Site Index

The Plugstreet Archaeological Project

1st Btn. Royal Fusilierst

The 1st Btn. Royal Fusiliers served with the 24th Division near St Eloi during the 1917 Battle of Messines.

Those who served with the 1st Btn. Royal Fusiliers

at The Battle of Messines.

Hard as Nails: The Sportsmen's Battalion of World War One

Michael Foley

This is the history of the Sportsmen's Battalion, Royal Fusiliers 23rd service battalion, which consisted almost entirely of men from the world of sport or entertainment. The battalion was privately raised and took men up to the age of 45. The battalion included a champion boxer, cricketers, footballers, MPs and the author John Chessire. They were men who did not need to serve in the First World War but had an unquestioning sense of duty. The history is enhanced by the letters and drawings by John Chessire, giving a first-hand account of their experiences. A man from the upper classes, a writer, poet and artist, he chose to serve as a private so he could do his duty, even when it conflicted with his religious beliefs and love for his family. The book covers the battalion's beginnings in London and progression to Hornchurch, France and then Germany. It includes their time at Vimy Ridge, at the Somme and at the Battle for Deville Wood.

If you know of anyone who served with this unit at the Battle of Messines, please complete the form below so that they can be remembered.

Required fields are marked *


Surname:             * Of the veteran..
First Name:         
Middle Name(s):
Nick Name:       
Galantry Awards: DSO, MID etc.
Service Number:
Service:               * British Army/AIF/NZ/RFC/Civilian. etc.
Unit:                     Regiment/Squadron etc.
Sub unit:              Battalion/Section/Flight/etc.
Home:                 prewar address/town/village
Date of Death,     if during the war.
Web Link,           If you have a webpage about your relative please provide the address.

Please tell us about your relative:

name of submitter:* Your name.
email:                   @
Please type in the code shown here: CAPTCHA Image   If you are unable to read the code please click here.

If you have any photographs please scan or digitally photograph your orginials and send a copy by email attachment.

NB. All entries are checked manually before appearing online to prevent spam and inappropriate content. There will be a delay before your submission appears on the website.

Website and All Material © Copyright MMX - MMXVII
- All Rights Reserved

The Plugstreet Archaeological Project

Website and Multimedia by Middleton House Productions