Legion of Frontiersmen in Canada Timeline (Part 3)

canadatimeline51914 – “C” Squadron, South Saskatchewan Command. Located at Maple Creek (between Swift Current and Medicine Hat) was formed about January 1914, leader A.I. Dawes. THE FRONTIERSMAN, page 3, War Number 1918.

1914 – Medicine Hat Squadron. Formed about 1914 [pre-war], secretary E.D. Gower. THE FRONTIERSMAN, page 4, War Number 1918.

1914 – Two L.O.F. Units, Overseas Before Canadian Army. 50 Legion of Frontiersmen from Regina meet with Kitchener and go to Southampton; while Victoria’s L.O.F. “Elliot’s Horse” (including Vancouver L.O.F.) proceed overseas to Britain weeks before Canadian Army arrives 14 October 1914. See Regina L.O.F. and Victoria L.O.F. in this Timeline.  

1914 – Yukon Territory. A volunteer enlistment role was drawn up in Dawson City that included the Royal North West Mounted Police and members of the Legion of Frontiersmen. It stated: “We the undersigned, as a token of our loyalty to the British Empire hereby declare our willingness to respond to such a call as may be made by The government of the Dominion for volunteers from the Yukon to take up arms on behalf of Canada and the Empire …” [news reference missing]. It is known that Andrew Hart, the local commandant, traveled to England to enlist with the Legion of Frontiersmen unit, The 25TH Royal [Frontiersmen] Fusiliers. “Andy Hart, former chief of the Dawson fire department, is now a scout in the Legion of Frontiersmen serving in East Africa.” FAIRBANKS DAILY TIMES, page 2, 09 July 1916.

1914 – Yukon Gift To Assist War Distressed Belgium Jews. Captain P. Jameson, of the Legion of Frontiersmen, donates to Belgium relief and war effort. “A unique gift is to be sold, for the benefit of the Belgian fund in Auckland. It is a complete set of chessmen, made, from the tusk of a pre-historic animal, the mastodon, and along with it is another set made partly from mastodon tusk and partly from moose bone. This latter set is to be sold for the benefit of the fund started on behalf of distressed Belgian Jews by the London Jewish Mission. The gifts are from Captain P. Jameson, of the Legion of Frontiersmen, lately from, Yukon, Alaska, a pioneer of the famous Yukon field, and hunter and trapper for many years inside the Arctic Circle. The mastodon tusk was unearthed inside the Arctic Circle, at Fort Yukon, by Captain Jameson, and the chess sets were cut out by him in the long winter nights, the work occupying two years. Articles describing these chess sets have been published in Canadian and American magazines. The exact manner of the disposal of the gifts has not yet been decided. It is hoped chess players or the public will subscribe to present them to the museum, and in the meantime they have been left in charge of the editor of the Auckland Weekly News. Captain Jameson has placed no price on either set but he naturally hopes to see them bring a substantial sum to the help of the Belgians, whose noble sacrifice has meant so much to the British Empire.” EVENING POST, “An Interesting Gift”, page 9, 10 November 1914.

 Note: See previous Timeline entries “1909-Yukon Territory” and “1911-Whitehorse, Yukon”. Captain P. Jameson is credited with forming Whitehorse troop in 1911; yet it in 1909 “Camp No. 1 White Horse” Yukon troop had permission from the RNWMP to utilize their machine gun for training purposes. It is most likely that Capt. P. Jameson actually initiated Whitehorse troop in 1909.

 1914 – Calgary. Just prior to the outbreak of the Great War Calgary Command was attempting to raise “a fighting Battalion of Frontiersmen with horses, accoutrement, batteries, transport, medical equipment, parts” by canvassing via letter for $250,000.00. This does not occur as members join Canadian Expeditionary Force battalions once war is declared. Glenbow Museum, letter, 04 August 1914.

1914 – $50,000.00 Given To Legion Of Frontiersmen. Senator Patrick Burns, western Canadian rancher, entrepreneur, and philanthropist supported the Legion of Frontiersmen war efforts. “During World War I he and his company contributed $50,000 to equip the Legion of Frontiersmen.” DICTIONARY OF CANADIAN BIOGRAPHY ONLINE, 1931-1940 (Volume XVI) “Burns, Patrick”.

 1914 – Calgary Women offer service as L.O.F. Nurses. “Enthusiasm is seen on every side among the women of Calgary in the matter of offering their services as nurses on the battlefield. At the headquarters of the Legion of Frontiersmen letters have been received from every part of the province [Alberta], and already eighteen volunteers have applied for enrolment. … Among the eager applicants are Mrs. Daly, wife of Captain Daly [Calgary Command], an experienced nurse in the South African war, and Miss Laurie Coates, who gained her experience through her work in connection with Dr. Grenfell’s mission on the coast of Labrador. … As Major Duncan Stuart [Calgary Command] said, the assistance of women on the battlefield are invaluable. … Mrs. Daly was appointed president of the committee … Those who have applied so far include: Miss F. W. Allison, a graduate of Victoria hospital, Kelso; Miss E. M. Allison (Belleville hospital), 1343 Fourteenth avenue west; Miss Charlotte A. Yeomans (Illinois Training college), 836 Third avenue west; Miss Margaret Duncan (Glasgow General), Scottish Nursing home; Miss Lizzie M. Fream (Calgary General), Miss W. McLeod (Calgary General), Mrs. Alice Daly (South Africa British Services hospital); Miss Alicia Richardson, (Edinburgh Royal infirmary), Scottish Nursing home; Mrs. A. McLeod (Victoria hospital), 140 Fourteenth avenue west; Miss Agnes Galbraith Luke (Calgary General), High River; Miss Mabel Smith[?] (McLean hospital), 363 Sixth avenue west; Miss Lila Middleton (Y.W.C.A.); Miss E. M. Fancott (Y.W.C.A.); Miss Rosina Vening, Mrs. F. M. French, 735 Fourth avenue west; Miss Margaret Macfarlane (Calgary General); Miss Laurie Coates (Grenfell Mission, St. Timothy hospital); Dr. L. B. Yeomans (Michigan), 836 Third avenue west; Miss Willie G. Marshall, Mount Royal college. CALGARY HERALD, “Women Show Ambition To Serve Empire As Nurses”, page 12, 7 August 1914.

