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!

April 30, 1915

Chelmsford Chronicle


Frank Heath, whose address is the 2nd Sportsman’s Battalion Royal Fusiliers, Romford, may therefore be counted as an Essex man for the present. He has an oil painting, “Amateur Gardeners,” on the line – a pair of charming little girls watering a wealth of flowers. The whole is broad and direct in treatment, and entirely successful.

April 29, 1915

Western Times

2nd Sportsman’s Battalion at Football

The first Rugby football match for the Championship of the 2nd Sportsman’s Battalion was played at the Camp, Romford, on Tuesday evening, between “A” and “B” Companies, the latter winning by 8 points to nil. Company Sergeant-Major Finch acted as referee. The game caused intense enthusiasm, the whole of the officer of the Regiment being present, and over 700 rank and file. The next round is between “C” Company (the West Country Company) and “D” Company, the winners of each round to play for the final. Great credit is due to “B” Company players for the excellent play they showed, considering they left camp at 7 a.m. in the morning for trenching work and returned at 5:45 p.m. kicking off a quarter-of-an-hour later.

April 28, 1915

Exeter and Plymouth Gazette

The writer of an article in one of the monthly magazines remarks, in the course of some references to the Sportsman’s Battalions, that “A sergeant in the 2st Sportsman’s Battalion, at Romford, was heard correcting a private for his method of swabbing a floor. “Let him alone,” said someone standing by, “he’s only a K.C.; he doesn’t know any better.” As a matter of fact, a member of this corps, who has since been given a commission, served in the ranks for three months as an ordinary soldier, formerly sat in the House of Commons and been Mayor of Norwich. It has occurred to me that the writer may have had in his mind Capt. A. E.Dunn, who entered the corps as a private, and has since been given a commission and promoted. He sat in the House of Commons for the Camborne Division of Cornwall, and was Mayor of Exeter – not Norwich – in 1901 and 1902.

The Gazette

A London solicitor who had joined the First Sportsman’s battalion, Royal Fusiliers, had received the following congratulatory telegram from an old client: “Accept my congratulations on your gallantry in joining the Sportsman’s battalion. Anyway, you know how to charge.”

April 27, 1915

Birmingham Gazette




By Our Boxing Expert.

At the National Sporting Club, last night, Private Jerry Delaney, of the Sportsman’s Battalion of the Royal Fusiliers, beat Willie Farrell, of Southwark, on points in a 20-rounds contest.

There was a lot of interest in the match, which was a return contest, by the way. The two men had met in Birmingham last year, when Farrell lost in the second round, the match being stopped by the referee to save him unnecessary punishment.

AT 9ST. 11LB.

On that occasion Farrell was suffering from a sprained ankle, but last night he took the ring splendidly fit, as was his rival. The articles stipulated a weight of 9st. 11lb., which is a couple of pounds over the championship limit. At the weighing-in at 2 o’clock the Bradford man went 9st. 9lb., and Farrell a pound heavier.

The former had trained at Brighton, while his rival did his preparation at Wembly.

Before the big contest of the evening Sans Keller, the Aldgate fly-weight, had met and beaten George Matthews, of Hanley, in a 15-rounds match for £100. Matthews Nearly dropped his man with a terrific right in the third round, but did not follow up his advantage, and a rather open defence cost him the match on points, but it was a spirited affair, and both men were heartily cheered at the close.


It was just after ten o’clock when Farrell and Delaney took the ring before a packed house and it may be mentioned that the opinion of the experts as to the chances was reflected in odds of 3 to 1 on the soldier. Farrell certainly looked the heavier man, at the start there was more feeling for distance than anything else, although both men got in a quick stabbing left while Delaney was responsible for a wild miss with the right.

The second round saw the same eager feinting, with nothing much doing, and it was evident that the two men had much respect for each other. Delaney managed to jar his opponent with a pretty upper cut in holds, but it was not until midway through the third round that a real exchange of punches was noted, both being impelled to this action by the receipt of an irritating left in the face.

Delaney was, if anything, the quicker man, especially with regard to the left, but Farrell was very agile and his footwork notably good.

The actor had rarely got a chance to mix things, for Delaney had a habit of suddenly sending up a swift right upper-cut by the way of relying on his excellent left.


The third and fourth rounds saw Delaney lead on points, and yet he seemed to disguise this superiority somehow. In the fifth round a hard rally at close quarters saw Farrell do the postman’s knock with both hands to the body, but Delaney wound up with a nasty right just over the ear that sent the Southwardk lad staggering. Farrell was inclined to force matters now, but he usually got the worst of the in-fighting, and his face began to get rather flushed in the sixth round, the result of the attentions he had receive.

Farrell was making a brave show, but one could not resist the impression that he was being outclassed by a man who cunningly refused to display his skill to the fullest advantage.

Delaney’s defence was perfect, and in his ducking and retreating there was the economy of effort that marks the class boxer. Farrell gave no outward sign of recognizing his own subordination. He kept trying with splendid spirit to penetrate a faultless defence and at the same time to cope with an attack which was dazzlingly versatile.


When Farrell, taking advantage of a bad miss with the right, landed a pretty left on Delaney’s nose, the crowd cheered him in sympathy, but the Bradford man soon evened up matters before the bell with a few lefts. The ninth round produced some spirited boxing by both, each landing in turn, but when the half distance had been reached Delaney was comfortably ahead on points.

In the twelfth round Delaney’s nose was bleeding and Farrell’s left eye showed signs of trouble, but it was a great round for fierce work, in which Delaney had just a shade the better.

The 13th went to Farrell, who landed several lefts, and was hereabouts boxing with splendid judgment and precision and making excellent use of the ring. After this, however, Farrell fell off a bit, and seemed slower, so that Delaney scored frequently with the left, and at close quarters always held the master hand.

The last half-dozen rounds were comfortably held by Delaney, whose continual left against a very tired opponent kept forcing him further ahead. In the 19th round Delaney sent in a smashing left that would have put most men out, but Farrell survived this and two others of the same kidney.

Altogether Jerry won his fight quite handsomely without ever suggesting that the odds laid on him at the start were quite justified, Farrell’s share in the proceedings did him great personal credit.

April 24, 1915

Evening Despatch



Mr. D. M. Gant’s Lawn Dance, by Common – Zarabanda, has foaled a colt by Lomoud.

Hitch, the Surrey fast bowler, who joined the Sportsmen’s Battalion, has been invalided out of the army.

April 20, 1915

Berwickshire News and General Advertiser

Lady Maitland’s Silver Wedding.

WE give a photo of Viscountess Maitland at Thirlestane Castle, who has just celebrated her silver wedding.

Viscount Maitland is the eldest son of the Earl and Countess of Lauderdale who how resides in the South of England. He and Lady Maitland, (who is a daughter of the late Judge Vaughan Williamson) have been living at Thirlestane Castle for the past 3 years and are very popular in the district, both having taken a preeminent part in good work in Lauderdale. Since the outbreak of War, Lord Maitland has been with Military Services as Colonel of the Sportsman’s Battalion

Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser



Baron Herbert de Reuter, managing director of Reuter’s Telegraph Company, has been found lying dead at his residence near Reigate. A revolver which had been discharged was found, and there appears to be little reason to doubt that the baron fell by his own hand.

The deceased was greatly overwrought by the sudden death of his wife, to whom he was warmly attached, on Thursday last, and whose funeral had been fixed for yesterday. The baron’s body was found in a summer-house in the grounds. On a table there were two letters. One was addressed to Mr. Flint, the gardener, who found the deceased and the other “To the spirit of my dear wife Edith.”

The funeral of Baroness de Reuter was postponed, and it is understood that she will now be buried in the same grave as her husband. They leave two children. Their son, Hubert, is serving in the Sportsman’s Battalion, and their daughter married, in 1901, Mr. James Douglas, of Tilquhillie, Scotland.

Baron de Reuter was 64 years of age. Until last week he was in constant attendance at the offices of the new agency, of which his father, the late Baron Julius de Reuter, was the founder and with which he had been associated ever since 1875, the year before his marriage.

In his younger days Baron de Reuter contemplated a musical career. After passing from Harrow to Balliel College, Oxford, he declined to remain at the university long enough to take his degree, in spite of the remonstrances of Dr. Joewit (then Master of Balliol), and went to Paris. But after a your or more he returned to London and decided to comply with his father’s wish that he should enter the services of Reuter’s Agency, of which he soon rose to be managing director. Under his guidance its scope grew, until at present there is hardly a part of the civilized world with which the agency is not in communication.

April 16, 1915

The Indianapolis Star

“King Needs You.”

“King and country needs you” was a printed and spoken appeal that took to the front only those Englishmen who would have gone anyway from the first pulsing sense of duty. There were those who need stimulus of another kind for eye and ear, and they were given it in daily increasing doses. A Sportsman’s Battalion poster drew hundreds to the recruiting offices within an hour of its flaring. This did it: A wounded motor cycle messenger in the foreground; back of him the red-lit battle line with shells bursting about an British standard. Underneath the vivid picture was the appeal in order form

“Don’t let them do it all.”

April 10, 1915

The Times

1st and 2nd SPORTSMEN’S BATTALIONS ROYAL FUSILIERS, Colonel-in-Chief, the King. C. O. 1st Battalion, Col. Viscount Maitland. C.O. 2nd Battalion, Col. A. de B. V. Paget (His Majesty’s Bodyguard). Sportsmen, aged 19 to 45 upper and middle class only. Wanted at Once. Only a few vacancies now left. Entrance fee 3 guineas, or kit. No other financial obligations. Head Recruiting Office, E. Cunliffe-Owen, Hotel Cecil, London. Hours 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.

April 4, 1915

Sunday Mirror


The Artists won the match against the Sportsman’s Battalion on Richmond Athletic ground yesterday by three goals (one dropped) and two tries to two tries – 20 points to 6. Vaccination and other things prevented the Sportsman’s from mustering its best side; but for all that it was a great game and it was only in the last few minutes, when the Artists put on a couple of goals, that they took a commanding lead.

Quinn dropped a superb goal to begin with, and then followed tries by Padbury and Edlmann – two old Richmond men, who were the Artists’ halves. Tries by Clementson and Curwen for the Sportsman’s left it anybody’s match. But in the last few minutes Fox placed two goals from tries by Quinn and Padbury, for the Artists. The Sportsman’s scrimmage worked very hard, but the side missed the help of its brilliant half backs, Henri and Taylor.

Sunday Mirror

Only 100 Vacancies now left in the



In addition to Special Reserve of 500 for 1st and 2nd Battalions.

Colonel-in-Chief – THE KING.

The only Battalion accepting recruits up to 45 years of age.

Age 19 to 45.

