A fine body of men.
A rather odd paramilitary organisation with its roots firmly set in another era - though some would say on another planet entirely. The Legion of Frontiersmen was set up in 1905, in the days when the British Empire was at its height - much in the same vein as the Scouting movement... but for grown ups. It was meant to foster patriotism and prepare England's proud sons and their colonial cousins for certain death at the hands of the King's enemies: notably the Germans and the Turks.
|Period recruiting poster|
The Legion had its HQ in London though branches were formed in the main dominions of the Empire: Australia, Canada and New Zealand, where they still exist to this day. The organisation tried to gain official recognition, but was (correctly) perceived by those in power that they were nothing more than a bunch of dreamers who really ought to get out more.
That said, when the war clouds gathered its members dutifully enlisted when the call to arms went out and the proud Frontiersmen joined battalions in both British and Canadian units - just like everyone else throughout the Empire really.
Credit where credit's due though, so eager were they to get in to the affray, some pitched up at Kick Off and offered their services to the French. The Frogs told them to hoop it, but the desperate Belgians took them on board in a cavalry unit. It was undoubtedly the Legion's finest hour - and it's been all downhill since.
Today's Legion are predominantly a charidee - raising vast amounts of money for liddle children, homeless kittens and mongs. They are also a vital part of the emergency services - albeit unofficial. Their duties involve:
- Disaster response
- Humanitarian relief
- Civil Defence
Their highly-trained, specially equipped, airborne marine response teams are on 24 hour standby to augment the emergency services should their expertise ever be needed - which it never is.
Generally perceived to be a self-congratulatory drinking club for bullshitters, wannabes, Walts, bottom fondlers and dreamers, the LoF have received much criticism and haranguing - mainly from the denizens of ARRSE. Their pedigree - though once commendable - has long since been eroded and their present members are regarded as a laughing stock. They do themselves no favours, turning up at Remembrance ceremonies with their ridiculous attire and making themselves look like big-timing walty cnuts basking in the reflected glory of others' exploits.
Unfortunately, they're quite photogenic and of consequence the media and public love them - though not quite realising just exactly what they're looking at.
What do you think you're looking at?
Uniforms & Insignia
Without a doubt, the biggest draw for the 'Lofties' is the faux Mountie uniform. No matter how much of an overweight, decrepit, sloven you are, the LoF uniform will transform you instantly in to Errol Flynn (who also always got his man apparently).
Three chicken biryanis and a nan bread please chap!
The uniforms and awards of the Legion of Frontiersmen have to be seen to be believed. Their complexity and diversity make the Third Reich look amateurish. The dress uniform is generally centred around a cavalry blues theme - complete with shoulder chains. This is either worn with a russett-coloured beret, an SD cap or a colonial-pattern 'Lemon Squeezer' (Smokey Bear hat). Johdpurs and riding boots are worn by the 'Legion of Horse' when 'mounted'... on a feckin' horse... yeah... seriously! Different coloured cap bands and pagris define something or other.
Blah blah blah...
The overseas bunch even wear turbans and Pith Helmets! Canadians appear to be generally better turned out than the fat mongs in ill-fitting uniforms that are found in the UK, and also appear to be taken more seriously than their UK counterparts. 'Working' dress is DPM with beret.
By the day centre... quick... march!
But it's the medals and awards that really make the Legion stand out from the crowd. The Legion has its own complex system of honours which it awards to itself and everyone's a winner! They even have their own chivalric order. Dressed up like Christmas trees, a 'mess night' with the LoF makes Idi Amin's birthday parties look positively dull by comparison.
The annual LoF panto chorus line.
Oddly, there are quite a number of ex-service types in this outfit. Quite why anyone would wish to embellish already creditable service with this circus is beyond the author. All in all, quite pathetic. Funny ol' world, eh?
Cheers big ears!