4th Dragoon Guards

Prior to the start of the Great War, Lieutenant A Gallaher 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 4th Dragoon Guards was a Cavalry Regiment that would have had an MG Section as part of its Regimental Headquarters.

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:-
1914
23 and 24 August Battle of Mons.
24 to 05 September RETREAT FROM MONS.
24 August Elouges.
25 August Solesmes.
26 August Battle of le Cateau [under II. Corps].
01 September Nery.
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].
1915
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 2nd Cavalry MG Squadron on 28 February 1916.


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).
  • Wilkinson, 1968