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 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.

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