Height 5 ft. 6 in. and upwards. Pay and Separation Allowances at Army Rates.

Apply to the Chief Recruiting Officer E. CUNLIFFE OWEN.


April 3, 1915

Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald




Since the recent disappearance of Mr. Harold Midgley Metcalfe, accountant to the Herne Bay Council, the books have been examined and a warrant has been issued for the missing man’s arrest. Mr. Metcalfe left Herne Bay in September to join the Army. He was enrolled in the Sportsman’s Battalion. His general smartness soon won a corporal’s stripes, but about a month ago he deserted and has not since been seen.

A reward of £20 is offered for particulars of his whereabouts.

March 24, 1915

Hull Daily Mail



Mr T. R. Ferens and Mrs Ferens, also Alderman Taylor and Mrs Tayor, of Hull, were present on the Horse Guards’ Palace Whitehall, as the 2nd Sportsman’s Battalion marched past. The Hull men in the 2nd Sportsman’s Battalion are Lieutenant Frank Edwards of Brunswick Chapel, and Corporal H. Matthews, of Cottingham, Hull.

The 2nd Sportsman’s Battalion of the New Army have left London for their new quarters at Hare Hall, Essex, and they made a brave show as they marched through the Strand and the City to entrain at Liverpool-street.

The 1st Battalion is already in camp near Romford, and the 2nd Battalion’s headquarters have been at the Hotel Cecil. From the hotel they marched to the Horse Guards Parade to be inspected by Brigadier-General Kellet, commanding the brigade to which the Sportsmen are attached.

Drawn up on the lower side of the Parade, the Battalion presented a fine martial appearance, with every man at attention.


The Brigadier-General evidently thought so, for he addressed the men in terms of high praise.

“I am very proud to have the honour to command such a battalion,” he said, “and, please God, I shall be able to lead you against the enemy in a very short time.”

“I know very well,” he remarked, “the great sacrifices which a large number of you must have made, sacrifices in property and position, to answer your country’s call, and we all thank you. The nation thanks you.

“I am proud to see the makings of such a fine battalion before me. There is much hard work before you – to train the body and brain. The spirit is already trained.”

When the Brigadier-General referred to the splendid work done by Mr and Mrs Cunliffe Owen in raising the battalion, the men’s enthusiasm broke out in a general cheer from all ranks.

March 23, 1915


The Sportsmen’s Battalion – Raised by a Lady.

A very interesting account is given in the “British Australasian” just to hand of the raising of the Sportsmen’s Battalion in England by Mrs. E. Cunliffe-Owen. Like so many of the important things of life, it all apparently happened by chance. The lady in question was walking down Bond Street with her son when she met two well-known big game hunters of her acquaintance and gently rallied them upon not being at the front. They told her they had volunteered but had been rejected because of the age limit. Half-humorously, half-seriously, the suggestion was made that Mrs. Cunliffe-Owen should raise a corps of sportsmen without giving undue prominence to their birth certificates. The lady communicated with Lord Kitchener and, to shorten the story, the Secretary of War gave permission for a battalion of 1600 to be formed.

The duties of recruiting officer were performed by Mrs. Cunliffe-Owen herself, with headquarters at the Hotel Cecil, and so efficiently did she discharge them that on the full strength of the first battalion having been enrolled the War Office requested that a second battalion, also 1600 strong, should be formed, and to this second voluntary task the lady, with the assistance of a competent staff, is now devoting herself. The second battalion is under the command of Colonel a. de V. B. Paget, and both battalions enjoy the distinction of having the King as their honorary colonel. Mrs. Cunliffe Owen is therefore the first lady to raise a regiment since the beautiful and famous Duchess of Gordon “raised the Gay Gordons with a kiss” a century or so ago. A further interesting feature of this battalion is the fact that a very large number of Australians and New Zealanders figure among the commissioned and non-commissioned officers as well as among the ranks. Colonel Viscount Maitland is in command of the first battalion.

Western Times

Sportsman’s Battalion

Although the 2nd Sportsman’s Battalion are now in camp, E Company has still its headquarters at the Hotel Cecil, London, awaiting completion of the extra huts , which, owing to the difficulty of getting supplies of wood, etc., has been delayed. Recruiting is still going on at the Hotel Cecil as before for men up to 4t years of age, and all applicants are greatly welcomed.

E Company is under the command of Capt. A. E. Dunn, who raised an entire West of England company for the Sportsman’s Battalion in the Exeter District. Capt. Dunn served three months in the ranks of the 1st Sportsman’s Battalion. The character of the battalion has attracted recruits quite as much as the extension made by the War Office in the Age limit.

March 19, 1915

Chelmsford Chronicle


On Wednesday the 2nd Sportsman’s Battalion moved from London to their new headquarters at Hare Hall, Romford, near Gidea Park station. The first Battalion is in Quarters at Grey Towers, Hornchurch, two miles away.

The Battalion came by train to Romford. In London they had been inspected before leaving by Brigadier-General Kellett. Cheers were given for the founders of the Battalion, Mr. and Mrs. Cunliffe Owen. On reaching Romford the Battalion formed up under the command of Col. A. de B.V. Paget, with the Adjutant, Major H. H. Enderby, and the Major Percy Elwell. Numbering well over 1,000 men, the Battalion presented a fine appearance. Marching by the main road to Hare Hall, they entered upon the occupation of what are believed to be the most up-to-date field barracks yet erected. It embodies all the improvements that the experience of the War Office in the last six months can suggest. There are a couple of dozen cubicle shower baths, with hot and cold water laid on; the thirty beds in each dormitory hut, though made of wood, owing to the scarcity of iron bedsteads, turn into the wall in the day time, over lapping each other to form seats and occupying the minimum of space; each hut is lit by electric light; the bootmaker’s, the post-office, the tailor’s, and the barber’s stand in a row, and the wet and dry canteens are spacious and comfortable.

In the hall itself the bedrooms have been neatly and simply furnished to accommodate 36 officers. The subalterns sleep four in a room. The colonel has one of the smallest rooms, looking out over the camp, and as simply fitted as the rest. The canteens and store-rooms are fully stocked with every possible requirement. A hospital with 24 beds had been provided; the drugs were ready in the doctor’s surgery, and sergeant and five men of the R.A.M.C. from Colchester will form the nursing staff.

It is understood that four Companies of 270 men each will be going to the Front in June, or thereabouts, and 5h and 6th depot companies will have to be formed to keep the camp going and fill any gaps that may occur in the other Companies.

March 18, 1915

Birmingham Gazette


The 2nd Sportsmen’s Battalion marching across Trafalgar-square on their way to Liverpool-street to entrain for Harehall Camp near Romford.

Daily Mirror

The 2nd Sportsman’s Battalion marching through the City yesterday. They have gone into camp at Romford, Essex.


This dog has “enlisted” in the 2nd Sportsman’s Battalion as its mascot, and marched with the men through the city yesterday. He is glad to be going into camp. He much prefers the country to the town.
Exeter and Plymouth Gazette




There are few smarter battalions among the New Army than the Second Sportsman’s, which left London yesterday for its new quarters at Hare Hall, Essex. The assembly on the Horse Guards Parade was witnessed by a large crowd of spectators, many of whom had relatives or friends in the ranks. The men, alert and soldierly in their bearing, looked as hard as nails and fit to endure any hardship they may have to encounter. Colonel A. de B. V. Paget, the officer-commanding, congratulated the men on their smart turn-out, their discipline, and zeal. He knew their heart was in the work, and he hoped they would speedily become efficient and ready to go out with the Brigade to help to thrash the Germans. He was sure no battalion would do better than theirs when the opportunity came. Many of them, the Colonel added, had made great sacrifices of property and position, and in other ways, to respond to their country’s call, and the nation thanked them. There was hard work in front of them, and he hoped that in a short time he should be able to lead them against the enemy. He acknowledged the debt of gratitude they owed Mr. and Mrs. Cunliffe-Owen, who had spent time, trouble, and money in the nation’s cause.

The battalion arched to Liverpool street by way of Trafalgar Square, the Strand, Fleet-street, Cheapside, and Old Broad-street. The full band, consisting of 35 instruments, which have been presented by a member who desires to remain anonymous, led the way, and the drum, fife, and bugle section and the Brass Band of C Company, which has been enrolled at Exeter, also accompanied the battalion.

March 17, 1915

Devon Exeter Gazette

Au Revoir!

Yesterday the West of England Company of the Sportsman’s Battalion Royal Fusiliers left Exeter, under the Command of Captain A. e. Dunn, after a lengthened period of training.

Devon Exeter Gazette



The “C” (West-Country) Company of the 24th Service Battalion Royal Fusiliers (2nd Sportsman’s), left Exeter yesterday morning tor camp. The men, numbering 323, assembled at the dinking fountain, in Sidwell-street just before 8 o’clock. Under the command of Captain A.E.Dunn, with Lieuts. Enderby, W. G. Perkins, and F. Templeman and headed by the band of 20, the men marched by way of High-street and Queen-street to S. David’s Station. En route the band, under Sergt. Brock, rendered in spirited fashion the marches “Soldiers of the King” and “Sons of Our Empire.” Despite the comparatively early hour, the streets were thronged with people, and the men were cheered enthusiastically. A special train awaited the men, who responded with a thunderous “No!” to the cry of “Are we downhearted?” Although the railway officials made some attempt to keep the crowds of civilians from thronging the platforms, the station was quickly filled with the friends of the “Tommies.” Cheers were given for the officers and Exonians, and the train, from the windows of which miniature flags were freely displayed, steamed out amid much enthusiasm.

The Times

2nd Sportsman’s Battalion


The 2nd Sportsman’s battalion will parade at the Horse Guards, Whitehall, at 10.45 to-day (Wednesday), and will march, via Strand, Fleet Street, Cheapside, Threadneedle Street to Liverpool Street Station, where they entrain for Harehall Camp, Romford.

Only 100 Vacancies. Sportsmen, Hurry up!

Apply to the Chief Recruiting Officer,


Western Times


Departure of the 2nd Sportsman’s Battalion


The 2nd Sportsman’s Battalion, which has been raised in the West-country through the instrumentality of Capt A. E. Dunn, and which has since its formation had its headquarters in Exeter, left the City yesterday to go into camp to complete their training for whatever service is before them. The send-off was as encouraging and enthusiastic as could well be, and the cheering crowds that thronged the streets were tribute to the popularity of the Battalion and to a fine body of men.

No won who saw the Battalion – fresh, smart, athletic, and fit as the men are – march through the City with that litheness and swing which betokens perfect physical fitness and vigour, could help congratulating Capt. Dunn on having the proud command of such a splendid body of men. In the best of spirits and keen for service, the men responded cheerily to the ready outbursts of the citizens, the waving of hats and handkerchiefs, and good wishes which were evident on every side. They were not downhearted: they said so themselves many times as they swung through the street between unbroken lines of civilians.

