4th Machine Gun Battalion

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4th Machine Gun Battalion
4th Machine Gun Battalion.jpg
4th Machine Gun Battalion 1.jpg
4th Machine Gun Battalion positions near Ypres Sep 1917 AWM E00905

Brief History

Originally formed in March 1918 by combining the Machine Gun Companies currently serving as part of the 4th Division. It was an amalgamation of the 4th 12th 13th and 24th Machine Gun Companies. While the original MG Coy troops were Queenslanders, the 4th MG Battalion was an 'all states' unit. The first three Companies were formed in Egypt with the 24th raise din England in February 1917.

At the start of the war, Maxim machine guns had been assigned within line infantry battalions on a limited scale of two per battalion. As it was realised that there was a need for increased fire support, this was later increased to four guns per battalion, operated by a section of one officer and 32 other ranks. Next they were amalgamated at Brigade level as MG Companies an then later as MG Battalions

The battalion was equipped with a total of 64 Vickers medium machine guns – assigned at a scale of 16 per company – and took part in the final stages of the war, seeing action during the Allied defensive operations during the German Spring Offensive and then the Allied Hundred Days Offensive, which finally brought an end to the war. During these battles, the battalion was employed to provide enfilade fire in defence, and plunging fire in support of attacking infantry forces, engaging targets out to 3,000 yards (2,700 m). Due to the exposed position from which the machine gunners fired, they suffered heavy casualties.

Battle Honours

As a result of the decision not to re-raise machine gun battalions in the early interwar years, no battle honours were subsequently awarded to the 3rd Machine Gun Battalion – or any other First World War machine gun battalion – as there was no equivalent unit to perpetuate the honours when they were promulgated by the Australian Army in 1927[1]

Individual Honours

  • 1 Victoria Cross (Sgt John Dwyer while a member of the 4th MG Coy)
  • 1 Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George
  • 1 Officer of the Order of the British Empire
  • 8 Distinguished Conduct Medals
  • 11 Military Crosses and 1 bar
  • 62 Military Medals and 6 bars
  • 1 Meritorious Service Medal
  • 19 Mentions in Despatches
  • 7 foreign awards


Content for the history and honours sections has come from a combination of Wikipedia and the Australian War Memorial websites.

External Links

Pages in category "4th Machine Gun Battalion"

The following 8 pages are in this category, out of 8 total.