 1914 – Regina L.O.F., First Overseas before C.E.F. 50 men of the Regina Command of the Legion of Frontiersmen promptly make their way directly to London and meet with Lord Kitchener convincing him of their readiness for action. A letter dated 22 September 1914 states: “… we not only had the pleasure of seeing this great soldier in person but of having our services accepted. We are leaving for Southampton in a day or two.” It would be four more weeks before the first Canadian contingent officially arrived in England on October 14. THE CALGARY HERALD, “Services of Western Frontiersmen Accepted By War Minister”, page 12, 06 October 1914.

1914 – Victoria (and Vancouver) L.O.F. “Elliot’s Horse”, First Canadians To Reach Firing Line[?]. Two enigmatic LF groups rush to the front. A surviving untitled partial document produced by Calgary Command comments “Just as the Vancouver Command of the L.F. (“Elliot’s Horse”) was the first military unit from Canada to reach the firing line, so the first and yet only South African contingent to get to the front was the Cape Town Command of the Legion of Frontiersmen which went by public subscription as “The People’s Legion”. Calgary Command, Untitled partial document, Loose pages 1 [2 and 3 missing], 4,5,6,7,8,9, published by Calgary Command, 1915. [University of Alberta L.O.F. Archives].

 1914 – Victoria, Elliot’s Horse. Victoria lawyer R.T. Elliot and Victoria citizens raised a private unit called “Elliot’s Horse”. Most of Vancouver Command, some sixty members, travelled to Victoria to amalgamate with Elliot’s Horse. This unit was both equipped and transported by private funding to England, reporting for war service as a unit. Reports vary but it appears that in England the unit was disbanded and members went to serve in various British formations, while some persons were reported stranded in England. According to one source 40 went to the Belgium Army and only 15 survived the war. While Legion of Frontiersmen under the nom de guerre of British Colonial Horse [“BCH” shows on old photos] did form a platoon within the 3RD Belgium Lancers, a connection to Elliot’s Horse is not apparent as of current research. There have been unproven considerations that some of the 50 Regina Command L.O.F. and/or Elliot’s Horse [basically L.O.F.] may have gone into the French or Belgium armies. CALGARY DAILY HERALD, page 04, 17 NOVEMBER 1914. THE FRONTIERSMAN (Corps of Imperial Frontiersmen, Hamilton, Ontario), page 12, December 1951. Untitled partial document, Loose pages 1 [2 and 3 missing], 4,5,6,7,8,9, published by Calgary Command, 1915. [University of Alberta L.O.F. Archives].

 1914 – Victoria, BC, 50th Gordon Highlanders. Seymour Rowlinson wrote in 1914 that upon declaration of war Victoria BC Command under Legion Captain Gray-Donald was drilling three nights a week at Beacon Hill Park. Capt. Gray-Donald asked the Commanding Officer if the Frontiersmen could enlist in his 50th Gordon Highlanders. ”Colonel Currie said he would be only too pleased to have our members under him and granted to them a special distinction the privilege of wearing their own uniforms; and I have seen photographs taken in France of our men wearing Stetson hats with the L.F. badge.” Rowlinson further wrote that on the 28th of August 1914 that only about six men are left to carry on. Driscoll the CEO of the Legion appoints Rowlinson a Legion Lieutenant at the request of Victoria Frontiersmen who were in England with the CEF. THE FRONTIERSMAN, page 30, War Number 1918.

 1914 – Winnipeg, Manitoba. “Despite the fact that many of their members have left for active service with some of the local military units, the Legion of Frontiersmen of Winnipeg are steadily drilling and preparing for the call to arms. The Legion of Frontiersmen is composed of older men than those who, as a rule, are members of the active Militia. The local organisation has been in existence in Winnipeg for two years and previous to the outbreak of war was 100 strong and thoroughly drilled. The organisation is divided into two divisions, one being men who are able to volunteer for active service, the other men who are ready at a moment’s notice to turn out for home defence. The corps is a self-supporting one, the men furnishing their own uniforms and equipment, and in time of service when they are a mounted corps, their own horses. Many of the members of the Legion of Frontiersmen throughout Western Canada have joined the Princess Patricia’s Light Infantry. They have opened a recruiting office in Winnipeg, and as the organisation is recognised by the British War Office, they are hoping for an early call to arms. The Legion of Frontiersmen originated in “Driscoll’s Scouts” who played an important part in the South African campaign”. [Note Error re: Driscoll’s Scouts. The 1904-05 LOF beginnings were under of Roger Pocock in London, UK]. THE DEVON AND EXETER GAZETTE, “Beyond Age But Ready, Canada’s Frontiersmen”, 29 September 1914, transcribed by Legion Historian Geoffrey A. Pocock.

 1914 – Hamilton, Ontario. An early issue of The Frontiersman magazine shows a captioned photo of C. Leadbeater, D. Dodd, T.H. Buckholder, D.S. Blackie, J. Anderson, W.H. May, W.Wood, A.J. Potts (Capt), J Ratcliffe. THE FRONTIERSMAN, pre-WW1 date [?], 1914, found in The British Library by Legion Historian Geoffrey A. Pocock.

1914 – Toronto. “Frontiersmen met last night and increased their numbers from 20 to 40…The organization is not confined to sevicemen. They will admit surveyors, cowboys, bushmen, and any men who have had experience in frontier service. They will do duty as irregular cavalry and will do scouting and transport work… An executive meeting will be held at the home of secretary J.S. Warren, 122 Howland Avenue”. THE TORONTO WORLD, page 7, 05 August 1914.

