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!

November 28, 1914

The Daily Telegraph



SIR – Without entering into the controversy as to whether football should cease or not, may I point out that there is an honorable alternative for the man who ought to serve his country and yet must play and talk football – namely, to join the 2nd Sportsman’s Battalion Royal Fusiliers, the battalion which is now recruiting at this hotel.

The corps already contains well-known footballers, and friends joining at the same time, who have interests in common, can be kept together, live in the same hut, and so on. They need not altogether sacrifice their love of sport while training for the great international now being played in Northern France.

Provided the applicant is a gentleman and thoroughly fit, expense need not stand in his way, for he is not asked to pay for anything. The age limit, specially extended in this case by the War Office to 45, will attract many who are willing to serve, but unable to enter any other corps.

The battalion is an infantry one, and, of course, part of the Regular Army. – I am, yours faithfully,
E. CUNLIFFE OWEN, Chief Recruiting Officer.
Hotel Cecil, Strand, W.C., Nov. 28.

Grantham Journal

Official sanction has been received for the formation of a second Sportsmen’s Battalion of the Royal Fusiliers, and sportsmen, University and old Public School boys are invited to join, by first applying to Mr. E. Cunliffe Owen, Chief Recruiting Officer, Hotel Cecil, London.

The Indianapolis Star


Officer Gives Remarkably Vivid Picture of Life at Front in Sodden Ditches Under Shell Fire.


False Conception of What Is Going on Leads to Ranks Being Filled With Wrong Kind of Soldiers.

LONDON, Nov. 28. – Something of the inner feelings and impressions of the men actually engaged in the trenches at the front are contained in the following extracts from a letter sent to a friend in London by an officer with the British expeditionary force.

“Sitting here and reading the English papers that arrive, one can not help feeling that England, at any rate, has not yet succeeded in banishing the spectacular and romantic conceptions of war, which no longer bear any resemblance to the actuality. The papers still give the impression that war is an affair of dash and clash. Incidents are invented, like the charge of the Bengal cavalry. Other incidents, true in themselves, but isolated and not characteristic, such as the engagement of the London Scottish, are made to convey a picture of the whole battle.


Kind of Men Needed.

“This false conception of what is going on creates a false picture of the soldiers that are wanted. I read of the Sportsmen Battalion, all athletes and so forth. All very nice if individual prowess were in question. But it is not. What is wanted is ordinary men trained to discipline and trained to shoot, and plenty of them – men who can be held in not to shoot until the proper moment; not men who are going to whoop and slash and kill two Germans at one stroke.


November 26, 1914

London Evening News

SPORTSMAN’S BATTALION. – RECRUITS are now being accepted for the second battalion; age 19 to 45. – Sportsmen, University men, Old Public Schoolboys, &c., should apply at once Chief Recruiting Officer, Hotel Cecil, between the hours of 10 and 5.

November 25, 1914

London Evening News


Although War Office sanction for a second Sportsman’s Battalion was only received on Saturday[1], two hundred men have already applied for enrolment at the headquarters at the Hotel Cecil.

The first battalion are now in huts at Hornchurch, which is called the “show camp of Great Britain.”

The estate upon which the men are encamped was a private park of eighty-five acres, including a mansion, which is now the officers’ quarters.

This place was owned by the father of the battalion’s first recruit[2], and Mrs. Cunliffe Owen, who was the originator of the battalion, got permission for the men to encamp there.

[1] Saturday, November 21st, 1914

[2] Capt. Stanley Holmes

November 21, 1914

The War Illustrated

Sportsmen of Peace for the Grim Game of War

After an inspection in Hyde Park, London, by their colonel, Lord Maitland, the Sportsman’s Battalion marches out to entrain for their camp. Many noted sportsmen and athletes have joined its ranks.

