No 8 Motor Machine Gun Battery

A Motor Machine Gun Battery was provided to some Divisions to provide additional mobile machine gun assets.

It appears that there were two different units using the designation ‘8’ in the Machine Gun Corps (Motors):

  • 8th Motor-Machine-Gun Battery, equipped with motorcycles; and,
  • No. 8 Battery (MMG), equipped with light armoured cars.

8th Motor-Machine-Gun Battery

The 8th MMG Bty joined the 14th (Light) Division in England. It then went to France with that Division in May 1915

As a units of the 14th (Light) Division, it will have taken part in the following battles and engagements.

FORMATION, BATTLES AND ENGAGEMENTSThis New Army Division had no existence before the outbreak of the Great War.

A proclamation was issued on the 11th August 1914 asking for an immediate addition of 100,000 men to the Regular Army (see Appendix 1). Army Order No. 324 of the 21st August, 1914 authorized the addition of six divisions (8th to 13th) and Army Troops to the Regular Army. This augmentation formed the First New Army, and early in September, 1914 the 8th (Light) Division, the senior division of the First New Army, began to assemble in Aldershot. The three infantry brigades of the Division were numbered: 23rd, 24th, and 25th.

It was, however, seen ascertained that the additional regular battalions released from the overseas garrisons would suffice to form another regular division. In consequence of this, Army Order No. 382 of the 11th September, 1914 directed that henceforward the number of the Light Division would be 14, and its infantry brigades would be renumbered 41, 42, and 43. On Monday the 14th September, 1914 this new numbering came into force, and instead of being the senior division, the Light Division became the junior division of the First New Army.

On the 26th September, whilst it was still at Aldershot, H.M. the King inspected the 14th (Light) Division on Queen’s Parade. Late in November, 1914 the Division moved out to billets in the Guildford and Godalming district, and on Friday the 22nd January, 1915 the Division was inspected on Hankley Common by Field-Marshal Earl Kitchener. The Division remained in billets around Guildford until the 18th February, and the troops then returned to Stanhope Lines, Aldershot. Divisional field manoeuvres and the final training for war were now undertaken.

On the 11th May a warning was received from the War Office that the 14th Division would proceed overseas on the 14th; this date, however, was altered to the 18th May, and on the 18th entrainment began. The Division then crossed from Southampton to le Havre, and by the 25th May it completed its concentration around Watten (north-west of St. Omer). For the remainder of the Great War the 14th Division served on the Western Front in France and Belgium and was engaged in the following operations:

30 and 31 July Hooge (German Liquid Fire Attack) [VI Corps, Second Army].
25 September Second Attack on Bellewaarde [VI Corps, Second Army].
13 to 30 August Battle of Delville Wood [XV Corps, Fourth Army].
15 and 16 September Battle of Flers-Courcelette [XV Corps, Fourth Army].

It left the 14th (Light) Division on 05 November 1916, when it transferred to G.H.Q. Troops.

No. 8 Battery (MMG)

No. 8 Battery, Motor Machine Guns, joined 1st Cavalry Division on 18 March 1916.

As a unit of the 1st Cavalry Division, it will have taken part in the following battles and engagements.

15 September Battle of Flers-Courcellette [in reserve to XIV. Corps, Fourth Army].
09 to 12 April First Battle of the Scarpe [Cav. Corps, G.H.Q. Reseve. Reinforced First and Third Armies].

The unit left for General Headquarters command on 23 October 1917.