Frontiersmen Historian

THE LEGION OF FRONTIERSMEN
OF THE COMMONWEALTH
After the Second World War

Outrider of Empire

One Hundred Years

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Shoosmith
Col. Philip Shoosmith

A huddle of Nissen huts, erected on what had been a blitzed area just off Pentonville Road was the headquarters of one of London's Territorial Army units and also of the Imperial Headquarters of the Legion of Frontiersmen, and here it was on an afternoon late in October 1949 a meeting took place of great significance to the Legion of Frontiersmen , the first General Meeting since 1939.

Col. Dunn, Chief of Imperial Staff reviewed the past ten years; a sorry story culminating in his reading a letter from the Commandant-General (Brig. Morton) announcing his resignation, a retirement which was accepted without comment or protest. And so another leader of the Legion of Frontiersmen passed from the ranks into the shadows of obscurity. A successor had been sought, Col. Dunn reported, but without avail and it was apparent that until Imperial Headquarters put its house in order, no responsible officer of any of the services would associate himself with it or the Legion. Brigadier Morton was far from the greatest Commandant-General of the Legion. It is generally considered that his precipitate and arrogant action over Canada had caused the split with Canadian Division and contributed to the loss of the affiliation with the R.C.M.P., a wound to the Frontiersmen still not healed fifty years later. Col. Dunn somewhat reluctantly accepted the position of Cdt.-General and held it for more than twenty years.

The main reason that I.H.Q. had been able to carry on was that unexpected monies had been received in 1947, and that also sums of money arrived at regular intervals from New Zealand Command and from Eastern Canada and British Columbia. Yet again, the Legion of Frontiersmen owed a debt of gratitude to these Commonwealth countries.

The Frontiersmen had been active in East Africa from the early days and was involved in the Mau Mau troubles in the 1950's, being finally disbanded there at Kenyan independence.

Since that day, subsequent Commandants-General have come forward to serve quietly and earn respect. Throughout the world, the Legion of Frontiersmen continued to offer its services to the authorities. During the Cold War period in Britain it was one of the organisations linked to Civil Defence preparations. Nowadays, it trains for light rescue and Frontiersmen are ready in the case of any emergency to help where needed until Police, Civil Authorities or army can attend. There have been recent cases of civil emergencies due to extreme weather conditions, where the expertise of the Frontiersmen has been very much welcomed.

The Legion of Frontiersmen is today proud to have as Patron The Countess Mountbatten of Burma, continuing the link with the family begun by Prince Louis in the early days.

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Outrider of Empire

One Hundred Years

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Band 2
The band of the Legion of Frontiersmen in the 1950's.

Belgium
The Legion of Frontiersmen in Belgium, 1972.

Belgian Ambassador
The Belgian Ambassador taking the salute.

Copyright 2002-2010 Geoffrey A. Pocock. All rights reserved.