A RESPONSIBLE German Paper recently complained that the British carried the spirit of sport everywhere, and looked at everything from a sporting point of view. She has found that our fighting men are sportsmen, and she will that our sportsmen are warriors – equal to, and better, than the disciples of culture.

The Sportsman’s Battalion of Lord Kitchener’s army owed its inception to the efforts of Mrs. Cunliffe-Owen, and there was a rush of recruiting that speedily filled up its ranks. Its camp is as Hornchurch, in Essex, where it is getting the necessary initiation in drill, discipline, and the practice of arms.

The battalion is attached to the Royal Fusiliers, and it consists of picked men and trained athletes, many of them at championship rank. Two of the companies consist solely of giants over six feet tall. They have already been nicknamed the “Hard-as-Nails,” and we may expect them to justify this sobriquet.

Officers of the Sportsman’s Battalion. On the left, Viscount Maitland; in the centre, Captain H. J. J. Inglis, adjutant; and on the right, Lieutenant Enderby, quartermaster.

With the men of the Sportsman’s Battalion in camp at Hornchurch. A professional cricketer, a professional singer, an angler, and a City merchant assist in gathering firewood. In the upper picture on the right a Cambridge University Blue carries a log in performing the same necessary task.


Then and Now


The above cartoon, which is reproduced in “The men of Great St Mary's Cambridge in the Great War”, is a fictional reworking of the photograph in the War Illustrated newspaper of November 21st. In the cartoon, each of the recruits is shown in the typical garb of his civilian profession or calling. From left to right, they are: W.E. Bates, SPTS/919 (professional cricketer); unidentified, possibly A.B. Wharton, SPTS/6 (professional singer); C. Armstrong, (angler) SPTS/936; unidentified (City merchant).

Whitstable Times



THAT Mr. Weekes, of the firm of Messrs. Strachan and Weekes, the engineer responsible for the Whitstable sewage scheme, has joined the Sportsman’s Battalion of the new Army and has been appointed a pioneer sergeant.

November 17, 1914

Daily Mirror


Every Type of Athlete Training in Sportsman’s Battalion.


The Sportsman’s Battalion of the Royal Fusiliers is surely the most cosmopolitan regiment in the British Army. In its composition are many nationalities and all sorts and conditions of men, and all sportsmen.

The active side of sport is represented by expert cricketers, footballers, boxers, golfers, swimmers, tennis and lawn tennis players, and wrestlers, drawn from both the amateur and professional ranks. And, best of all perhaps, sport is represented in its ranks by the country gentleman.

As a camp, Grey Towers, the lovely old park and house at Hornchurch, where the sportsmen are training, is easily the best in England for any single battalion.

I was shown around, first of all, by the busiest man in the regiment, Lieutenant and Quartermaster H. Enderby.


“Grey Towers” is the officers’ quarters, and the men are encamped in huts in the eighty acres of park. These huts are the latest thing in Army constructional work.

They are raised a foot to eighteen inches above the turf, lined with match-boarding, lighted with many windows, warmed by a big stove, and have boarded floors.

The beds are wooden boxes with stout canvas stretched across them, and each man has three blankets. As most of these dwellings are decorated with flowers and flags they present a gay appearance.

There is a big institute and reading room, a supper room, wet and dry canteens, a fully-equipped hospital, a rifle range, forty-eight bathrooms, and also kitchens and wash-houses.

Five meals a day are served, starting with coffee and biscuits at 6:30 a.m., and finishing with soup at 7:30 p.m.

Varied every day, breakfast dishes are porridge, bacon, corned beef, sausages, stewed mutton, chops, tomatoes, kippers, bread and butter, tea and coffee.

Dinner during a week is varied between roast and stewed mutton and beef, beef steak pie, Irish stew, hot pot, curried stew, tomato stew, potatoes, haricot beans, cabbage, suet roll and syrup, currant puddings, dumplings, and sultana pudding.


