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!

The First Sportsman’s Gazette – No. 8



Our remarks on this subject last week excited a great deal of comment within and outside the Camp and during the week we received many letters urging us to pursue the matter further. We take the liberty of reproducing two of these letters here: To the Editor (1st Sportsman’s Gazette).

     Dear Sir,—May I be permitted to say how glad I was to read your Editorial Notes in the current issue of the Regimental Gazette, more especially the remarks relating to the question of commissions ? I personally came over 3,000 miles to join the colours, and when I applied at the War Office for a commission I was definitely informed that I should not in any way prejudice my chances of getting one were I to join the Sportsman’s Battalion or any other unit of the King’s forces. Further, I was given to understand that all commissions in the future would be given, not to the men about town who strolled about waiting for them, but to young fellows who had sense enough to join and learn something.
     I now find that I am debarred from even applying for a commission. I consider this distinctly unjust, and, like crowds of other fellows in similar positions, it appears to me that I have been misled and deceived, and that we are being penalised for our patriotism. It is true that some weeks ago, at a time when I believe the Corps was not officially recognised, I was offered my discharge. But what decent man would take a discharge merely in order to “hang about” London on the off chance of obtaining a commission?
     I am, Sir,
          Yours very truly,

To the Editor.
     Sir,- You say in your Editorial Note, re commissions, in your last week’s issue that the Colonel’s point of view is that if the Battalion is ever to become a fighting unit men must come here to stay, and not merely for a transition period of training for something else.” That is, of course, true enough. But surely Commanding Officers realise that when they train men they are not doing it to satisfy themselves or even to forward the interests of their own particular Battalions, but in the service of their King. It is not absolutely essential that the Sportsman’s Battalion should go to the Front as a unit; it is absolutely essential that England should win this war. In my judgment, C.O.’s-—and I number two or three of them among my personal friends, make too much of a fetish of keeping their pet units intact. It is a perfectly understandable and, in many ways, a laudable ambition, but, I think, scarcely the highest or the most altruistic one. Finally, may I say it with all due respect, Lord Maitland should feel proud that the Battalion under his command is able to give the country so many promising young officers.
     Yours, &c.,
          W. M. R.

We print these letters mainly because we believe that they represent the general feeling of the Battalion in the matter, and also because we hope that a frank expression of opinion will help to clear the air somewhat. So far as we ourselves are concerned we believe that professional men, especially engineers, miners, sappers, linguists, etc. are able to render more useful service to their country as officers than as rankers—and it is of this type of men that the Sportsman's Battalion is largely composed.


We regret that the spirit of the Battalion is not what it was three months ago, and we hold the opinion that prolonged trenching and inoculation are not sufficient of themselves to account for the change. There are other forces at work, some of them subtle, others more open. Many men were offered commissions before Christmas and cheerfully turned them down. We scarcely think that such would be the case now. Whence the change? Fully recognising the responsibility of our statements we believe that the falling off in keenness, apparent not only here but in all units of a similar character, is largely due to the fact that military authorities have failed to lay hold of a great opportunity. We profoundly wish that it were otherwise, but it is not so. Responsible men, men who have made careers for themselves in all professions and all spheres of energy, enthusiastic youths)—you see them all now, keenness departed, marching about with the same deadly, dull expression on their faces, obeying orders like clockwork machines with the spring nearly run down. Why? Because so many officers and non-commissioned officers labour under the delusion that this is an ordinary war and that the men are ordinary soldiers. We are not going to win many battles in this Olympic campaign by “forming fours” or “saluting by numbers” or “carrying swagger canes through village streets.” These are more or less the unessentials. Any intelligent person can learn to do these things in a week. To have to practice them for four months without end does not speak well for our preparedness as a nation or the resources of our military authorities, and is, of course, the very thing to kill enthusiasm and to breed ennui. We believe and hope that a better time is coming, and quite candidly we sympathise as much with our officers as with the men. We are sure that they, as well as all we humbler folk, will heave a sigh of relief when we can at last leave all this “barrack-square and ceremonial machining” behind us, and seriously tackle that portion of our program which relates to training for active service.


