'Unparalleled' collection of WW1 Machine Guns Corps records released


31 July 2023
The Machine Gun Corps Database has been compiled by Graham Sacker, a member of the Vickers MG Collection and Research Association, who has spent more than 20 years collecting and collating records of the men who served in the corps from 1915 to 1922.

15 July 2023 marked the 101st anniversary of the Machine Gun Corps disbandment. The Machine Gun Corps was an influential unit of the British Army formed by Royal Warrant on 14 October 1915, which at its peak comprised nearly 160,000 officers and men.

Responsible for operating the British Army’s Vickers Machine Guns, seven of the Corps’ members were Victoria Cross recipients and more than 12,000 were killed during the First World War. The Corps was disbanded in July 1922 but its legacy has survived through the machine gunners of the British Army. 

Free access to the database

Thanks to Graham’s hard work and generosity the Association can now offer access to the database, with over 128,000 records. This open access via the National Archives’ Discovery Catalogue should make it easy to find MGC soldier information in a  ‘one stop’ location alongside the war diaries, medal index cards and many other records from institutions around the country. 

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Director of the VMGCRA Richard Fisher said: ‘This database is a magnificent piece of work that Graham has spent so long collating. He's been helping people with their enquiries for many years but to allow us to share his entire archive like this massively simplifies how people can find out information about their MGC relatives.’

The database is freely accessible and searchable through the Discovery catalogue of the National Archives.


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