A record of the Sportsman's Battalions during the First World War, including a database of soldiers who enlisted in - or served with - the 23rd, 24th and 30th Royal Fusiliers, originally raised by Mrs. Emma Cunliffe-Owen in September 1914. If you have any questions or comments, please send to fmsketches@macbrem.com, thanks!

October 11, 1914

Escanaba Morning Press


LONDON, Oct. 10. – Recruiting the famous sportsman’s battalion is proceeding apace, the enrollment to date totaling about one thousand. In many ways it is a unique corps. It is raised and financed by Mrs. Cunliffe Owen and in all probability is the only battalion of any of the great modern armies to be brought into being by a woman.

Besides, it is the only battalion in British forces in which the age limit has been specially extended by the authorities.

The recruiting posters read:

“The Sportsman’s Battalion is a corps for gentlemen up to forty-five years of age.”

Among the distinguished men already enrolled as privates are Sir Norman Pringle,  Sir William Wallace, Sir Robert Newman,  and two sons of peers .

The percentage of rejection among the applicants is a low record for recruiting in the campaign. Up to date it is less than 5 per cent. The training ground will be the Grey Horn church, Rumford.

In the chief recruiting headquarters at the Hotel Cecil, a press agent occupies a prominent corner. Payment by the recruit for his equipment is optional.

The training and equipment are the same as required in an ordinary infantry company.

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