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 9, 1915

Dundee Courier


The 23d (Service) Battalion of the Royal Fusiliers, more familiarly known as the “First Sportsmen’s Battalion,” contains a very fine class of men. In its ranks are men famous in various branches of sport, such as Association football, Rugby football, cricket, etc., and in this battalion are included no fewer than eighty men from Dundee and district. This photograph, taken at the training camp at Hornchurch, shows the members of the band. Fourth from the right in the back row is Bandsman Moncur, 32 Bell Street, Dundee. In the front row, fourth from the right is a Montrose man, while second from the left in the front row is a Glasgow man who was formerly a member of the Dunfermline Trust Band. The First Sportsmen’s Battalion Band has Englishmen, Scotchmen, Irishmen, and Welshmen amongst its members. The Marquis of Maitland, Colonel of the battalion, is in the front row, with Adjutant Inglis on his right, and Captain Church on his left.

Exeter and Plymouth Gazette

Sportsmen’s Batt.



The “C” (West-country) Company of the 24th Service Battalion Royal Fusiliers (2nd Sportsmen’s) which has been stationed at Exeter for some time past, and is shortly leaving to join the Battalion, was inspected by the Mayor of Exeter (Mr. J. G. Owen), who was accompanied by several members of the City Council, at Bury Meadow, yesterday. The Company, which was under the command of Captain a. E. Dunn, assembled in the Castle Yard, where the men were inspected by Colonel Western (officer commanding No. 8 District). About 280 men were on parade, and presented a smart appearance. The officers, in addition to Captain Dunn, were Lieutenants Perkins and Templeman, while Company-Sergeant-Major Finch was also present. Headed by is band, the company marched to Bury Meadow via High-street and Queen-street. After closely inspecting the men the Mayor, in the course of a speech, said how pleased he was at their appearance. Although not a military man, he was able to distinguish between a mere slouch or ragged parade and a real regular one. He was struck by the great improvement in bearing and drill. The latte day recruit drilled with his brain as well as his body, and the two acting in union gave an excellent result. He understood they were soon to join their Battalion, and he hoped they would give their superior officers as good an impression as they provided at Exeter, and that the Battalion would be proud of the men of Devon and Cornwall. He hoped that whatever befall them, they would remember the tow mottos of Devon and Cornwall and would be “Ever Faithful,” and they “one and all” would do their utmost to support and maintain the integrity of the Empire. On behalf of the citizens he wished them God-speed, great glory, and a safe return. (Applause.)

Three cheers were heartily given for the Mayor and Mayoress on the call of Sergeant-Major Finch.

Captain Dunn, in thanking the Mayor for his reviewing the Company, said he would like to take the opportunity of expressing sincere thanks for the great kindnesses extended by the inhabitants of the dear old city. The men would go nowhere where they could be more happy and contented.

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