November 15, 1914

The Mining Magazine

In the November issue of The Mining Magazine, the following mining men are listed under “The Roll of Honour” as joining the Sportsman’s Battalion, Royal Fusiliers:

Bevan, A. G. M.   A Thomas Bevan (SPTS/ 606) is listed in the Nominal Roll
Bray, Francis P. SPTS/ 597  
Curle, J. H. SPTS/ 51 James Herbert
Holloway, W. S. SPTS/ 7  
Nicolaus, G. R. SPTS/ 635  
Richards, H. B. SPTS/ 408  
Rundall, W. H. SPTS/ 722  
Stockings, George M. SPTS/ 781  
Webb, R. C. SPTS/ 410  

November 14, 1914


Mr. R. Sargood Williams has sent us the following interesting insight to the Sportsman’s Battalion which he has just joined.

Mr Sargood Williams lived in Hastings for 13 years, and made a great many friends in walks of life, and he will be long remembered for his energetic connection with the Hastings and St. Leonards Cycling Club.

He is now soldiering, and local people will wish him the best of luck. In his letter he says: –

“The Battalion was formed about the beginning of October, and until last Wednesday the Headquarters and most of the Battalion were in London. Daily marches were made to various parts of London to harden the men whilst the camp at Hornchurch was being prepared. Anyone who has not seen what an enormous amount of work is required to complete a Battalion in every detail can have no conception what a tremendous task it is.

Last Wednesday, 4th November, as reported in the daily papers, we marched 1,300 strong, from headquarters, the Cecil Hotel, to Hyde Park, where we were reviewed, and then marched through the City to Liverpool station, and entrained to Romford. Grey Towers Camp is well situated on a gentle slope. The huts are built of corrugated iron, lined with match boarding, and are very comfortable. Each hut holds 30 men, 15 beds on a side, and a long table down the centre. There is a large institute or concert hall, hospital, and all of the usual offices connected with a camp. The whole place is lighted with electricity, generated in the camp. The morning Reveille sounds at six o’clock. The fall in for Swedish drill and exercises from 7 to 8, 8 to 9 breakfast, 9 to 12.30 roll call, inspection, and drill, 12.30 to 2.30 dinner, 2.30 to 4.30 drill or march out, 4.30 to 5.30 tea and on fine nights a route march of one or two hours, so you can see our time is well occupied.

In the Battalion are many of the leading sportsmen and athletes in the kingdom, and “The Hard as Nails” Battalion as a nickname is well earned. All the men are very keen at their drill, and are making wonderful progress. The commanding Officer and other Officers are doing their very best for our comfort and proficiency, and we hope to be a credit for to their training. The Sportsman’s Battalion has been incorporated in the Regular Army with the Royal Fusiliers.

“I should also be very glad to receive and distribute any presents of tobacco, cigars, and cigarettes, etc, which any kind friends are willing to send for the Privates in the Battalion.

“Our great ambition is to be able to enter Berlin with the rest of the troops when the German menace is crushed, as it surely will be.”

Mr. Sargood Williams’ friends will be interested to hear that his address is: Hut 29, Sportsman’s Battalion, Royal Fusiliers, Grey Towers Camp, Hornchurch, Essex.

November 10, 1914

Orlando Morning Sentinel


F. H. Williams’ Brother a Member of Sportsman’s Brigade of London Royal Fusiliers

Mr. Rippon Sargood Williams, brother of Mr. Frank H. Williams, of this city, and who for many years lived at Oakland, in this country, has gone to the front as a member of the Sportsman’s Brigade of the London Royal Fusiliers. This is a brigade of seasoned men and all with family ties. Mr. Williams says that by the New Year there will be one million men ready to send wherever needed in the present strife, and if another million is needed they will be ready next March.
London Standard





One mile and a-half from Hornchurch, in Essex, are the new winter quarters of the Sportsman’s Battalion of Lord Kitchener’s Army. Here, in a wide domain, encircling one of the old stately homes of England, some 1270 men, clad in Khaki, eager, trained to quickness of eye and certainty of judgement, are rapidly becoming a skilled body of soldiers/ Greystone Towers, which is the headquarters of the battalion, is an ivy-covered mansion. A river runs through the grounds, on one side of which have just been erected numerous huts to accommodate these soldier-sportsmen.