1914 – Ottawa-Kingston. A paragraph in page one of the three page 1975-’76 report by Legion-Colonel Noel Hyslop TD, Commandant Eastern Canada Command refers to a 1914 Legion of Frontiersmen Troop joining the 4th Canadian Hussars, later part of the 8th Canadian Mounted Rifles: “The history of Frontiersmen units in the Ottawa-Kingston areas goes back to before the 1914-18 War. In 1914, a whole Troop joined the 4th Canadian Hussars (militia) – later to become part of the 8th Canadian Mounted Rifles overseas. The 4th C.H. was reformed shortly after W.W.1 and amalgamated with IV Princess Louise’s Dragoon Guards in the mid 1930s. The regiment was finally disbanded about ten years ago. It is particularly gratifying to be able to form a Troop of “A” squadron in the Kingston area, one of the principal [sic] recruiting areas of the 4th Hussars …” LEGION OF FRONTIERSMEN OF THE COMMONWEALTH EASTERN CANADA REPORT 1975-76, three pages by Legion-Colonel Noel Hyslop TD. Research by Geoffrey A. Pocock, 2010.

canadatimeline61914 – Newfoundland & Labrador Command membership was described as follows: “The Legionaires (sic) included many men with war medals and much experience.” In a commentary about Newfoundland legionnaires dated 22 December 1917, Lt. Col. E.R. Johnson, the Acting Chief Executive Officer of Legion of Frontiersmen wrote that “the pre war total of over 150” made up the Newfoundland Command. At the outbreak of war Legion Capt W.A. Wakefield attempted to have the entire command go to England to be under Lt. Col. Driscoll’s leadership. As this was not feasible, “He advised all Frontiersmen under his command, between 19 and 35, who had no dependents, to join either the Royal Naval Reserve or the newly formed Newfoundland Infantry Regiment. Captain Wakefield himself joined the Infantry Regiment in September 1914…the older members of the Command have been and still are on Home Defence Artillery Duty, under Legion Lieut. Vere-Holloway, at St. John’s, as a portion of the colony’s armed forces. Recruitment for the Command has continued steadily since August 1914, and a small but steady stream of Legionaires (sic) has gone to the Infantry Regiment overseas.” THE FRONTIERSMAN, PAGE 31, War Number 1918.

1914 – Newfoundland Regiment. Most of the Legion of Frontiersmen in Newfoundland and Labrador joined the newly formed Newfoundland Regiment: “the Newfoundland Regiment First-500 had many who were Frontiersmen (perhaps 200)”. With the remainder serving in the Merchant Marine or Royal Navy Reserve, Lieutenant E.W. Vere-Holloway, with Sgt. Russell and remaining Frontiersmen gunners manned the naval gun protecting the entrance to St. John’s harbour. As they were under the command of the Royal Navy Reserve, the Frontiersmen gave up their colonial slouch hats and wore the brimless naval caps with the LF uniform. Lt. Vere Holloway and Sgt. Russell wore the standard army uniform with a Frontiersmen badge with a bugle “not unlike the badge of the Durham Light Infantry of the Imperial Army”. Nelson J. Sherrin, unpublished and untitled 18 page paper, c1998. “Frontiersmen Held The Fort in 1916-1918” by Michael P. Murphy, unpublished 7 page paper also tagged “Newscene 11”.

1914 – Samoa Occupation Force. At the immediate outbreak of hostilities an advance force left New Zealand to capture a German wireless station at Samoa. At Suva Harbour, ten [also reported as “a dozen” and “a detail of”] Legion of Frontiersmen from Fiji were taken aboard the Moeraki “at the request of the Governor of Fiji”, and they were attached to the 3rd Auckland Regiment. The 5th Wellington and 3rd Auckland regiments provided the three infantry companies for the operation. THE WAR EFFORT OF NEW ZEALAND, page 33, S. J. Smith, 1923 and NEW ZEALAND IN THE FIRST WORLD WAR 1914-1918, page 51, Stephen John Smith, 1924.

Note: Fiji. As early as 1911 a “special service corps” of Legion of Frontiersmen is noted in the New Zealand press. MARLBOROUGH EXPRESS, page 2, 29 May 1912.

1914 – Samoa Garrison Duty. NZ Soldiers, after initial invasion and occupation duty in Samoa request transfer to the European front and in response for the New Zealand government: “The Hon. J. Allen made an announcement … I propose to give an opportunity to 500 men between the ages of 40 and 57 to volunteer, for service in Samoa to relieve some of the garrison there … . Preference will be given to those who have served as volunteers or who have seen active service, and then members of rifle clubs, National Reserve, Legion of Frontiersmen, etc., and others who have a keen active interest in defence questions at the present time.” COLONIST, “New Zealand’s Part”, page 6, 27 November 1914.

1914 – Kenya. Effective August 12, 1914 the Legion of Frontiersmen were gazetted as “Field Service Members” and are formally part of the colony’s military force. One of the six squadrons of the East African Mounted Rifles was formed by the Legion of Frontiersmen. KENYA GAZETTE, “The East Africa Volunteer Reserve Amendment Ordinance 1914.” C.J. Wilson, EAST AFRICAN MOUNTED RIFLES.

1914 – Cape Command, South Africa. Writing to the Mayor of Capetown, Captain E. Beardmore and Captain J.E. Pearson the Chief of Staff, both of the Legion of Frontiersmen corresponded with civil officials. The Mayor was asked to confirm the LOF offer to the Minister of Defence of 250 [later 268] men ready within 48 hours of notice. It was stated that Cape Command is comprised of Field Artillery, Mounted Infantry, a Machine Gun Section, Riflemen, Scouts, and a Motor & Intelligence section. The men who volunteered are between 30 to 45 years of age. Some 40% were married but had already made necessary family arrangements. The unit is officered by former Irregular military Officers. The NCOs were selected based upon past services. The men were reported as medically fit and prepared to accept military regulations, pay, and training. CAPETOWN ARCHIVES, letters, late August to 05 September 1914. Research compliments Anne Samson [U.K. writer and historian], 2014.

