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!

January 13, 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, age 19 to 45, Wanted at Once. There are still vacancies. Head Recruiting Office, Hotel Cecil, London. Hours, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.

Derby Daily Telegraph



Mr. W. T. Maulton, a well-known gentleman farmer, of Brailsford, and for several years hon. secretary to the Brailsford and Ednaston Horticultural Society, has joined the Sportsman’s Battalion of the Royal Fusiliers, and writes to us from Hornchurch Camp (Essex) as follows:-

I shall be greatly obliged if you will allow me a short space in your paper, and I feel sure it will bring more men to arms.

The 23rd Service Royal Fusiliers, 1st Sportsman’s Battalion, requires more recruits. and will accept any man of smart appearance up to 45 years of age, providing he is fit and willing to serve for the war. The camp is situated 14 miles from London, and is one of the most comfortable and best fitted up in the country. Men wishing to join will be met at their nearest towns, and if medically fit will be despatched by free pass to the camp. For further particulars, apply : Recruiting 667, Hut 13, Grey Towers Barracks, Hornchurch, Essex.



Mr. Henry L. Bradley,
Industrial School,
Deaford, Leicester.

Dear Sir,

In reply to your letter I beg to enclose herewith Enrollment Form which please fill up carefully and return to me at your earliest convenience.

The 2nd Sportsman’s Battalion, like the 1st, has been authorised and sanctioned by Lord Kitchener, and forms part of the regular Army. The 1st Battalion is considered second to none in His Majesty’s Army, and I am determined that the 2nd Battalion shall bear the same name.

The Sportsman’s Battalion is the only Battalion in His Majesty’s Army where special permission has been given to enroll up to the age of 45. Pay is at the usual Army rate, and separation allowance as per enclosed slip.

When in camp the men are in most comfortable huts and not under canvas; and the 1st Battalion was entirely equipped on the day it went into camp.

If you really wish to join please do not wait until the numbers are quite complete, but let me have your decision at once.

The Battalion is especially for the upper and middle classes, and beyond the cost of Kit - which is optional, £8 to £10 - there are no other expenses.

Yours faithfully,

E. Cunliffe-Owen


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