2nd Life Guards

Prior to the start of the Great War, Lieutenant AG Murray-Smith of the regiment was one of the first members of the British Army to attend, and qualify from, a Vickers Gun course run – the 53rd Qualifying Machine Gun Course –  by the School of Musketry at Hythe between 29 January and 20 February 1914.


Great War

The 2nd Life Guards was a Household Cavalry Regiment that would have had an MG Section as part of its Regimental 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 Squadron.

As a unit of the 7th Cavalry Brigade, 3rd Cavalry Division, the MG Section will have taken part in the following battles and engagements.

1914
09 and 10 October Antwerp Operations [IV. Corps].
19 October to 20 November BATTLES OF YPRES
21 to 24 October Battle of Langemarck [IV. Corps].
29 to 31 October Battle of Gheluvelt [I. Corps].
11 November Battle of Nonne Bosschen [I. Corps].
1915
11 to 13 May Battle of Frezenberg Ridge [Cav. Corps, until 12 May, then Cav. Force, Second Army].
26 to 28 September Battle of Loos (Defence of Loos) [IV. Corps, First Army].

The MG Section was brigaded into the 7th Cavalry MG Squadron on 29 February 1916.

The breakup of the 7th Cavalry MG Squadron on 14 April 1918, the officers and men were returned to the unit.


Inter-War Period

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
  • School of Musketry, Register of the School of Musketry 1911 to 1924 (Hythe: Corps of Small Arms and Machine Gun Schools; 1924).