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Units That Used The Vickers

The King's Own (Royal Lancaster Regiment):

Great War - Inter-war - Second World War - Post-war

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The Great War

The Royal Lancaster Regiment consisted of Infantry Battalions that would have had an MG Section as part of its Battalion Headquarters. These weapons would have been brigaded when the Machine Gun Corps was formed in 1915. The guns, and crews, would have been formed into a Machine Gun Company.

During the Great War, the Battalions were distributed as follows:

1st

The 1st Battalion was part of the 12th Brigade, attached to the 4th Division.

As a unit of the 4th Infantry Division, it will have taken part in the following battles and engagements.
1914
25 August to 05 SeptemberRETREAT FROM MONS [II. Corps, 26 to 30 August 1914, and III. Corps from 31 August 1914.]
26 AugustBattle of le Cateau [under II. Corps].
06 to 09 SeptemberBattle of the Marne [III. Corps].
13 to 20 SeptemberBATTLE OF THE AISNE [III. Corps].
13 October to 02 NovemberBattle of Armentieres [III. Corps].
13 OctoberCapture of Meteren
1915
25 April to 25 MayBATTLES OF YPRES [V. Corps, Second Army].
25 April to 04 MayBattle of St. Julien [V. Corps, Second Army, and from 28 April to 07 May in Plumer's Force].
08 to 13 MayBattle of Frezenberg Ridge [V. Corps, Second Army].
24 and 25 MayBattle of Bellewaarde Ridge [V. Corps, Second Army].

It's MG Section was transferred on 24 January 1916 to form the 12th Bde. MG Coy..

2nd

The 2nd Battalion was part of the 83rd Brigade, attached to the 28th Division.

As a unit of the 28th Infantry Division, it will have taken part in the following battles and engagements.
The Division had no existence before the outbreak of the Great war.

The Division assembled and mobilized at Hursley, Pitt Hill, and Magdalen Hill Camps (around Winchester) during December, 1914, and January, 1915. The 12 infantry battalions, of which it was composed, came from India (10 from nine different stations), Singapore (1), and Egypt (1); the brigades were formed at Winchester. The mounted troops included a cavalry squadron from an existing yeomanry unit, and a cyclist company, which was formed at Winchester. Of the field artillery brigades: in August, 1914, III. was in India and XXXI. was at Sheffield, whilst CXLVI. was only formed at Winchester. The field companies, signal company, field ambulances, and train, were territorial force units.

The 28th Division embarked at Southampton on the 15th-18th January, 1915, disembarked at Le Havre between the 16th-19th January, and concentrated between Bailleul and Hazebrouck by the 22nd January.

The 28th Division served on the Western Front in France and Belgium until the middle of October, 1915. It embarked for Egypt in October and November, and, on arrival, it encamped in the neighbourhood of Alexandria. On the 17th November, order were received for the division to embark for Salonika as soon as possiblle. Embarkation began on the 20th November, but it was not until the 4th January, 1916, that all the units had completed disembarkation at Salonika. (The XXXI. and CXLVI. Brigades, R.F.A., proceeded direct from Marseille to Salonika, sailing on the 17th November; these two brigades arrived: XXXI. on 27th November, and CXLVI. on the 2nd December.)

1915
BATTLES OF YPRES
22 and 23 AprilBattle of Gravenstafel Ridge [V. Corps, Second Army].
24 April to 04 MayBattle of St. Julien [V. Corps, Second Army, until 28/4; then Plumer's Force].
08 to 13 MayBattle of Frezenberg Ridge [V. Corps, Second Army].
24 and 25 MayBattle of Bellewaarde Ridge [V. Corps, Second Army].
27 to 05 OctoberBattle of Loos [I. Corps, First Army].
At noon on the 19th October, the division was ordered to be ready to entrain in 48 hours for an unknown destination. On 21st October, the division beganto entrain for Marseille, and on 24th October the first units sailed from that port. Units began to reach Alexandria on 29th October, and the division (less XXXI. and CXLVI. Bdes., R.F.A.) reached Egypt by 22nd November.

The 28th Division was then sent from Alexandria at Salonika on the 4th January, 1916.

