In 1914 there were only two machine guns supporting a British infantry battalion of 800 men, and in the light of the effectiveness of German and French machine guns the Machine Gun Corps was formed in October 1915. This remarkable book, compiled and edited by C E Crutchley, is a collection of the personal accounts of officers and men who served in the front lines with their machine guns in one of the most ghastly wars, spread over three continents. The strength of the book lies in the fact that these are the actual words of the soldiers themselves, complete with characteristic modes of expression and oddities of emphasis and spelling. All theatres of war are covered from the defence of the Suez Canal, Gallipoli and Mesopotamia in the east to France and Flanders, the German offensive of March 1918 and the final act on the Western Front that brought the war to an end. October 2006 is the 90th anniversary of the formation of the Machine Gun Corps.
C E Crutchley served in 1/4th Northants Territorial Regiment and 135 Machine Gun Company in the First World War. He was a founder member of the Machine Gun Corps Old Comrade Association and compiled this book in tribute to his fellow soldiers in 1973.