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 26, 1914

Manchester Evening News


The Chief Scout’s Advice.

The 1st Sportsman’s Battalion have not been long in starting a regimental paper, and if the first number is a fair sample of what can ordinarily be done by them their weekly “Gazette” promises to be as bright and interesting as any publication of its kind. Among the contributors is Lieutenant-Colonel Sir Robert Baden-Powell, who naturally concludes that the members of the Sportsman’s Battalion must include many big game shooters and backwoodsmen, and he emphasises the great value in war of the arts of stalking and tracking, woodcraft, and marksmanship. “Experiences of the present campaign,” he writes, “show that more than ever is it desirable for his own sake and for that of the country, that every man should have the training of the scout. The opportunities for individual enterprise are frequent—each man has to be not only a good shot but also a good stalker in order to get his chance of a shot; some thousands of those reported ‘ missing ’ would be fighting in the ranks to-day had they had a trained eye-for-a-country. The splendid work done by our ‘observation’ men creeping to forward positions, sometimes a thousand yards to the front, with their telephones, means stalking ability of a high order; much of our success in trench fighting is due to night-attacks by small groups of men accustomed to find their way in the dark—and noiselessly; in a hundred and one ways does scouting come in towards efficiency for modern fighting. Yet it is a thing that can not be picked up from books; it can only be imparted by those who have practised it in the jungle. I cannot exaggerate the importance of your recognising your present exceptional opportunity when there must be so many practised instructors, and so many keen and ready pupils in your ranks. Don't neglect the chance.”

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