1914 – Sydney, NSW, Australia. “The Legion of Frontiersmen has offered 300 men for service with the Imperial Light Horse, and a squadron for service with the expeditionary force.” THE SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, “The Legion of Frontiersmen”, page 10, 24 August 1914.

1914 – Ceylon. Lieutenant D. G. Heslop of Columbo, reported “This Command only started on August 10 last, but I have already forty men enrolled, of whom 16 belong to Class A [for overseas service].” He further stated “I have no doubt … I could get 100 men immediately.” A deputation had been sent to His Excellency the Governor and training with the army began. The forty members of the Columbo unit began drilling under the instruction of Subadar [Captain] Sundar Singh of the 28th Punjabis. The Adjutant, Captain Burrows of the 28th Punjabis was to examine Frontiersmen in signaling classes and to certify those who were efficient. A sub-unit of the Legion was reported in Kalutara and discussion for the development of a frontline contingent had begun. Legion Lieutenant Heslop proposed jungle training, scouting and trekking at a camp on Moon Plains, Nurawa Ellya, for the new year. THE STRAITS TIMES, page 10, 16 October 1914. CEYLON OBSERVER (Weekly Edition) 9th 15th 24 September 1914 and 06th, 15 October 1914.

1914 – Ceylon Recruiting Advertisement. “LEGION OF FRONTIERSMEN” [title] “To those desiring to join the Ceylon contingent of the Legion of Frontiersmen and are resident in the F.M.S. or Straits Settlements, application should be made to Lieut. Heslop, Columbo, at once. None but British-born subjects need apply, ages between 21 and 40.” THE STRAITS TIMES, page 05, 27 November 1914.

1914 – Remounts, England, Initially Staffed by L.O.F. Lt. Col. Driscoll wrote to Seymour Rowlinson of Victoria, BC command: “I have a large number of our men in the remounts depots training horses. This enables them to keep employed until such times as they are called out for mounted duty. It also enables me to find a place for the many men who are coming constantly from overseas, so if you know of any men who care to come across they may be sure of getting into something as soon as they report to me.” THE FRONTIERSMAN, page 30, War Number 1918. See also local English newspaper archives and old photos to verify Remounts work.

 1914 – PPCLI and the Legion of Frontiersmen. “… it is a well known fact that the Patricias was largely composed of Frontiersmen.” The Edmonton Bulletin, “City Legion of Frontiersmen Is Doing Good Work”, page 6, 27 August 1915.

1914 – PPCLI, L.O.F. Rush to Enlist. At the declaration of war the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry began recruiting and within days is overwhelmed by volunteers, especially members of the Legion of Frontiersmen; and it is the Legion officers who are recruiting for PPCLI in Edmonton, Calgary, Moose Jaw and likely other locations. Based on legion-lore and recent research it is very logical to consider that hundreds, about 50% of the original PPCLI members of 1914 were Legion of Frontiersmen. A published letter written by Lt. Col. D.P. Driscoll DSO the CEO of the Legion of Frontiersmen, then on his way to British East Africa as Commanding Officer of the 25th Royal Frontiersmen Fusiliers states: “It is a source of great satisfaction to find so many colonial contingents so strongly represented; nearly 50 per cent of Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry are members of the Legion.” In the MALTA CHRONICLE, 24 March 1915 a published letter written by Lieutenant Colonel D.P. Driscoll DSO the CEO of the Legion of Frontiersmen then on his way to British East Africa as the Commanding Officer of the 25th Royal [Frontiersmen] Fusiliers: “It is a source of great satisfaction to find so many colonial contingents so strongly represented: nearly 50 percent of Princes Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry are members of the Legion”. Later in 1918 D.P. Driscoll DSO wrote: “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”. [Note the discrepancy in Driscoll’s two reports, 1914 vs 1918; nonetheless indicating that hundreds of Frontiersmen were accepted into the original PPCLI ranks]. Cross reference: News of the time from Calgary, Edmonton, Moose Jaw, Malta. A CITY GOES TO WAR, FIRST IN THE FIELD, PPCLI NOMINAL ROLE, Letters by CEO of the Legion of Frontiersmen and verbal lore, THE FRONTIERSMAN, page 26, War Number 1918.

1914 – PPCLI, Recruiting From Legion of Frontiersmen. The PPCLI of August 1914 was looking for veteran soldiers. An obvious source for a large number of veteran soldiers was the already established Legion of Frontiersmen. In 1914 the Legion of Frontiersmen had these men in large numbers and were already training for military service, this being their mandate. Reflecting upon the news of the day it is obvious that PPCLI’s commander Lieutenant-Colonel Farquhar knew of the Legion and wanted Frontiersmen assistance and enlistment. Lieutenant Colonel Farquhar contacted the Legion of Frontiersmen in Moose Jaw, Calgary, Edmonton, and likely other Legion Commands to assist with PPCLI formation. As one example note the following: “Lieut.-Col. Farquhar last night wired to the Legion of Frontiersmen, who have 1700 names on their list, asking for 400 men to be entrained for the east within 48 hours. The most seasoned will be selected from those enrolled, and sent”. EDMONTON DAILY BULLETIN, Morning Edition, front page, 11 August 1914.

 1914 – PPCLI, Edmonton Command. The article “Princess Patricia’s Regiment to Entrain Tonight” and also subtitled “300 Ex-Servicemen To Go From This City” mentions that Captain McKinery was recruiting in response to Lt. Col. Farquhar’s telegram requesting 300 men from Edmonton for the PPCLI. EDMONTON DAILY BULLETIN, 12 August 1914.

