SKELTON - IN - CLEVELAND
"WE WILL REMEMBER THEM"
13227 Private ALVIN HARKER MOHUN.
The Machine Gun Corps.
Formerly 11926 Royal Highland Regiment.
Killed in action, aged 33, on the 2nd of July 1916.
Son of George and Isobel Harker Mohun, of 9 Boosbeck Rd, Skelton-in-Cleveland, N Yorks.
Dantzig Alley British Cemetery.
Mametz, 8k East of Albert. Somme.
Alvin Mohun, on leave, 10th March 1916.
1901. Alvin, aged 18, was living at 9 Boosbeck Rd and working as a Grocer's assistant in one of Amos Hinton's shops Middlesbrough.
His father, George H, aged 42, worked down the Ironstone Mine as a Platelayer, [rail lines for ironstone tubs.] He had been born in Normanby, N Yorks.
His mother, Isabel H, age 41 had been born in Snainton, N Yorks. By the time of the 1911 census she had had 12 children and 11 were still living.
Alvin had three brothers living at home, Gordon 17, a bricklayer's labourer, Ethelwald 13 and Francis age 9
His four sisters were Florrie 15, Lillian 7, Annie 3 and Ruth 2.
The family had a hyphenated Surname after Isabel's family as her Father, John Harker, age 61, was living with them and worked underground in the Mines as a night Overman. He had been born in Loftus, N Yorks.
1911. The family are still at 9 Boosbeck Rd. An older son Ernest Gordon, age 27, is listed an Ironstone Miner and Francis has started work down the Mine as a Horsedriver.
Two new daughters have arrived Lucy, age 7 and Ethel, age 5.
MACHINE GUN CORPS.:-|
At the start of the war the importance of the machine gun was not recognised and it was only in October 1915 that the Machine Gun Corps was authorised.
A depot and training centre was established at Belton Park in Grantham, Lincolnshire and a base depot at Camiers in France.
The Infantry Branch was by far the largest and initially formed by the Machine Gun sections which had previously
been part of the different Infantry Battalions transferring to the MGC, and grouping into Brigade Machine Gun Companies.
Shortly after the formation of the Machine Gun Corps in October 1915, the old Maxim guns were replaced by the Vickers,
which became a standard gun for the next five decades.|
The Vickers machine gun is fired from a tripod, and is cooled by water held in a jacket against the barrel.
The gun weighed 28.5 pounds, the water another 10.
The tripod weighed 20 pounds.
Bullets are assembled into a canvas belt, which held 250 rounds, which would last 30 seconds at the maximum
rate of fire of 500 rounds per minute and could turn a man's body into mincemeat.
Two men were required to carry the equipment, and two the ammunition.
A machine gun detachment also had two spare men.
Alvin's Medal card shows that he did not go to France until 1916. It is not known if he was involved in any other action prior to his death in July.
The battle of the Somme began at the end of June with a bombardment of the German trenches that was supposed to
clean them out.
The village of Mametz was carried by the 7th Division on 1 July 1916, the first day of the Battle of the Somme,
after very hard fighting at Dantzig Alley (a German trench) and other points.|
Alvin Mohun was killed the next day.
He is buried at the Dantzig Alley British Cemetery which contains 2,053 burials and commemorations of the First World War.