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!

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.

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