The huts are built on streets, and ensure the comfort of the occupants. They have been arranged by Mrs. Cunliffe Owen, who cannot but be proud of the result of her patriotic work for King and country. “Welcome to the Sportsman’s Battalion” appears in bold letters over the establishment of one tradesman, while all through the day people from far and near flock to watch the drilling of men who have won fame on every field of sport. They are men whose ages range from 19 to 45, and who, when they entered on their training, were physically of the fittest.

Colonel Viscount Maitland is in command of the battalion, and he can find no words strong enough to express his appreciation of the men under his command. The second in command is Colonel A. de B. V. Paget, a veteran of the Tirah campaign on the North-West Frontier. “We have the finest material here,” he said; “men of intelligence, brain, and muscle. Each one is anxious to do his part. I say now, honestly, that I never met a finer body of men.” Colonel Pagetx` spoke feelingly, and courteously conducted one of our representatives around the camp. “We have,” he said, “seventy five acres of splendid ground, which, as you see, afford ideal conditions for training men. The officers’ quarters are at the Towers, and the huts where the men are quartered are really fine.” The adjutant is Captain Inglis.

Sergeant-Major McRedmond, whose home is at Orpington, is a predominant figure in this camp of soldier-sportsmen. He stands 6ft. 2in. in height, has been on the retired list for two years, and is an Irishman with a highly creditable career behind him. He fought in Egypt in 1882, in the Nile Expedition from 1184 to 1886, in India, and through the Boer War. He stood gazing with some pride on the companies of the battalion. “They are fine boys,” he said; “I do not want a better body of men. They don’t want telling twice.

The Sportsman’s Battalion on parade yesterday near their new quarters at Hornchurch.

They are willing and eager to get to the front.”

The giant sergeant-major expressed the view of the whole camp. “We are ‘get-theres’” said Mr. N. H. Benjamin. “That is what makes us so eager in our drill, so willing to do anything and everything that will bring us to the place where the fighting is.”

At every turn in the camp one meets men who have won renown in the varied fields of sport. In one company are Hayes and Hitch, of Surrey county cricket fame. Yorkshire is represented by Bates. Here are Albany, the sculler; F. W. Terry, the Devon water polo champion; and Barton, who was captain of the Southfields Hockey Club. “We sportsmen,” said Mr. E. G. Mitchell, a well-known walker, “want to give whatever our athletic prowess and training may mean to our country.” Here, too, is Mercer, of the Sussex cricket colts, who has just won his cap in the Sussex Football League.

There are representatives of the stage and music-halls, too, in the Sportsman’s Battalion. Our representative, for instance, met Mr. Richard Kendall, the brother of Miss Marie Kendall, who declared that he had found soldiering to be his real bent. “The stage is child’s play,” he said, “compared to this. I have made an audience laugh, but I imagine I will make the Germans I meet laugh – with a whimper.” In this camp of sportsmen is Mr. G. Fraser, late manager of the Waldorf and Simpson’s.

Scrubbing the floor of the hut with all the energy of a charwoman was Mr. N. H. Benjamin, who father was the owner of Wild Aster, and who frankly admitted that this type of work was new to him. Mr. T. Heathorn, an old public school boy well known in West-end circles, was an assistant barber plastering on lather in readiness for razor operations by the already-mentioned Mr. Benjamin, who has the reputation of being an expert amateur shaver. Colour-Sergeant R. de Vere Stacpoole, the cousin of the famous novelist, is busy helping to train these all-willing recruits.

