The tools and equipment of a Machine Gun Section were carried in different methods depending on the likelihood of breakage or frequency of maintenance. Therefore, items commonly needing repair or cleaning would be carried with the gun team – usually by the No. 2 – while those less common, and as replacements for the gun teams, were carried within the Section transport.

The first item of carrying equipment used was the wallet, which was contained within the case, which was carried at a scale of 1 per gun. Initially the case (with the wallet inside) was carried in the box at a level of 1 per gun but as the Great War progressed, the box was designated on a scale of every two guns, and therefore a Section or Sub-Section item.

It was a requirement to check and clean each part once per year, including barrels being greased (Army Order 471 of 1921), and lock springs of guns and spare locks were never to be left in the “cocked” position.

The references for the photographs shown below are period manuals and other documents.

For a full explanation on the development of the contents, please watch our YouTube video:

The variations that we have found, and demonstrated below, are:


September 1914

September 1914

The source material for September 1914 consists of an inserted sheet from the spare parts wallet and then the case and box listings from the December 1914 handbook. At this time, one case, wallet and box were carried per gun.

WalletCork for plug (1); Cup, Muzzle attachment (1); Fuzee W/chain (1); Flannelette (2 yards); Gib, No. 2 (1); Pins, firing (1); Pins, trigger (1); Pins, tumbler (1); Pins, keep, split, 1/8 x 2 1/4 (1); Pliers, 6-in (1); Protector, muzzle (1); Pullthrough (1); Punches, No. 3, M.G. (1); Punches, No. 5, M.G. (1); Reflector, Mirror, M.G. (1); Screwdriver, Small, M.G. (1); Sear (1); Springs, gib (1); Springs, lock (2); Trigger (1); Tumbler (1); Washer, adjusting, No. 1, .003-in (3); Washer, adjusting, No. 2, .005-in (3).
CaseBlock, feed (1); Funnel (1); Lock (1); Wallet, case, spare parts box (1).
BoxBoxes, tin, for small parts (2); Bushes, axis side levers (1); Case, spare parts box (1); Collar, roller (1); Corks (1); Cup, muzzle attachment (1); Discs, muzzle attachment (5); Eyelets, long (1/2 oz.); Fusees, with chain (1); Gibs (1); Hammer (1); Lever, extractor, left (1); Lever, extractor, right (1); Packing, asbestos, 5-yds. (2); Pins, axis, trigger (1); Pins, axis, tumbler (1); Pins, firing (1); Pins, fixing, crank handle (2); Pins, split, fixing collar roller (2); Pins, split, keeper, bush axis, side levers (1); Pins, split, keeper, check nuts, long (4); Piston, check lever (2); Plug, belt (1); Plug, cork (1); Plugs, front cover catch (2); Plug, screwed (1); Plunger, front, cover catch (2); Roller (1); Screw, clamping, muzzle attachment (1); Screwdriver, large (1); Sight, fore (1); Sight, tangent (1); Spanner, shifting (1); Spring, bottom pawl (1); Spring, check lever (2); Spring, cover lock (2); Spring, front cover catch (2); Spring, fusee with fittings (1); Spring, gib (1); Spring, lock (3); Spring, safety catch with piston (2); Spring, sear (2); Spring, sliding shutter catch (2); Spring, tangent sight (2); Spring, tangent sight slide (2); Spring, top pawl (1); Spring, trigger bar (2); Strips, long (25); Strips, short (25); Tool, belt repairing (1).
War Office, 1914a, 1914b.

December 1914

December 1914
WalletBalance, spring (1); Bush, axis, side levers (1); Cork for plug (1); Discs, Muzzle attachment (1); Fuzee W/chain (1); Gib (1); Pins, axis, trigger (1); Pins, axis, tumbler (1); Pins, firing (1); Pins, split, keeper, bush axis, side levers (1); Pin-T, fixing rear-crosspiece (1); Pliers, 6-in (1); Plug, clearing (1); Protector, muzzle (1); Pullthrough, double (1); Punches, No. 3 (1); Punches, No. 5 (1); Reflector, mirror (1); Screwdriver, small (1); Sear, with spring (1); Springs, gib (1); Springs, lock (1); Trigger (1); Tumbler (1); Washer, adjusting, No. 1, .003-in (3); Washer, adjusting, No. 2, .005-in (3); Wire gauze, pieces (2).
CaseBlock, feed (1); Funnel (1); Lock (1); Wallet, case, spare parts box (1).
BoxBoxes, tin, for small parts (2); Bushes, axis side levers (1); Case, spare parts box (1); Collar, roller (1); Corks (1); Cup, muzzle attachment (1); Discs, muzzle attachment (5); Eyelets, long (1/2 oz.); Fusees, with chain (1); Gibs (1); Hammer (1); Lever, extractor, left (1); Lever, extractor, right (1); Packing, asbestos, 5-yds. (2); Pins, axis, trigger (1); Pins, axis, tumbler (1); Pins, firing (1); Pins, fixing, crank handle (2); Pins, split, fixing collar roller (2); Pins, split, keeper, bush axis, side levers (1); Pins, split, keeper, check nuts, long (4); Piston, check lever (2); Plug, belt (1); Plug, cork (1); Plugs, front cover catch (2); Plug, screwed (1); Plunger, front, cover catch (2); Roller (1); Screw, clamping, muzzle attachment (1); Screwdriver, large (1); Sight, fore (1); Sight, tangent (1); Spanner, shifting (1); Spring, bottom pawl (1); Spring, check lever (2); Spring, cover lock (2); Spring, front cover catch (2); Spring, fusee with fittings (1); Spring, gib (1); Spring, lock (3); Spring, safety catch with piston (2); Spring, sear (2); Spring, sliding shutter catch (2); Spring, tangent sight (2); Spring, tangent sight slide (2); Spring, top pawl (1); Spring, trigger bar (2); Strips, long (25); Strips, short (25); Tool, belt repairing (1).
War Office, 1914b

