Legion of Frontiersmen in Canada Timeline (Part 4)

canadatimeline81916 – Leadership and Numbers. “The Legion has its centre in London, with Headquarters at 6 Adam Street, Adelphi, W.C., where Lieutenant- Colonel E. R. Johnson, a retired Regular officer, is the Acting Chief Executive Officer. The membership has risen to over fourteen thousand, most of the recent increase being in Australia and New Zealand.” THE SPECTATOR, “The Legion of Frontiersmen”, page 15, 24 February 1917.

 1916 – More Frontiersmen to East Africa. “In 1916 the Council of the Legion organized and sent out a draft of three hundred more Frontiersmen to East Africa.” THE SPECTATOR, “The Legion of Frontiersmen”, page 15, 24 February 1917.

 1916 – Edmonton L.O.F. Military Enlistments to 1916. A continuous flow of “legionaires” enlisted for service with the Edmonton raised C.E.F. battalions, and they were reputed to be of great assistance with the training of other C.E.F. recruits. “Most won their stripes at once, and the most efficient N.C.O.’s of the first battalions to be recruited here were the Frontiersmen.” In his little known book, Legion Brigadier A. Mack, himself a WW1 veteran, quotes a letter from Canadian Division HQ files replying to the request for L.O.F. recruits. An Northern Alberta Command letter to the Commanding Officer of the 218th “Irish Guards” Battalion C.E.F. states “We have been approached by many Officers of various Battalions now being recruited for Active Service to use our influence to persuade our members to join their particular Battalion. The stand we take is to advise all our members fit for Active Service to join the Battalion of their choice, refraining from making any specific recommendations. It may be of interest to you to know, that of this date [1916], over 1400 Edmonton Frontiersmen have already joined Overseas Forces and if we were to favour one Battalion it would be obviously unfair.” A. Mack, HISTORY OF THE LEGION OF FRONTIERSMEN [etc.], published by HQ the Legion of Frontiersmen (Canadian Division), Regina, c1970.

 Note. The letter referred to in the statement above remains in Legion of Frontiersmen (Canadian Division) files – the files being currently held privately and unavailable to the general public, despite repeated attempts to have them placed in University of Alberta archival system.

 1916 – Alberta Commandants. Provincial leaders gather in May after Edmonton’s “Commandant Munton of the Legion of Frontiersmen, who is recruiting for the 210th (Frontiersmen) Battalion…” releases his leadership duties. The new Commandant is the notable P.C.H. Primrose who is meeting with Honorary Commandant Dennis and Commandant Lt. Col. John Drummond both of Calgary; as well as Major Hill-Male and Captain Esmond of Strathcona Command (south side Edmonton). Major Hill-Male is reported giving lectures on military law and the south side Frontiersmen are parading with the area company of the 101st Edmonton Fusiliers. EDMONTON MORNING BULLETIN, May 1916.

 Note: Lieutenant Governors. His Honour P.C.H. Primrose the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta, 1936-37 and His Honour John C. Bowen the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta, 1937-50; were both members of the Legion of Frontiersmen.

 1916 – Medical Section, Nursing Training 1st in Canada. Edmonton Command’s medical section of Frontiersmen were active in stretcher-bearer drill, first aid, and very uniquely a home nursing program. On the first of May the news reported, “The ambulance section of the Frontiersmen has become very efficient in its work, under the direction of Sergeant W. Rogerson.”. Much to the interest of the local St John Ambulance association and the public in general, the Legion of Frontiersmen are promoting and enrolling men into possibly the first men’s home nursing course in Canada. “It is hoped that this home nursing class will be, if possible, a bigger success than the very successful first aid class recently held under the auspices of the Frontiersmen. This is the first men’s home nursing class ever got together in the whole Dominion of Canada….” Later the Legion of Frontiersmen put on a display for an unnamed officer of the Women’s Volunteer Reserve. Other news reports indicate that the Legion’s ambulance section is a very successful unit involving a number of local medical doctors. As of August 1916, Edmonton’s LF medical section had provided at least 20 medical Frontiersmen for enlistment in the Canadian Army Medical Corps, one of whom had been killed in action. EDMONTON BULLETIN, May 1916. EDMONTON BULLETIN, 12 February 1917.

1916 – United Farmers of Alberta Mounted Infantry Corps. This agricultural association is recruited by the Legion of Frontiersmen to provide mounted rifles in Edmonton and in outlying areas around the City of Edmonton. “Capt. Rice Sheppard stated 600 men had signed up out of the U.F.A. for a mounted corps.” This UFAMIC reported formations in Edmonton, and in the outlying rural villages and districts of St.Albert, Bremner, Stony Plain, Spruce Grove, Winterburn, Horse Hills, Belmont Park, Clearwater, and Leduc. The distinct unit badge consists of a gold shield surmounted by the King’s crown, with the Legion’s circular Union badge at the center of the shield. The letters UFA (top) MIC (bottom) are on the shield as well. Along with this group the Frontiersmen recruit units from other employment groups as well: the Wholesalers’ Platoon, the Edmonton City Dairy workers, and even the sporting clubs like the Curlers’ unit. EDMONTON BULLETIN, 09 May 1916. EDMONTON BULLETIN, 10 February 1917.

 1916 – Winnipeg Legion of Frontiersmen. The following Edmonton newspaper quote provides some commentary about the Winnipeg LF Command. “So far information obtained to the effect that Winnipeg Council passed a resolution calling on government assistance in providing arms for the Frontiersmen and Home Guard.” EDMONTON BULLETIN, May 1916.

 1916 – Alberta Politician claims first L.O.F. member. Peter Gunn M.P.P. (Alberta) stated that he was the first Frontiersman enrolled in Canada and C.H. Dunn of Wabamun Lake, Alberta is the second to enroll. Stanley Winther Caws of Lac Ste.Anne is credited by Gunn as the first of the LF commandants in Canada. EDMONTON BULLETIN, 09 May 1916. REGINA MORNING LEADER, 17 June 1917.

Note: These gentlemen were the first Frontiersmen in the Province of Alberta, but not in Canada. See previous 1907 entry identifying Maurice H. Marsden of Vancouver BC as first commandant in Canada and Vancouver as the first command.

1916 – Registration In Canada. To formalize L.O.F. operations in Canada, Organizers from the Legion Of Frontiersmen (Canada), “Hereby declare their intention to form themselves into a Body Corporate and Politic under Chapter 66 of the Ordinances of the Northwest Territories: in force in the Province of Alberta, to be known by the name of The Legion of Frontiersmen, (Canada).” This declaration and government registration was signed by: Denis Erskine-Tulloch, Frank A. Robinson, Herbert B. Monk all of Calgary, by Charles G. Parkyn of Prince Albert, and by George B. Hanley of Moose Jaw. It is unconfirmed, but this registration was deemed invalid as it occurred without Imperial Headquarters authorization. (A review of the 1916 news is required to reference this). The next registration of the Legion of Frontiersmen with the province of Alberta occurred in 1933. ALBERTA GOVERNMENT REGISTRIES.

canadatimeline91916 – Frontierswomen. The aforementioned 1916 corporate registration in the Province of Alberta provides for a position designated as Matron of the Red Cross within the Legion of Frontiersmen. Such a title illustrates a role for women within the Alberta Legion of Frontiersmen as nursing sisters or for the provision of assistance to those in the field. ALBERTA GOVERNMENT REGISTRIES.

1916 – E.B.R.M. and Model 1876 Winchester Carbines. These carbines were given to the Legion of Frontiersmen morphed into the politically correct Edmonton Battalion Reserve Militia, by the Royal North West Mounted Police, for the duration of the war. Collectors may note carbines stamped NWMP-LOF-APP or stamped LOF-APP from this era. The APP stamp would indicate use of the same carbines by the newly formed Alberta Provincial Police of 1917. EDMONTON MORNING BULLETIN, 19 August 1916.

Note. One may safely speculate that the Alberta Provincial Police and the Legion of Frontiersmen had very good rapport. This would be due to the efforts of Edmonton Commandant P.C.H. Primrose of the Legion of Frontiersmen, one of the three men responsible for establishing the APP in 1917. Cross reference: A.J. Mair, E.P.S. THE FIRST 100 YEARS, page 61. EDMONTON BULLETIN, May 1916.

1916 – Montreal Patriotiste Regiment. In a news article by Calgary columnist Jack Peach, he comments about this Legion of Frontiersmen initiated unit. Research into this is required.

1916 – 210th (Frontiersmen) Battalion C.E.F. Recollections of No.255927, Private Charles Shepard Taylor, 210th (Frontiersmen) Battalion C.E.F. were recorded by Dominion Commandant A. Mack of the Legion of Frontiersmen. Taylor reported that the British were buying large quantities of horses from many countries. Much of the stock was untamed and there was a growing need for personnel capable of training mounts for the war effort. An original (unnamed) member of the PPCLI recovering in hospital was briefed as to the need for suitable horsemen. He (unnamed) was dispatched to western Canada. Southern Alberta was the prime location for cowboys; however, they were needed to ensure the beef supply for the war effort. The focus was then shifted to Saskatchewan and recruiting started in Moose Jaw. Charlie Taylor was able to join the 210th Frontiersmen Battalion despite his poor eyesight, because fitness was secondary to good horsemanship. Interestingly, although the 210th was raised as an infantry battalion, the men of the 210th Frontiersmen Battalion were referred to as “Troopers” instead of the customary “Privates”. A. Mack, HISTORY OF THE LEGION OF FRONTIERSMEN [etc.], published by HQ the Legion of Frontiersmen (Canadian Division), Regina, c1970.

1916 – 210th (Frontiersmen) Battalion CEF. “The Legion are successors of the 1st Frontiersmen, who are best known as the Princess Patricia’s, a gallant corps of fighters who were ready soldiers when the great call came.” REGINA MORNING LEADER, page 03, 17 June 1916.

1916 – 210th “Frontiersmen” Battalion C.E.F. Recruitment for a new overseas battalion begins in Saskatchewan and south eastern Alberta drawing heavily from the Legion of Frontiersmen units in the regions of Moose Jaw and Medicine Hat. The badge, unique in British Empire, features the enamelled Union Flag “button” upon the overall badge. Esprit de corps is boosted via an active sports program (green and white hockey uniform colours) and a mascot bear cub named “Teddy” under the care of Bugler Oldfield. The fate of “Teddy” is not known. Once overseas the 210th Battalion was broken up with most men going to the 46th CEF and the 1st CMR. Frontiersmen: W. Bruce (KIA), W.H. Walker (KIA), H. Wensley, C.G. Smith and J.T. Hollonquist are known to have received their “wings” in the Royal Flying Corps. At the war’s end Capt. C.G. Hollonquist DFC (& Italian Legion of Honour) was an “Ace” having downed six aircraft. The 210th Battalion’s second-in-command, O.M. Maitland received the D.S.O. and the 210th Battalion’s regimental sergeant-major J. E. Sturley was recommended for the VC, subsequently receiving the DCM for valour. A partial list awards to Frontiersmen of the 210th include: 1 DCM, 1 DFC, 2 MC’s, 5 MM’s (1 with bar), 1 Belgium Croix de Guerre, 1 Italian Legion of Honour, and many promotions in the field (10 identified). VARIOUS SOURCES [see U of A archives]. BOOKLET “Souvenir 210th Battalion, C.E.F. Reunion”, 28th January 1920.

canadatimeline101916 – Letter from the Front to Victoria BC Command. The following quoted letter from Capt. J.C. Agnew, Canadian Signal Service was sent from France to Major F.V. Longstaff of Victoria Command. The letter is oddly dated “France 24.Feb.1916. (1917)” and states “I met Colonel Driscoll some years ago on his visit to Vernon. He was making a pack horse tour through the Kootenays along with one of the Cecils, and stayed for about ten days. He gave some interesting lectures to the locale [sic] branch which I attended with the local O.C., J.P. Audy who poor chap was killed at Ypres while I was stationed there in the ramparts.” This unfortunately inaccurate letter from the front suggests that the Legion of Frontiersmen’s CEO, Lt. Col. Driscoll DSO, had traveled to Canada prior to the Great War. F.V. Longstaff, B.C. ARCHIVES

Note and Correction. According to Geoffrey A. Pocock, historian and Roger Pocock biographer, Agnew was definitely confusing Driscoll with Legion Founder Roger Pocock, who had visited Vernon a number of times during his regular travels in Western Canada, including in 1913 with Randle Cecil (see Pocock, Outrider of Empire p 230-232).

1916 – Provost Sergeant 210th (Frontiersmen) Battalion, C.E.F. Killed. Charles W. McGhee the record recruiter of 1506 Canadian soldiers and a battalion Provost Sergeant died in Moose Jaw and a 210th Battalion private soldier was charged with manslaughter. Provost Sergeant Charles W. McGhee “wore the Khedive Bronze Star, the Old Veterans’ Medal, Egyptian Medal and two clasps, and the South African Medal and one clasp.”(Another source stated the Zulu Campaign Medal vs. the South African Medal). He was also the composer of the popular recruiting song “Your King and Country Need You”. McGhee had four sons in the army, 3 in the 210th and one son in the Canadian Army Medical Corps. EDMONTON MORNING Bulletin, 28 December 1916. Booklet: “Souvenir 210th Battalion CEF Reunion”, 28 January 1920.

1916 – Christmas, 25TH Royal [Frontiersmen] Fusiliers. Described as “a tough lot … that came from everywhere under the sun”. Formed in England in February 1915 for East African service, they landed at Mombasa in May and were in action by June 1915. The battalion was established largely by the Legion of Frontiersmen under its CEO Lieutenant-Colonel D.P. Driscoll DSO. It doubtlessly was one of the most eccentric and colourful formations in the Great War. “By Christmas of 1916 only 60 of the original 1,166 members of the 25th Royal Fusiliers were still in the field.” Since their arrival in East Africa in 1915, guerrilla warfare, disease and parasites decimated the battalion. The non-combatant environmental casualties of 1916 were 30 to one combatant casualty. One member of the battalion stated, “I wish to hell I was in France! There one lives like a gentleman and dies like a man. Here one lives like a pig and dies like a dog.” Despite the obstacles of guerrilla warfare, military shortages, medical insufficiency, ‘old school’ enmity towards the irregular Frontiersmen and severe environmental hardship; the Frontiersmen distinguished themselves in the field during East African campaign. THE GREAT WAR LETTERS OF ROLAND MOUNTFORD, pages 121-122, copyright 2009. ISBN 978-1906510-794.

  • 1917

1917 – Edmonton Battalion of Reserve Militia. P.C.H. Primrose (RNWMP Superintendent, LOF Commandant, Police Court Magistrate, Board Member founding Alberta Provincial Police), the officer commanding, Edmonton Battalion Reserve Militia comments as follows about the Edmonton Battalion of Reserve Militia [“R.M.” in local news reports]: “The formation of the Edmonton Battalion Reserve Militia was absolutely necessary in order to give governmental sanction to the Legion of Frontiersmen that they might complete their usefulness…to train men who had to stay at home to be of service in case of trouble arising. By being a body of trained men it frees more men of military age and fitness for actual overseas service. There is no use in loyal citizens saying that when trouble comes he will be there, because without training he would be of no earthly use”. EDMONTON MORNING BULLETIN, page 12, 10 February 1917.

1917 – 210th (Frontiersmen) Battalion C.E.F. “Soldiers Attack Restaurant”. This news is buried in an Edmonton newspaper’s second section. “One hundred dollars damage was done to the Maple Leaf café, a Greek restaurant, in Moose Jaw, Thursday night when members of the 210th battalion made a raid on the restaurant, emptying a tray of candies and cases of bottled soft drinks on the floor and confiscating a number of boxes of high grade candies.” EDMONTON MORNING BULLETIN, second section front page, 24 February 1917.

1917 – King’s Colours to 210th (Frontiersmen) Battalion C.E.F. Lieutenant-Governor of Saskatchewan accompanied by his wife Mrs. Lake present the Colours to the 210th (Frontiersmen) Battalion C.E.F. on the Collegiate Campus at 2:30 pm 16 March 1917. Mrs. Lake formally presented the King’s Colours to a kneeling officer, and a similar ceremony saw the Regimental Colours presented to Mrs. Seaborn, the wife of the battalion’s commanding officer Lieutenant-Colonel Seaborn. The Colours were then paraded to the front and centre of the 210th (Frontiersman) Battalion and they were saluted by all present. The following event of the proceedings was the Trooping of the Colours. “The Maple Leaf Forever,” having been sung the ensigns with the Colours and the escort, headed by bands, were marched across the grounds and then through the lines, the troops standing at the salute. The Lieutenant-Governor took his position beneath the flag and took the salute. The men went by in excellent order and were loudly applauded. At the conclusion of the march past the whole battalion advanced in to line of review order with Colours at the front and again the Royal Salute was given.” THE DAILY NEWS, 16 March 1917.

1917 – 210th (Frontiersmen) Battalion C.E.F. Colours Deposited. Headline: “Ancient Ceremony of Depositing Colours Of Unit Going To Front Took Place At St. Andrew’s – 210th Colors Left With Elders”. MOOSE JAW EVENING TIMES, 31 March 1917.

1917 – 210th (Frontiersmen) Battalion C.E.F. Broken Up. The 210th (Frontiersmen) Battalion is broken up in England, all enlisted men revert to the rank of private, all the officers including Lt. Col. Seaborn reverted to the rank of lieutenant; and were reassigned as reinforcements to units in the field. Moose Jaw archives document: Aylott, F.G., “A Short History of the 210th Bn. (Frontiersmen)”, 1984.

1917-‘18 – Distinguished Conduct Medal. John Evelyn Sturley the former Regimental Sergeant Major of the 210th (Frontiersmen) Battalion and most others of the 210th are reassigned to the 46th Battalion CEF as a private soldiers. He subsequently is promoted to the rank of sergeant in the field. Sgt. J.E. Sturley single handedly charges an enemy machine gun position bayoneting all entrenched there. This former Frontiersman RSM is recommended for the Victoria Cross, and he subsequently received the very prestigious Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM) for his valour in action. Moose Jaw Public Library documents: Aylott, F.G., “A Short History of the 210th Bn. (Frontiersmen)”, 1984 Souvenir 210th Battalion C.E.F. Reunion [booklet], page 5, 28 January 1920.

Note: The soldier’s last name is STURLEY – it is misspelled in Aylott’s short history.

1917 – Female Physician, Dr. Jessie A. Scott, Hon. Legion Lieutenant. The Legion of Frontiersmen honour Miss J.A. Scott M.D. from Auckland, as recorded in the New Zealand news of the era.

Dr. Jessie Scott, who was made an honorary lieutenant of the Legion in recognition of her noble work in Servia [Serbia], has been spending a furlough in London, and sends greetings to legionaires [sic] of the New Zealand division. She was entertained at lunch by H.R.H. Prince Alexander, Crown prince of Servia, and his brother Prince George. Dr. Scott writes: “Things being so slack, I was glad to take the opportunity of returning to England for a little. I hope to go back to the Servians before very long and I want to go. The more one sees of these brave people the better one likes them. I have taken a great fancy to the beautiful Balkan countries. Our hospital is was about 100 miles up country, in the direction of Monastir, and I didn’t get many opportunities of visiting Solinika [sic], but I met a number of New Zealanders. The base censor is a New Zealander, and he arranged a New Zealand dinner at which I was present. About 30 attended and we had a very jolly time.

The Serbian Crown awarded her the Order of St. Sava for her military hospital work during WWI. Quotation from unnamed N.Z. newspaper clipping, column titled “Legion of Frontiersmen” written by “Frontiersman” dated 3.5.17 [03 May 1917]. F.V. Longstaff scrapbook files, British Columbia Museum.

Note: The late Bruce Fuller, New Zealand L.O.F. historian identified the news reporter as Ernest Gladhill d’Esterre who wrote for the AUCKLAND STAR and the AUCKLAND ILLUSTRATED. The officer, Captain E. G. d’Esterre was the Organising Officer for New Zealand’s North Island. He was also the Legion leader who offered the NZ LOF en masse to the NZ Government for war service in 1914; and after the Great War he was the force behind the NZ Legion of Frontiersmen Memorial at National Park.

Note Correct Name: Dr. JESSIE A. SCOTT (female physician) not “L.A. Scott” as incorrectly recorded in an older Canadian LF history published c1970.

1918 – Medicine Hat, Alberta Frontiersmen. Legion Captain B. Oxley, Organising Officer for Southern Alberta and subsequent Major in the 210th Frontiersmen Battalion CEF (while training in Canada) corresponds with New Zealand Frontiersmen. No. 920 in the Legion, Captain B. Oxley, writing from Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada, sends greetings to New Zealanders. He remarks:

I am an old-time New Zealander, and have lived in every part of it, from Auckland to the Bluff. Also, I was a personal friend and fellow-miner of Dick Sedon, afterwards Prime Minister. I was in one of the Kumara ‘rushes’ with him, and I was also in the wreck of the Tararua, at Waipapa Point, which made such a sensation at the time. You will see that I am one of the Old Brigade, – the first thousand in the Legion. Also, sadly the ranks of the first thousand have grown sadly less since the time of De Hora, Pocock, and others. For two years I was acting commandant of the whole of Southern Alberta, a district larger than the South Island of New Zealand. I sent nearly 400 Legionaires into the first Canadian Expeditionary Force, and then I helped raise the 210th Frontiersmen Battalion, in which I was a major, and we trained at Camp Hughes. The badge of this regiment is the Legion badge. I was told, however, that owing to my age I could not be allowed to go to France, so I had to resign and see the regiment go without me. All my four sons are fighting in Flanders. A copy of the AUCKLAND WEEKLY NEWS, sent to me by London headquarters of the Legion, has brought the most intense yearning for ‘God’s Own Country’ again. I’d love to see some of the old spots once more. Is the Waikato Light Horse still in existence? Do you remember the threatened Maori trouble, was it at Orepuki, somewhere around 1880? Wouldn’t I like just one more pig-hunt on the Hokonuis or up at Wakatipu! It sure sounds ‘kapai’. Well, well, I guess we old-timers are getting old, though I don’t feel it yet. It’s a time of worry for us all just now. My daughter, a girl of 14, was in Germany when war broke out. She was at school there, and was interned, but, thanks to the United States Ambassador, we got her safely home. I’d like to hear from some old-time New Zealanders in the Legion. Tenakoe!

F.V. Longstaff scrapbook files, British Columbia Museum. Quotation from unlabeled N.Z. newspaper clipping, column titled “Legion of Frontiersmen” written by “Frontiersman” dated 13 June 1918.

Note: The late Bruce Fuller, New Zealand L.O.F. historian identified the news reporter as Ernest Gladhill d’Esterre who wrote for the AUCKLAND STAR and the AUCKLAND ILLUSTRATED. The officer, Captain E. G. d’Esterre was the Organising Officer for New Zealand’s North Island.

1918 – Africa. Legion of Frontiersmen Colonists. “Cape Colony, Natal, Rhodesia and the Transvaal sent several hundred Legionaires [sic] to various campaigns. Most of these have laid down their lives in France, South West Africa and East Africa.” THE FRONTIERSMAN. “The Legion of Frontiersmen Outside The British Isles”, page 26, War Number 1918.  

1918 – Great War Casualties of 6000 [other estimates are 9000 casualties]. The following information is written prior to war’s end by Lt. Col. D.P. Driscoll DSO, Chief Executive Officer Legion of Frontiersmen and Officer Commanding 25th Royal (Frontiersmen) Fusiliers. It briefly summarizes the Legion wartime contribution. In responding to the call to arms, Driscoll wrote that “some 10,000 grand men who rushed from their homes from all over the earth and from the British Isles”. He further states, “Over 6000 have either given their lives or have been incapacitated from wounds or sickness; the others are still in the field.” Shortly after in the early 1930s an unrecorded review of the all Legion casualties set the number at 9000 and this number is commemorated with the Legion toast “The 9000”. THE FRONTIERSMAN, page 26, War Number 1918. Also refer to Edmonton City Archives, relevant news clippings c1935 and SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, page 14, 26 April 1933.

Note: The L.O.F. Founder Roger Pocock used the number “6000” in his 1931 book published as CHORUS TO ADVENTURERS: Being the later life of Roger Pocock.

1918 – Great War contribution to PPCLI. Regarding Legion of Frontiersmen enlistment in Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, Lt. Col. Driscoll DSO writes: “Again, who does not swell with pride and emotion when we think of the grand work performed by the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Battalion, which was rushed straight across in time of peril and who sacrificed themselves almost out of existence to save the Empire; over 50% of this battalion were members of the Legion.” THE FRONTIERSMAN, page 26, War Number 1918.

Note: The “over 50%” conflicts with Lt. Col D.P. Driscoll’s earlier letter from Malta in 1915 in which he states that “nearly 50%” of the original PPCLI enlisted were members of the Legion. Regardless both percentages are supportive of Legion lore saying about one half of the original PPCLI were Legion members.

1918 – Great War contribution to the Newfoundland Regiment. Newfoundland and Labrador was organized by A.W. Wakefield and according to Driscoll “contributed about 100 Legionaires (sic) who have done conspicuous work in France.” THE FRONTIERSMAN, page 26, War Number 1918.

Note: Recall that at the outbreak of the Great War in 1914, that approximately 150 Frontiersmen were in Newfoundland Command and available for service. This would indicate that the remainder were in the Royal Navy, the Home Defence Artillery, or providing other colonial home front service.

1918 – 800 Frontiersmen From Distant Lands. Lt. Col. Driscoll DSO goes on to mention “at least 800 of the very best stamp” traveled to enlist from Fiji, Solomon Islands, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, China, Hong Kong, Siam, India, Ceylon, Aden, and Egypt. New Zealand women and men are singled out for praise supporting via parcels and letters the Frontiersmen in British East Africa. Regarding his own 25th (Service) Royal (Frontiersmen) Fusiliers he points out that of the over 2000 men that passed through the unit only 50 men survived as fit for service. THE FRONTIERSMAN, page 26, War Number 1918.

1918 – Compliments to Legion’s character vs Military Chauvinism. “A doctor recently returned from the Front after much service, expressed this opinion of the Legionnaires: “They are the finest, cleanest, straightest crowd of men I ever met. They never had half the credit they deserved for the work they did.” This was quoted by way of contrast to the opinion of a drawing-room military officer who prior to the war declared the Legion was a crowd of drunken swashbucklers. That officer, by the way, has not yet reach[ed] the Front!” Extracted from AUCKLAND WEEKLY NEWS, page 51, 14 FEBRUARY 1918. http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~sooty/awn14feb1918.html

1918 – 25th (Service) Royal (Frontiersmen) Fusiliers in East Africa. Regarding his own 25th (Service) Royal (Frontiersmen) Fusiliers he pointed out that of the over 2000 men that passed through the battalion only 50 men survived as fit for service. THE FRONTIERSMAN, page 26, War Number 1918.

1918 – NZ Support to Frontiersmen in East Africa. New Zealand women and men are singled out for praise because of their support via parcels and letters to Frontiersmen in British East Africa. THE FRONTIERSMAN, page 26, War Number 1918.


©Barry William Shandro M.Ed
August 11, 2004 with ongoing revisions, last revision January 2015
Edmonton Canada

Part 5 of this timeline will follow soon.  If you would like to be informed when further parts of this timeline are posted, and other articles on this blog, please click the “Follow the Blog” button on the right hand side of the screen.

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About Roger Pocock

Author of windowsintohistory.wordpress.com Co-writer on junkyardview.wordpress.com Administrator of frontiersmenhistorian.wordpress.com
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