 1914 – PPCLI, Recruiter Capt. McKinery, former Staff Officer for D.P. Driscoll DSO in South Africa War [Driscoll was the Commanding Officer and CEO of the Legion of Frontiersmen in 1914]. It is very interesting to note that Capt. McKinery would be very familiar with the CEO of the Legion of Frontiersmen and no doubt the men of the Legion. “Capt. McKinery was staff officer to Colonel Driscoll, commanding “Driscoll’s Scouts”, a special corps operating with permission of Lord Kitchener, under Sir Leslie Rundle, in the South African campaign.” EDMONTON DAILY BULLETIN, “First Installment of Volunteers Leave, pages 1 and 2, 13 August 1914.

 1914 – PPCLI, Telegram To Moose Jaw Legion of Frontiersmen. “Get all men [referring to Legion of Frontiersmen] ready for infantry medically examined immediately. Enlistment is for one year or the war. Pay at Canadian rates. Get as many men as possible. Probably leaving Tuesday or Wednesday.” MOOSE JAW EVENING TIMES, 11 August 1914.

 Note: The Legion of Frontiersmen had established a number of commands and sub-units throughout Canada since its inception of 24 December 1904. Telegraph communication between western units of Vancouver, Nelson, Calgary, Edmonton, and Moose Jaw was occurring in August of 1914. Regarding PPCLI enlistment, the Moose Jaw Command received a telegram from Calgary Command. The Moose Jaw Evening Times quoted a portion of the telegram, and the portion quoted is identical to the more fully quoted telegram text that Edmonton Command had received from Lt. Col. Farquhar. Logically then, the significant commands of Saskatoon, Regina, Winnipeg and others as well, would have been contacted by Calgary Command or by Farquhar directly. Both LOF and PPCLI lore tell of men riding to the nearest rail station and leaving their horses at the hitching rail as they rush to enlist in PPCLI. [Refer to Hodder-Williams, 1923].

 1914 – PPCLI, L.O.F. Member Abandons Homestead to Enlist. Ernest Roper of Bittern Lake in central Alberta joins PPCLI. Frontiersman E. Roper is a rare documented example of the hundreds of Legion of Frontiersmen who flocked to the ranks of the original Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry. He left Canada with the first contingent in October, 1914 and was killed in action January 9th, 1915. THE BITTER ‘N SWEET: The History of Bittern Lake – Sifton District, page 499, published by The Bittern Lake – Sifton History Book Association, Bittern Lake, Alberta, 1983.

 1914 – PPCLI, Three Hundred One [301] Men Sent From Edmonton For Selection. To make up this total of 301 men, batches of men over a three day period, August 12th the first contingent of 120 men, August 13th the second contingent of 116 men and August 14th the third contingent of 65 men entrained from Edmonton to Calgary for PPCLI selection. The newspaper reporting these numbers stated that the “utmost care” had been taken to insure accuracy. THE MORNNG BULLETIN, page 4, 25 November 1915.

 1914 – PPCLI, L.O.F. Statistical Sample. An Edmonton newspaper article mentions that Capt. McKinery of the Canadian Militia – former Staff Officer in South Africa to D.P. Driscoll DSO – was recruiting men in response to Lt. Col. Farquhar’s telegram requesting 300 from Edmonton for the PPCLI. The 47 Legion of Frontiersmen names listed were compared to the nominal roll “originals” in the two volume PPCLI history by Ralph Hodder-Williams. This “first batch” of the total to come from Edmonton presents a rare statistical example: of the 47 LF mentioned as entrained from Edmonton, 21 of these LF became “originals” in the PPCLI, or 44% of these Legion of Frontiersmen volunteers made it into the PPCLI ranks. Certainly, a percentage based on one sample could not be extrapolated into a conclusive statement; yet, it adds to the circumstantial picture forcing one to seriously consider the Legion verbal lore claiming that hundreds of LF had served as PPCLI “originals”. EDMONTON DAILY BULLETIN, “First Installment of Volunteers Leave”, pages 1 and 2, 13 August 1914.

 1914 – PPCLI, L.O.F. Senior Officers Instrumental In Recruiting and Organization. It is known that the Edmonton Legion Commandant Justus Duncan Willson was recruiting for PPCLI. It was also reported in Calgary that Major Duncan Stewart of Calgary Legion Command and Colonel G.E. Saunders also of Calgary Legion Command are responsible for transportation and rations regarding PPCLI recruitment. News reports indicate hundreds of Calgary Frontiersmen are available for recruitment. Further it has been reported that eighty-three or more Moose Jaw Command Legion of Frontiersmen joined the PPCLI troop train by force (photo of this group in Ottawa survives), but contrary to commonly reported PPCLI history, this colourful group appears not to have joined PPCLI in mass as the commonly known photo of Moose Jaw L.O.F. suggests. …see next entry…

 1914 – PPCLI, L.O.F. Ottawa. Legion of Frontiersmen, “western cavalrymen”, arrive in Ottawa, “some in khaki regimentals, some in mufti”. Not all LF can enlist in the PPCLI and it appears that the LF remaining were assigned remounts duty. The news of the day reports that the Legion of Frontiersmen “will be utilized to break 700 horses which are now being assembled at Lansdowne Park, and later can be enrolled with the artillery units as drivers.” Calgary news of the time reported: “The Moose Jaw Frontiersmen who came to Ottawa at their own expense, so anxious were they to get to the front, are being drafted into various Ottawa units. They are joining the local artillery corps, and the Forty-third.” [30th Field Artillery Regiment and 43rd Duke of Cornwall’s Own Rifles] TORONTO STAR, 19, 20 August 1914 and CALGARY DAILY HERALD, front page, 21 August 1914.  

 Note: The Legion of Frontiersmen from Moose Jaw doing Remounts work could subsequently be joining the 30th Field Artillery Regiment [remaining so named post war] or the local 43rd Duke of Cornwall’s Own Rifles [re-organized to become the Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa].

