By Robert G. Segel
British Edwardian-era WWI veteran’s tobacco pipe. The front bowl is hand carved with the Machine Gun Corps insignia of the King’s crown over crossed Vickers. Battles that this veteran was involved in are also carved into the bowl and are “Hooge,” “Hill 60,” “Ypres” and “Hell Fire Corner.” Silver hallmarked band between the bowl and stem. Approximately 9 inches long.
German WWI-era sterling silver promotional pocket, cigarette lighter from the Bergmann Industrial Works. The match with wick type of lighter has high-relief images on both sides. One side has German soldiers carrying and firing a Bergmann light machine gun, and the other side has the Grim Reaper and a gun crew firing the Bergmann heavy water-cooled machine gun. Both sides say: “Bergmann Maschinengewehre.” The bottom is silver-proofed “900” and part of the makers name and number.
U.S. WWI-era souvenir felt pillow cover. Diamond-shaped, red and blue assembled felt (the colors of machine gun companies) denoting Company B of the 3rd Machine Gun Battalion of the First Division (known as the “Big Red 1”).
Sterling silver model of the Vickers Mk I heavy machine gun as made by jewelers in England during WWI. The inset shows an advertisement by the Goldsmiths & Silversmiths Company Ltd of London for one such silver model. Generally not purchased by individuals, these were intended for regimental displays and Mess presentations.
Italian Fascist-era medal. High relief bronze 20mmx30mm medal showing the Italian FIAT-Revelli Model 1935 machine gun among palm trees (denoting their colonial rule in North Africa) with the King’s crown over the cross on shield (Kingdom of Italy) with a Latin motto to the top. The reverse shows a mountain range between two up-raised bayonets and at the bottom, “201 Battaglione Mitraglieri” (201st Machine Gun Battalion).
Australian gold gilt and enameled veteran’s pin for the 2/1 Machine Gun Battalion Association’s 50th anniversary. Enameled grey, black and yellow triangle insignia of the 2/1 Machine Gun Battalion topped with a white-enameled “50” with two Vickers machine guns along each side. And a yellow-enameled banner below marked, “Machine Gun 2/1 Bn. Assocn.” The rear is stamped with an ID member number “195” and maker-marked, “Millers Ltd. Sydney.” Pin back. The 2/1 means it was the second 1st Machine Gun Battalion that was formed during WWII. The 1st Machine Gun Battalion was formed in WWI. The 2/1 Machine Gun Battalion was formed in late 1939. After a stay in England, the battalion was transferred to the Middle East in 1940 and fought in Greece and Crete in mid-1941 where it suffered heavy casualties and equipment loss. The unit was rebuilt and undertook garrison duties in Syria in 1941-1942, when it was then withdrawn to Australia as a result of Japan’s entry into the War. The unit then fought a defensive role in the New Guinea campaign and then later the Borneo campaign. The unit was disbanded in 1946.
WWII French Maginot Line shirt badge for the 53rd Motorized Machine Gun Battalion. Wheel with motto and central image of lion with Hotchkiss machine gun with “53e B.M.M.” banner below. Pin back.
|This article first appeared in Small Arms Review V24N3 (March 2020)