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 24, 1915

Hull Daily Mail



Mr T. R. Ferens and Mrs Ferens, also Alderman Taylor and Mrs Tayor, of Hull, were present on the Horse Guards’ Palace Whitehall, as the 2nd Sportsman’s Battalion marched past. The Hull men in the 2nd Sportsman’s Battalion are Lieutenant Frank Edwards of Brunswick Chapel, and Corporal H. Matthews, of Cottingham, Hull.

The 2nd Sportsman’s Battalion of the New Army have left London for their new quarters at Hare Hall, Essex, and they made a brave show as they marched through the Strand and the City to entrain at Liverpool-street.

The 1st Battalion is already in camp near Romford, and the 2nd Battalion’s headquarters have been at the Hotel Cecil. From the hotel they marched to the Horse Guards Parade to be inspected by Brigadier-General Kellet, commanding the brigade to which the Sportsmen are attached.

Drawn up on the lower side of the Parade, the Battalion presented a fine martial appearance, with every man at attention.


The Brigadier-General evidently thought so, for he addressed the men in terms of high praise.

“I am very proud to have the honour to command such a battalion,” he said, “and, please God, I shall be able to lead you against the enemy in a very short time.”

“I know very well,” he remarked, “the great sacrifices which a large number of you must have made, sacrifices in property and position, to answer your country’s call, and we all thank you. The nation thanks you.

“I am proud to see the makings of such a fine battalion before me. There is much hard work before you – to train the body and brain. The spirit is already trained.”

When the Brigadier-General referred to the splendid work done by Mr and Mrs Cunliffe Owen in raising the battalion, the men’s enthusiasm broke out in a general cheer from all ranks.

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