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The 5th Royal Irish Lancers:

The 5th Royal Irish Lancers was a Cavalry Regiment that would have had an MG Section as part of its Regimental Headquarters.

It started the war as a member of the 3rd Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division. The 3rd Cavalry Brigade was transferred to the 2nd Cavalry Division on 13 September 1914.

As a unit of the 3rd Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, it will have taken part in the following battles and engagements.

The Cavalry Division had no permanent existence before the outbreak of War. The units of which it was composed on mobilization were quartered at various stations in England and Ireland, viz:- the 1st Cav. Bde., VII. Bde., R.H.A., 1st Field Sqd., R.E., 1st Signal Squadron, and No. 1 Signal Troop, at Aldershot; the 2nd Cav. Bde. and No. 2 Signal Troop, at Tidworth; the 3rd Cav. Bde., II. Bde., R.H.A., 4th Field Troop, 4th Cav. Bde., and No. 4 Signal Troop, were stationed at Canterbury, Shorncliffe, and London. The division crossed to France between the 15th and 18th August, concentrated to the East and South-east of Mauberge between the 18th and 20th August, and began to move forward on the 21st.

Throughout the War the 1st Cavalry Division served on the Western Front in France and Belgium, and was engaged in the following operations:-

1914
23 and 24 AugustBattle of Mons.
24 to 05 SeptemberRETREAT FROM MONS.
24 AugustElouges.
25 AugustSolesmes.
26 AugustBattle of le Cateau [under II. Corps].
01 SeptemberNery.
06 to 09 SeptemberBattle of the Marne.

As a unit of the 3rd Cavalry Brigade, 2nd Cavalry Division, it will have taken part in the following battles and engagements.

1914
12 to 15 SeptemberBATTLE OF THE AISNE
12 October to 02 NovemberBattle of Messine [Cav. Corps].
13 to 17 OctoberBattle of Armentieres (3rd and 4th Cav. Bdes.) [Cav. Corps].
BATTLES OF YPRES
30 and 31 OctoberBattle of Gheluvelt (3rd Cav. Bde. and part of 4th and 5th Cav. Bdes.) [I. Corps].
1915
BATTLES OF YPRES
26 April to 03 MayBattle of St. Julien [Plumer's Force, Second Army].
24 and 25 MayBattle of Bellewaarde Ridge [V. Corps, Second Army].

The MG Section was brigaded into the 3rd Cavalry MG Squadron on 29 February 1916.


In 1922, the Machine Gun Corps was disbanded and the guns returned to the Cavalry Regiment as a Machine Gun Platoon and then formed as a Machine Gun Company in the early 1930s.

This remained until the formation of Divisional Machine Gun Battalions in 1936 where guns were brigaded once again. As Cavalry regiments were largely mechanised, their use would have been as per the Royal Armoured Corps.


Sources

  • Becke, 1934
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