The other day we walked from the Law Courts by way of the Strand to Trafalgar Square and en route saluted no fewer than sixty officers. In consequence of this and other experiences of a similar character we have come to the conclusion that in war-time saluting should be abolished by Army Order, at least in London and all garrison towns. We understand—although we have not yet been able to obtain official confirmation—that all saluting has been done away with at the Front. Men passing or wishing to speak to officers merely “stiffen up.” We put it forward as a serious recommendation that in the present exceptional circumstances men should only be required to salute (a) the officers of their own regiment, and (b) Staff officers or officers above the rank of Major. That this suggestion would meet with the hearty, approval of the majority of senior officers we have ample evidence.


Some relaxations in the restrictions regarding passes for business purposes would be greatly appreciated by the Battalion generally. It is not always possible to bring business representatives down to the Camp, and many extremely hard cases have come to our notice of men who at the Hotel Cecil were informed that no difficulty would be put in their way of getting up to town for a few hours each week, and who are now often unable to secure passes for really necessary business. Of course there are many instances of men who take advantage of every opportunity for getting a pass, and this makes it all the more of a hardship when those who desire to leave the Camp on strictly business grounds are refused permission.


In Memoriam.

We regret to announce the death, on Feb. 10th, from cerebrospinal meningitis, of Private Edward A. Willett, B Coy. The deceased, who was 35 years old, was a man of powerful physique. He was a lawyer, at Bromley, in Kent, succeeding his father in a long established and honourable business. Willett, who was a Roman Catholic, was a man of character and intellect. He was a keen soldier and most popular with his hut mates, who unable to be present at his funeral, honoured his memory by the sending of a wreath.


Notes concerning members of the Sportsman's Battalion.

Cook, H. (Private).—-Concert and Music-hall artist. First appeared on the stage as one of Tom White’s Arabs. Has recently sacrificed remunerative contracts with the Moss, Stoll and Gulliver circuits. Saw active service in South Africa with Driscoll’s Scouts. Is the owner of Jacko, the Regimental monkey, and that popular copyright song “Where have you been all night.”

Darrell, Fredrick (Private).—Born in Cambridge. Began life as a mining engineer. Was a director of the Robinson, Frank Smith and Schuller Diamond Mines, and many others. Has invested in farming properties in Africa. Owned a stud in England of race horses and polo ponies, including first prize winners at the Hackney and Polo stud show. Has hunted and shot in various parts of Africa. Is well known in Johannesburg and other centres of South Africa. When in England he has taken an active part in politics. Is the author of “How to succeed in South Africa.” He has become a recognised authority on South African politics and finance.

Garland, A. R. (Private).—Rugby and Queen’s. Son of the late General Garland. Has travelled round the world several times, and been engaged in cattle-punching, orange growing in Florida, and gold mining in Alaska. Served with the C.M.R.’s in the first Boer War. Previous to joining the Sportsman’s Battalion was a theatrical manager.

Lawford, A. R. M. (Private).—Born in India. Formerly belonged to the L.A.C., when he won the 600 yards Challenge Cup, and represented the club in sprinting. His best time for the 440 yards is 50 seconds, and for the 200 yards 20 seconds. Was a member of the Queen’s Westminster Rifle Volunteers for eight years, attaining the rank of 1st Lieutenant after only a few months service.

Pearson, Hyde B. (Private).—Has lived much in the East. For 15 years captain of various Rugger and Soccer teams, also hockey and general athletics. Is an old stroke of Yokohama Rowing Club. Has played for Japan against China at cricket. Well known gentleman-jockey, won the Ladies’ Purse for three years in succession (the Eastern Derby). Well-known yachtsman. Played against Cambridge and Oxford for Surrey at Soccer. Splendid shot with sporting gun; good painter of sporting dogs. Educated at Sir Watkin Wynn’s School, Wales, and Heidelburg University, Germany.

Rhodes, M. (Private).—Came from Australia to join the Sportsman’s Battalion. An all-round sportsman, he excels in swimming and diving. Has very few rivals at yachting. At one time he owned that celebrated and unique boat—8ft. long and 8ft. wide, mast 18ft. high, boom 17ft., and bowsprit 12ft., which was recorded at the time in the Rudder.

Rogers, V. H. (Private).—Though born in England has had a varied career in America. Was trained in Civil engineering. Has acted in this capacity for the Canadian Northern Railway, Canadian Pacific Railway, and the Grand Trunk Pacific companies. Private Rogers has seen much “cowpunching” in Alberta, California, and Texas. He is a keen follower of base-ball and “soccer,” and has done much big game hunting in Canada.

