The Canadian Machine Gun Corps (CMGC) was formed along similar lines to the British Machine Gun Corps and included Infantry and Cavalry, and Motor branches. It also included a Canadian Machine Gun School and Depot and Reinforcements Camp.
It was eventually, as of 1918, by a C.M.G.C. Headquarters, with a General-Officer-Commanding, C.M.G.C., who was supported by a Brigade Major, Staff Captain, Reconnaissance Office and seven Other Ranks.
As of the Armistice on 11th November 1918, the strength of the Canadian Machine Gun Corps was:
|Summary of strength (11.11.1918)||Officers||Other Ranks||Machine Guns|
|1st and 2nd C.M.M.G. Brigades||52||812||80|
|C.M.M.G. M.T. Coy. For 2 Motor Brigades||7||312||–|
|4 Battalions, C.M.G.C.||252||5980||384|
|C.M.G.C.R.D. Reinforcements maintained||88||1118||–|
|C.C.M.G. School Staff||5||22||–|
|C.M.G. Corps – Total||422||8349||464|
Historic establishments were:
- 21 June, 1915: 24 Officers; 567 O.R.
- 31 March, 1917: 82 Officers; 3,192 O.R.
The Companies of the Canadian Machine Gun Corps were:
|1st C.M.G. Company||1st Canadian Infantry Brigade, 1st Canadian Division|
|2nd C.M.G. Company||2nd Canadian Infantry Brigade, 1st Canadian Division|
|3rd C.M.G. Company||3rd Canadian Infantry Brigade, 1st Canadian Division|
|4th C.M.G. Company||4th Canadian Infantry Brigade, 2nd Canadian Division|
|5th C.M.G. Company||5th Canadian Infantry Brigade, 2nd Canadian Division|
|6th C.M.G. Company||6th Canadian Infantry Brigade, 2nd Canadian Division|
|7th C.M.G. Company||7th Canadian Infantry Brigade, 3rd Canadian Division|
|8th C.M.G. Company||8th Canadian Infantry Brigade, 3rd Canadian Division|
|9th C.M.G. Company||9th Canadian Infantry Brigade, 3rd Canadian Division|
|10th C.M.G. Company||10th Canadian Infantry Brigade, 4th Canadian Division|
|11th C.M.G. Company||11th Canadian Infantry Brigade, 4th Canadian Division|
|12th C.M.G. Company||12th Canadian Infantry Brigade, 4th Canadian Division|
|13th C.M.G. Company||Divisional Reserve, 1st Canadian Division|
|14th C.M.G. Company||Divisional Reserve, 2nd Canadian Division|
|15th C.M.G. Company||Divisional Reserve, 3rd Canadian Division|
|16th C.M.G. Company||Divisional Reserve, 4th Canadian Division|
|17th C.M.G. Company||Corps Reserve (previously 5th Canadian Division)|
|18th C.M.G. Company||Corps Reserve (previously 5th Canadian Division)|
|19th C.M.G. Company||Corps Reserve (previously 5th Canadian Division)|
The Canadian Machine Gun Corps did not subscribe to the standard four-company Battalion of the British Machine Gun Corps. Instead, it developed a two-company Battalion that focused the resources on the fighting strength of the companies and reduced the administrative requirement, freeing these personnel up to assist in ammunition carrying roles. It later added an additional Company to the Battalion establishment and increased the number of Vickers MGs to a total of 96 guns, instead of the previous 64.
With this new establishment, the ratios of MGs to rifles was increased. The ratios as at 1918 were:
- British 9-Battalion Infantry Division: 1 Vickers to every 141 rifles.
- Canadian 12-Battalion Infantry Division (with 2-company MG Bn): 1 Vickers to every 206 rifles).
- Canadian 12-Battalion Infantry Division (with 3-company MG Bn): 1 Vickers to every 138 rifles).
The Battalions of the Canadian Machine Gun Corps were:
|1st Bn, C.M.G.C.||1st Canadian Division|
|2nd Bn, C.M.G.C.||2nd Canadian Division|
|3rd Bn, C.M.G.C.||3rd Canadian Division|
|4th Bn, C.M.G.C.||4th Canadian Division|
|5th Bn, C.M.G.C.||5th Canadian Division|
The CMGC units which formed the Cavalry elements were:
Motor Machine Guns
The CMGC also had Motorised Machine Gun units. These included:
The administrative run-down of the Corps at the end of the Great War included the cancellation of the Mobilization Stores Tables (Army Forms G1098) for the different units in April 1922, including:
- Army Form G1098-428, “Canadian Motor Machine Gun Brigade (France).”
- Army Form G1098-429, “Canadian Motor Machine Gun Mechanical Transport Company, C.A.S.C.”
Canadian Machine Gun School
Originally, the Canadian Machine Gun School was established at Napier and Riseborough barracks; however, in Summer, 1916, it was amalgamated with the 86th (Machine Gun Battalion) to form the Canadian Machine Gun Depot.
Whilst there was no Canadian Machine Gun School in the field, Officers and Other Ranks were sent to the British Machine Gun School for courses.
Later a Canadian Machine Gun School was established as a separate entity to the British Machine Gun School. It, as of November 1918, consisted of 5 Officers and 22 Other Ranks as staff for 125 students (25 officers and 100 other ranks).
Depot and Reinforcements Centre
Canadian Machine Gun Reserve and Base Depot
The C.M.G. Res. and Base Depot (in Crowborough, East Sussex, England) consisted of, as of 11 November 1918, 233 Officers and 4187 O.R.
Machine Gun Wing, Canadian Corps Reinforcements Camp
As of 11 November, 1918, the M.G. Wing of the C.C.R.C. consisted of 14 Officers and 98 O.R. maintaining reinforcements of 88 Officers and 1118 O.R.
As with many units, the Canadian Machine Gun Corps produced an in-house magazine, titled “The Canadian Machine Gunner”.
- Download Volume I, No. 4 – November 1917. 3MB PDF File.
- Grafton, 1938
- The National Archives, WO 123/64, Army Orders 1922.