The “fall in” was at 8 o’clock at the top of St. Sidwell’s, and the Battalion mastered promptly and in full force. It numbers 323 of all ranks, and, besides the O.C., the officers are Lieuts Enderby, W.G. Perkins and F. Templeman, with Co. Sergt.-Major C. T. W. Finch.

The Battalion Band, under Sergt. Brock, was there to lead the way with martial music. The band itself, like the Battalion, has made splendid progress and now numbers 20. The played lively and patriotic airs, with “Soldiers of the King” and “Sons of Our Empire” among the numbers rendered.

The route take was through Sidwell-street, High-street, and Queen-street, passing the statue of Devon’s hero, General Buller, and then on to St. David’s Station, where a special train was in waiting. Numbers of friends managed to get on to the platform and there was much hand-shaking and exchange of wishes for good luck. To secure this latter for his battalion on stalwart member had been decorated with an old horseshoe tied with ribbon in the colours of the Allies, which, notwithstanding its hug dimensions, he bravely ad proudly wore upon his breast. The men were soon comfortably aboard the train, which, amid a perfect hurricane of cheering, steamed away on the stroke of 9 on its journey east.

London Standard


An interesting match has been arranged between some members o f the Sportsman’s Battalion of the Royal Fusiliers, commanded by Lord Maitland, and a London basket-ball team. The military side will include Hayes and Hitch, the well-known Surrey cricketers, and amongst their opponents will be J. G. Lee, who has taken an important part in the work of organizing Y.M.CA. recreation tents in various military centres, and Dr. Robert le Cron, the well-known ice-hockey player. No charge will be made to witness the game, which will take place at the Central Y.M.C.A. Tottenham Court-road, on Saturday, at 7.45 p.m.

March 16, 1915

London Standard



When the 2nd Sportsman’s Battalion (24th Royal Fusiliers) removes its headquarters tomorrow from London to Romford it will enter into the occupation of the most commodious, up-to-date field barracks ever constructed. The new camp in the grounds of Hare Hall, near Gidea Park station on the Great Eastern Railway, has accommodation for the 900 men already enlisted in this battalion, and there is ample room for the erection of many more huts when they are required.

Lieutenant and Quartermaster Stuart, formerly of the 16th Lancers and the Buffs, showed one of our representatives over the officers’ quarters in Hare Hall and the camp in the grounds yesterday.

The only reason why the Hare Hall camp is the best of its kind yet constructed is that it embodies all the very latest improvements that the experience of War Office experts during the past six months could suggest. There are, for instance, a couple of dozen cubicle shower baths, with hot and cold water laid on; the thirty beds in each dormitory hut, though made of wood, owing to the scarcity of iron bedsteads, turn into the wall in the day time, overlapping each other to form seats, and occupying the minimum of space; each hut is lit by electric light; the bookmaker’s, the post office, the tailor’s, and the barber’s stand in a row, and the wet and dry canteens are spacious and extremely comfortable.

In the hall itself the bedrooms have been neatly and simply furnished to accommodate 36 officers. The subalterns sleep four in a room. The colonel has one of the smallest rooms, looking out over the camp, and as simply fitted as the rest. The canteens and store-rooms yesterday were fully stocked with every possible requirement. A hospital with 24 beds had been provided; the drugs were ready in the doctor’s surgery, and sergeant and five men of the R.A.M.C. from Colchester will form the nursing staff.

Already there is a talk of a 3rd Sportsman’s Battalion being formed, but there are still places to be filled in the 2nd. Four companies of 270 men each will be going to the front in June or thereabouts, and 5th and 6gh depot companies will have to be formed to keep the camp going and fill any gaps that may occur in the other companies.

March 14, 1915

Daily Mirror


“Fall on it.”               The arrival of the grand stand, borne by three “Tommies”               Stand in use.

Though all of the Rugby clubs abandoned their fixtures when war broke out, there have been a number of good Service games which, if not scientifically equal to a Blackheath-Rosslyn Park match, have been at least exciting. On Saturday the H.A.C. played the Sportsman’s Battalion, who won 9 points to nil.

The First Sportsman’s Gazette – No. 12


When one has the leisure to look back upon the happenings of the past few months, the thing which stands out with greatest prominence is the contrast between our present state of mind and the heroic resolves which stimulated our pulse beats and brought us all hot foot to the Recruiting Office.

What strange coma has descended like an all-enveloping mantle on those who were once so keen?

We had heard of Belgium’s wrongs; we were full of noble pride when we remembered that our country had not hesitated to go to war to uphold her honour; we felt capable of any sacrifice, and yet all the ginger seems to have gone out of us, and we worry ourselves to death about little things which are as nothing at all when we remember the dangers and difficulties which our boys are facing in France.

I do not wish you to think for a moment that I put myself in a different class from the rest. Not a bit of it. This is an entirely impersonal Editorial, in which I am endeavouring to find the reason for a curious psychological condition.

“Why was Jones made a Lance-Corporal instead of myself?”—“I wonder if I shall get a week-end pass?” these are questions which agitate the brains of most of us at one time and another.

Men of all classes, men from all lands, drawn together by a common bond-—submitting to discomfort, and lacking, maybe, those many little niceties which go to make this life endurable-—living together in a great camp; taking orders from their N.C.O’s.—not commanding as hitherto; hard at it day in and day out drilling, trenching or on fatigue. Is it to be wondered that in time the mind descends to the paltry? I think not.

We are splendid material, and all we need is a little imagination—something to fire us with the zeal which was ours before.

The drudgery of our training is almost at an end, and shortly we enter upon a new era, when each day will bring its novelty and we shall feel proud to think we had the courage to endure. You cannot turn untrained men into soldiers in a week or a month, and it is a certain fact that it takes the man of culture far longer to pack his brain with the cells which enable him to automatically obey the command of his instructor than the “swaddy” who has neither breeding nor education.

Perhaps the reason is here? The finer clay is more difficult to mould, but once fired I am convinced you will have the finest Battalion of Infantrymen Great Britain has ever seen.

Good luck to the First Sportsman’s Battalion! May it prove to the Germans that the British sportsman knows how to play the game of war.



The noteworthy item in the week’s programme has been the field exercises which have been enjoyed by all.

All ranks are warned against communicating information respecting the strength and disposition of H.M. Forces by Telephone, unless the recipient has sure information regarding the identity of the enquirer—a precautionary measure, the wisdom of which will be apparent to all.

There has been an extremely interesting schedule of Musketry Instruction during the week, and in connection with this it is pleasing to note that 2nd Lieut. Cragg has qualified at Hythe as 1st Class Instructor of Musketry.

Quite a large number of recruits have been added to the Battalion Roll since our last issue.

L.-Corp. J. A. Turnbull has been appointed Acting Corporal, and Pte. A. Gaddis has been appointed Lance-Corporal.

The health of the Camp is splendid, and the ban on visitors was removed on Saturday, March 6th.


The Privates of the 1st Sportsman’s Battalion are giving a Subscription Dance at the Drill Hall, Hornchurch, on Wednesday the 17th inst. at 8 p.m. By kind permission of the Colonel Commanding, Viscount Maitland, extension of time to 2 a.m has been granted. It is the intention to ask 15 members of each Company to become subscribers. The cost of a subscribers ticket is 5s., which will entitle the holder to a ticket for himself and two complimentary tickets for a lady and gentleman or two ladies. These tickets will include light refreshments. A special bar for wine and sandwiches will be provided.

The Regimental Band, under Sergeant Almond, will be in attendance. All information respecting the dance can be obtained from the Hon Sec, Pte. F. G. Harris, Hut 13,


A meeting of a few of the brethren was held on Wednesday evening last, under the Chairmanship of Bro. the Rev. A. J. Parry; it was then decided to summon a mass meeting of the brethren in the Battalion for the purpose of deciding whether or not it is desirable to hold a Craft Re-union Dinner at an early date.

The meeting will be held at 8.30 p.m. on Thursday next at the Drill Hall and the presence of every brother is earnestly requested.

The further business of the meeting, should a dinner be decided upon, will be to elect an Organising Committee and Secretary and brethren outside the Battalion are cordially invited.

Those intending to come are invited to communicate with Pte. G. Vernell, Hut 35, who is acting as temporary secretary.


We have received from the Oxford University Press a copy of “What every Soldier ought to Know,” price Twopence, which contains a great many hints to the soldiers in the field.

We have also received from Messrs. E. Marlborough & Co., copies of the English-German “Soldiers Language Manual,” price Threepence, and “A Simple French Song and Play Book,” price Threepence.

The February Number of “Health and Vim” contains several interesting photographs of the First Sportsman’s Battalion.


Nothing in the Battalion has improved so much as the Regimental Band. Extravagant praise, perhaps, but there is not one amongst us who would not subscribe to the sentiment.

Started in a small way the advance has been so marked that the band can now almost vie with the best.

This result, is in no small measure due to the Bandmaster, Sergeant G. L. Almond. Experienced in military discipline with an excellent knowledge of music, Sergeant Almond possesses in a rare degree the faculty of getting the best out of his men.

Time, tone and articulation have all received attention, while the excellence of the attack or decision is most marked, and the general effect is good.

Sergeant Almond studied for Kneller Hall, and later was with the Royal Artillery mounted band as principal cornet player and one of the first violinists.

His other experience was gained while for 12 years with the Prince Albert Somerset Light Infantry Regiment.

His work is backed wholeheartedly by the Band President, Major Richey, the Band Secretary, Captain Church, and we believe by every member of the Battalion.

Comprising at present thirty members it is expected shortly to get up to the full complement of thirty-five. The aim is to combine classical with popular music and no standard work is beyond the scope of the players. Their usual programme comprises something like the following:

(1) March—“A la Militaire.”
(2) Overture—“Rosamonde.”
(3) Waltz—“Le Sang Roumain.”
(4) Selection—“Chocolate Soldier.”
(5) Serenade—“La Polonia.”
(6) Patrol—“Irish.”

while combined with the bugles the best-known item is the Allies march “Somme and Meuse.”

The items are of course varied as circumstances demand, but the whole gives one some idea of the versatility of the performers.

The repertoire is constantly being enlarged and it is hoped shortly to give concerts both in the evenings and Saturday and Sunday afternoons.

There are no Star Performers in the crowd, but each and every member gives of his best.

Herein lies the success of the band.