Scott, R. G. (Private).—Came from Brisbane, Queensland to join us. Very good full back at Rugger. Has played for Queensland. Educated at Brisbane Grammar School. Is a solicitor by profession, and very good at causing quarrels among other people. Loves fighting.

Taylor, R. J. (Private).—Born in Lancashire. Professional cricketer and footballer. Represented Lancashire in cricket from 1892 to 1898, and in League Football for the same county. Has often bowled against Hayes, also a member of the Battalion. Once took 8 wickets for 71 runs at the Oval. For the last 11 years has been engaged by the Marquis of Graham on his estate, Easton Park.

Thornber, Geo. R. (Signaller).—Educated at Winchester. Has travelled extensively, and fought in Spanish-American War as a volunteer, finishing up as marksman. Fought also in the last Sioux Campaign. Keen on all sports. Was in the first rush to the Klondyke.

Tomkins, F. O. (Private).—Is a solicitor, and was educated at Wellington College and abroad. Is a son of General W. P. Tomkins, C.I.E. A member of the Thames Punting Club, and often seen at Maidenhead. Has won numerous prizes for punting. Very keen on Alpine Sport, skiing being the particular form he engages in. For this purpose he goes to St. Moritz every winter. He is very keen on shooting and has lately been making good practice at the Romford miniature rifle range. At one time did a lot of long distance bicycling; by that means has travelled over most of the European Continent.


We congratulate the regimental authorities on the successful opening of the Shower Baths. These satisfy one of the most urgent and necessary of the requirements of the men, and already they are appreciated and used to the full.



By J. W. R. Morgan.

Few officers in the British Army have seen more service than has Major Richey. This fact is amply illustrated by a mere cursory glance at his official record, which we are able to publish this week. Major Richey has succeeded in impressing the regiment with his strong and genial personality. One realises immediately one comes into intimate contact with him that he is more accustomed to action than to academics. He is one of those exceptional men who, urged by restless impulses, yet contrive to convert their energy into useful work.

Educated at Colchester, Winchester and Woolwich, it was originally intended that he should take up gunnery. He first saw service in the Becuanaland Expedition of 1884-5 with Methuen’s Horse, then in the 12th Royal Lancers. From this regiment he exchanged in 1889 into the Queen’s Bays, with whom he served till 1895. He was stationed in India during this period, and whilst there he won many prizes for skill at arms. In 1892 he won the cup for tent-pegging at an assault at arms at Rawal Pindi in open competition. The Major has also won many prizes for skill with sword, lance, and bayonet.

In 1896 he joined the Colonial Forces and served through the Matabele War. He also took part in the quelling of the Mashuna Rebellion in 1897 and 1898. He returned home on sick leave in August, 1899, but was soon to rejoin the colours.

On the outbreak of the Anglo-Boer War, he returned to South Africa as Lieutenant in the Duke of Edinburgh’s Own Volunteers, but later joined Kitchener’s Horse, on the formation of that corps, and was soon promoted Captain and Adjutant.

Major Richey was twice wounded, and was mentioned in despatches on three occasions for gallant conduct in the field. He was decorated with the Distinguished Service Order for conspicuous gallantry, and was recommended for the Victoria Cross for rescuing a trooper, who had fallen and lost his horse. This was at Driefontein in March, 1900. Afterwards he was in succession Chief of the Krugersdorp Division of the Transvaal Police and Staff Officer of Doran’s Column. When war ceased Major Richey took up an appointment in the Cape Colonial Office, and in January, 1904, he was appointed to the Defence and Police Department of the Cape Colonial Forces.

He has done much big game shooting both in Africa and India, and has travelled on the Zambesi, on the West Coast, in Egypt, India, and South America.

On the outbreak of the present war Major Richey journeyed 12,000 miles to join the colours, the voyage home taking 42 days, which was not without incident, for the boat narrowly escaped being sunk by a German cruiser when two hours from Rio.

The interviewer requested Major Richey to give us his opinion of the Sportsman’s Battalion, and was favoured with the following reply : —

“I find it rather hard to express my real opinion of the Battalion in general, but as I have served in at least three other regiments composed of similar men, perhaps a few remarks may not come amiss. In the first place most people seem to think it almost impossible to discipline men who, for the most part have done more or less as they pleased all their lives. On the contrary, it is comparatively easy work. The majority have been disciplined at school, they have learnt it in the larger school of life, and their finer instincts and “sporting” feeling make up for whatever else there may be lacking.

