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 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)

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