The youngest recruit is Leonard Norman Skuse, of London, who is nineteen years of age, joined the battalion ten days ago, and is already a sergeant, and bids fair to rise to eminence in his newly adopted profession. It goes without saying that there are many Scotsmen. They have the bagpipe, too, which makes weird battle music each night.

One cannot help remarking the most prominent humorist of the camp, Mr. James Broughton, who is credited with having walked 17 miles in 3 hours and 5 minutes. He possesses a particularly mobile face, and his speciality performance is a representation of the Kaiser after his first experience of “General French’s contemptible little army.” He and Richard Kendall make much fun when the day’s work is over.

There are men who have come from different parts, such as Mr. W. G. L. Hammond, who sailed from Bermuda to enlist. Others are from Australia, Canada, and the West Indies. There are boxers, fencers, golfers, revolver shots, racehorse owners, and, indeed, men who have won laurels as sportsmen in every country of the world. Such is the battalion of which Colonel Viscount Maitland is so justly proud, and who, as Mr. Benjamin put it, “are sportsmen and fighters all.”

Colonel Viscount Maitland (in command) and the Adjutant, Captain Inglis, of the Sportsman’s Battalion.

November 9, 1914

Daily Record


The Battalion “Kaiser” with some of his friends of the Sportsman’s Battalion of the Royal Fusiliers in training in camp at Hornchurch.

November 8, 1914


Dear Sarah we arrived all right and are having a poor time of it not allowed out of camp without pass and it has been difficult so far I have got a few hours off this afternoon. Was one of the orderlies of our hut yesterday had to wash dishes fetch food etc. So far we are all at 6 & 7’s. AR.

November 7, 1914

Glasgow Daily Record

Two recruits of the Sportsman’s Battalion – Private Bates, the Yorkshire cricketer (on right), assisting Private Batten, a newspaper editor, in removing coals in camp at Hornchurch.

November 6, 1914

Daily Record


(2) Private C. Armstrong, a Cambridge Blue, now with the Sportsman’s Battalion in camp, carrying firewood. (3) Sportsmen recruits cleaning up the huts.



Otherwise Private C. Armstrong, of the Sportsman’s Battalion, now in camp at Hornchurch. He is an old Cambridge running Blue

[Picture referenced from “The men of Great St Mary's Cambridge in the Great War]

The Times

SPORTSMAN’S BATTALION. – NOTICE to the PUBLIC. – The Administration Department of this Battalion remains at the Hotel Cecil until further notice. – Address all communications and inquiries to Chief Recruiting Officer, Sportsman’s Battalion, Hotel Cecil. Hours 10 to 5.

Aberdeen Weekly Journal


Members of the Sportsman’s Battalion paraded outside the Hotel Cecil, London. All members of the battalion have been sportsmen or athletes.

November 5, 1914

The Times


[…] Two hopeful signs are the first-rate quality of the recruits and the tapping of new sources of supply. These were seen yesterday in the march of the Sportsman’s Battalion, under the command of Colonel Lord Maitland, from Hyde Park to Liverpool-street Station, on the way to Hornchurch, Essex, where they are to be trained for active service. Thirteen hundred strong, it is one of the most remarkable units, for intelligence, grit, and varied accomplishments, that have yet been raised. All the men have been accustomed to hunting, shooting, and outdoor sports. The khaki service uniforms, great coats, and white woollen gloves of the men were provided by the corps itself. The march attracted considerable public notice, and aroused much enthusiasm.