It's MG Section was likely to have been transferred into the 83rd MG Coy. which was formed on 25 January 1916.

6th

The 6th Battalion was part of the 38th Brigade, attached to the 13th (Western) Division.

As a unit of the 13th (Western) Infantry Division, it will have taken part in the following battles and engagements.
This New Army Division had no existence before the outbreak of the Great War.

A proclamation was issued on the 11th August, 1914 asking for an immediate addition of 100,000 men to the Regular Army (see Appendix). Army Order No. 324 of the 21st August (amended by Army Order No. 382 of the 11th September) authorized the addition of six divisions (9th to 14th) and Army Troops to the Regular Army. This augmentation formed the First New Army, and late in August, 1914 the 13th (Western) Division began to assemble.

The infantry brigades first assembled on Salisbury Plain. In September and October the 40th Brigade moved to Chisledon and Cirencester; and in January 1915 the 39th Brigade moved to Basingstoke. By the end of February the 13th Division concentrated for its final intensive training at Blackdown, near Farnborough; equipment and arms were now practically complete and the artillery and enginees had joined the division. Divisional field manoevres were undertaken.

On the 7th June, 1915 the Division received orders to prepare to move to the Mediterranean theatre of war. The motor bicycles and all mechanical transport (except 4 motor cars) were withdrawn; and, except in the artillery, engineers, and signal company, first reinforcements were not to proceed with the Division. On the 10th June embarkation orders were received and the first transports sailed on the 13th. Immediately before embarkation a third machine gun was issued to each infantry battalion). On the 16th June a message to the 13th Division was received from H.M. the King, and on the 18th Divisional Headquarters sailed from Avonmouth. Alexandria was reached on the 28th and headquarters landed at Mudros on the 4th July. Between the 6th and 16th July the infantry of the Division crossed to Helles and relieved the 29th Division on the left of the line. The infantry returned to Mudros at the end of the month, and between 3rd to 5th August the 13th Division landed at Anzac. Thereafter, and for the remainder of the Great War, the 13th (Western) Division served in Gallipoli, Egypt, and Mesopotamia, and was engaged in the following operations:

1915
BATTLES OF SUVLA
06 to 10 AugustBattle of Sari Bair [Godley's Force].
07 AugustRussell's Top (8/Ches. and 8/R.W.F.).
27 and 28 AugustHill 60, Anzac (4/S.W.B.) [Cox's Force].
After the evacuation of Suvla the 13th Division concentrated at Mudros, and between 27 and 31 December Divisional Headquarters and the infantry of the Division (less 38th Inf. Bde.) moved from Mudros to Helles and took over the Left Section of VIII Corps Front Line.
1916
07 JanuaryLast Turkish Attacks at Helles [VIII Corps].
Night, 08/09 JanuaryEvacuation of Helles [VIII Corps].
After leaving Helles the 13th Division went to Mudros until 18 January 1916' on this day the Division began to embark for Egypt, and by 31 January 1916 the whole Division concentrated at Port Said. The Division then held posts on the Suez Canal. On 08 February 1916 orders were received for the 13th Division to move to Mesopotamia, and on 12 February 1916 the Suez Canal posts were handed over to the Ayrshire Yeomanry and Lanarkshire Yeomanry. On the same day the first troops of 13th Division left Port Said by rail for Suez, embarked at Suez on the 13th, sailed on the 14th, and disembarked at Basra on the 27th February. On the 2nd March the Division began to move by river up the Tigris, on the 13th March divisional headquarters reached Shaikh Saad, and by the 27th March the whole Division had arrived at Shaikh Saad (less 7/Glouc., of 39th Bde. segregated for fever at Basra; 7/Glouc. rejoined 13th Division on 19 April 1916). On 02 April 1916, 13th Division took over a portion of Tigris Corps Front and became engaged in the third attempt to relieve Kut al Imara. From this time until the end of the Great War the 13th Division served in Mesopotamia and was engaged in the following operations:
THIRD ATTEMPT TO RELIEVE KUT AL IMARA
05 AprilCapture of Hanna and Fallahiya [Tigris Corps].
09 AprilSecond Attack on Sanniyat [Tigris Corps].
17 and 18 AprilBait 'Isa [Tigris Corps].
22 AprilThird Attack on Sanniyat [Tigris Corps].

