New Zealand – Army

.303-inch Gun

The Great War

In line with other Commonwealth nations, the New Zealand Forces started the war with Maxim machine guns. These were in a Machine Gun Section forming part of the Infantry Battalion. The New Zealand Expeditionary Force operated on this basis until early 1916. In accordance with other reorganisations across the British and Commonwealth Forces, a Corps of machine guns was formed and, within the New Zealand Forces, this became the New Zealand Machine Gun Corps (NZMGC).

The NZMGC was intially formed with three Machine Gun Companies and, in June 1916, a Machine Gun Squadron was formed. The MG Companies each supported a Brigade of the New Zealand Division, whilst the MG Squadron was attached to the Mounted Brigade serving in the Middle East.

At the time the New Zealand Division left for France in 1916, after serving in the Middle East, the composition of the NZMGC was as follows:

Company Attached to: Officer Commanding: Second-in-command: Section Officers:
1st NZ MG Coy 1st NZ Inf. Bde. Maj. J.M. Rose, M.C., N.Z.S.C. Vacant. Lieut. T.H. Watson
Lieut. E.H.T. Kibblewhite
2nd. Lieut. E. Tingey, N.Z.P.S.
2nd. Lieut. R. B. Caws
2nd. Lieut. N. Steele
2nd. Lieut. A.R. Curtis
2nd. Lieut. W.J. Reid
2nd. Lieut. W. Benzies
2nd NZ MG Coy 2nd NZ Inf. Bde. 2nd. Lieut. (Temp. Capt.) J.B. Parks (Essex Regt.) Capt. J.W.D. McKnight Lieut. J.B. Mawson
Lieut. E. McLean.
Lieut. H.H. Hayhurst
2nd. Lieut. B. Palmes
2nd. Lieut. A.B. Fordyce
2nd. Lieut. A.J.M. Manson
2nd. Lieut. R.H. Buchanan
2nd. Lieut. C.M. Smith
3rd NZ MG Coy 3rd NZ (Rifle) Brigade Capt. J.H. Luxford Lieut. A.C. Finlayson Lieut. R.G. Gallien
Lieut. J.A.D. Hopkirk
Lieut. C.S. Geddis
Lieut. C.G. Hayter
Lieut. L.S. Cimino
2nd. Lieut. K.D. Ambrose
2nd. Lieut. W.R. Proffitt
2nd. Lieut. P.D. Russell

The MG Squadron was formed to provide MG support for the New Zealand Mounted Brigade. Upon formation, the availability of Vickers MGs was such that it was formed with six Vickers MGs and six of the older Maxim MGs.

Inter-war period

The Second World War

Korean War


.303-inch Gas-Operated

It is currently unclear whether the New Zealand Army used the Vickers G.O. in any specific role; however, assuming they did, it would have been used as a light machine gun on armoured reconnaissance vehicles. New Zealander members of the Long Range Desert Group would have also had exposure to vehicles equipped with the Vickers G.O.

.5-inch Gun

As with the Vickers G.O., the New Zealander members of the Long Range Desert Group used .5-inch Mk. V MGs mounted on the rear of 30-cwt trucks.