On Saturday last our team after varied checks arrived at Bullock Hill to play the London Rifles. There were a few changes in the team as Stretton was playing again, and two members of the side missed their connection at London Bridge. Dalrymple filled one of the vacancies. It is a pleasure to note that our forwards scrummed so much better this week, and throughout the game got possession. Micky Reynolds gave a great deal of confidence to his other men, and although in following through he was not always properly supported, the crowd as a whole showed much better combination. The ball is still sticking in the back line of the scrum, and if we want to win to-morrow when we play the H.A.C. we must pack better and get the ball well out.

The first half was in our favour and forward rushes headed by Reynolds, Clemetson, Gilmour and Thompson led to two tries being scored by Williams and Wadham.

The combination of the three-quarters deserved a better fate even than two tries, for throughout the game the backs were all across the field and every run gained ground. Wadham was found to be a good handful to tackle for on his fast runs lie used his weight well, drawing the opposition, and giving William good openings, which were always well used to advantage.

Dalrymple played well at half, and as usual Henri was always to the fore. We had the best of the line outs and Clemetson and Gilmour used their height and weight in gaining possession supported well by Stretton, Thompson, and the other forwards, and almost invariably making ground for us.

We had a strong wind to play against during the first half and the fitness of our team proved itself all through the game. The elements being more favourable of course helped us considerably in the second half. Shortly after commencing, from good forward play Henri got the ball from Dalrymple and passed to Wadham, who passed it to Williams to cut his way through the opponents and score a fine try. An attempt at kicking was not successful. Shortly after this, again getting possession of the ball, Wadham ploughed his way through the opposing team and scored the try of the match, which was converted by Clemetson. The Rifles attacked well, but were rarely dangerous except in the first few minutes. Their full-back played well for his kicking was hard and well judged. Farr, who played at full-back for us instead of Scott was good both in ing and fielding the ball and saved his team by excellent touch finding. Unfortunately Scott- Tucker shortly after half-time had to retire thus leaving us with only six forwards. Still Ave played well together and pressed hard and were unfortunate in not getting over once or twice when suddenly Brace, the Rifles left wing man kicked the ball from midfield, followed it up, picked it up rather luckily and crossed the line for the home team, amidst great jubilation. The goal was just missed, and after a few minutes pressure from the Battalion side, time was called leaving us victors by 16 points (2 goals, 2 tries) to 3 points (one try). Forward we hold the advantage, although Roller, Norris, and Bert Smith played a good game for the Rifles. At half we had the pull, the homesters finding it hard to cope with our pair, especially with Henri’s tricky tactics.

We are greatly indebted to Lieut, and Quartermaster Howell for his excellent judgment as referee and other kind attentions.

We were entertained at dinner after the match and did ample justice to the good fair. We hope to be able to show our full appreciation later when the London Rifles come to Hornchurch as our guests.


London Rifles—Full Back: Capt. Tucker; Threes: Rfm. Austen, Cpl. Knight, L.-Cpl. Woodcock, and L.-Cpl. Brace; Half Backs: Rfm. Dimmore and Rfm. Parker; Forwards: Lieut. Ford, Bert Smith, Lashbury, Keller, and C. F. Keller, L.-Cpl. Norris Cpl. Dyce and Rfm. Norman.

First Sportsman’s Batt. F.R.—Full Back: Farr; Threes: Salvesen, Wadham, Williams, and Spurway; Half Backs: Henri and Dalrymple; Forwards: Reynolds, Clemetson, Gilmour, Thompson, Stretton, Scott Tucker, and Whitlock.

The game on the Battalion ground on Saturday is against the H.A.C., and -with our opponents anxious to wipe out the previous defeat a very stern struggle should be witnessed. The fact that Coverdale and K. Horan the Blackheath halves figure in the side should be an attraction to all rugby enthusiasts.

The kick-off is timed for 3.15 and visitors will be welcomed.




The Battalion Football score, at least, as far as the Association Code is concerned, was very low on Saturday.

Her we lost to the R.A.M.C. from Brentwood, in a game which beggars description, by 8 goals to 3, while at Hampstead the margin against us was 3 goals to nil.

This is the second time that Hampstead have taken toll of us with, a side which man for man is not our equal.

On Saturday in a bustling game we were beaten for pace, our attack lacked sting and we never really settled down to give of our best.

The fact that the two newcomers to the side did not come up to sample may have caused the remainder to lose confidence, the ground, which from the touchline appeared to be in good order, developed on close inspection a series of small holes, which caused the ball to come off at unexpected angles, the ball itself was misshapen and the official controlling the game showed a lack of the finer points which caused irritation to some of the players.

Any one of these reasons may have contributed to the non-success or perhaps it was a mixture of the lot.

Read the story and judge for yourself.

Hampstead were aggressive from the start, Littlewort, Ewing, Rawling and Higgins all being called upon before the ball was eventually cleared and a move started towards the other end, where the Hampstead goalie was forced to rush out and save. Ewing, playing at left half, started off in great style but quickly tired and the Hampstead right wing were not slow to take advantage of the fact.

Always dangerous, it was from this wing that the first goal came, Pike the outside man raced away and sent the ball across to Christie at outside left. Christie’s shot was only partially cleared by Kirton and Pike rushing in scored from the rebound.

From the restart Sandham made ground on the right. He was weakly supported by his inside man and his final pass was charged down, Littlewort being called upon to check Humphreys. The elder Hendren got away on the left and Owers was unfortunate in being a shade too late to receive the centre. The Hampstead side took up the running again, Gooding sending behind and Christie trying another dropping shot, this time without effect. It was during this period of the Hampstead attack that a penalty was awarded against Higgins for a reason which was not very clear. Kirton, however, saved in great style and the situation was relieved. It must not be thought, however, that the game was entirely one way, for after Hooper and Horbury had found the two Hendrens a tough handful the Hampstead goalie was forced to run out and save from Sandham. Littlewort started a movement in which J. Hendren, Owers and E. H. Hendren all took part; in spite of many brilliant solo efforts this was the first really combined move of our forward line. Offside against Pat Hendren spoiled the finish. He was in evidence a moment later with a centre to Owers who struck the crossbar with a great shot. That it did not score was distinctly hard lines for the Battalion side, as the Hampstead goalie was well beaten. Hereabouts, too, a goal would have steadied the side and changed the whole aspect of the game. Things, however, were running badly for the Battalion and a little later Gooding put Hampstead further ahead with a surprise shot after a period of uninteresting play.

Generally our forward work was patchy but another combined effort just before half time left Harry Littlewort in possession. The centre half was badly fouled just outside the penalty area and from the free kick the ball was sent behind. A case in which the punishment did not properly fit the crime.

Owers was early prominent in the second half, heading the ball just past the post. Hampstead retaliated and forced a corner off Lewis. This was saved at the expense of another which was safely dealt with. E. H. Hendren, with a splendid run forced a corner at the other end and Jonas, the Hampstead centre half relieved. Lewis was forced to save from Christie by sending into touch. Fraser performing the same office for Sandham at the other end. Hopkins at inside right was still weak, and Pat Hendren, Owers and Littlewort continued to get the lions share of the work, Littlewort sending just over the bar with a terrific drive land Owers shooting behind from a move initiated by Hendren.

This was the signal for a fresh Hampstead attacking and Christie forced a corner, and the latter shot badly when well placed. Kirton saved brilliantly from Humphreys and then a breezy war between Referee and players delayed the game for a moment. Followed, a livener from the elder Hendren, the Hampstead goal-keeper only just saving his shot for Sandham to send behind on the return. Hendren himself just missed the mark with another shot.

There was always an amount of promise about the Battalion work which was never quite realised, and Humphreys properly put the lid on thing’s by scoring number three for Hampstead after a single handed run.

Littlewort, Owers and Hendren gained a corner and Hendren just failed to get home with one of his “specials.” Owers made a sort of despairing solo effort towards the end which almost brought about a score, but the work generally was not of convincing style which we are wont to expect of the Battalion side.

An improvement is looked for in the match next Saturday against Maidstone United at Maidstone.

The game is for the benefit of the widow of the late groundsman and trainer, and the kick off is timed for 3.15.

The sides last Saturday were: —

Hampstead Town—Goal: Winyard; Backs: Hooper and Horbury; Halves: Pollock, Jonas and Fraser; Forwards: Pike, Gooding, Humphreys, King and Christie.

Sportsman’s Battalion—Goal: Kirton; Backs: Higgins and Rawling; Halves: Lewis, Littlewort, and Ewing; Forwards: Sandham, Hopkins, Owes, Hendren and E. H. Hendren.



The incomparable dame of many pantomimes.

Everyone in the Battalion knows Charlie, whose picture reproduced on this page shows a very different Charlie from the cheerful old lady who has appeared in Great Britain’s greatest pantomimes during the past 17 years.

Charlie has toured Australia three times, has visited Canada and has appeared in nearly every one of the principal Music HaIls throughout the world, besides going the rounds of the Moss and Stoll tour no fewer than eleven times.

That Charlie is a man of resource is proved by an incident which occurred at a well-known West Coast resort. I will relate the story in Charlie’s own words.

“Everything was all right; the play had been well boomed, and the house was crowded to suffocation. I had seen nothing of the guv’nor all the afternoon, but had heard he had accidentally come across an old school chum. Just as I was about to ring the Curtain up, to my astonishment the boss and his pal both walked on the stage—one loaded with bottles of Champagne, the other with a tray of oysters in his hand—the pair followed by several ladies of the company. I at once pointed out that we were already four minutes late in ringing up the Curtain and that the audience was becoming impatient. No notice was taken and putting the good things on a little table they commenced to open oysters and draw corks. A further protest, still no notice, at last losing patience I cried ‘ look here gentlemen, if you don’t clear out at once I shall ring up the Curtain!’ ‘All-right, me boysh, ring up the housh, if you (hic) lik’sh.’ All this time the audience were whistling and banging as hard as they could go. Seeing that all persuasion was useless, I rang up the Curtain. The effect was marvellous. One sat sucking oysters, another drinking Champagne from the bottle and still another pouring it out into glasses. You should have seen the scramble to get to the wings. There they were falling over one another, some tripping up over property, and the audience fairly shrieking with laughter. It was the funniest thing I have ever seen.” Charlie, whose name and faint brogue betoken him a native of Erin is a keen cricketer, and has proved himself a very useful bat. Now he is learning the art of war and seems to be making splendid progress. Good luck to him.


Sergeants Waterman, West and Whitehead.

(Series continued).

A. SANDHAM (Surrey).

One of the most promising young cricketers in the Battalion is A. Sandham of Surrey, now a private in “B” Company.

Sandham comes from Mitcham, a famous cricket nursery which has already given us Tom Richardson, Strudwick of Surrey and Bale of Worcester. Sandham is no mean addition to the trio although he has not yet had an opportunity to show his qualities to the full.