 1914 – PPCLI, L.O.F. Enlistment Numbers. Substantial LF involvement with the original PPCLI at the call to arms is further indicated by evaluating news of the day in Edmonton, Calgary, and Moose Jaw; the regimental history of the LERs by Stevens and subsequent PPCLI nominal roll by Ralph Hodder-Williams, 1923. In relation to the information presented one is reminded that in 1915 Lieutenant Colonel D.P. Driscoll DSO of the 25th Royal (Frontiersmen) Fusiliers, and LF Chief Executive Officer, wrote that “nearly 50%” of the Patricia’s are from the Legion of Frontiersmen. In 1918 Driscoll again wrote about the L.O.F. enlistment into the original PPCLI saying, “over 50%” were from Legion of Frontiersmen. Colonel Louis Scott DCM, a WW1 “Patricia” dominated the Legion of Frontiersmen from 1930 to his death decades later and at no time was there any repression of the traditional Frontiersmen lore about PPCLI enlistment. Nor did Louis Scott DCM express disagreement with WW1 era news headlines from Vancouver and Regina of 600 hundred of the original PPCLI being from the quasi-military Legion of Frontiersmen. These are compelling points regarding regiment formation; yet, ignored when one reviews history books about the PPCLI. As well, if there is any veracity to the concept of to “oral traditions” or “oral history” the old legend of 600 Legion of Frontiersmen volunteers in the original PPCLI formation requires thoughtful discussion. DAILY MALTA CHRONICLE, 24 March 1915. THE FRONTIERSMAN, page 26, War Number 1918. REGINA MORNING LEADER, page 3, 17 June 1916. News clipping, Longstaff files, BC Archives. etc.

 1914 – Lord Strathcona’s Horse, L.O.F. Squadron [?]. A reflective quotation made in 1933 regarding Lord Strathcona’s Horse follows: “In 1914 on the outbreak of the Great War, a contingent of the Canadian Command of the Legion joined Strathcona’s Horse and formed their own Legion Squadron distinguished from the other Squadrons by a distinctive flash”. More research of LdSH and Valcartier documents during the period of August to October 1914 is required. FRONTIER POST, Autumn 1933.

 Note: Many LF arrived in Ottawa attempting to join PPCLI, but not all could do so. Units then available for Frontiersmen focused on immediate mounted duty would be: remounts, artillery (drivers), and possibly Strathcona’s Horse who were manning-up in Valcartier? More sources are needed to verify the reflective 1933 quote about recruitment of L.O.F. into the Lord Strathcona’s Horse of 1914. The regiment was 120 strong at the outbreak of war and had to man up to strength in Valcartier. The war diaries online begin mid-October 1914, after they had been brought up to strength. Other sources need to be traced to indicate how the Strathcona’s were the brought up to strength.

  • 1915

1915 – 36th Peel Regiment, Canada. Two hundred and eighty (280) members of the Legion of Frontiersmen had enlisted in with the 36th Peel Regiment for active service. They were to go overseas with the third contingent. TORONTO WORLD, “Frontiersmen Enlisted In The Peel Regiment”, page 7, 07 January 1915.

Note, regarding regimental numbering: The Canadian volunteer militia pre- WW1 had a series of numbered regiments each drawing from a county or region. Once mobilization for overseas war service occurred these county regiments remained at home as training units sending men to the newly numbered Canadian Expeditionary Force regiments; therefor, the 36th Peel Regiment IS NOT the 36th Battalion CEF. As another example of this confusing numbering situation, the 49th Hastings Rifles of the Canadian volunteer militia in Ontario has no connection at all to the frontline 49th Battalion CEF from Edmonton Alberta.

1915 – PPCLI, Manitoba Frontiersman, Killed In Action. – A rare news account identifies a Frontiersman in the ranks of PPCLI. Archie J. Robins, a constable with the Brandon City Police joined the Legion of Frontiersmen at the outbreak of war and with four other police officers travelled to Regina and subsequently enlisted in PPCLI. BRANDON DAILY SUN, “Pte. Archie J. Robins”, page 01, 26 July 1915.

1915 – Frontiersman, blind P.O.W. – Peter McPhail a Frontiersman enlisted in Edmonton and went to war with the first Canadian contingent and was reported missing after the battle at Langhemarcq. His brother A.C. McPhail, a Brandon area horse breeder, said the he may be repatriated in a disabled prisoner exchange. BRANDON DAILY SUN, “Peter McPhail” page 1, 18 August 1915.

1915 – 7000 On Active Service. Lieutenant-Colonel D.P. Driscoll DSO, commanding the 25th Royal (Frontiersmen) Fusiliers enroute to British East Africa, writes as the CEO of the Legion of Frontiersmen that “some 7000 men of the Legion are on active service”. He then states “nearly 50 per cent of Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry are members of the Legion”. DAILY MALTA CHRONICLE, 24 March 1915. Credit Brian Tarpey MBE, Malta L.O.F. Historian.

canadatimeline71915 – L.O.F. Commandant Buried With Full Military Honours By Germans. Royal Flying Corps Lt. S.W. Caws, South African war veteran [Legion Captain, Lac Ste Anne Commandant and Sergeant 19th Alberta Dragoons] was killed in aerial combat and his crewmate Lt. Wilson was taken prisoner after their aircraft crashed behind enemy lines. Caws and Wilson, likely flying a B.E.2c, engaged three German aircraft, downed two of them before the third enemy aircraft killed Caws. Lt. Wilson stated that the German Army buried one of Canada’s earliest L.O.F. Commandants, Stanley Winther Caws, with full military honors. After the war his gravesite is untraceable. Lieutenant Stanley Winther Caws, 10th Squadron, 1st Wing, Royal Flying Corps who died on Tuesday, 21st September 1915, age 36 is remembered at Arras Flying Services Memorial, Pas de Calais, France. REGINA MORNING LEADER, 17 June 1916. Commonwealth War Graves Commission. L.O.F. Historian Geoffrey A. Pocock regarding aircraft used by Caws and Wilson.

