5th Machine Gun Battalion

From Our Contribution

5th Machine Gun Battalion
5th Machine Gun Battalion.jpg

Brief History

The Battalion was formed in Mach 1918 from the 8th, 14th, 15th, and 25th Machine Gun Companies which had previously existed as independent companies attached at Brigade level. At the start of the war Maxim machine guns were allocated to Infantry Battalions at the rate of 2 each, before it was increased to 4 each battalion. After Gallipoli these machine guns were taken from the battalions and concentrated at Brigade level as MG Companies.

The 8th, 14th, and 15th MG Companies were formed in Egypt after the withdrawal from Gallipoli, and the 25th Company was raised in England in February 1917.

The battalion was equipped with a total of 64 Vickers medium machine guns – assigned at a scale of 16 per company. As a Battalion I first saw action during the Allied defensive operations during the German Spring Offensive, and then during 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. Following the conclusion of hostilities, the battalion was disbanded in mid-1919 during the demobilisation of the AIF.

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]

However, the Unit itself marched under a banner listing the following battles:

  • Fromelles
  • Somme 1916-1918
  • Bullecourt
  • Ypres
  • Polygon Wood
  • Amiens

Individual Honours

Combination of those won by members of the 8th, 14th, 15th and 25th Machine Gun Companies and the 5th Machine Gun Battalion.
8th Machine Gun Company

14th Machine Gun Company

15th Machine Gun Company

25th Machine Gun Company

  • 1 Military Medal
  • 1 Meritorious Service Award

5th Machine Gun Battalion

  • 4 Military Crosses
  • 7 Distinguished Conduct Medals
  • 42 Military medals, and one bar (James Peter Henderson MM & Bar)
  • 1 Meritorious Service Medal
  • 18 Mentioned in Despatches, and
  • 5 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 "5th Machine Gun Battalion"

The following 2 pages are in this category, out of 2 total.