It's MG Section was amalgamated with those of the other Battalions in the Brigade to form a Provisional Brigade MG Company. This was then amalgamated with into the 38th MG Coy. which was formed on 24 October 1916 at Amara.

7th

The 7th Battalion was part of the 56th Brigade, attached to the 19th (Western) Division.

As a unit of the 19th (Western) Infantry Division, it will have taken part in the following battles and engagements.
FORMATION, BATTLES, AND ENGAGEMENTS
This New Army Division has no existence before the outbreak of the Great War.

Army Order No. 285 of the 11th September 1914 authorized the further addition of six divisions (15th to 20th) and Army Troops to the Regular Army. This augmentation formed the Second New Army, and during September 1914 the 19th (Western) Division began to assemble near Bulford.

At first the infantry brigades were camped at Tidworth, Ludgershall, and Grately. In December, the brigades went into comfortable billets at Andover and Whitchurch, Basingstoke, and Weston-Super-Mare. The early discomforts and difficulties were similar to those which were experienced by all the divisions of the New Armies, consequently a few D.P. rifles were received with enthusiasm.

By March 1915 the Division was clothed in khaki and a great advance had been made in training. During March the Division concentrated around Tidworth to begin its final preparation for the field, and regimental training was completed by mid-May. On the 7th June the 19th Division first operated together as a complete division, and between the 12th and 18th June the 19th Division Artillery carried out its first gun-practice. On Wednesday, the 23rd June, the 19th Division was inspected by H.M. The King; and, at the end of the parade, His Majesty said to the General-Officer-Commanding: "Your Division is as good as anything I have seen in the New Army."

On the 11th July the advanced party of the 19th Division left for France, on the 16th the Division began to move, and by the 21st July it had crossed to France and completed its concentration near St. Omer. For the remainder of the Great War the 19th Division served on the Western Front in France and Belgium and was engaged in the following operations:-

1915
25 September to 02 OctoberBattle of Loos [Indian Corps, First Army].
25 SeptemberAction of Pietre

It's MG Section was likely to have been sent to Grantham for retraining and subsequently transferred into the 56th Bde. MG Coy. which disembarked at le Havre on 09 February 1916 and joined the Division on 14 February 1916.

8th

The 8th Battalion was part of the 76th Brigade attached to the 3rd Division.

As a unit of the 3rd Infantry Division, it will have taken part in the following battles and engagements.
1914
23 and 24 AugustBattle of Mons [II. Corps].
24 August to 05 SeptemberRETREAT FROM MONS [II. Corps].
26 AugustBattle of le Cateau [II. Corps].
06 to 09 SeptemberBattle of the Marne [II. Corps].
13 to 20 SeptemberBATTLE OF THE AISNE [II. Corps].
13 SeptemberPassage of the Aisne.
20 SeptemberActions on the Aisne Heights.
10 October to 02 NovemberBattle of La Bassee [II. Corps] (3rd Division (less 8th Brigade, left under Indian Corps) was relieved on 29 October)
05 to 21 NovemberBATTLES OF YPRES [I. Corps].
11 NovemberBattle of Nonne Bosschen [I. Corps]. (In this battle the 3rd Division was formed of 7th, 9th, and 15th Brigades).
14 DecemberAttack on Wytschaete.
1915
16 JuneFirst Attack on Bellewaarde [V. Corps, Second Army].
19 JulyHooge [V. Corps, Second Army].
25 SeptemberSecond Attack on Bellewaarde [V. Corps, Second Army].

It's MG Section was transferred by 13 April 1916 to form the 76th Bde. MG Coy..


Inter-war Period

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


Second World War

This remained until the formation of Divisional Machine Gun Battalions in 1936 where guns were brigaded once again when the majority of Battalions had their Machine Gun assets centralised into those Battalions.

2nd

The 2nd Battalion was a 'Chindits' Battalion, where it was formed into Columns each having an MG Section of two guns, the Battalion's MG Platoon being spread across the Columns and supplemented with additional guns and machine gunners where required.


Sources

  • Becke, 1934
  • Redding, 2011
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