the actual patches themselves were different colours (signifying 125, 126, 127 Coys, MGC) then according to the information posted in the other post then the lettering would be white in some instances would it not? The only other possibilities are that they are 127 Coy or 42 Bn.

The consensus seems to be in the other post that his MGC number is consistent with a later transfer....early 1918. I am still leaning towards a Coy of the 42nd Bn, MGC in February 1918 soon its formation. As someone suggested perhaps you can arrange search for service records of those men around the same MGC number and see what that reveals. In the other post you have some names of KIA men from the 42nd Bn from SDGW. So there may be a bit better chance that these papers survived? I would start with the LF men. I completed the same exercise for my grandfather and it was very helpful.

Rgds

Tim D

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Motor Machine Gun men had MMG attached below the crossed machine guns as part of their hat badges. These men do not so I think we can rule this out.

Rgds

Tim

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The third man standing from the right side of the image. He appears to be wearing a shoulder patch with some design on it, does it say 'MG' or a number or something else. Could you post an enlarged image of the patch, it may help.

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The third man standing from the right side of the image.  He appears to be wearing a shoulder patch with some design on it, does it say 'MG' or a number or something else.  Could you post an enlarged image of the patch, it may help.

That's the MGC shoulder flash we've been discussing Grant (see close-up attached).

Regards,

Steve

post-6689-1114252863.jpg

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Could this be a picture taken of a course? They are all wearing what appear to be very shiny cap badges so might they be somewhere where bull was in favour?

Also none that are are showing a left sleeve seem to have proficiency badges.

Squirrel

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As has been pointed out, none of these men have service chevrons or 14 stars, which would certainly have started appearing by about Feb 1918, yet they don't look like new recruits so presumably would be entitled. Two are wearing the Field Service boot introduced in July 1917 (which I believe Joe S has pointed out somewhere - one has the earlier boot with the triple cuff). So somewhere between late summer 1917 and very early 1918 seems a reasonable guess.

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I'm wondering if the fact some of the men have removed the wire from their caps might point to a later date (1915 onwards). Also this might point to them being abroad, rather than in England. Was removing the wire common in England?

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I'm wondering if the fact some of the men have removed the wire from their caps might point to a later date (1915 onwards). Also this might point to them being abroad, rather than in England. Was removing the wire common in England?

I had assumed that the photo was taken at the end of a training course in England, perhaps on the formation of the unit. The architecture looks very "country house English", and given the MGC link with Belton House and Grantham, had assumed it was taken there. Presumably there are other MGC group photos out there which might provide corroboration?

Steve

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Seems a bit workaday and ugly for and English country house, esp. with those bars on the windows. Looks more like a drill hall to me.

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Seems a bit workaday and ugly for and English country house, esp. with those bars on the windows. Looks more like a drill hall to me.

Could be...but I was thinking of the country house stable block (cobbles, lead roof. etc) rather than the grand frontage. Nowadays, it's where the National Trust put the cafe!

Steve

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