A Machine Gun Battalion of the Machine Gun Corps was attached to each Infantry Division and was formed of four MG Companies.

The 18th Bn, MGC was formed on 16 February 1918. It originally consisted of 53rd54th, and 55th MG Companies until it was joined, on 09 April 1918 by 278th Machine Gun Company which became D Company. It was also supplemented by 265th Machine Gun Company which joined the Division on 17 April 1918 and was broken up to reinforce the four existing companies of the Battalion..

Division attached to:18th (Eastern) Division
Formed from the:53rd Machine Gun Company
54th Machine Gun Company
55th Machine Gun Company
278th Machine Gun Company
265th Machine Gun Company

As a unit of the 18th (Eastern) Infantry Division, it will have taken part in the following battles and engagements.

21 to 23 MarchBattle of St. Quentin [III Corps, Fifth Army].
04 AprilBattle of the Avre [XIX Corps, Fourth Army].
24 and 25 AprilVillers Bretonneux [III Corps, Fourth Army].
08 and 09 AugustBattle of Amiens [III Corps, Fourth Army].
21 to 23 AugustBattle of Albert [III Corps, Fourth Army].
23 AugustCapture of Usna and Tara Hills.
27 AugustCapture of Trones Wood (53rd Bde.).
31 August to 03 SeptemberSecond Battle of Bapaume [III Corps, Fourth Army].
18 SeptemberBattle of Epehy [III Corps, Fourth Army].
20 September to 01 OctoberBattle of the St. Quentin Canal [III Corps, until noon, 01 October; then XIII Corps, Fourth Army].
20 to 26 OctoberBattle of the Selle [XIII Corps, Fourth Army].
04 NovemberBattle of the Sambre [XIII Corps, Fourth Army].

On the 6th November the advanced troops of the 18th Division made good the line of the railway (along the south-eastern side of the Forest of Mormal) near Sassegnies, and pushed out patrols to the left bank of the River Sambre. The 18th Division was then drawn back into XIII Corps Reserve; and when the Armistice brought hostilities to a close, the Division was billeted in villages around Le Cateau. Here the Division remained until the end of the year; all ranks were given educational and recreational training and were employed on salvage work. On the 4th December, H.M. The King accompanied by H.R.H. The Prince of Wales passed through the 18th Division area. Demobilization began on the 10th December and coal-miners and pivotal men left during the month.

During January 1919 demobilization proceeded at an increasing pace; and at midnight 19th/20th March 1919 the 18th Division ceased to exist. During its war service the Division gaimed 11 Victoria Crosses and (approximately) 4,382 other honours. In this same period the 18th Division lost 46,503 killed, wounded, and missing. The Roll of Honour, deposited in St. James’s Church at Colchester, contains the names of 13,727 officers, non-commissioned-officers, and men.


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