Jump to content
The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Machine Gun Corps - 1st and 6th Reserve Bns


grenville24
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hello - I'd welcome any help on this from MGC experts.

My grandfather, Frank Catton, enlisted in the 1/2nd Herts Yeomanry in 1914. He attended a Machine Gun course at the School of Musketry at Hythe between 17 February 1915 and 7 April 1915 and passed as a “Distinguished” student. Frank is recorded as having transferred to the Machine Gun Corps (Infantry) on 20 November 1915 and appointed a Sergeant Instructor with a new service number – 30788. He served at different times in both the 1st (Reserve) Battalion and the 6th (Reserve) Battalion.

Although I know from his service record that he did not serve abroad and remained an instructor at Grantham, I do not know what he actually taught there, or whether he was responsible for the Cavalry section (he was a keen rider and worked with horses all his life) or the regular Infantry (being a farmer he was an excellent shot).

Does anyone know if the 1st or 6th Res Bns were Infantry, Cavalry or even Motorised MG units? Would there be any way of finding out what he actually did at Grantham?

Additional info: On 14 April 1916 at Grantham Frank who was recorded as being technically a Private was discharged from the Territorial Force and re-enlisted for a “Short Service” engagement in the Machine Gun Corps. His conditions of service were for “Three years or the duration of the war”. He was immediately appointed a Sergeant Instructor, although the enlistment documents have Frank’s rank as Company Sergeant Instructor. On 31 March 1917 Frank was posted from the 1st (Reserve) Battalion MGC to the 6th (Reserve) Battalion MGC. He was promoted to acting Warrant Officer Class II, whilst carrying out the duties of Sergeant Instructor.

Second, are there any maps/sketches of Belton Park in this period showing the extent/layout of the camp? Are there any photographs (I don't have a photograph of my grandfather during the war)?

Finally I do have a silver cup won by my grandfather with the following inscription:

MGTC

Athletic Sports Individual Championship

Sept 12th 1916

C.St.M.I. Catton

Can anyone shed any light on this event? Would there have been any coverage in the local papers, for example?

Many thanks for any help etc on this one, and apologies for the long post!

Charles

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Charles,

I'm away from my notes but remind me and I'll dig out files on the Reserve Battalions and respond. My partner's grandfather commanded a company of No.2 (Reserve) Bn from 1916-18. In due course a photograph of that Cup would be immensely valuable - as MGC silver is scarce and subject to all manner of tales. The OCA has a store of some survivng items in a bank in London, but very few from what must have existed.

There are many pictures of Belton - Belton House, the home of Earl Brownlow which was the site of MGTC, is now a National Trust property, have a considerable number - but many are not specifically dated. I was part of a team which produced and assembled a display there about the MGC and Belton in the Great War which was held in May.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Charles,

I'm away from my notes but remind me and I'll dig out files on the Reserve Battalions and respond. My partner's grandfather commanded a company of No.2 (Reserve) Bn from 1916-18. In due course a photograph of that Cup would be immensely valuable - as MGC silver is scarce and subject to all manner of tales. The OCA has a store of some survivng items in a bank in London, but very few from what must have existed.

There are many pictures of Belton - Belton House, the home of Earl Brownlow which was the site of MGTC, is now a National Trust property, have a considerable number - but many are not specifically dated. I was part of a team which produced and assembled a display there about the MGC and Belton in the Great War which was held in May.

Phil

Thanks for your response. As you can see from the attached photo, the cup has been rather neglected. I don't have a complete photo at present, as the cup is not in my possession. However it is about 10 inches or so high, to give you an idea of its size.

Are the photographs that Belton House have easily accessible? I have a photograph of my grandfather in 1922, so if there were photographs of the instructors then I think it would be relatively easy for me to identify him.

Thanks again for your help,

Charles

post-26193-1192439686.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, that's a copy of a map held at Belton Park giving the state of play in late 1915; the NT had the original scanned in, cleaned up, printed and mounted for our display. When the MGCTC moved in the layout altered in some details.

They have quite a lot of photgraphs at Belton, but the cataloguing (a 'legacy issue', not a criticism of current staff) is hit and miss.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
Yes, that's a copy of a map held at Belton Park giving the state of play in late 1915; the NT had the original scanned in, cleaned up, printed and mounted for our display. When the MGCTC moved in the layout altered in some details.

They have quite a lot of photgraphs at Belton, but the cataloguing (a 'legacy issue', not a criticism of current staff) is hit and miss.

I visited Belton and saw the map, which is very interesting. The collections manager was very helpful, but there didn't seem to be that many photographs there. There was a photo of a sergeants' mess though. As you probably know, they are trying to get funding for a permanent exhibit at Belton at present.

Phil, I tried to private message you rather than repost but I apparently don't have permission to do so. If you have any further info on 1st or 6th Reserve Battalion it would be much appreciated.

Thanks

Charles

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...