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 23, 1915

Birmingham Evening Despatch


Display of Boxing and Appeal for Recruits.

At the Drill Hall, Stoney Lane-lane, Sparkbrook, on Monday night, 15 February, Sergt. P. G. Sadd and Pte. C. Mitchell, of the 2nd Sportsman’s Battalion, Royal Fusiliers, will give an exhibition of boxing, and afterwards Sergt. Sadd will address the audience and appeal for recruits for the battalion.

Sergt. P. G. Sadd was middle-weight champion of the Midland Counties 1913-14 and for three years was captain of the Burton Rugby football team. Pte. C. Mitchell, son of the famous Charley Mitchell, is an extremely clever boxer.

Mrs. Cunliffe-Owen, to whom the raising of these battalions is wholly due, intends to travel down from London specially to be present, so does Capt. Enderby, the Adjutant, Mr. Hamilton Adams, the trustee of the battalions, and various senior officers of the “Second Sportsman’s.” The exhibition is in aid of the relief of distress among dependants of men serving with the 3rd South Midland Brigade, R.F.A. and is under the patronage of the Lord Mayor.

The Sportsmen of the upper and middle classes who are under forty-five and fit are invited to apply to the Chief Recruiting Officer of the 2nd Sportsman’s Battalion, Hotel Cecil, Strand. They can fill up their enrolment form, and can be medically examined and attested at their nearest recruiting station without the trouble of going to London.

The corps need to not interfere with the formation of any other, as the two Sportsman’s Battalions are the only corps in the Army for which the age limit has been specially extended to forty-five, thus giving them the advantage of seven years in age over all others. The Sportsman’s Battalion includes some of the most famous cricketers, football players, golfers, and big game hunters of the day. Friends are especially invited to join together; every effort will be made, not only to keep them in the same company, and train them together, but to have them living in the same hut.

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