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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Machine Gun Corps

Guest iread2k

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How were instructors selected for the newly-formed Machine Gun Corps in October 1915?

I know that some instructors (like my friend Walter Wildgoose) had been injured at the Front but were healthy and capable enough to press into the role of instructor. (Walter lost part of his big toe at 2nd Ypres and had a leg injury from Le Cateau.)

Were some of the instructors sent back to their battalions, joining them on the Front after a time training new recruits? Or did most of them stay in England at the training camps?

Also, are there any statistics on the number of regular army MGC's who transferred to regular regiments after the MGC was disbanded in 1921-22 verses the number who left the colours at that point? (Walter was in Basra when he learned the MGC was disbanded. He went back to 2nd Lincolnshire, stationed in India at the time.)

Thanks for any information or resources you can supply.


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I knew a MGC instructor also Lincolnshire Regiment.........he was a TA man with the 4th Battalion. In 1915 his time expired and there was nothing stopping him going home.......so he did. However 6 months later he was recalled and became a MGC sergeant instructor at Grantham. A nice cushy number for the rest of the war it seams. He later returned to the 4th at the end of the war and became a colour sergeant in the 1920's. Ernie Rushton was his name.


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Well, there already was a cadre as the GHQ MG School at St Omer in 1914 was (predominantly) staffed by NCOs of the 28th Bn London Regiment (Artists') who provided the basis. (We have copies of the pics from an album of a Sgt 28/London who ended his war as a Capt MGC with an MC for Italy acting as an MG instructor at St Omer in 1914-15). Captain George Lindsay, effectively the 'father' of the MGC, became Chief instructor at St Omer and used it to develop his theories for the establishment of the independent Corps. The cadre was expanded by qualified SNCOs from battalions; Lindsay's original idea had been for a 'burst' across the Army - using instructors to train instructors, to make more instructors etc, etc.. The school later moved to Wisques, then Camiers.

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