 1915 – Rifle Smuggling. Edmonton’s Mayor wrote to the District Officer Commanding Military district No. 13 appealing for rifles to assist the Legion of Frontiersmen Home Guard, but his request is refused due Canadian Expeditionary Force requirements for them. Mayor W.T. Henry writes to Legion Colonel H.J. Munton about this and states “we will have to work along some other lines.” Edmonton (Northern Alberta) Command was reported as having engaged in rifle smuggling from the USA to equip themselves with weapons for training. Letter in Edmonton City Archives. THE [Edmonton] JOURNAL, “Frontiersmen Find Long Lost Rifles”, 26 September 1940. A. Mack, HISTORY OF THE LEGION OF FRONTIERSMEN [etc.], published by HQ the Legion of Frontiersmen (Canadian Division), Regina, c1970.

1915 – L.O.F. Commandant Recruits and Commands D Company, 49th Battalion CEF. Edmonton Command’s Commandant Justus Duncan Willson was appointed the Officer commanding “D” Company of the 49th Battalion CEF, later the Loyal Edmonton Regiment, and all recruits who were Legion of Frontiersmen were directed to “D” Company. Allegedly, “D” Company recruits from outlying areas were men “four axe hafts across the chest and two axe heads between the eyes”. Stevens OBE, Lt. Colonel. G.R., A CITY GOES TO WAR, page 17, published 1964 and Recruiting Poster 49th Battalion CEF.

Note: The significant Legion of Frontiersmen contribution to the 49th Battalion has often been omitted due to an apparent lack of historical knowledge. In Loyal Edmonton Regiment publications one notes the capital “F” in Frontiersmen is usually changed to the lower case, thereby eliminating credit where credit due. While each company A,B,C,D recruited unique bodies of men: A, “sportsmen from about the city Edmonton”; B, “Scotchmen”; C, “men from outlying districts”; and D, “Frontiersmen” becomes reported as the generic “frontiersmen” which is basically wrong information. “Frontiersmen” with capital “F” means the distinct quasi-military body of men known as the Legion of Frontiersmen under the Legion Commandant J.D. Willson who became the D Company Commander.

1915 – Edmonton L.O.F. and Women’s Volunteer Reserve. Mrs. Justus Duncan Willson, formerly nursing sister Lieutenant Flora Kathleen FitzMaurice, and the wife of the Edmonton Commandant of the Legion of Frontiersmen died in England. She had followed her L.O.F. Commandant husband, promoted to Major Justus Duncan Willson of the 49th Edmonton Battalion overseas. A military service in England was held for her, one of the first women to have been commissioned in the British Army. In attendance were officers and men of Edmonton based units including members of her husband’s 49th Battalion CEF. She had been decorated with the Order of St. John for conspicuous courage during a typhus plague in Ireland and received both the Queen’s and King’s medal for South African war service. The night before her memorial parade in Edmonton’s river valley, ladies likely associated with the LF as was the late Mrs. Willson, were reported to have formed a “Women’s Volunteer corps” that paraded with the Legion of Frontiersmen at the memorial service. This body of women, the Women’s Voluntary Reserve appeared associated with the Edmonton Command home guard’s efforts. Sometime later, it is known that the W.V.R. led by the 101st Regiment’s Bugle Band, “presented a very smart appearance in their khaki uniforms” as they paraded to Government House for inspection by the Lieutenant Governor on October 13, 1915. Edmonton City Archives news clippings: “ Mrs. Justus D. Wilson …”, “Canadian Lady’s Death, Impressive Memorial…” circa July 1915; EDMONTON DAILY BULLETIN, page x, 13 October 1915.

 1915 – Edmonton L.O.F. 350 Men, 400 Women for Home Defence. Commandant Munton and Sub-Commandant Hill-Male are identified as Legion of Frontiersmen leaders at the south Edmonton summer social attended by approximately 500 citizens. The newspaper reported “The Frontiersmen of the city now have enrolled about 350 men and 400 women. During the program much criticism was expressed of the indifference in official quarters to the need and importance of home defence”. EDMONTON DAILY BULLETIN, “Frontiersmen Hold Picnic At South Side Park”, page x, 26 August 1915.

1915 – Edmonton L.O.F. Operations. Edmonton Command (also referred to as Northern Alberta Command) under Commandant H.J. Munton had five parade locations, had uniforms available through Ramsey’s Department Store, assisted unemployed Frontiersmen to find work, and had social events for members. “Orders for the week posted at Dominion Cigar Store, Limited, corner of First and Jasper, and Deschenes, Limited, corner of Jasper and McDougall.” EDMONTON DAILY BULLETIN, “Military Orders”, page 2, 27 September 1915.

1915 – L.O.F. Commandant in Officers’ Escort of Lieutenant Governor. The Legion of Frontiersmen Commandant H.J. Mutton of Edmonton, with Major Hislop and Major Hopkins of the 66th Battalion Canadian Expeditionary Force, Lieutenant Malholt, and Major D.L. Redman the aide de camp, wounded veteran of 10th Battalion, form a military escort at the investiture of the Province of Alberta’s new Lieutenant Governor Robert George Brett M.D. Interestingly, the local Commandant of the Legion of Frontiersmen had military status enough to have been placed within an officers’ escort for the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta’s investiture. EDMONTON DAILY BULLETIN, “Investiture Of New Governor Is Brilliant Affair”, front page, 21 October 1915.

1915 – Victoria Volunteer Mounted Rifles. Under the command of Lieutenant John Briant Howes of the Victoria Volunteer Mounted Rifles formally transferred all rank and file into the Victoria Sub-Unit, Legion of Frontiersmen. The letter was signed by John Briant Howes, Lieutenant for the Victoria Volunteer Rifles; and by S. Rowlinson, Lieutenant, Legion of Frontiersmen. Copy of Letter held by Carol Miller granddaughter of Seymour Rowlinson, University of Alberta L.O.F. Archives.

