Herbert W. McBride
- World War One veteran and author of "A Rifleman Went To War." and "The Emma Gees". I highly recommend both books.
I had personal business recently near Indianapolis,Indianna recently and stopped to visit one of my personal hero's. He is buried at Crown Hill Cemetary,700 West 38th St.,Indianapolis,Indianna . Section 38, Lot 245.
I copied the first page of his book,laminated it, and left it at his head stone. I also left a round of .303 Enfield as a token of admiration.
:Herbert W. McBride was a Captain in the Twenty-first Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Force, during the First World War. He was a sniper and commander of a machine gun unit known as the "Emma Gees." He was also the author of two books on the war: "A Rifleman Went To War" (1933) and "The Emma Gees" (1918). He was born in Waterloo, Indiana on October 15, 1873. He was born into a military family. His grandfather served in the Mexican War, and his father served in the Union cavalry during the Civil War.
From an early age Herbert hunted game and participated in riflery competition. He honed his skills at Camp Perry, where he participated in the National Matches.
He later enlisted in the Indiana National Guard and rose to the rank of Captain by 1907. He was in an artillery battery at one point, where he was introduced to the Gatling gun. Right before the war, he traveled to British Columbia and hunted large game for a railroad company. When the war started, he volunteered in a Canadian rifle company in Ottawa because he wanted to see action as quickly as possible.
He shipped to England for training and then to the Western Front, where he participated in battles around Ypres and the Somme throughout 1916. In his book, "A Rifleman Went To War," he recounts killing more than 100 German soldiers as a sniper. This book is highly regarded by students of riflery. It is mandatory reading in the U.S. Marine Corps Sniping School. It is also considered one of the best first-person accounts of World War I, often being compared favorably to "Storm of Steel" by Ernst Junger. Like Junger, McBride is unusual in that he writes enthusiastically of his war experiences, deriding Hollywood "sob stuff" pictured in the movies after the war. But McBride notes in his book that by the end of 1916 he felt in his heart "the game was over," and a series of alcoholic binges resulted in his court martial and dismissal from the Canadian Expeditionary Force in February 1917. He then joined the United States Army's 38th Division, serving out the war as a marksmanship and sniping instructor at Camp Perry. He resigned in October 1918. After the war, he worked in the lumber industry in Oregon for most of his later years. He died in Indianapolis of a sudden heart failure on March 17, 1933, shortly after finishing "A Rifleman Went To War." He was 60.