The Unofficial Saskatoon Light Infantry (M.G.) Site
During this period two senior officers were given commands of other units.  Major P.C. Klaehn was promoted Lt. Col. and given command of the Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa, the Machine Gun Battalion of the 3rd Division.  Major F.A. Clift was promoted Lt. Col. and given command of the South Saskatchewan Regiment in succession to Lt. Col. Merritt who had been captured at Dieppe after acts of gallantry which won him the V.C.  Major G.F.P.  Bradbrooke was promoted Lt. Col. and given command of the 1st Para Bn.
During the summer and autmn of 1942 it appeared as though the medium machine gun was on its way out.  It was termed obsolete in a war-machine equipped with many automatic weapons.  It looked as though the Battalion and its sister battalions would have to find another role.  That role for a time looked as though it might be "BRICK" work or in other words handling the administration of a beach bridge-head for supplies and equipment.  In fact, a period was spent in Combined Operations with that in mind.  However, word came back from North Africa of the excellent and essential performance of the medium machine guns in the desert fighting.  Consequently emphasis was again placed on these weapons.  By the spring of 1943 a reorganization of the Battalion was proposed whereby 4.2" mortars and 20mm anti-aircraft guns would be added.  The Mahine Gun Battalion would be changed to a Support Battalion consisting of an enlarged headquarters to administer the Division's Administration Area and three Brigade Support Groups, each under the command of a brigade for operations.  Hectic preparations were made for such a change-over with large numbers of officers and NCO's going on courses on the new weapons.  On 1st May, 1943, the new battalion was authorized as the "1st Canadian Division Support Battalion (Sask L.I.)".  Almost immediately it was mobilized for war and the move to Scotland took place.  During the few weeks in Scotland in the vacinity of Doune and Callender, the unit was brought up to strength and equipped.  Training was very strenuous, extending to sixteen hours a day to master the newely aquired weapons.  By the middle of June the assault units of the Brigade Groups began moving to the coast for embarkation.  By July 1st only rear parties were left and these were concentrated in a Divisional Rear Party area.  Here the A/A companies completed their training in the 20mm Oerlikon gun.
Top:  On The Range - Bulford
Bottom: Bulford Camp
Top:  The Victors, May 1940 - Bulford
Bottom: "A" Coy, Spratton, June 1940
Click the pic - For all you need to know about the Vickers Machine Gun.
Hosted by