No. 20 Battalion, Machine Gun Corps

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

No. 20 (or 20th) Battalion, MGC was formed on 15 March 1918.

Division attached to:20th (Light) Division
Formed from the:59th Machine Gun Company
60th Machine Gun Company
61st Machine Gun Company
217th Machine Gun Company

As a unit of the 20th (Light) Infantry Division, it will have taken part in the following battles and engagements.

22 and 23 MarchBattle of St. Quentin [XVIII Corps, Fifth Army]
24 and 25 MarchActions at the Somme Crossings [XVIII Corps, Fifth Army]
26 and 27 MarchBattle of Rosieres [XVIII Corps, Fifth Army]
02 to 06 OctoberThe Final Advance in Artois [VIII Corps, Fifth Army].

At 6 p.m. on the 6th October the 12th Division relieved the 20th Division in the front line and the 20th Division spent the remainder of the month training in the Monchy Breton area. On the 31st October the 20th Division moved to the Cambrai area and was transferred to XVII Corps, Third Army. On the 1st November the divisial artillery (XCI and XCII Brigades) went into action to support the 19th Division; and on the 10th November the 60th Infantry Bde. relieved two brigades of 24th Division (VI Corps, Third Army), and the 60th Brigade remained in the front line on the Mauberge-Mons road until the Armistice brought hostilities to a close at 11 a.m. on the 11th November. At this time 20th Division headquarters and the 61st Brigade had reached Feignies, midway between Bavai and Mauberge; and at 4p.m. on the 11th the 20th Division relieved the 24th in the front line.

On the 23rd November the 20th Division began to move back through Cambrai to the Toutencourt-Marieux area, and by the 2nd December the move was completed. The remainder of December was spent in training, education, recreation, and in preparing for demobilisation.

On the 7th January, 1919, the first party (6 officers and 74 other ranks) left the Division for demobilisation; by the end of the month the Division had lost 85 more officers, and 2,702 more men from this cause, and during February an additional 74 officers and 2,691 other ranks left to be demobilised. Thus the Division shrank. On the 11th April the command of the skeletal division devolved on a lieutenant-colonel. On the 28th May the cadre of divisional headquarters left for England and the war story of the 20th (Light) Division came to an end. During the Great War the 20th Division lost 35,470 killed, wounded, and missing.


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