Surrey has been so full of talent during this last few years that Sandham has good reason to be proud of the progress he has already made and when the time comes he should develop into one of the mainstays of the eleven.

Joining the Oval staff four years ago he served a short apprenticeship in the second eleven and was given a chance with the premier side in his first season. In his first important match he got 50 against Cambridge and followed up with 60 against Lancashire in his maiden county effort.

During this season he was remarkably successful with the bat, scoring a total of 3,000 runs, including nine centuries. True these were not all obtained in county cricket but a man who can get a century in any class of cricket is always a good man to have on your side. Four of the centuries were made on four consecutive days, two for the Club and Ground, one for the Surrey Second eleven and one for his old club Mitcham.

Sandham’s highest effort was 196 against Sussex in 1913, when he was associated with a partnership of 290 for the fifth wicket.

In club cricket, too, he was responsible, with Jack Hobbs, for putting on 312 for the first wicket against Godstone.

In cricket as in other walks of life kings sometimes run in grooves, and for a while last season Sandham was unable to avoid the L.B.W. decision. Five times in six innings he was out in this way before he could break the spell.

A safe long field and a bat of the steady order Sandham promises to be an able follower of previous Surrey giants. Certainly he is a worthy addition to the Hayes and Hitch combination which the champion county has already given us.

Better known as “Cheerful Charlie” he carries the virtue of steadiness almost to the extent of gloominess. He seems to take life as seriously as his cricket and should his success be proportion, Sandham is in for a real good time.


Mainly About People.

Notes concerning members of the Sportsman's Battalion.

Harris, F.G. (Private).—Born St. John’s Lewisham. Educated Deptford Grammar School. Principal largest Science, Art and Commercial School under London County Council, and afterwards Inspector of Schools. At one time music master at the Roan School, Greenwich. Captain and Secretary of Football, Swimming, Rowing, Boxing and Golf Clubs. He is at present the popular Secretary of the Regimental Rugby Club besides being the organiser of many other social events in connection with the Battalion.

Harrison, Jack (Private).—Well-known boxer, was in Grenadier Guards, 1907-10. As soon as he discovered he could box he took it up seriously, and his series of minor successes culminated in his winning the Lonsdale belt for the middleweight championship at the N.S.C. in 1912; he beat his opponent, Sergt. McEnroi (Irish Guards) on points. While with his regiment he won the heavy-weight championship of the Brigade of Guards (1909), after the previous year winning a middle-weight open competition at Windsor. His engagements at the N.S.C. have included victories over Dai Thomas (knock-out in eighth round); George Beckett (on points), fifteen rounds; and Rutherford, of South Africa. In 1913 Harrison went to America, and while in a weakened condition he met Eddie McGooty, whho knocked him out in the first round, fracturing his jaw, and he was thus prevented from defending his claim to the Lonsdale belt that year. Two other fights in America were won—Jammie Smith and another reputable pugilist; in each case there was no decision.

Wharton, Alfred Burden (Corporal).— Originally in Legal Profession. Well-known London entertainer. Been connected with all sorts of theatrical work. Manager of touring shows for last 10 years, including Paul Mills’ “Courtiers,” also member of “The Brownies.” Makes a specialty of curate studies. Member of one of the old volunteer forces (5th Middlesex). Football enthusiast. Other hobbies chess and snooker.

Wilson, Ralph (Private).— Educated Barton Schoojl, Wisbech. Played for his school cricket and football (Association) teams. Later assisted occasionally Wisbech St. Augustine’s in Camb. Senior League, Hinchingbrooke Cup, Peterborough League, and King’s Lynn League, and more frequently Wisbech Wednesdays in King’s Lynn (Wednesday) League. Interested in sport generally. Journalist by profession, having been connected with “Isle of Ely and Wisbech Advertiser,” “Kentish Gazette and Canterbury Press,” and “East Kent Times,’’ and “Thanet Times” (Margate).


The above photograph does not, unfortunately, include the whole of the Gillies and Gamekeepers of the Battalion, but it conveys some indication of the spirit which has emulated these hardy Northeners, who are always amongst the first to flock to the Colours when the war drum beats, and the pipes begin their wild skirling. There’s something in the fierce Highland blood which responds at once when there’s fighting to be done, and here we have a representative collection of men, lovers of the open air life, who have left home and country to serve H.M. the King. To these splendid fellows

a soldier’s life comes naturally, and as many have followed their Master’s lead in taking the King’s Shilling we find displayed a fine patriotism which might well be copied by those in our big cities, who still hesitate. It is impossible in this small space to comment on any particular individual, but we cannot refrain from mentioning Piper Sergt. Robertson, who has served with the 5th Battalion Royal Highlanders, and of whom we shall have something to say in a later issue, and Sergt. Schofield, who is the only figure in the group born south of the Tweed.


A Flashlight Impression of “B” Company’s Annual Dinner.

The excellence of any function arranged by “B” Company must be a foregone conclusion if the Dinner which was held at the White Hart Hotel, Romford, last Friday evening can be taken as any criterion.

Everything went off splendidly, the dinner itself was excellent, the speeches fitted the occasion, the entertainment was excellent and the Committee and the chief organiser, Private F. G. Harris, are to be heartily congratulated upon the result.

Lieutenant P. Suckling occupied the Chair, supported by all the officers of the Company, while the visitors included Colonel Lord Maitland, Lt.-Ool. Gibbons, Doctor Hill, Captain Inglis and 2nd Lieuts. B. E. York, C. P. Roberts, Sydney Smith, R. O. Jourdain, and Regimental Sergeant-Major Merrick.

Lt.-Col. Gibbon struck the right note when he said that at present we should be more than ever proud of our Army and finished by voicing the opinion that the Sportsman’s Battalion, when it gels the opportunity, will do its best and succeed in adding fresh laurels to the honour of the Army and the Old Country.

Sergeant Marsden in proposing “The Allies” was perhaps the turn of the evening. His most amusing speech really deserved a place on the entertainment platform. Second Lieut. Eimen, in reply, gave us some idea of the Belgium "feeling towards England as that of the Little to the Big Brother, and his allusion to some of the atrocities perpetrated in that little country made one more than ever anxious to get into the firing dine and help to make amends.

The toast of the 1st Sportsman’s Battalion was given in a typical speech by Regimental Sergeant- Major Merrick, and Lord Maitland in reply emphazised the fact that we had one goal and that was to fight the Germans. Among the new Battalions it was a scamper to get out first, and only by steadily progressing with our training would we get considered in advance of others. Second Lieut. Taylor toasted the visitors including Doctor Hill in a racy speech and paid tribute to the fact that the Doctor had come well through a trying period, while the Doctor expressed himself as grateful to everyone for their co-operation. The toast of the Chairman and Officers was well treated by Sergeant Major Webb, and in Lieutenant Suckling’s response it transpired that the Dinner was to be repeated annually on March 5th, wherever B Company might

be and under whatever condition. Second Lieut. Hillcoat was also associated in the reply.

Sergeant Wainwright presided at the piano and the entertainers included Lieut. P. Suckling, Privates Kilpatrick, Larner, Lindsay, Hamilton, Sullivan and Williams.

The whole of the above are members of the Company while there still remained a reserve upon which time made it impossible to call.

And now as Sergeant Marsden said in his very witty speech “Like .Lady Godiva I am drawing near my “close.”

Remains to be said that the evening was a tremendous success and everyone is looking forward to its repetition. Members of the Committee not previously mentioned were Messrs. Q.-M. Sergeant Cole L.-Corp. Barr, and Privates Cooper, Fulljames, Mansfield and Thomas.


By the Week-Ender.

Despite the war, great preparations are being made for the theatrical season in town, and I suppose that in discussing these preparations we must include the West End variety shows, for have we not Rejane at the Coliseum, and are not other great stars promised before the summer comes?

Sir Herbert Tree is following “David Copperfield” at His Majesty’s with an adaptation of M. Pierre Froudale’s drama “The Right to Kill,” and I learn that Sir Herbert will himself play the part of the avenger in this intensely human play.

On Wednesday last “Madame Butterfly” was produced at the Shaftesbury in English, with Miss Rosina Buchman in the name part.

“The Girl in the Taxi” moves to the New Theatre where we shall see a charming Russian actress—Mlle. Lyuba Liskoff—in the part of the jolly jolie parfumeuse in place of Mlle. Yvonne Arnaud.

Monday last brought the 100th performance of “The man who stayed at home” at the Royalty.

Madame Rejane appears at the Coliseum in a sketch “The Bet,” which, in racy fashion, reproduces a very probable incident of the war with the fraternising of British and French officers, giving a truly practical demonstration of the entente cordials.

At the Palace on Tuesday night, precisely at 8.30 p.m., the Curtain rose on “The Passing Show of 1915.” I have not as yet had opportunity to see this revival, but the critics have received it with enthusiasm, so I feel sure that the management will once again have excelled themselves.

There is a jolly ripping programme at the Alhambra, and a new revue is promised shortly.

Leslie Stiles’ new piece, “Stage Struck,” is a great success at the Empire, and1 I wish I had space to amply describe it.

The new revue at the Palladium, “Passing Events,” with the backing of a fine bill is well worth seeing, as also is “Go to Jericho” at the Oxford.

Sportsmen visiting town this week-end have a fine choice. Next week I hope to tell you a little about what’s on at the Restaurants.


Next week’s programme includes a particularly dramatic Ruffle’s Production entitled, “Wreckers of Lives,” together with that charming historic comedy “Davy Garrick,” specially staged by Sir Charles Wyndham.

The Hornchurch Cinema is a comfortable resort for wet evenings, and its appointments are equal to those found in the high class West End Houses. Sportsmen need never be at a loss for a night’s amusement.

March 12, 1915

Western Times

The 24th Royal Fusiliers (Sportsman’s Battalion) visited Crediton on Wednesday on a route march. About 300 men took part in the march, under Capt. A. E. Dunn and Lieuts. Enderby, Perkins, and Templeman. At the station they were joined by their band, who had come by train. From the station the men marched to High-street, where they were dismissed for three quarters of an hour. On their way to the town they were greeted by the children attending the Haywards Schools. Refreshments were provided at the Liberal Club. The battalion presented a very smart appearance, and greatly impressed the inhabitants.

Western Times

Wishing God Speed to West Country Sportsmen.

Captain A. E. Dunn is justly proud of the West-country men he has recruited at Exeter for the Sportsman’s Battalion. They paraded 280 strong, with their band, this week, and were inspected by the Mayor (Mr. J. G. Owen), who wished them “God-speed, great glory, and a safe return” before they leave for their training quarters in Essex. Our photos show the Mayor, with Captain Dunn and the councillors, inspecting the lines.

