Debbie has been researching a soldier who was in one of the Sportsman’s Battalions, to which Touchstone’s poem was dedicated. The Sportsman's Battalions were the 28th (Service) Battalion and the 24th (Service) Battalion (2nd Sportsman’s) the Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment) – they were ‘Pals’ Battalions.
The first of the Sportsman’s Battalions was formed by Mrs Emma Cunliffe-Owen and her husband Edward, with the support of Lord Kitchener. Recruits were accepted up to the age of 45 and, after training, the Battalions saw action on the Western Front.
For details about Emma Cunliffe-Owen, please see my weblog Inspirational Women of WW1 and for details about Claude Edward Cole Hamilton Burton, please see my weblog Fascinating Facts of the Great War.
With many thanks to Debbie who sent me this link to a WW1 book about the Sportsman's Battalions: http://www.gutenberg.org/files/20377/20377-h/20377-h.htm