The Battalion has been much handicapped of late from various causes, but with the material we have to work upon I am convinced that there will, be few finer or more efficient bodies (if any) of fighting men of the new armies in the field once we are able to tackle our training properly.

Personally I take great pride in the Regiment, and I feel sure that when the war is over it will mean something for any of us to be able to say “Yes, I served with the 1st Sportsman’s at the front,”



     To the Editor, 1st Sportsman’s Gazette.
Dear Sir,
     I have received the first copies of the Gazette from late comrades in the Battn., and beg to congratulate all concerned on its publication.
     Perhaps you or some of your readers will kindly answer the following queries:
     Does C.O. mean Commanding Officer, or does it stand for the initials of the Chief Recruiting Officer of the Sportsman’s Battalion, or can one pay one’s money and take one’s choice?
     When the Battn. was C.B. (sometime in November I think) who were the half-dozen lamb-like individuals who could be trusted out of the fold with permanent passes; and what did those six white sheep and the remaining thousand odd goats feel about it ?
     When some of the “privates” meet some of the “tailors” and “Jacks in office” in private life, will all the fighting be over?
     Is it true that there is a “Deutsche dogge” (made in Germany) up at the Hospital, and that the password is now “Cave Canem” and no longer “Cave Cancer” as it was in November.
     Talking of dogs, can any of you let me know where I can get the old strain of black Pointers? I have been so long abroad that I have lost track of them. In return for this information (or without it) I shall be glad to tell any “Sportsman” where, after this infernal war is over, he can live cheaply, in a glorious climate, with grand scenery, good sport and good fellowship, and get 7% or 8% interest on safe investments; and where I should now be shooting and fishing if it were not for the same reason that has brought so many of us back to the “old country,” God bless her!
     Salaams, and good luck to you all,
          T. P. MALLORIE, at “Brookroyd,” Ilkley, Yorks.
     I hope to send you a sporting article for your columns shortly.


To the Editor.
     The dance given by the Sergeants last Friday night was a huge success. Everything was splendidly arranged: Decorations charming, catering excellent, refreshments very very good indeed, and decent music. Officers, non-coms, and men spent a delightful evening. Our Regimental Sergeant- Major deserved—and received—the heartiest compliments from all who attended, for the efficient way the whole affair was conducted. There were far more privates present than non-coms, and officers. Being one of the former, I suggested to our R.S.-M. that it was up to us Privates to “retaliate” by giving a ”return match” in the shape of a Privates’ Ball. Regimental Sergeant-Major Merrick told me that if I moved in the matter he would be most happy to back us up, and organise the thing for us. The question is: Will the privates who enjoy a dance, and those who like to look on, or are in favour of one, reciprocate? I suggest that a private from each Hut meet, form a committee, and set the “ball” rolling. With the aid of our R.S.-M. we know beforehand what the result will be. I for one will be glad to lend a hand to bring this about, and would like to hear from others who will join me with that object. A larger hall would be required of course—but a committee could decide that and all other matters. A PRIVATE, Hut. 19.

The Wedding at St. Luke’s, Chelsea, of William Colin Macleod (1st Sportsman’s Battalion, Royal Fusiliers), the only Son of Capt. Macleod, of Orbost Skye, to Miss Georgina Elizabeth Catherine Fitzroy, Grand-daughter of Cluny MacPherson. Our Photo shows the newly married couple and the Guard of Honour.—Wednesday, February 3rd, 1915.


The success of the above Entertainments at the Drill Hall was due to the energy and ability of the Misses Taylor. Of the three sketches performed by these talented ladies and their friends, “The Bishop’s Candlesticks” proved to be the most popular with the audience. Mr. Beckingham Challis was excellent in the part of the kindly Bishop. In fact we can imagine no better* interpretation of the character. Mr. Harold Morse was sufficiently gruesome as the Convict, and Miss Taylor made a dignified and picturesque Persome. Minor part were filled satisfactorily by Miss Phyllis Taylor and Pte. de B. Thomas. The actors were quite letter perfect and the whole piece went without a hitch.