March 11, 1915

The Leavenworth Times


But lady Raphael Turns Money Over to Charity Fund.

London, Feb. 25. – (Correspondence of the Associated Press.) – Ever week Lady Raphael, one of the wealthiest women in London, draws the separation allowance of 16 shillings ($4), which the government allows to wives of enlisted men. Sir Herbert Raphael, Bart., member of the House of Commons and trustee of the National Gallery, is now Private Raphael of the 24th Battalion Royal Fusiliers, known as the 2nd Sportsmen’s Battalion, and when not in Parliament is busy drilling in a khaki uniform. He is fifty-six years old, but has led an active life physically by golfing, motoring and shooting. His appearance in a private’s dress in Parliament, of which he is the richest member, while a labor M.P. came there in uniform of an officer, caused considerable comment several weeks ago.

When asked why he enlisted as a private, Sir Herbert replied:

“Because I had no military experience, and I do not think it right to take a position unless one has acquired some experience. I also did it as an example to my constituency.”

He will have to give up his Parliamentary duties when his command moves into its new training camp in Essex, where huts are now being erected. Soldiering, he says, is a fine life and the best kind of exercise.

Lady Raphael adds her government money to her charity fund.

West Briton and Cornwall Advertiser


The Westcountry Company of the 2nd Sportsmen’s Battalion of the Royal Fusiliers, which Capt. A. E. Dunn (formerly M.P. for the Mining Division) so splendidly recruited, were inspected at the Castle Yard, Exeter, on Monday, by Col. Western. The Mayor (Mr. J. G. Owen), addressing the troops, said they were men of Devon and Cornwall – Cornwall, whose motto was “One and All,” and Devon, whose motto was “Semper Fidelis.” He was sure that no matter in what tight corner they found themselves they would remember the mottoes of those two counties, and that they would bear in mind not only their oath of allegiance, but also the honour of the dear Westcountry to which they belonged. He was sure they would always uphold the honour of the flag, and in the name of the City of Exeter he wished them God-speed, great glory, and a safe return. – Capt. Dunn tendered his thanks to the Mayor, and, through them, to all the citizens, for the great kindness they had shown the company during the stay in Exeter.

March 9, 1915

Dundee Courier


The 23d (Service) Battalion of the Royal Fusiliers, more familiarly known as the “First Sportsmen’s Battalion,” contains a very fine class of men. In its ranks are men famous in various branches of sport, such as Association football, Rugby football, cricket, etc., and in this battalion are included no fewer than eighty men from Dundee and district. This photograph, taken at the training camp at Hornchurch, shows the members of the band. Fourth from the right in the back row is Bandsman Moncur, 32 Bell Street, Dundee. In the front row, fourth from the right is a Montrose man, while second from the left in the front row is a Glasgow man who was formerly a member of the Dunfermline Trust Band. The First Sportsmen’s Battalion Band has Englishmen, Scotchmen, Irishmen, and Welshmen amongst its members. The Marquis of Maitland, Colonel of the battalion, is in the front row, with Adjutant Inglis on his right, and Captain Church on his left.

Exeter and Plymouth Gazette

Sportsmen’s Batt.



The “C” (West-country) Company of the 24th Service Battalion Royal Fusiliers (2nd Sportsmen’s) which has been stationed at Exeter for some time past, and is shortly leaving to join the Battalion, was inspected by the Mayor of Exeter (Mr. J. G. Owen), who was accompanied by several members of the City Council, at Bury Meadow, yesterday. The Company, which was under the command of Captain a. E. Dunn, assembled in the Castle Yard, where the men were inspected by Colonel Western (officer commanding No. 8 District). About 280 men were on parade, and presented a smart appearance. The officers, in addition to Captain Dunn, were Lieutenants Perkins and Templeman, while Company-Sergeant-Major Finch was also present. Headed by is band, the company marched to Bury Meadow via High-street and Queen-street. After closely inspecting the men the Mayor, in the course of a speech, said how pleased he was at their appearance. Although not a military man, he was able to distinguish between a mere slouch or ragged parade and a real regular one. He was struck by the great improvement in bearing and drill. The latte day recruit drilled with his brain as well as his body, and the two acting in union gave an excellent result. He understood they were soon to join their Battalion, and he hoped they would give their superior officers as good an impression as they provided at Exeter, and that the Battalion would be proud of the men of Devon and Cornwall. He hoped that whatever befall them, they would remember the tow mottos of Devon and Cornwall and would be “Ever Faithful,” and they “one and all” would do their utmost to support and maintain the integrity of the Empire. On behalf of the citizens he wished them God-speed, great glory, and a safe return. (Applause.)

Three cheers were heartily given for the Mayor and Mayoress on the call of Sergeant-Major Finch.

Captain Dunn, in thanking the Mayor for his reviewing the Company, said he would like to take the opportunity of expressing sincere thanks for the great kindnesses extended by the inhabitants of the dear old city. The men would go nowhere where they could be more happy and contented.

March 6, 1915

Corsicana Daily Sun


William Albany Now Member British Sportsmen’s Battalion.

William Albany, the world famous professional sculler, who has rowed three great races against Ernest Barry winning on two occasions, is one of the members of the First Sportsman’s Battalion, attached to the Royal Fusiliers, known as “Hard as Nails,” which is quartered at Hornchurch, Essex, England.

Big game hunters, horse breeders, gamekeepers, professional athletes and one or two Fleet street sporting men are also included in the ranks.

March 5, 1915

Aberdeen Weekly Journal


Lewis R. Lewis (on reader’s left), the Army International footballer, is a corporal in the 2nd Sportmen’s Battalion, and has been appointed captain of the football club of the battalion. With him in the picture is Sergt. Adams, of the same battalion, who played for Fulham this year, and was formerly captain of Southend United.
The Cincinnati Enquirer


Our attention having been called to the fact that there is an impression in America that this hotel has been taken over by the Red Cross Society, we would take the earliest opportunity to inform you that such is not the case.

The hotel is open to receive visitors as usual. Beyond the fact that certain of the public banqueting rooms are being used for the purpose of recruiting for the Sportsman’s Battalion, there is no interference with the usual course of business.

     Yours faithfully,
          F. M. Hornsby, Manager.

The First Sportsman’s Gazette – No. 11


An old campaigner, and a good soldier in every sense of the word, recently gave it as his opinion that never had he seen a more capable body of men than those which make up the 23rd (Service) Battalion, Royal Fusiliers, and he also expressed the view that when fighting was afoot these men, drawn together from the four quarters of the globe by a common bond, would render splendid account of themselves.

Few of us would wish for better compliment.

Those two words—“Sportsman’s Battalion”—have a ring about them which attracts the right kind of individual. They suggest “playing the game,” and everything that means to the Britisher. They make a real appeal to the individual who loves an outdoor life—the man who is used to pitting his skill, his judgment and his endurance against long odds, the prophets who, at the inception of the idea for forming a Sportsman’s Battalion, said that men of this class would take to soldering as a duck takes to water have had ample justification.

Many have been the setbacks, great have been the difficulties, but these things only serve to give a zest to the game, and now the most arduous part of the task is over, and there has come into being during the four darkest months of the year a battalion of which each individual member is as efficient a soldier as the two years’ man in times of peace. It might also be safely said that had the equipment come to hand more quickly even greater things might have been accomplished.

The future is in the lap of the Gods, but now that Spring is almost here, and there is some possibility of rifles being served out to us at an early date, it may not be long before we are ready and fit to take up our posts in the trenches alongside those other splendid units of Lord Kitchener’s Army, which Great Britain has trained in such record time.



Trenching has been continued during the week as usual, with the exception of last Saturday, when the heavy rain caused the trip to Benfleet to be abandoned.

The “Dismiss” Bugle was a welcome sound to those anxious to get away for the week-end.

Chief interest for the moment centres on the bayonet drill, in which all companies are making good progress under the instruction of Sergeant-Major Smith. The recruits, too, are coming along splendidly under Sergeants Cummings and Whiteside.

Fresh recruits are being accepted every day.

It is pleasing to note that the general health of the Camp is improving, the epidemic of influenza and sore throats having been almost entirely stamped out.

In this connection it is pleasing to note the return of Sergeant Bucknall. The whole regiment heard of his illness with the deepest regret, and we are glad to welcome his return and that of the remaining members of his hut.


The following extract from the “London Gazette” of 25th February has interest for the Battalion :—”Temporary 2nd Lieutenants to be Temporary Lieutenants—R. N. Bealey and the Hon. A. E. F. Yorke (22nd February).”

And the whole Battalion will welcome the appointment of Sergeant R. O. Jourdain as Temporary 2nd Lieutenant.

Also from the “London Gazette” 1st March : — Temporary 2nd Lieutenants to be Temporary Lieutenants—2nd Lieut. Pirie; 2nd Lieut. Cross. (22nd Feb., 1915).

Temporary 2nd Lieut. P. A. X. Thompson is appointed 2nd Lieut. 3rd Inniskilling Fusiliers (Special Reserve).

The appointment of Sergeant R. T. Williams, Right Flank Company, as a musketry instructor, is also announced.


Privates J. Wilson and C. Johnstone have been transferred from “B” to “L.F.” Company.


“B” Company are holding a dinner at the White Hart Hotel, Romford, to-night (Friday), with Lieutenant P. C. Suckling in the chair.


One of the songs sung by Kitchener’s Army to the tune of the Soldiers’ Chorus from Faust, runs something like this : —

“All soldiers live on bread and jam,
All soldiers eat it instead of ham,
Every morn we hear our Colonel say
“Eyes front, form fours, jam for dinner to-day,”

which in good humorous vein gives some hint that there might be just the slightest chance of monotony occurring in the feeding of England’s Legions.

Stew yesterday, roast to-day, stew to-morrow— stew before, stew after, in one continuous procession until the palate cloys;

Not that the meat is not excellent, not but that it is thoroughly cooked. Rather is it that the taste becomes accustomed to every subtlety of the flavour, and thus having explored every possibility, there being nothing left to put a zest on the appetite, one eats mechanically without enjoyment for the sole purpose of feeding the human machine.

An Escoffier would make a food poem with the materials our cooks are furnished with, but we cannot expect an epic from the Army Cook.

He does his best under difficult circumstances, and he is improving mightily, thanks to the hard work of the Messing Committee. Boiled beef and carrots is a truly admirable dish, Lobscouse, and Boiled suet pudding and Jam are just a few of the items which have served to add the spice of novelty to our daily dinner menu.

Chops for breakfast are very much appreciated by the trenchermen, and it is pretty evident that when this Committee gets well into its stride great things may be expected.

