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Outrider of Empire
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The Legion of Frontiersmen of the Commonwealth
History & Archives

The Legion of Frontiersmen celebrated its centenary in 2004-5.
This website tells of the true history of the Legion and also of the 25th Fusiliers (Frontiersmen) in East Africa in the First War.

Outrider of Empire OUTRIDER OF EMPIRE
The Life and Adventures of Roger Pocock

by Geoffrey A. Pocock,
historian of the Legion of Frontiersmen

A dreamer of dreams, an adventurer, and a man of many ideas, Roger Pocock was an inveterate, world-ranging traveller. But Canada was always the land he loved best after his native Britain. Although his service in the NWMP proved brief and undistinguished, the experience launched his career as a writer, and provided a major source of inspiration, both for his stories and in the creation of his greatest and longest-lived achievement, the Legion of Frontiersmen. Frontiersmen were men of action, rather than words, and few of them wrote of their experiences, so we are left with few formal written accounts. Roger did write about his own life, but his two autobiographies fail to tell the whole truth. This is scarcely surprising, for he made many mistakes in his life, including some serious ones, though any degree of culpability in the death of Sir Arthur Curtis fell well short of murder. Both Roger and the society that shaped him are long gone. But his life of adventure, with its many failures and a few outstanding successes, is well worth recording for what it reveals about both the man and his social milieu.


of the Legion of Frontiersmen

by Geoffrey A. Pocock,
historian of the Legion of Frontiersmen

This is the extraordinary story of the Legion of Frontiersmen, a band of patriots and adventurers, whose exploits throughout Britain and the Commonwealth in the hour of need cover the last hundred years. Formed in 1904 by Roger Pocock to be ‘the eyes and ears of the Empire’, the Frontiersmen came close to becoming the official British intelligence gathering and counter-intelligence organisation. Their unwavering patriotism shines throughout their century of adventure: the Legion’s Manchester troop were the first British in action in 1914, fighting with the Belgian army before Britain declared war; frontiersmen served between 1915 and 1917 in East Africa, winning many decorations, including a V.C. Frontiersmen from Canada, New Zealand, Australia and the outposts of Empire rushed to serve the mother country and some 9,000 lost their lives in the First World War.


Formed at the end of 1904 for fellowship and for service to the State at any time of need, the Legion has been the centre of many myths. This website sets the record straight and tells the truth of the extraordinary history of those who served humanity selflessly and often made the greatest sacrifice of all. The Legion of Frontiersmen has always held that anyone of any age, colour, creed, ability or disability can be of service to his or her fellows and community through its ranks.

Frontiersmen Badge       Painting by Koekkoek

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