Great Britain Royal Fusiliers Sportsman's Battalion Medal AR26mm (READ DESC.)
Great Britain Royal Fusiliers Sportsman's Battalion Medal AR26mm READ DESC. Mrs Emma Cunliffe-Owen was born in Kensington in 1863, of mixed English and German heritage. Her father, Sir Francis Phillip Cunliffe-Owen, was the director of the South Kensington (now the Victoria and Albert) Museum. Her maternal grandfather was a German Baron who had served as an aide-de-camp to Frederick Wilhelm of Prussia. At the outbreak of war, it is reputed that, whilst walking down Bond Street, she met two big-game hunters of her acquaintance. Half-jokingly, she asked them why they had not signed up, and half-jokingly they challenged her to raise a battalion of her own. A keen sportswoman in her youth, in response, she telegraphed Lord Kitchener in September 1914, who accepted her offer to raise a battalion of physically fit men, able to shoot and ride. With her husband Edward, she set up a recruiting office in the Hotel Cecil, on the Strand, and placed an advert in The Times, seeking'Sportsmen, aged 19 to 45, upper and middle class only.
Despite the restrictions stated in the advert, men from all walks of life joined up in response. Such was the success in her efforts, that the War Office asked her to raise a second battalion of 1600 men. And so were formed the 23rd and 24th (Service) Battalions of the Royal Fusiliers (City of London) Regiment, otherwise known as the'1st and 2nd Sportsmans Battalions'.
Mrs Cunliffe-Owen presented all ranks of her battalions with a silver medallion, engraved with the recipient's regimental number, bearing her signature and the message,'God guard you. The medal offered was awarded to Harman Moore, an original member of the 23rd (1st Sportsman's) Battalion, attested on 6 October 1914 for service with the Royal Fusiliers during the Great War. Advanced Lance Sergeant, he served at home and was discharged due to sickness on 28 June 1916, and awarded a Silver War Badge, No.