Dinner on the Drive, in sunny February,


Specially contributed to the “First Sportsman’s Gazette,” by John Hassall, the well-known Poster Artist, whose designs are seen on every hoarding. On the back of the drawing are the words, “Sorry, couldn’t find time for anything before. Am rushed off the earth,” Many thanks, Mr. Hassall!


Sergeant R. T. Noyes, better known as “Canada,” gave a most interesting lecture on Friday evening last at the Congregational Church in the village on the expedition to Khartoum to relieve General Gordon. The march to Khartoum and the arrival just one day too late to save the ill-fated Gordon is one of the most dramatic, and at the same time, most pathetic incidents in English history, and when described by one who actually took part in it the story becomes intensely interesting.

Sergeant Noyes went with the expedition in a civilian capacity, being one of the 385 Voyageurs or Canadian river men who served as experts, and he traces the journey from the moment of leaving Canada until within sight of Khartoum.

At one moment pathetic with the nearness of death, the next broadly humorous with a description of the mending of his clothes with a piece of tin and finding it too hot to sit down, Sergeant Noyes held his audience from beginning to end.

I should like to pick you out a plum or two from such an interesting store of experiences, but Sergeant Noyes has promised to repeat the story in full through the medium of the Gazette at a very early date.





The return match with Dulwich at Champion Hill on Saturday had every promise of an exciting struggle, and a record crowd turned out to see the fun.

With the Hamlet anxious to wipe out the defeat of a few weeks back, a ding-dong game was seen, with quite a cup-tie flavour about it.

Full of incident, with the issue in doubt until the finish, a draw of 2 goals each was the only result possible on the day’s play.

Science at times was at a discount, and the efforts on both sides were spasmodic rather than continuous. The sticky nature of the ground had something to do with this, although overkeenness was probably the chief factor.

For Dulwich Clegg stood down to let in W. J. Davies, who has recently joined the colours, and on the Battalion side Lewis at half deputised for Lieut. Hayes.

The Battalion side was the first to be aggressive, and a shot from Clunas went just wide of the mark. It was not long before Higgins at the other end was forced to send into touch from Hayward, the Hamlet outside left.

Higgins, who has not been in the field since Christmas, played a masterly game at back, and his tackling and placing of the ball were as sure as ever.

Lewis contrived to get the ball to Sandham, the outside right centred to Clunas, who waited a shade too long before taking the final shot.

Nixon, the Dulwich outside right, was quickly forcing a corner the other end, and then the Battalion took up the running again, Sandham sending to Owers, who shot behind.

There was always a certain spice about the encounters between Rawlings, the old Dulwich boy, and Nixon, the newcomer, and it must be confessed that the Battalion man did not always get the best of it. Nixon and Nicol on the Dulwich right were always spelling danger. Clarkson, their centre man, raced past J. Hendren and Lewis, but offside against Nicol spoiled the resultant move.

The see-saw work continued, Higgins got the measure of Hayward, and immediately had to race across and check Nixon and Nicol.

Owers was slow at the other end, and Sweeting, the dashing left back, cleared for Dulwich. A pretty move between Owers, the elder Hendren and Sandham, was finished with a weak shot, and in a flash Higgins was forced to concede a corner. This was well cleared by Littlewort, but the Hamlet forwards were not to be denied, and after Kearton had made a great save from Nicol, Newstead scored from a melee in front of the goal, with Kearton still on the ground. In some ways it was a lucky goal, for it seemed as if the goalie should have hung on a little longer before trying to clear. It came, however, after a period of pressure by the Hamlet forwards, and no- one begrudged them their success.

E. H. Hendren raced away from the re-start and gave Vernon of Dulwich a very warm handful, which the goalie did well to save. The ball was only partially cleared, but the return shot from the younger Hendren was cleverly tipped over the bar.

The Battalion forwards for the most part lacked go, although they came again towards the end of the half, when pretty work between Atkinson, Clunas, and Hendren carried the ball into the enemy quarters.

The Battalion side went off with a rush in the second half, and it was not long before they got the equaliser. Rawling was really the initiator of the movement. Receiving back from Pat Hendren he booted up to Owers, the centre man sent out to Hendren, who passed inside for Clunas to score from an awkward angle. This was the signal for a general siege of the Dulwich goal, and after Littlewort, Rawling, and Clunas had all tried long shots with effect, Owers with a ladylike movement turned a centre from Hendren to account. Owers, who had not been playing with his usual vim, atoned for many previous omissions by this effort, and lie almost repeated the dose a second later from a pass by Clunas.

It was not long before the Hamlet side were again in the picture, and with the visitors hesitating for the fraction of a second on an offside appeal, Nixon swung the ball over to Nicol, who scored with a shot that gave Kearton no earthly. Easily the best goal of the match.

To sum up, both sides played good football, in parts both made mistakes. The result perhaps was a little disappointing to the Battalion, but we were a little slow in the forward line, Owers being the chief offender. With a little more “ginger” here we should have gained the verdict.

In view of the increasing interest in the Battalion football two matches have been arranged for Saturday, the one against Hampstead Town at Hampstead, and the other against the R.A.M.C. from Brentwood, here. Both are timed to start at 3.15



Top Row (left)—Harris (secretary), Thomson, Williams, Gilmour, Franey, Spurway, Trott, Whittock, Clemetson.

Bottom Row (left)—Salvesen, Pearce, Lieut. Taylor, (the Referee), Capt. de Bourbel, Wadham (capt), Henri, Stratton.



The Rugby team played St. Thomas’ Hospital Saturday at Chiswick Park, with a change of two forwards, Capt. de Bourbel and Pte. Stratton being unable to play. Their places were taken by Reynolds and Scott-Tucker (the former making his first debut with the team).

The ground was in perfect condition, but the Sports are used to heavier going, and it was not conducive for their good play. The wind was favourable for the home team in the first half, and they made full use of it, and tried to wear down the visiting forwards. The first score was obtained by the Medicos, for, from a free kick, Coverdale the international, dropped a beautiful goal. Immediately after this the Sports pressed hard and had twice in succession five yards scrum in the home line, but on each occasion, owing to their forwards being unable to get possession, lost the chances and ground gained. A fine piece of passing by Coverdale to Owen, the celebrated Blackheath player, a second score was obtained. This was unconverted, and at half-time the Medicos were leading by 6 points to nil.

The Sports forwards after half-time seemed to wake up, and many excellent forward rushes were lead by Clemetson, Gilmour and Thompson, but suddenly Owen and Coverdale made a splendid passing movement, and Owen got over and made the home team 9 points up (owing to the strong wind this try was unconverted).

The Sportsmen after this seemed to get a new life into them, the forwards got the ball out, and after a good forward rush led by Clemetson and Spurway, supported by Taylor, Pearce crossed the line most cleverly, and Williams converted the try by a well-judged kick.

A great task at this time lay before the visitors, for with only 15 minutes to play they had to obtain five more points to be victors.

This was managed by another grand rush by Clemetson and his forwards, and Henri being on the spot picked up very smartly, passed to Wadham, who immediately transferred the ball to Salveson. He got a splendid try on the line midway from the goal posts. This made no difference to Williams in his kick against the cross wind, for the converted two points were obtained, making the Sportsmen one point ahead.

They continued pressing, and when the whistle blew they were on the opponents’ line.

Coverdale gave a tine exhibition, and with the support of Owen, were very nearly the means of beating our team.

The Hospital were very unlucky to lose Gimlette during the early part of the second half, and thus having to play with seven forwards, but the judgment of their full-back, Cardell, in his fielding the ball and round kicking, saved them a great deal of pressure in the latter part of the game.. All our three-quarters played a very good saving game, especially Wadham, and with the help of our halves we have to thank them for our victory. It was unfortunate that Scott’s leg troubled him because, though tackling well, he was unable to kick as well as he has previously.

The forwards are greatly lacking in combination in the scrum, and before we can win further matches we must have scrum practice. Each seemed to wait for a certain place; this is folly because the first to get the shove on very often is the first to get the ball out.

The game was most admirably refereed by Mr. E. T. Andrews, to whom our thanks are due, and we hope to have the pleasure of having him refereeing for us soon again.

St. Thomas’ Hospital—J. D. M. Cardell; G. R. C. Willson, W. Owen, R. W. Procter, and F. Molina; H. Coverdale and L. M. Davies; J. S. Sloper, S. A. T. Ware, G. T. Gimlette, J. W. Wayte, F. C. Gladstone, R. E. Rampling, E. J. S. Bennett, and A. Pappenfus.

1st Sportsman’s Battalion—H. Scott; L. Williams, R. Pearce, H. F. Wadham (capt), and S. A. Salvesen; Lieut. H. A. Taylor and P. Henri; G. V. Spurway, J. M. Gilmour, D. L. Clemetson, S. Thompson, G. T. Franey, A. Whitlock, H. Scott-Tucker, and S. Reynolds.

This Saturday we are meeting the London Rifles at Brighton, and on the following Saturday we play the return match at home against the H.A.C., who only once have been beaten, and that was by us, so this match will be keenly looked forward to by all our Rugby supporters.


The Editor has heard that the suggestion of a Craft Re-union Dinner has met with approval in the Camp. Replies have even been received from brethren outside the Battalion. A meeting of Freemasons is therefore called for Wednesday evening next, at 6.30 p.m. Those desirous of attending are requested to send their names at once to the Editor. The place of meeting will, of course, depend on the number signifying their intention of being present.


Copy of a letter addressed to Mrs. Cunliffe-Owen. The article referred to is “Broncho Lou,” which has quite a characteristic Western flavour.

     Riverside Hotel,
          Reno, Nevada,
               Feb. 3rd, 1915.

Mrs. Cunliffe-Owen,
     Dear Madam,
          Were I in a position to do so, I would much like to send you a check for £1,000 to purchase comforts for the men at the front, Sportsman’s Battalion. As it is, however, I see no way at present except to contribute a few original stories, based on fact, and if the same were worthy of publication, I should like all the proceeds to go to the men of the above Battalion.
     This Story is original. If you think the same would be acceptable to the boys, if nothing else, I shall be glad to send you more.
     I should, as you know, like to be with them, sharing their hard knocks, as well as their comradeship,-and I believe I could help liven things up, as former life as a soldier in the trenches, has taught me what goes best with the fellows.
     Sincerely and respectfully,
          (Sgd.) H. BARR CHILD.