 1915 – Gallipoli, Newfoundland and Labrador Frontiersmen. Page 5 of an untitled partial document produced by Calgary Command comments “One result of the Dominion policy of giving the Legion no practical recognition was that the FRONTIERSMEN contingent from Labrador and Newfoundland now fighting in the Dardanelles, after training in Scotland, had to go so far afield as to the Governor-General of New Zealand to get leave to join an overseas contingent.” And, it also comments that “The Frontiersman” is no longer available due to the war, so a local magazine has offered to produce a column called “Frontiersmen Notes”. Untitled partial document, Loose pages 1 [2 and 3 missing], 4,5,6,7,8,9, published by Calgary Command, 1915. [University of Alberta L.O.F. Archives].

1915 – Victoria, BC Command Rebuilding After Initial Rush To Colours. Under newly promoted Legion Captain Seymour Rowlinson, the first returned Legionary [sic] from Victoria is “No. 6557 Trooper E.E. Long…a veteran of the Boer War, and possessor of the King’s and Queen’s medals.” The Victoria Volunteer Reserve Squadron of Mounted Rifles organized in June 1915 trained with Legion of Frontiersmen and reportedly 70 men at a time were on parade. Eventually Victoria Mounted Rifles became part of the new Victoria Command under Captain Rowlinson. Returned soldier Sgt. J.W. Taylor with much South African experience was appointed to command the city squadron. Legion Captain Rowlinson took the opportunity to engage Colonel Andrew C. P. Haggard DSO an honourary Legion member in the formation of the Veteran’s Club of British Columbia. At the inaugural ceremonies 15 returned soldiers were present. By the end of the war years Victoria Command, headquartered at The Veterans’ Club of BC in the Camosum Building in Langley [meaning Langley Street], includes all of Vancouver Island. The Commandant is listed at Legion Captain S. Rowlinson. The staff officer and “A” Squadron leader is Legion Captain J.W. Taylor (invalided from WW1 service). Legion Captain S.R. Bates (on active service WW1) was Squadron leader for “B” Squadron. “A” Squadron’s Troops No. 1,2, & 3, are in Victoria while Troop No. 4 is in Saanich. “B” Squadron’s Troop No. 5 is located at Cowichan, No.6 at Duncan, No.7 at Port Alberni with Legion Lieutenant C.T. Hilton M.B.,B.Sc. commanding; and Troop No. 8 is located at Comox. THE FRONTIERSMAN, pages 30 & 31, War Number 1918.

 Note, regarding Legion Capt. J.W. Taylor of Victoria BC Command, 1915. Email of 22 April 2012 from John W. Taylor, grandson of Legion Captain J.W. Taylor, mentioned, follows: “Thank you for taking the time to write to me. He was on the Jamison Raid, captured and sentenced to death. It was commuted, and then he became involved in the Boer War. He and his brother were both Captains of their respective units. I believe it was Bethune’s Rifles. He was blown off his horse in the Battle of Colenso and pronounced dead. His brother happened upon the scene as he was being buried, and stopped after placing a mirror under his nose to see if he steamed it up. He was in a coma for 10 days and returned to his unit about a month later. After the war he married the neice of Dr. David Livingston and moved to Victoria, British Columbia. In 1915 he lied about his age (46) and went off to Europe where he fought and was wounded in the second battle of Ypres. He returned home and died about 12 years later from wounds and the poison gas he suffered during WW1. He accomplished a lot more but it is a long story. Nice chatting with you. Cheers for now. John Taylor [grandson].

1915 – India. The Legion of Frontiersmen are mentioned as follows: “The older and harder men of long service in India are bitter and heart broken over being refused active work in the army. Then there is the Legion of Frontiersmen – men from 40 to 55, who have served the empire as such men only can – they are begging for work. There are 400 of them or more, and it seems criminal that they cannot be used. From their experience and fitness they would be splendid for base work at Nairobi or along the lines of communication in France or Belgium.” NEW YORK TIMES, 10 May 1915.

Note: The late NZ Historian Bruce Fuller commented: “The claim of 400 in India is odd in that looking through lists of signed up members prior to 1914 shows barely any. The 400 likely consisted of men who belonged to LOF outside India but then went there to work or whatever. The item does not qualify where the numbers came from. It could also mean “East Indies Command” which covered places like Burma, Borneo, etc. India was in the E.I. Command. From what records I can find it appears the highest Legion rank in India was that of Captain.”

Note: Also to be considered is the possibility of rapid growth just prior to and as a result of the Call to Arms. A pattern of LF growth (and large enrolments claimed) in Alberta at the time is an example.

1915 – Imperial Communications Interrupted. At some point in 1915 the L.O.F. magazine THE FRONTIERSMAN, source of Empire wide communication and information, had to cease due to the war. effort to maintain local communication the L.O.F. relied upon local printed sources as this brief quote by Calgary command indicates, “The Frontiersman [magazine] is no longer available due to the war, so a local magazine has offered to produce a column called “Frontiersmen Notes”. Untitled partial document, Loose pages 1 [2 and 3 missing], 4,5,6,7,8,9, published by Calgary Command, 1915. [University of Alberta L.O.F. Archives].

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

Part 4 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.

About Roger Pocock

Co-writer on junkyard.blog. Author of windowsintohistory.wordpress.com. Editor of frontiersmenhistorian.info
This entry was posted in Canada, Frontiersmen, Legion of Frontiersmen and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Legion of Frontiersmen in Canada Timeline (Part 3)

  1. I recently found and purchased an original photograph of the 210th Frontiersmen Battalion at Camp Hughes in 1916, and I’d be happy to pass along that photo – just drop me an email at canadiancutthroatcompany@gmail.com .


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s