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Remembered Today:

Missing MG Coy's


ddycher
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Pulling together some excellect feedback from a couple of cross related threads (thank you) I have been able to put together that 185,186 and 187 MG Coys left Grantham in the late summer of 1916 for Mesopotamia where I believe they joined the 14th Indian Division and fought through from Kut to the capture of Baghdad. I can not allocate these to brigades in the division though which is a missing link for me as I am trying to establish which was allotted to 37th Indian Brigade. To confuse matters further I have references that show men from Bn's in the 37th Brigade transfering to both the 37th Bde MG Coy and the MGC in October 1916.

With the help from others on the Forum I have been able to track members of 185/186/187 Coy's (can not isolate which yet) ending up back at Grantham with the 6th Reserve Bn MGC and then moving onto a TBD MGC Bn. on the western front.

Very confusing for a beginner on the MGC like me. Does anyone have any visibility on the development of these companies into which MGC bn etc ? Alternitively any good recommendations on how to think my way through this ? Wishful thinking but I am I am hoping to find a thread where elements could have ended up in the 6th Bn at Cambrai in March 1918 but I appreciate this very unlikely. Is it possible / probable that individual Coys were broken out of their original divisions and re-assigned ? I ask this as as far as I am aware the 14th Indian Division stayed in Mesopotamia for the duration.

Appears to be another of those veritable minefields.....

Regards

Dave

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Dave hear are some notes from some research I did for another member of the forum:-

I have been looking at the Burnt records of these 2 men

George Booth 35055

Joseph Bentham 35068

They both Transferred to The Machine Gun Corps on 9th May 1916

George was posted to Grantham 12th May 1916 This is the MGC Depot and Training Base. I expect Joseph was there too but that bit of his record has been lost.

They Embarked on HMT Berrima at Devonport 18/19 September 1916.

They Disembarked at Basra 15 October 1916

They were part of the Mesopotamian Expeditionary Force and with 185 Machine Gun Company.

So they went straight from England to Mesopotamia.

Fred Pearson 35065 Pension Record, he too was with 185 Machine Gun Company

he enlisted 24 January 1916 at Sunderland and went to 185 Coy MGC Fred Pearson was at Grantham 9 May 1916.

So they would be in the 14 Indian Division.

Item details WO 95/5176

Scope and content 185 Machine Gun Company

Covering dates 1916 Nov. - 1919 Feb.

First World War and Army of Occupation War Diaries

Subseries within WO 95 PART VI: MESOPOTAMIA, IRAQ AND NORTH PERSIA

Subsubseries within WO 95 14 INDIAN DIVISION

WO 95/5176 14 Indian Division

I have this in the book Machine Gunner 1914-1918 by C.E. Crutchley

Battle of Hai Salient

It was while we were at rest camp that the news reached us of the attack on Turkish positions in the Hai Salient.

The battle began on January 25th 1917. It was a day of bitter fighting. Early in the attack the 39 Brigade failed to reach their objective. The North Staffords, Worcesters and Warwickshire Regiments suffered heavy casualties. Colonel Henderson, CO 9th Royal Warwickshires was killed he was awarded the VC posthumously.

In this action the 39th Machine Gun Company supporting the 39th Brigade lost 3 out of 4 guns set up during consolidation of a position captured.

Next day the battle continued 14th Division taking over from 13th on the west bank of the Hai. After about 10 hours of very severe fighting the 82nd and 26th Punjabis succeeded in re taking the positions which had been captured and lost the previous day but at a high cost in lives, both of these units losing half their numbers. In this action 185 and 186 Machine Gun Companies contributed a great deal to the ultimate capture of the Turkish frontline trenches, which were over 1,000 yards in depth.

Later on 185 Machine Gun Company were involved in the capture of Bahgdad 11 March 1917.

There are several pages on the book about this.

Jane

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Jane

Thats fantastic - thank you.

Will follow up and try to find a copy of the book and will check again the National Archives. Did any of the men you were researching return to the western front later in the war or am I correct in believing as a unit they stayed with the 14th Indian Division ?

Regards

Dave

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According to the National Archives Catalogue:

185 Company - 35 Indian Brigade

186 Company - 36 Indian Brigade

187 Company - 37 Indian Brigade

2 Indian MGC Company - 56 Indian Brigade

Steve.

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Thanks Steve

Regards

Dave

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Joseph Bentham certainly stayed in Mesopotamia for the duration with 185 MG Coy. He was taken of strength 20 February 1919 embarked SS Ekma.

The other two had health problems - Booth ended up back in hospital in Bristol December 1918.

Jane

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  • 6 months later...

Still trying to find more detail on the Indian Machine Gun Corps. Anyone have any suggestions on where or how to get more information ?

Regards

Dave

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