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The Canadian "Emma Gees"
A History of the Canadian Machine Gun Corps
by
Lt.-Col. C.S. Grafton

Transcribed by Dwight G. Mercer

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direction." With this inviting flank exposed to them, the Canadians had good shooting and made the most of it. Another group of guns on the road running due north from Aubercourt had intermittent shooting gallery practice at German columns moving up a road sunken in many spots. It was a fantastic target in its way, suddenly bobbing up and then as quickly fading into a sunken portion of the road and disappearing from sight. Another detachment was heavily engaged west of Marceleave.

Two armoured cars co-operated on the morning of the 30th in the Avre sector, when a brilliant counter-attack by the Canadian Cavalry Brigade cleared the Germans out of Moreuil Wood. The gunners guarded the gap between the cavalry and the 20th Division.

The progress of the enemy north of the Luce was definitely checked and in the afternoon of the 30th his troops were finally driven back to about the line of the Aubercourt-Marcelcave road by determined counter-attacks carried out by elements of the 66th Division and the 9th Australian Brigade. Further strong counter-attacks in the evening restored our line south of the Luce and slightly later that night hostile attacks on the both sides of the Somme were repulsed by the 1st Cavalry and 3rd Australian Divisions.

That night Carey's famous force was broken up as it was relieved by the 1st British Reserve Division (3rd Australian) to make an appearance on the 5th Army front, but the machine gunners remained in the line.

March 31st brought a continuance of the fighting between the Luce and Avre, our troops being driven from Moreuil Station to Hangard. One of the armoured cars returning from a sortie ran into heavy enemy shelling just south-east of llourges and dived into a shell-hole. Three of the crew became casualties as the guns were removed. Later that day a party went back to get the abandoned car, but it had been hit squarely by shells and was just smoking debris.

There were plenty of alarms but no more severe fighting until early on the morning of April 4th, when a series of attacks, while generally repulsed, caused the British line to make hurried shifts.

That afternoon the Motors, who were reorganizing preparatory to reporting back to the Canadian Corps, were again called on to "hold Villers-Brettonneaux at all costs."

Twelve guns going up on the left were heavily shelled astride the Warfuse-Amiens road, four other ranks being killed and 26 wounded. An enemy shell exploded on, and set fire to a lorry filled with ammunition just as it was being unloaded by men of the Yukon and Eaton Batteries on the eastern outskirts of Villers-Brettoneaux. Two charabanc cars were near by and, despite the danger from explod-

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Transcript Copyright © 2003 Dwight G. Mercer - Badge Images Copyright © 2003 Ray Adams
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