1917

The Spares Wallet was carried one per gun within the Spare Parts Case and the ‘First-Aid’ Spare Parts Case was carried one per gun by the No. 2 of the MG Detachment. The box was still carried per gun.

1917
WalletBalance, spring (1); Bush, axis, side levers (1); Cork for plug (1); Discs, Muzzle attachment (1); Fuzee W/chain (1); Gib (1); Pins, axis, trigger (1); Pins, axis, tumbler (1); Pins, firing (1); Pins, split, keeper, bush axis, side levers (1); Pin-T, fixing rear-crosspiece (1); Pliers, 6-in (1); Plug, clearing (1); Protector, muzzle (1); Pullthrough, double (1); Punches, No. 3 (1); Punches, No. 5 (1); Reflector, mirror (1); Screwdriver, small (1); Sear, with spring (1); Springs, gib (1); Springs, lock (1); Trigger (1); Tumbler (1); Washer, adjusting, No. 1, .003-in (3); Washer, adjusting, No. 2, .005-in (3); Wire gauze, pieces (2).
CaseBlock, feed (1); Can, oil (1); Funnel (1); Lock (1); Wallet, case, spare parts box (1).
BoxBoxes, tin, for small parts (2); Bushes, axis side levers (1); Case, spare parts box (1); Collar, roller (1); Corks (1); Cups, muzzle attachment (3); Discs, muzzle attachment (5); Eyelets, long (1/2 oz.); Fusees, with chain (1); Gibs (1); Hammer (1); Lever, extractor, left (1); Lever, extractor, right (1); Packing, asbestos, 5-yds. (2); Pins, axis, trigger (1); Pins, axis, tumbler (1); Pins, firing (1); Pins, fixing, crank handle (2); Pins, split, fixing collar roller (2); Pins, split, keeper, bush axis, side levers (1); Pins, split, keeper, check nuts, long (4); Pin, split, keeper, muzzle attachment (1); Plug, belt (1); Plug, cork (1); Plugs, front cover catch (2); Plug, screwed (1); Plunger, front, cover catch (2); Roller (1); Screw, clamping, muzzle attachment (3); Screwdriver, large (1); Sight, fore (1); Sight, tangent (1); Spanner, shifting (1); Spring, bottom pawl (1); Spring, cover lock (2); Spring, front cover catch (2); Spring, fusee with fittings (1); Spring, gib (1); Spring, lock (3); Spring, safety catch with piston (2); Spring, sear (2); Spring, sliding shutter catch (2); Spring, tangent sight (2); Spring, tangent sight slide (2); Spring, top pawl (1); Spring, trigger bar (2); Strips, long (25); Strips, short (25); Tool, belt repairing (1).
War Office, 1917

April 1918

The Spares Wallet was carried one per gun within the Spare Parts Case and the ‘First-Aid’ Spare Parts Case was carried one per gun by the No. 2 of the MG Detachment. The box was carried with each pair of guns.

April 1918

September 1918

September 1918

1923

1923

1930

The Spares Wallet – carried one per gun within the Spare Parts Case. The Spare Parts Case – carried with the gun at all times when in action, by the No. 2 of the Sub-Section. The Spare Parts Box: Carried one per section.

1930

1939

The Spares Wallet – carried one per gun within the Spare Parts Case. The Spare Parts Case – carried with the gun at all times when in action, by the No. 2 of the Sub-Section. The Spare Parts Box. Carried one per section.

1939

1941

1941

1942

1942

1942 (Australia)

1942 (Australia)

1944

1944

1944 Amendment No 1

1944 Amendment No 1

1944 Amendment No 2

1944 Amendment 2

1946

1946

1951

The Spares Wallet – carried one per gun within the Spare Parts Case. The Spare Parts Case – carried with the gun at all times when in action, by the No. 2 of the Sub-Section. The Spare Parts Box – Carried one per section.

1951

Sources: