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One wonders how a much respected organisation at the turn of the century can become so debased overtime. Articles on the L.of.F. did appear in St.Georges Gazette the regimental journal of the Northumberland Fusiliers and in my memory is correct one inlcuded a picture of Roger Pocock the founder of the L.of.F.

As far as I'm aware these men were originally adventurers-cum-Empire builders, not Walter Mitty's and would be possibly be regarded as 'pathfinders' in todays military terms.

The Legion of Frontiersmen went through a very bad patch some years ago due to weak leadership and inadequate recruiting and this allowed all kinds of disreputable individuals to join, whose only desire was for assumed glory and a chest-full of unearned medals. The Legion suffered very severely due to this and attracted the attentions of the likes of the ARRSE commentators whose only aim was (and is) to destroy what is left of a great organisation. I am confident in saying that the Legion has learned its lesson and things have been changing for the better for several years, although one or two of their membership continue to bring them down by their insistence on wearing badly-fitting uniforms and Frontiersmen issue medals. There are some good people at the helm now and things will most certainly get better.

Edited by Crusader

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QUOTE (Kev in Deva @ Nov 30 2008, 07:28 )

The modern version probably lists how to acquire medals & insignia you are not entitled too and the correct "Walting" etiquette

I do hope that this GMIC threat will NOT turn into another episode of the arse forum's 200+ pages of sick, mindless, one sided drop kicks at the LOF.

Remember this is a GENTLEMAN'S group

Well said Mike!

GGT

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Issues 90 and 91 (December 2011 and March 2012) of the journal of the International Military Music Society, UK Branch, both contain articles on Legion of Frontiersmen bands from the 1900s to the 1950s, which members of the GMIC might be interested to read. The LF had a number of very active and successful military bands in Britain and throughout the Empire.

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The Legion of Frontiersmen is undoubtedly a shadow of its former self, and has had a somewhat patchy recent history, but this often happens to voluntary organisations after a time. At present there is something of a revival going on. New units are forming and these have a clearer sense of direction and purpose than some of their immediate predecessors - but closer perhaps to the original Frontiersmen back in the early 1900s. The ethos of these new LF units is much the same as in the early decades of the Legion's existence - to promote voluntary service to Crown and Country, with a particular focus on providing trained and disciplined personnel to assist the authorities when and if called upon to do so in times of national emergency, as well as keeping alive the traditions and heritage of the Legion.

It is interesting that the LF revival is coming at a time when other uniformed volunteer groups, such as St John Ambulance, are moving consciously away from their 'militaristic' origins and have replaced their traditional uniforms, command structures and ranks, with modern, decidedly non-military, styles of dress (peaked caps are out, hoodies are in!), county and divisional HQs are being closed down, and 'team leaders' take the place of county commanders. What began in Victorian times as the St John Ambulance Brigade is now a rather dumbed-down and 'Politically Correct' organisation that charges commercial rates to provide first-aid support at county shows and sends its volunteers out into the community dressed like rough sleepers! The LF is [gradually] bouncing back from its recent decline... but will St John Ambulance?

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Welcome Crusader and Wordsmith to GMIC.

We live in a rapidly changing World - where the old patriotism that built the British Empire is now viewed with

suspicion. However, this should not mean that organisations that are able to help the Government in times of

Special Emergencies should not exist. From the above correspondence it would seem to indicate though, that

uniformed bodies with medals need to consider their image.

I am pleased to see the subject being brought up to date - tell us a little about what the LOF is actually doing -

and how it's organisation can be of benefit to the community? Mervyn

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At the time of inception and probably tight up to the end of the 80s society was very much different in that people worked the 40 hour week and had the weekends free to do other things. The usual was that Saturday was the day to potter in the garden or the like and Sunday was always the day of rest. Some took it upon themselves to use their weekends to volunteer into groups like the legion and be active in their community.

In todays world the employer rules and the average wage worker has no choice as to what happens to their life. They are tied to working all sorts of odd shifts and many end up working six of seven days a week and often more than the 40 hours, all in the name of the mighty dollar so that their employer can begger off and be a lazy sod in some foreign land or on his yacht in the Med.

The idea of having a weekend free is no longer. the result is that organisations, and I would say that nearly all organisations of a voluntary nature, all have a problem with recruiting, and then recruiting the right sort of people to serve the need. You cannot just accept all-comers just to boost the 'bums on seats' mentality.

In the past a potential enlistee would be asking what they could do for the community whereas today one finds the first thing an enlistee will ask is "HOW MUCH DO I GET PAID" This is a mentality that now needs to be removed so that the level playing field can be established

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At the time of inception and probably tight up to the end of the 80s society was very much different in that people worked the 40 hour week and had the weekends free to do other things. The usual was that Saturday was the day to potter in the garden or the like and Sunday was always the day of rest. Some took it upon themselves to use their weekends to volunteer into groups like the legion and be active in their community.

In todays world the employer rules and the average wage worker has no choice as to what happens to their life. They are tied to working all sorts of odd shifts and many end up working six of seven days a week and often more than the 40 hours, all in the name of the mighty dollar so that their employer can begger off and be a lazy sod in some foreign land or on his yacht in the Med.

The idea of having a weekend free is no longer. the result is that organisations, and I would say that nearly all organisations of a voluntary nature, all have a problem with recruiting, and then recruiting the right sort of people to serve the need. You cannot just accept all-comers just to boost the 'bums on seats' mentality.

In the past a potential enlistee would be asking what they could do for the community whereas today one finds the first thing an enlistee will ask is "HOW MUCH DO I GET PAID" This is a mentality that now needs to be removed so that the level playing field can be established

In response to (some of) this, I can confirm that I work very inconvenient hours and this includes every second weekend ...all weekend, Saturday and Sunday. This is not through choice, but contractual requirement. I also work until late into the evening, sometimes not getting home until close to midnight and I have little time to dedicate to volunteer organisations. That said, I DO give my time, where I am able and I get a great sense of comradeship belonging to a group of similar-minded individuals all of whom reject the foolishness of the recent past and who seek to rebuild on the true history and ethos of the Frontiersmen.

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It isn't such a problem for those in society who are retired and generally have a bit more time or can make time. That said, there in lies the problem of today, young blood is required to rejuvinate most voluntary organisations, but if the members who have the time are the oldies then an organisation will look antiquated

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It isn't such a problem for those in society who are retired and generally have a bit more time or can make time. That said, there in lies the problem of today, young blood is required to rejuvinate most voluntary organisations, but if the members who have the time are the oldies then an organisation will look antiquated

And, with respect, it was also the oldies who, having joined right after World War 2 held it together for many, many years in the past but who, sadly, allowed a great organisation to degenerate into an old-boys club which failed to attract fresh blood. I hasten to add, I do not include ALL oldies, as some were very pro-active but the majority failed to act when required to do so. I recall that when I jonied (aged 40) a comment was made "We have a young-un"

That said, we do have many now who are aged around 40, with some younger and a preponderance over, but overall a good age-spread and with some excellent skills and abilities.

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Gentlemen - we support you - but not all of our members are familiar with your work and aims.

I have given you a chance to describe these and how the LOF is functioning today - as I mentioned earlier give

us some background and also, the Countries you are still operating-in. You may get some new recruits ? Mervyn

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I can only speak for the Frontiermen in Halifax, Nova Scotia. We focus on cleaning up public paths and bike/hiking trails, food drives, the donation of bikes and childerns items durning the Holidays. We participate in poppy sales with the Royal Canadian Legion durning the fall and Durning the summer we have been working to restore small graveyards which over time have become forgotten and in ruin.

We may not be large or well funded, but we do what we can in our community for our queen and country.

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Myself I live in New Zealand.

I cannot speek for all of the membership in this country but personally I am collating the history and membership of the country with the aim of identifying the final resting places of as many of our past members as I can. So far I have about 3000 NZ names and rising.

One of our other units has done a splendid job in restoring completely the local cemetery, cleaning and restoring headstones of early settlers and in the process adding bronze plaques with some biographical information on the person buried, and adding cemetery walkways. They won a recent national award for their work. Others are now taking the same line and Scotland are now starting in recording the local cemeteries of the past. For them a big project as there are headstones centuries old.

More to come

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Shanthaus - welcome to GMIC.

Both yourself and Mike are to be congratulated on being part of such a supportive organisation. I hope you will

have time to add further details - and also, that members in other Countries will also tell us about their groups.

I hope you enjoyed the Queen's Jubilee over the past few days - made-up for the rioting last year - and showed

that most members of the public support our old traditions. Mervyn

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One of our other units has done a splendid job in restoring completely the local cemetery, cleaning and restoring headstones of early settlers and in the process adding bronze plaques with some biographical information on the person buried, and adding cemetery walkways. They won a recent national award for their work. Others are now taking the same line and Scotland are now starting in recording the local cemeteries of the past. For them a big project as there are headstones centuries old.

That would be Capt(LF) Baker's unit who restored the Katikati Cemetry correct?

It was her and her unit's restoration of the Cemetery which prompted our own unit to began researching for cemetries which have been neglected and to start restoration.

In Scotland, Do you mean the C.C.F. within the 3rd Earl Kitchener's Own (Scots) mentioned in the NZ Journal? If so, it would be my unit who you read about as we are part of the Scottish Command.

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Mervyn,

Thank you for the welcome!

To answer your question,

As far as I know, there are Frontiersmen units of various size in the following Countries: England, Scotland, Wales, Northen Ireland, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and even the United States(So there ARE still loyalists!). I'm fairly sure there is a unit in Germany as well.

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I was'nt aware that the pages of the pocket book that I've posted were available for perusal in "any organisational booklet" still - unless you mean any original old booklet - which the majority of GMIC members won't have access to & probably no more than a passing, if any interest in.

I do hope you will post the book in its entirety, as most of the world's Frontiersmen do not have access to this history or information. These books are out of print, and usually cost a great deal to buy. It is a great peice of our history that, today, is sadly impossible to view for most Frontiersmen.

EDIT: As far as I know there is no 'booklet' that have any of the pages from the pocketbook. It is rare and infact EXTREAMLY important in regards to the Legion's history and the fact someone writing a book on the Frontiersmen would disregard it as they did leads me to beleive this book will not be worth the paper its printed on. Just pages of photos of medal bars and insignia, with no actual historical discription, the criteria for awarding(perhaps not even the proper name.) or use. Nor any history regarding the practices and history of the Legion.

Edited by shantyhaus

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I'll have a look for the booklet - it has 2 or 3 hundred pages I should think, so it may take a while to post.

It's interesting to hear more of the Legion's public spirited activities rather than negative reports about some individuals or units.

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The Canadian command of the Legion is in the process of reprinting the Manual and is i believe now in a position to distribute copies to interested parties.

In response to some comments on the content of the manual you should compare it directly with a similar publication that came out a very few years after - Scouting for Boys has articles on reporting enemy troop movements and even how to dispatch enemy sentries!!

Baden Powell was in close contact with Pocock at the start of the Boy Scout movement which is i believe the reason for the identical headwear (the 'Lrmon Squeezer'} = at one point it was mooted that the frontiersmen would constitute the Adult leadership for the boys with an eventual progression for them to enter the legion as they came of age.

The Legion UK Command has recently been accepted as constituant elements to both the City of London 'Op Griffin' the emergency response for terrorist attacks in central london post terrorist bombings as well as forming an important part of the Bristol and Avon Resilience Planning to rescue and care for horses stranded during serious flooding etc

We are working hard to loose the image that has grown around the legion in the last few decades by what has to be seen as a very few individuals who have been pilloried by an even fewer vociferous malcontents

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That is a 'Feather in your Cap' to be part of the City of London help squad. Well done, When the booklet is

available let us know where our Members could apply for one - you could well gain some dedicated help. Mervyn

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I believe that you can aquire a copy from the University of Alberta Press http://www.uap.ualberta.ca/UAP.asp?LID=41&bookID=677 cost is around £35 but IMHO well worth it

Incidentally for anyone who would like to find out more about us - we have an informal gathering on the first friday of every month in the bar of the Union Jack Club in London - you would be more than welcome to come up and talk to us there

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On 10/2/2012 at 18:23, n.d.gibson said:

I believe that you can aquire a copy from the University of Alberta Press http://www.uap.ualberta.ca/UAP.asp?LID=41&bookID=677 cost is around £35 but IMHO well worth it

 

Incidentally for anyone who would like to find out more about us - we have an informal gathering on the first friday of every month in the bar of the Union Jack Club in London - you would be more than welcome to come up and talk to us there

Although not a Frontiersman, I find The Frontiersman's Pocket-Book to be an excellent resource, right up there with Galton's The Art Of Travel. I own No. 211 of the University of Alberta's new edition. It is a stunningly beautiful little book, well-worth the asking price in my opinion.

For those who may baulk at dropping A$80 on such a tome, there are various electronic copies floating around the internet, least of which is this readable microfiche copy from the University of Alberta via the Internet Archive - https://archive.org/details/cihm_78396 . I believe that the Hathi Trust also has a copy, but access is barred for non-US persons such as myself.

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Peter,

Not at all sure to honest, they came to be with a set of buttons with London Maker Marks, a Membership lapel badge and a large Photograph showing a VE celebration dinner taking place in London. 

Simon

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