Posted in Curiosities, Military

The Lost Legion…

Legion of Frontiersmen - Copy

I came across this extraordinary card on eBay last night, and despite having more than a passing interest in Irish/British history I had never heard of The Legion of Frontiersmen before. Card by H.Grahame Glen, Wortley, Leeds.

This is the clearest synopsis of the Legion that I could find online:

The Legion of Frontiersmen is a paramilitary group formed in Britain in 1905 by Roger Pocock, a former constable with the North West Mounted Police and Boer War veteran.

Prompted by fears of an impending invasion of Britain and the Empire, the organisation was founded as a field intelligence corps on a romanticised conception of the “frontier” and imperial idealism. Headquartered in London, branches of the Legion of Frontiersmen were formed throughout the empire to prepare patriots for war and to foster vigilance in peacetime. Despite persistent efforts, the Legion never achieved much official recognition.

Casualties in the First World War devastated the Legion of Frontiersmen, and except for a brief resurgence in the interwar period, a series of schisms and sectarianism prevented attempts to reinvigorate the movement. In the late 1930s, the Legion of Frontiersmen in Canada was formally affiliated with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, but after a schism split within the Canadian Frontiersmen, the RCMP severed formal ties. Various Legion of Frontiersmen groups still exist throughout the Commonwealth, but as a whole, it has been unable to define its niche in the post-imperial world.

An Irish branch was established on the 21st January, 1907 but more than that I can’t ascertain.  A handbook of the Irish Organisation of the Legion of Frontiersmen may be viewed at the National Library.

Surprisingly, the Legion has outlived the Empire it was set up to protect and still exists in a number of incarnations today.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legion_of_Frontiersmen

http://www.legionoffrontiersmen.org/

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