THANK YOU FOR NOT EMAILING US
BEFORE READING THE INFORMATION AND ADVICE
AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS PAGE.
You can help us too...................
A group of members are researching with a view to writing a
history of the Corps. If you can help or would like to participate, let us know and your details will be forwarded to the group.
MGC/OCA Graves Photographic Project. Members take photographs of individual gravestones of MGC men, this is our way of trying to ensure that each man who gave his life
is remembered and every one is visited as a special individual act of Remembrance. We have a collection of several thousand photographs. If a member is unable to visit the grave of a relative, we will try to
obtain a photograph.
If you are going abroad, especially to far flung places, we would really appreciate it if you could look out for MGC graves and photograh them. We can give you a list of graves near any town in any country you visit.
We also welcome photographs of UK graves.
If you are able to take photos, please ensure you also take a close up of the base of the headstone since the only way to know if there is an inscription paid for by a relative is to actually see the gravestone. And also some pics of the general layout and location of the cemetery. Please see News page for list of overseas graves needing to be photographed. Thank you.
You may like to read the following Books:
With a Machine Gun to Cambrai by George Coppard.Cassell 1999.
The Mudhook Machine Gunner By Allan Mott (Galago Books)
The Machine Gunner 1914-1918 by Charles Crutchley (Imperial War Museum Books). You may be interested to know that this book was recently re-printed and was available in the shops to commemorate the 90th Anniversary
of the formation of the Corps. 1916 Diary of Ernest J Coleman and finally a recent publication, Mud, Blood and Bullets by Edward Rowbotham (Amazon).
A longer list of books featuring the Machine Gun Corps can be downloaded here
We want every man who served with the Corps to be remembered as an individual, not just a number and would be pleased to receive copies of documents you hold and a photograph of him.
The OCA can only offer general information and advice, not specific to any soldier and sadly there is no museum dedicated to the MGC.
General enquiries regarding the OCA and our events and magazine should be emailed
Mrs Judith Lappin Honorary Secretary at the address below.
You will find information via the National Archive at Kew in person, via its website (see below) and the Ancestry website has Soldier's Papers. You should look for Medal Index Cards, War Diaries (you need a Company or Battalion number to check the relevant one), Soldier's Papers, sometimes called the Burnt Papers (these are often the key to the most information).
Anyone can go to the National Archive (formerly called the Public Record Office) and search for documents at no cost other than photocopying.
The ANCESTRY website offers most of this information if you cannot get to Kew. They offer 1 month trail memberships on a regular basis if you don't want to do long term research. www.ancestry.co.uk
OTHER USEFUL CONTACTS:
GENERAL RESEARCH ADVICE FROM ANY SOURCE
ALWAYS INCLUDE A SAE OR STAMP WHEN YOU ASK FOR HELP.
Take a tip from us, many people assume that 'they' are paid to help or 'they' get money from the
Government to help or 'they' can pay for the stationery and stamps needed to answer questions.
Generally, 'they' get nothing, no financial help at all and many times all responses are from unpaid volunteers at many regimental associations and so on.
If you want to get your letter to the top of the pile, be polite, be patient, pay your way with a stamp and say thank you after you receive a response too. Many people who help you are unpaid and certainly everyone involved with the MGC/OCA does so for love not money.
Mr Graham Sacker has the largest database of MGC officers and other ranks known to us and may help you research your relative. Details of assistance offered and costs may be found via his website www.machine-gun-corps-database.co.uk or contact him directly via MGCdata@hotmail.co.uk
INDIAN MILITARY HISTORY SOCIETY
If you are interested in finding out more about the military history of the Indian Subcontinent this group will be pleased to help and they will be very pleased to receive copies of photographs and documents from you.
Please click on link: www.imhs.org.uk
THE COMMONWEALTH WAR GRAVES COMMISSION
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission, has it's own web site, where you can
visit to see the valuable work that they do. It has an on-line database
containing the details of every soldier killed since the onset of the First
World War and the site of their burial. Provided that you know the name of
the particular soldier, (year of death, nationality also help, but as with many a database, often theless you put in the better the result!) you can
utilise this service free of charge.
This site is well worth a visit, why not make a donation to their work as a thank you for the free search?
Click on icon to go to site.
THE NATIONAL ARCHIVE, KEW
The National Archive (formerly known as the Public Records Office) at Kew, is another very valuable source of
information. Many soldiers records are held here, (those that survived
fires and the Blitz) and information can be found among the War
Diaries and Medal Rolls. Their web site, offers valuable information
about archives available for research, opening times and advice.
A digital photography service can be used free of charge, take along your digital camera (no flash nor tripods allowed) and laptop computer.
**You will need ID to get a readers ticket on your first visit.
Their website also offers some on-line searches.. Look for the Medal Card for your relative.
Click on icon to go to site.
THE IMPERIAL WAR MUSEUM
The Imperial War Museum has a very interesting web site which
providing information on all the exhibitions taking place during the
year at it's various venues. The reading rooms at the Imperial
War Museum are a valuable source of rare First World War histories
which you may find are very useful to you. You will need to
telephone in advance and arrange a visit to the reading room so that
the staff can have the documents you require ready for you. In
additional to documents and printed books, there are exhibits and
firearms, sound, film, photographic and art archives. If you are
unable to get to London, you will find that the staff there are very
helpful and will assist you in anyway that they can.
Click on icon to go to site.