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 19, 1915

Chelmsford Chronicle


On Wednesday the 2nd Sportsman’s Battalion moved from London to their new headquarters at Hare Hall, Romford, near Gidea Park station. The first Battalion is in Quarters at Grey Towers, Hornchurch, two miles away.

The Battalion came by train to Romford. In London they had been inspected before leaving by Brigadier-General Kellett. Cheers were given for the founders of the Battalion, Mr. and Mrs. Cunliffe Owen. On reaching Romford the Battalion formed up under the command of Col. A. de B.V. Paget, with the Adjutant, Major H. H. Enderby, and the Major Percy Elwell. Numbering well over 1,000 men, the Battalion presented a fine appearance. Marching by the main road to Hare Hall, they entered upon the occupation of what are believed to be the most up-to-date field barracks yet erected. It embodies all the improvements that the experience of the War Office in the last six months can suggest. There are a couple of dozen cubicle shower baths, with hot and cold water laid on; the thirty beds in each dormitory hut, though made of wood, owing to the scarcity of iron bedsteads, turn into the wall in the day time, over lapping each other to form seats and occupying the minimum of space; each hut is lit by electric light; the bootmaker’s, the post-office, the tailor’s, and the barber’s stand in a row, and the wet and dry canteens are spacious and comfortable.

In the hall itself the bedrooms have been neatly and simply furnished to accommodate 36 officers. The subalterns sleep four in a room. The colonel has one of the smallest rooms, looking out over the camp, and as simply fitted as the rest. The canteens and store-rooms are fully stocked with every possible requirement. A hospital with 24 beds had been provided; the drugs were ready in the doctor’s surgery, and sergeant and five men of the R.A.M.C. from Colchester will form the nursing staff.

It is understood that four Companies of 270 men each will be going to the Front in June, or thereabouts, and 5h and 6th depot companies will have to be formed to keep the camp going and fill any gaps that may occur in the other Companies.

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