Prior to the start of the Great War, Lieutenant JS Ainsworth of the 11th Hussars was one of the first members of the British Army to attend, and qualify from, a Vickers Gun course run by the School of Musketry at Hythe between 25 October and 15 November 1913. He was followed between 29 January and 20 February 1914 by Lieutenant The Honourable LH White on the 53rd Qualifying Course at Hythe. Their attendance implies this regiment was one of the earliest to receive the Vickers machine gun.
As a unit of the 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:-|
|23 and 24 August||Battle of Mons.|
|24 to 05 September||RETREAT FROM MONS.|
|26 August||Battle of le Cateau [under II. Corps].|
|06 to 09 September||Battle of the Marne.|
|12 to 15 September||BATTLE OF THE AISNE.|
|12 October to 02 November||Battle of Messines [Cav. Corps].|
|BATTLES OF YPRES|
|09 to 13 May||Battle of Frezenberg Ridge [Cav. Corps, until 12 May, then Cav. Force, Second Army].|
|24 May||Battle of Bellewaarde Ridge [Cav. Corps, Second Army].|
The MG Section was brigaded into the 1st Cavalry MG Squadron on 28 February 1916.
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 and Tank Regiment.