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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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trench system, encountered heavy hand-to-hand fighting but crossed the Sensee River after capturing the villages of Cherisy and Vis-en-Artois.

The 3rd Division met with stubborn opposition but succeeded in capturing Bois de Vert, Bois du Sart, and reaching the western outskirts of Haucourt, Remy, Boiry-Notre-Dame and Pelves.

Immediately the barrage stopped the infantry advance became more difficult. The enemy was using a greater number of machine guns and was seen bringing batteries of artillery into action in the open south of Upton Wood. He reinforced the line with mounted infantry. A prisoner stated that the infantry was in process of relief by a machine gun battalion.

No. 1 Company, 2nd Battalion C.M.G.C. (Hobson) went forward with the 5th C.I.B. Batteries moved up in limbers, but just in front of Wancourt the roads were found impassable owing to trenches and wire and, as it was not possible to go across country, equipment had to be man-handled from this point. "B" and "C" Batteries saw plenty of action and subdued several machine gun nests that were holding up the infantry, whose initial pace from Egret trench had been rapid. "C" Battery (Much) moved two guns up on the flank of one nest and wiped out three German crews as they attempted to bolt. "A" Battery covered a gap exposed when Imperials had withdrawn temporarily from Fontaine-les-Croiselles and neutralized fire from Fontaine Wood.

No. 2 Company (Ramsay) was with the 6th C.I.B. less the 29th Battalion, which remained in support during this day's fighting. "F" Battery operated with the 29th Battalion and was able to bring fire on Fontaine Wood.

"J" Battery of No. 3 Company, 2nd Battalion C.M.G.C., was ordered to move forward with the 4th C.I.B., and followed closely the advance of the 19th Battalion. Heavy machine gun and direct artillery fire were encountered during this advance. The battery got splendid targets when mounted infantry were seen on the opposite side of the Sensee River. Some of the men escaped the hail of bullets, but few of the horses escaped. Tender-hearted gunners took time out to singleshot the kicking, writhing equine victims out of misery.

"M" Battery supported "J" Battery's advance and came under heavy fire. Sergeants Demerse and Duffy were both severely wounded but led their sections through to the first objective before being evacuated.

"K" Battery, No. 3 Company of the 3rd Battalion, C.M.G. C., moved forward with the 43rd Battalion. No. 1 Section succeeded in getting into good positions after going through heavy fire to the right of Beetle Trench. "M" and "L" Batteries operated with the 116th and ...

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