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 9, 1914

The New York Times


Titled Men in the Unique British Battalion – A Woman Financing It.

Special Cable to THE NEW YORK TIMES

LONDON, Oct. 8. – Recruiting for the famous Sportsman’s Battalion is proceeding apace, the enrollment to date totaling about 1,000.

It is in many ways a unique corps. It is raised and financed by Mrs. Cunliff Owen and is in all probability the only battalion of any of the great modern armies to be brought into being by a woman. It is certainly the only battalion in the 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.” Payment by a recruit for his equipment is optional. The training and equipment are what are required by any ordinary infantry company.

Among the distinguished men already enrolled as privates are Sir Norman Pringle, Bart.; Sir William Wallace; Sir Robert Newman, Bart., and two sons of peers who have not yet passed the military examination.

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.

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