“The Biter Bit” was an amusing sketch, but hardly worthy of the talents of the Misses Taylor and Mr. Beckingham Challis.

Miss Stephanie Bell and Miss Moyra Nugent gave a very clever song and dance, which was encored by the audience, in response to which Miss Stephanie Bell recited a warlike episode.

On Wednesday night Miss Gorse sang several popular songs, which were much appreciated by the audience. The performance concluded with the sketch “Three Common People,” in which Mr. Harold Morse was very good as a pavement artist^ and Miss Honora Taylor and Miss Taylor played the parts of Poppy Dyke and Sarah Moon in a very charming manner.

The amount realised by the two nights’ performances, including sale of programmes, was £29 7s. 8d. and after paying all expenses the useful sum of £16 4s. 6d. was handed over to Col. Gibbons for the Battalion Benevolent Fund.

The sum handed in by the programme sellers was beyond all expectations, and it is a moot point whether this result is due to the energies of Private Curie or to the beauty of his staff.

Finally, mention must be made of Bandmaster Thompson and his comrades, who so successfully and ably opened the programme on each evening.


As the above institution is for the benefit of the men, may we respectfully urge the purchase two or three times a week of a sack of coal. A well-warmed place attracts customers n'est ce pas. We have many travellers from Arctic regions in our ranks, and one of them told us the other evening that his experiences in the Supper Room vividly recalled his sojourn in the regions of eternal ice and snow.


Sergeant Smeaton, our well-known Sergeant of Police, holds a record of military service which would be extremely hard to beat. He was formerly a Seaforth Highlander, and his war service reads: Afghan, 1878-79-80; actions of Piewall Kotll and Charasia; pursuit of the enemy; expedition to Maid- an; operations against the enemy, including assault and capture of Tahkt-i-shah; assault of the Asmai Heights, and action of December 23rd; action of Childukhtian; march from Kabul to Kandahar in August, and the battle of Kandahar. For his services he received the Afghan modal, with four clasps, and Smeaton was, with 5.0 other “Kandahar men,” specially decorated by the Corporation of the City of Edinburgh on the occasion of the granting of the Freedom of the City to Lord Roberts

This is not all. The gallant Sergeant has four sons: all serving in the Army. Jack, the eldest, who went through the South African War, is now a sergeant in the Royal Scots. Fred is with the Newfoundland contingent, and Gordon is with the R.F.A. The youngest son, H. W. Smeaton, is a member of this 1st Sportsman’s Battalion, and is one of the youngest soldiers in Kitchener’s Army, while the Sergeant himself is one of the oldest. In addition to their four sons serving with the Forces, Sergeant and Mrs. Smeaton have a son-in-law and seven nephews serving with the colours. Sergeant Smeaton has been attached to the Army for the last 40 years and hopes to be good for another 10 at the least. He and an old regimental friend were the only Kandahar veterans present at Lord Roberts funeral last November.


It will be interesting to those who are thinking of visiting the National Sporting Club on 22nd February to learn that Pte. Jerry Delaney has been in correspondence with A. F. Bettinson, Esq., the genial Manager, who is arranging to admit all members of the Sportsman’s Battalion at half-price to all seats. Those desirous of witnessing this contest should send their names to Pte. Jagger, Hut 13, within three days of the above date, when they will be given well-selected seats, and friends will be able to sit together.

The following cutting from “Lloyd’s Weekly” of 7th February is interesting reading: —

In the Sportsman’s Battalion is Jerry Delaney, who has done enough to justify his closest admirer in looking upon him as the natural successor to Fred Welsh, as the holder of the Lonsdale light-weight belt. In London he was seen at his best when he met Harry Stone, of America, at the National Sporting Club. All the monkey tricks of which Stone is capable were useless as far as putting Delaney out of his stride was concerned.

The “Kangaroo hop,” which Stone thought capable of putting almost anyone off his punch, was “used” by Delaney, who watched for it, and while Stone was in no sort of position for punching, would send in a good solid thump to face or stomach. As Stone had not heard of Delaney he imagined that the contest was an easy one. When the bout was over and Delaney had won almost every round, Fred Welsh said to the writer: “That Delaney is a fine boxer”; and coming from such a source, the praise is worth while remembering.


In our next issue we shall include an account of one of the most interesting personalities in the 2nd Sportsman’s Battalion—Regimental Sergeant-Major E. M. S. Morris.