Western Daily Press



The Sportsman’s Battalion of the Royal Fusiliers received a splendid send-off to-day (Wednesday) when they left London for Hornchurch, where they are to undergo training until wanted by Lord Kitchener. The battalion, now familiarly known as the “Hard-as-Nails” Battalion, is 1,300 strong, and embraces all classes of sporting men, including race horse trainers, footballers, cricketers, &c. A magnificent body of men, many of them over 6ft. 2ins., they made a splendid appearance on the march, and were cheered off by an immense crowd of the general public. The battalion, under the command of Viscount Maitland, paraded in Hyde Park, opposite Knightsbridge Barracks, and marched off headed by brass and bugle bands. All along the route from the parade ground to Fenchurch Street station, where they entrained, large crowds assembled to wave hats and handkerchiefs and cheer the men. As the approached Buckingham Palace the band struck up “The Veteran’s Song,” and the Guards returned the salute. Along Bird Cage Walk and the Embankment the battalion marched to the now famous music of “It’s a long way to Tipperary,” and crowds followed them through the city, where the business men joined in according them an enthusiastic send-off. The muster was about 1,000, a fatigue party of the battalion having preceded the main body to camp.

Western Mail


Leaving London for Hornchurch: Perspectives

Hard As Nails
Michael Foley, 2007

Before leaving for Hornchurch, the Battalion was inspected by the commanding officer Viscount Maitland.

They then marched from Hyde Park, opposite Knightsbridge Barracks, where they had been drilling, to the city through streets lined with crowds of cheering people.

The route took them past Buckingham Palace, Wellington Barracks and the Houses of Parliament onto the embankment. They were then addressed by at the Mansion House by the Lord Mayor.

The 23rd (Service) Battalion Royal Fusiliers (First Sportsman's)
Fred W. Ward, 1920

All things come to those who wait, however. We were to move to Hornchurch—the first step to active service. We had our uniforms, we even had white gloves, and at last we fell in, by the Hotel Cecil, with a band at our head, and off we went. Funnily enough, some of us felt this break with London more than we felt anything afterwards. It was really our first introduction to "the Great Unknown."

Had the Guards been marching away they could not have had a greater and a more enthusiastic send-off. The streets of the City were packed; it was a struggle to get through. At Liverpool Street we were reduced to a two-deep formation, and even then it became a case of shouldering your way through those who had gathered to wish us "God speed." But we were entrained at last; we detrained at Romford, and we marched to Hornchurch. We were in the camp.

Hornchurch During the Great War
Charles Thomas Perfect, 1920

After a march through London, from Hyde Park to the City, past the Mansion House – where the Lord Mayor (with whom was Mrs. Cunliffe-Owen) delivered an address of welcome to the men – and on to Liverpool Street Station, where they entrained, the Battalion arrived on the afternoon of November 4 at the Camp. Their reception in London was of a most enthusiastic character, crowds of cheering citizens lining the streets, and according them a splendid welcome.

It fell to [the Cottage Homes Band] to lead the Sportsman's Battalion to their Camp at Grey Towers. The band, under the direction of Mr. H.W. Alden (bandmaster), met the battalion on its arrival at Romford Station, with a letter to Col. Lord Maitland, offering the service of the lads, which was gladly accepted. To see those little chaps, whose stride was only half the length of that of the men of the battalion, stepping it out, was distinctly inspiring, although one cannot help feeling that the men found short stepping some what trying.

Hornchurch folk extended a similar greeting to them, as, headed by the Cottage Homes Band, they marched in magnificent order through Grey Towers gates for the first time.

The following verses were written to commemorate the arrival of the Battalion:

November 4th, 1914.

We’ve waited for you – “Hard as Nails” – and now at last you’ve come,
   We saw you march through London Town, we heard the fife and drum,
We heard the tramp of martial feet, we saw the bunting fly,
   We heard the Lord Mayor’s greeting as your ranks went swinging by,
We saw the throng of cheering folk, we heard their mighty shout,
   And then we heard your answering cry : – “We won’t be be bothered about!

And now Our Village welcomes you, yes, every mother’s son,
   From the buck “officially” forty-five to the lad not twenty-one.
We love you, and we’re proud of you, for answering the Call
   Of King and Home and Country – Soldiers and Sportsmen all,
And well we know you’ll play the game when guns and cannon roar,
   And, like true Sportsmen, do your bit to make a winning score.