Dear Freer,
     I understand that the changes which have been made recently on the Staff of the Gazette have been misunderstood in some quarters of the Camp, and misrepresented in others, and I think that a brief statement from me may possibly help to clear the air a little. In the first place I wish to place on record the generous and courteous manner in which the Commanding Officer and all the other officers concerned carried through these changes. My own resignation was rendered necessary by the fact that in the eighth issue I allowed my instincts as a journalist to outrun my duty as a soldier. My plea is that the position was rather an unusual one, and that at times I scarcely knew whether I was acting in my capacity as soldier or as Editor of the Battalion journal. In any case I recognise the essential justice of the attitude taken up by the Regimental authorities in this matter, and I am perfectly satisfied, not only with their decision, but also with, their way of carrying it into effect. I may perhaps be permitted to add that the resignation of my colleagues on the Responsible Committee, although inspired by friendliness to myself, does not necessarily imply responsibility for the sentiments expressed in my article.
     I wish the Gazette—in which I shall always retain the deepest personal interest—a long and successful career under your able guidance.
          Very sincerely Yours,
               WILLIAM J. HARVEY.

(Series continued).

E. H. HENDREN (Middlesex).

Looking every inch a cricketer, E. H. Hendren, now a Private in “B” Company, has been playing in first-class cricket, in fact first-class football too, since the early age of 18.

On the ground staff at Lords he quickly earned recognition from the country. 1907 was the date of his first important match, and, curiously enough, it was against Lancashire when a more than usually inquisitive crowd so spoiled the wicket by prodding it with sticks and umbrellas, that the game had to be abandoned after lunch.

It is, I believe, the only case of this sort on record in first-class cricket, certainly the only case at Lords,

Robbed of the chance of distinction in his opening game, Hendren has since won his spurs in many fields, although Lords has always been his happy hunting ground.

It was here he made his first big score, that of 134 not out against Sussex. He has oftentimes topped the century since, but this still remains his highest effort.

Perhaps his best performance, also at Lords, was in the second match with Surrey last year.

Hayes, now his comrade in arms, would remember this too.

Hendren had just reached double figures when Hayes bowled him with a ball which hit the wicket without removing the bails. Hendren playing in masterly fashion afterwards showed such appreciation of his good luck that he totalled 124 before being finally dismissed.

Cricket appears to be a family gift, for both his brothers have distinguished themselves in the same sphere of sport.

Patriotism runs in the same groove too. Dennis Hendren, originally with Middlesex, and now associated with Durham, is at present training with the Durham Light Infantry, and of his younger brother most of us have a more intimate knowledge.

The subject of this sketch has never been out of England, although he has played in one of the trial games at headquarters.

He is perhaps the safest long field in the country, and his bag usually averages between 30 and 40 victims a year.

He was a member of the side which, playing at Gloucester, scored one of the quickest victories ever known in county cricket. The match started at 12 o’clock and finished at 6 o’clock on the same day, Middlesex winning by an innings, and Frank Tarrant taking 4 wickets with 4 successive balls.

Although essentially a cricket article, we cannot entirely overlook the football side of the picture.

“Pat,” as he is known to his familiars, first came into prominence with the Manchester City side, and later migrated to Coventry City. While there the City gave Preston North End the surprise of their lives, beating them in the first round of the English Cup, Hendren scoring the winning goal. Coventry eventually got into the fourth round before being knocked out.

For the last four seasons he has played at outside left for Brentford, in which position he has been a most prolific goal scorer.

Still young in his profession, Hendren has shown that he is made of the right stuff, and should he attain further honours, we of the Sportsman’s Battalion who have met him, will be amongst the first to welcome his success.

J. HENDREN (Durham).

J. Hendren, also associated with “B” Company, seems destined to follow in his brother’s footsteps.

Spending four seasons at Lords, he has for the past two years been qualifying for Durham, playing friendly matches for this county in the meantime.

While playing for the Middlesex second string he often found Sergeant Marsden in the opposition, and Marsden bears testimony to his prowess.

Sergeant Marsden was a member of the Hampstead Club, and Hampstead has always been a name to conjure with in the cricket world.

In the ordinary course Hendren would have figured in Durham Senior League Cricket this season, for he had promised to assist South Shields, where Frank Harvey, the old Lancashire player, is the professional.

Jack is a worthy member of a sporting family, and has the making of a good cricketer, footballer, boxer, and soldier too.


Mainly About People.

Notes concerning members of the Sportsman's Battalion.

Freer Cyril C. (Private).—Educated at Archbishop Holgate’s Grammar School, Malton, Yorks. Devoted business life to organising and advertising. Was on Staff of “Daily Mail” and is now Advertising Manager to Roneo, Ltd. Lecturer on Business Methods, at Regent Street Polytechnic. Keen golfer. Represented school in rugby, fond of shooting. Founded the Malton Rifle Club in 1901, and acted as Secretary to the Volunteer Augmentation Society, which had for its object the strengthening of the local Volunteer Company. Has taken a prominent part in Freemasonry, being in the Chair of his Lodge, Camalodunum 660 in 1906, its Jubilee year, is also P.M. Fitzwilliam Marie Lodge 277, P.P.G.A.D.C. North East Yorks, P.Z. King Edwin Chapter 660 and P.P.G. Asst.-Soj. North East Yorks.

Leith, Edward (Lance-Corporal).— In theatrical business. Manager for Marie Studholm. Five years as Stage Manager with Seymour Hicks. Song writer, including in his efforts “My Daffodil Girl,” for Marie Ash, and “The Call,” chorus of which appears in this number of the Gazette.

Marwood, G. (Sergeant).—Born in Taunton. Educated Emmanuel College, Wandsworth Common. Civil servant. All round sportsman including Tennis, boating, motoring, cycling and walking in his hobbies. Five years P.W.O. Civil Service Rifles.

Thomas, Clement (Private).—Educated Marylebone Higher Grade School. Motor Engineer. In the industry from its infancy and had the satisfaction of placing first English motor cab on the streets of London. Hobbies, hunting—is the winner of many steeplechases—fishing and yachting. Generally known as “Tommy.”

Toogood, A. H. (Private).—Professional golfer Champion Midland Counties. Fourth in Open Championship at Sandwich. Second in “News of the World” in 1906. Represented England against Scotland, 1904-5-6-7. Won London Professional Foursomes with Rowland Jones in 1907 Beat open Champion of Ireland.


W. HOOPER (Welter-weight).

You may catch your boxer but the difficulty is to make him talk, and this perhaps accounts for the fact that outside the actual fraternity we of the Battalion have heard little or nothing of the powers of Private W. Hooper.

Hooper, who fights under the name of Dick Brown, is a splendid example of the hereditary genius. His grandfather was well known in the ring, his father besides being useful in “the art” was a first-class runner (an ominous combination), while both his brothers have made a name for themselves in the boxing world.

Harry gave us an opportunity of witnessing his abilities near home, when he drew with Stanley in a ten-rounds contest at Romford, and the younger brother did well in the army and navy championships before going to the front with his regiment, the 16th Lancers.

William, who is the eldest of the trio, was well in the running 18 months ago for the welter-weight Lonsdale belt, when he had the misfortune to break his hand. This and the war have put him back a bit, but he is now doing his best to re-establish himself.

It would be meaningless to some of us to quote a list of the names of the boxers he has conquered, the remainder of us know. Perhaps a better idea of his quality can be gathered from the fact that in one year he had 33 victories to his credit, in fact until the accident to his hand he had never been beaten. Most of his wins, too, were gained in the first round. Recently he easily got the better of Bill Sutton at The Ring, while he was the runner-up in a welter-weight competition at the National Sporting Club on the night of Delaney’s big fight.

Modest,- a fearless fighter and hard hitter, Hooper who is a Private in No. 4 Company, goes about his training in the most unostentatious way possible.

Jerry Delaney, light weight, and W. Hooper (Dick Brown) welter weight, would be a good Battalion double for the Lonsdale belt competition.

Any offers !


PRIVATE JERRY DELANEY (on the left) who defeated Jack Denny last week at the N.S.C., and his trainer, Private Joe Jagger.

By The Recruit.

I decided I was a Sportsman before I thought of being a soldier, and I do really think that if I had not been so sure of that one thing I should never have joined the army; but I was always keen on reading football reports and I oft would venture my bob on a gee.

Well, my pal Fred, joined the Battalion in November, and when he came home at Christmas he was so full up of pride with being a Lance-Corporal, that I made up my mind to throw up my job as hot cross bun maker and enlist.

I haven’t been a soldier long, but I’ve learned many things during the short period I’ve lived in Hornchurch.

For instance, I’ve never washed up before in my life, but by jove I know how to do it now, and I can give any new chap who comes along a few tips about getting rid of the grease with the least amount of trouble.

Don’t you worry. It’s foolish to bother about drying mugs and plates, souse ’em well in hot water, then stand ’em up and let ’em drain. In less than an hour they will be all right without a single touch of the teacloth.

The fellows may grumble a bit, but if you smile hard and crack a joke, you’ll get through easy enough.

There’s one thing, though, that I kick about., I’m the only recruit in my Hut, and the other inmates have a rule to the effect that recruits must fetch early morning coffee and biscuits for the runners from the cook house and serve it to them in bed. It’s a hit too thick, I think, because it means lighting two fires first. We’ve a vacant bed, and I 'hear another recruit is coming in. Heaven help him, he’ll get this particular job as a permanency directly he arrives.

No other fellow in the Hut has been appointed permanently as Sunday orderly. I felt a bit proud of that at first, but now I realise that it is simply another of those burdens the young soldier has to bear.

The tea buckets, too, are a bit of a bug-bear. The other fellows boil water in them, and it takes me about two hours of hard scrubbing with Monkey Soap—which I have to buy myself—to get the grime off the bottom.

Why on earth so many meals are needed I cannot imagine. There’s Coffee and Biscuits for the runners, Breakfast for the trenchers, Breakfast for the runners, an “al fresco” semi-lunch for those on parade at 11 o’clock, dinner at 12.45, tea at 4.30, dinner for the trenchers at 4.45, and lastly a wallopin’ great supper of sorts about 9.

Our chaps bought a double set of plates, and they manage to dirty the lot at each meal, so you can jolly well understand that if I don’t know anything about washing up nobody does.

That blessed bugle, too, seems always on the blow. First its “cook house,” then its “rations,” then its “cook house,” and when our chaps started me regular as letter carrier, I’ve got to keep my ears skimmed for “Lively Lou.”

At the beginning I washed all the chaps’ kit boxes—I washed the windows, and was beginning to wonder I was not told off to touch up the tin roof plates. Lately I’ve made progress as a slacker, and when that other blessed Rookie comes on the scene I’ll be as artful as they make ’em.

I used to tell myself that soldiering was a grand life, and I jeered at Gerty, that little kitchenmaid I walked out, but now I know she was a bloomin’ Hero, ’cos as I’ve tried to convey, I’ve had some myself.

The other morning—the day after I’d been orderly—I was called over the coals by the Sergeant for not taking—and now I’m hoping I’ll be a defaulter for a month or two, for I’m sick to death of this washing up games.