A Special Variety Concert was held by this Battalion at the Grand Hall, Hotel Cecil, on Friday evening, February 5th. About fifty well-known artistes had most kindly promised to appear, and practically all of them were present. Great credit is due to Sergt. Wilfrid Essex (Queen’s Hall) for his great skill in putting the majority on to the platform. The concert was organised by Mrs. E. Cunliffe Owen, assisted by Corpl. Gaetano Musitano, the tenor of the Battalion, on whom the bulk of the business management fell. The Press work was managed by Pte. G. H. Williams, late of the Press Bureau.

Two Sportsman’s favourites, Claire Romaine, from the London Opera House, and Billy Dee again obliged. The latter greatly pleased a body of Life Guards N.C.Os. who were present, with his song “We do see some life in the Life Guards.” The two appropriate recitations given by Arthur Bourchier Avere much appreciated. Neil Kenyon ably assisted by Lance-Corpl. E. O. Freshwater gave us a description of the Golf Caddy’s life. Jokes left his lips like water running down a gutter spout. Marie Dainton imitated some of our best ragtime singers in great style and George Bolton sent the audience into ecstasies with his humour at the piano. Then Harry Hall in the role of a vicar tried to get them into a serious mood but without avail. Miss Peggy Swaebe borrowed someone’s great-coat and cap to sing “Tommy Boy.” Mons. Rodion Mendelevitch, the famous Russian violinist succeeded in quietening the house during his finished performance and received a great ovation at the close. Little Thomas, late of the Mohawk Minstrels, also obtained great applause. Thomas, who is seventy-six years old, sang before Queen Victoria over fifty years ago, and despite the fact that his agility is not quite the same he is still able to get things off his chest. Thomas has two sons and three grandsons serving in the Army, and this fact was well recognised. Sergeant Essex brought a very pleasant and enjoyable evening to a close by singing “God Save the King,” in which the whole audience joined with fervour. Two very regrettable absentees were Colonel A. De B. V. Paget, who for family reasons could not attend, and Harry Tate, the celebrated comedian, who sent a telegram apologising for his non-appearance and wishing the 2nd Sportsman’s the best of luck.

KEY TO B COMPANY’S ASSOCIATION TEAM. (Winners of the Lord Maitland Cup).

Standing (Left to Right)—Winchcombe, Hitch, Capt. Inglis, Sandham, Atkinson, Whitlock. Sitting (Left to Right)—Skewes, Hendren J., Rawlings, Hendren P., Sawden, Stillwell.



The return match was played on Saturday, February 6th, on the Battalion Parade Ground, which was unfortunately in a very bad condition owing to the rain on Friday night. The advantage of the mud and water certainly rested with the Ilford team who were, taken all round, much lighter and could therefore move much more quickly on the heavy ground.

Ilford kicked off down the incline and within five minutes opened the scoring from a simple shot sent in by the inside-left. The game became fast and exciting and before half-time both teams scored again, Bates doing the needful with a fast shot which gave the Ilford goal-keeper no chance. The teams crossed over, Ilford leading by two goals to one.

After crossing over the Battalion was expected to make a better show down the hill, but Ilford were determined to keep their advantage and played with excellent combination, and considering that the ground was going worse, the speed by which the ball was transferred from one end to the other was very surprising to the large number of spectators present. Ilford again scored, one shot stopped by Kirton in goal hitting him with great force in the stomach and knocking him out.

After a game quite worth watching the Sports team were beaten by three goals to one.

The Ilford team were much interested in the Camp and were gratified at the excellent reception given them by the spectators.

On Saturday the Battalion play Hampstead Town at Hampstead.

On Sunday No. 1 Company have arranged a match with the Border Regiment at the Hornchurch Camp, at 3.30 p.m.

By kind permission of the O.C. (Viscount Maitland) the Battalion Team will visit Chatham on Wednesday, February 17th, to play the (Queen’s Own) 3rd Battalion Royal West Kents. The proceeds of the match will go to the Funds now being raised to provide comforts for the 1st Battalion, Queen’s Own, to be sent to them in the lighting' line.

The match will be played at Gillingham Ground and is expected to draw a good gate.