Fame you have won in times of peace on many a playing field,
   Where mimic battles bravely fought but barren victories yield,
But now a sterner fight is yours, where you will show your grit,
   And prove what manly sport can do to make a nation fit,
And when you make your final stand against the German Huns,
   Just keep your wickets up, lads, while they make all the “runs.”


November 4, 1914

The Times


The Sportsman’s Battalion, now up to full strength and part of the Royal Fusiliers, is going into camp at Hornchurch in Essex. During the last fortnight the park at Grey Towers, 85 acres in extent, has been turned into a sort of garden suburb camp.

The quarters comprise nearly 50 buildings in all, including 37 barrack huts for the men and two for the sergeants. Other buildings are a guard-room, hospital, sergeants’ mess, regimental institute, canteen, store, ablution sheds, power station, &c. The two ovens in the cookhouse have each a capacity sufficient to cook for 550 men at a time.

This morning the battalion will parade in Hyde Park opposite Knightsbridge Barracks at 11.15 and will march from there to Liverpool-street station to entrain for Hornchurch. The route will be by Constitution Hill, Birdcage Walk, Parliament-square, the Embankment, Queen Victoria-street, the Mansion House, and Old Broad-street. In case of rain a start will be made at noon from the Hotel Cecil, the same route being taken from the Embankment. Lord Maitland will be in command, and the Guards’ band will play the battalion to the station.


Royal Fusiliers.

Office Commanding


The Battalion will assemble in Hyde Park, opposite Knightsbridge Barracks, at 11.15 a.m. to-day, leaving Hyde Park (main entrance) at 11.45.

Route: Hyde Park Corner, Constitution Hill, Birdcage Walk, through Parliament Square to the Embankment, thence along Queen Victoria Street, Mansion House, Old Broad Street, to Liverpool Street Station, where the Battalion will entrain for Hornchurch Camp.

In case of rain the Battalion will proceed at about 11.45 a.m. from the Hotel Cecil to Liverpool Street via above route. The Guards Band will play the Battalion out.

The Times

          The Sports Club,
                    St James’s-square, S.W.
                              9 10 14.

     Eugen Sandow, Esq.,
          32, St. James-street.

Dear Sir,

I am pleased to tell you I have to-day passed the Army Medical, with a chest measurement expanded of 36½ inches. As you are aware, when I commenced your course of physical treatment on 28th Sept. my chest expanded to its fullest capacity was only 34 inches, and therefore I have gained an increase of 2½ inches in 12 days. I consider this a wonderful improvement, especially as I am 39 years of age.

I hope you will publish this letter, as I think it will prove the means of inducing others, who are anxious to serve their King and Country, to place themselves in your hands, in order that they may not only be brought up to the requisite standard, but be made quite fit also.

          I am,
               Yours faithfully.
     (Signed)           V.F. DEACON.

Victor Frederick Deacon (SPTS/334)

November 3, 1914

Edinburgh Evening News


During the past week 90 men were enisted in Scotland for the Sportsmen’s Battalion of the Royal Fusiliers, and only 30 are now needed to complete the battalion. Captain C. G. Westhead, who has established his recruiting quarters at the Royal Hotel in Princes Street, Edinburgh, during this week, hopes to enrol without delay all the men now required. This battalion, which is under the command of Viscount Maitland, son of the Earl of Lauderdale, offers exceptional facilities to men of fine physique accustomed to outdoor life; sporting gentlemen, stalkers, and ghillies are alike eligible. Lord Kitchener, in consideration of the special qualities of these recruits, has permitted recruiting of men up to 45 years of age, and though height standard has been fixed at a minimum of 5ft. 9in., it is to be understood that if a man is suitable otherwise a little shortage in height might be overlooked. Captain Westhead states that he could have got all the men he wanted from the applicants in Glasgow, but he desires that the remainder should be drawn from the East and North of Scotland.