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!

December 9, 1914

Western Times


To the Editor of the “Western Times.”

Sir, - Will you kindly make known, through the medium of your paper, the arrangements which we have made for attracting footballers to this Second Sportsman’s Battalion, now being raised on War Office authority?

A special effort is made to keep friends, who have similar interests, together. Each hut in camp houses thirty men, and, if friends would enlist in batches of thirty, I should do my best to keep them under the same roof.

It is also my intention to have the very best possible football teams, so as to ensure a good game for Saturday afternoons.

Details and full particulars will gladly be given at the Head Recruiting Office, Hotel Cecil, Strand, London, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily, or at the local Enquiry and Recruiting Office, Castle House, Exeter, when Lieuts. Dunn and Perkins, officers of the Company, will be glad to give any information.

The Corps will be part of the Regular Army, with pay at Army rates.

Directions, referring to recruiting, for both Sportsman’s Battalions, must be authorised by me, and come from the Hotel Cecil, Strand, to avoid complication and confusion.

                    I am, yours faithfully,
                              G. CUNLIFFE-OWEN,
                                        Chief Recruiting Officer.

Hotel Cecil, Strand, London, December 7th, 1914.

Nottingham Evening Post



The cosmopolitan character of the Sportsmen’s Battalion of the Royal Fusiliers is commented upon by Private E. P. Thornley, a former Nottingham sporting journalist, who is in barracks in Essex.

“In the two months or so we have been training,” he says, “we have attained such proficiency as in the ordinary way would have been attained in from six to nine months. Of course, many have broken down in the process.

“We are full of notable personalities, including M.H.H.’s, cricketers, footballers, racehorse owners, scullers, walkers, runners, golfers, actors, and others, all full privates; indeed, we are a most cosmopolitan crowd.

“The other  Sunday morning I was swabbing floors in the canteen alongside a millionaire. Ludicrous experiences of this kind are of everyday occurrence.”

No comments :

Post a Comment