There had been an enormous quantity of rain overnight at Whyteleaf, and though Saturday morning was full of promise, rain was falling fast when the battalions started play shortly after half-past two, and the ball was greasy and almost impossible to hold. The visitors were unlucky to lose by the only try scored in the match, but the 17th deserved their victory, if only for pulling the game out of the fire by two brilliant rushes just when their chances appeared hopeless. The home side kicked off and at once attacked, but a fine forward rush of the “Sports,'” headed by Clemetson, transferred play to the half-way, where Ley intercepted and ran right down, Farr saving on his own goal-line. Davis make a good mark for the 17th, and Joelson was very conspicuous, but another forward rush put them on the defensive, and later Farr brought off a beautiful kick. Hamilton and Brodie did good work out of touch, and Spurway led a rush and only just failed to score. The home side came again and Williams saved finely, and then Cook was nearly in. Once Gilmour looked certain to score, but the whistle went, and directly afterwards the home side touched down. Then a long experimental kick found touch, the ball travelling half-way across the ground. Before half-time Henri made a fine opening for Williams, but the Bedford man slipped on the greasy ground, and at half-time there was no score. The second half was equally well contested. The rain had stopped, but the ground was a sea of mud. From a kick across by Davis Pearce gathered cleverly, and then Clemetson saved finely, Henri received from touch and took the attack to the other end, Gordon being very conspicuous in the loose. Cook made a good mark but the drop at goal failed, and Wadham gathered and found touch beyond the five and twenty. Henri broke away, but Salveson was forced into touch, and Joelson came away, the 17th only just failing to score. Hereabouts Cook changed his habilaments. Williams had a great chance, but for once failed to gather, and a free kick was well gathered by Ley, another “free” also coming to nothing. The Sportsman’s were now having much the better of the game, and first Wadham and then Williams made big efforts, but the defence prevailed and Farr was called upon. The visiting forwards were playing splendidly, but Joelson proved a stumbling block, and Gordon and Brodie led a great rush, which Wadham saved. The home side again touched down, but then, after Salveson had been conspicuous, a series of brilliant rushes carried the ball to the “Sports’ ’’ end, where Weller scored wide out, and Stanley Cook missed the goal by a foot or two—a fine kick. A great game, in which the last named was always conspicuous, Wadham doing fine work for the visitors. Joelson, for the winners, was very good, and Henri, as usual, for the “Sports.” The forwards, too, were very evenly matched, and Capt. Ward Brown was an efficient referee. Teams: 17th R.F.: Lance-Corpl. Parry; Ptes Fowler, Cook, Lance-Corpls Davis and Wray; Ptes Ley and Joelson; Capt. Gordon, Lieut. Hamilton, Sergt. Brodie, Lance-Corpls. Clarke and Weller, Ptes. Parke, Burtt and Ross.

1st Sportsman’s Battalion: Pte. J. P. Farr: Ptes. L. Williams, H. F. Wadham (capt.), R. Pearce, and G. II. Salvesen; Lieut. H. E. Taylor and Pte. P. R. Henri; Capt. A. B. do Bourbel, Ptes. W. J. Stretton, G. V. Spurway, D. L. Clemetson, S. Thompson, J. M. Gilmour, H. I. Lyster, and G . T. Franey.

Referee: Capt. Ward Brown, 16th Middlesex.

On Saturday next, the 13th inst, the Battalion play the Honourable Artillery Company at Walton- on-Thames, when the only change in the team which lost to the 17th Battalion Royal Fusiliers, will be A. Whitlock in the place of R. Lyster.


The Superintendent and Matron (Mr. and Mrs. Steed) and Officers of the Children’s Cottage Homes, Hornchurch, are organising a Whist Drive to take place on Friday, February 26th. In previous years the proceeds have been devoted to a fund for providing a holiday for the children, but this year all profits are to be presented to the Romford Victoria Cottage Hospital which Institution is in need of funds. Tickets 2/- single and 3/6 double, may be obtained from Pte. Walker, Hut 4.

We can heartily recommend this Institution to the notice of our readers.


We regret that pressure of space prevents us from printing a full account of this highly successful function with which one of our correspondents deals briefly in another column. We must not omit, however, to heartily congratulate our popular R.S.M. Merrick on the complete success of all his arrangements, and we trust that this Ball will be a precedent for many others of a like nature.


LARGE Cosy Sittingroom, piano, bedroom, bathroom, suitable for Sportsman’s wives or friends, 80 Eastern Road, Romford.

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