Nowhere is there to be found a list of the metal badges of the Legion of Frontiersmen, so this should explain them and how they came to be used, more or less in chronological order.
1) The infant Legion had decided on a uniform, but the idea of a badge for the Stetson or Slouch hat only came in gradually, apart from the Founder Roger Pocock who wore a five shilling piece on his Stetson as a badge. Five shillings was a decent sum of money in 1905, being almost a quarter of the weekly wage for some working men. The first ever badge, shown here, was a lapel badge which was worn with pride at all times, even out of uniform. Many was the occasion when a man visited some far away foreign land to catch sight of another man wearing the same badge and an immediate bond of friendship was formed. There are also photographs showing it worn on the uniform hat. This badge was designed by Manoel Herreira de Hora, an out-and-out rogue who was an enthusiastic early member, but who was dismissed allegedly for having the Bandmaster flogged on parade. See:
2) The first Legion hat badge proper was the LF in laurel wreath. There are variations of this and no clear evidence of how it came into being. In Canada during the First War it was, as the Legion of Frontiersmen badge, accepted as an official Canadian military badge.
3) There are two main types of early collar badge, a miniature LF in laurel wreath and a simple LF scroll.
4) The badge of the 25th Bn. Royal Fusiliers (Legion of Frontiersmen). Again there are slight variations of the badge. There may have been some locally made in East Africa as the Frontiersmen troops, like many other soldiers, were inclined to give them away as souvenirs.
5) The United Farmers of Alberta MFA. For details see:
6) This is the badge of the 210th Bn. Frontiersmen, Canadian Expeditionary Force. Note it contains the emblem of the Legion button badge. See:
7) Not a Frontiersmen badge, but the badge of Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry. This is included because a high percentage of the Original Patricias were Frontiersmen. See:
8) This is a very rare badge which cannot be dated, except that it is pre-1926. The rose shows it is English, but it is highly likely to have been a Yorkshire badge featuring the white rose of Yorkshire. Until the 1970s, Yorkshire was one of the most active Frontiersmen areas with a number of Troops and full Squadrons.
9) In 1926 it was decided to re-design the badge. Not only could “LF” be considered to represent the Lancashire Fusiliers, but the LF in laurel wreath was very similar to the LG in laurel wreath worn as a trade badge in the First War by lewis-gunners. A request was made to have the new design surmounted by the Royal Crown, probably due to the links with the 25th Bn Royal Fusiliers, but this was immediately declined and the mural crown was adopted instead..
10) In 1927 the short-lived Independent Overseas Legion of Frontiersmen/Imperial Overseas Legion of Frontiersmen (its name was changed) broke away from the Legion and continued until 1934, when it was re-absorbed. One of the early breakaway members, whose name we do not know, enthusiastically had a large quantity of these badges and collar badges struck, hence mint versions appear regularly for sale. They are often inaccurately described by badge dealers as officers’ badges of 25th Royal Fusiliers and sold at a premium price. Caveat Emptor.
11) Another short-lived breakaway in the early 1930s was the Imperial Frontiersmen. Note the great similarity to the badge of 2nd King Edward’s Horse. They used the Royal Crown without permission, which was strictly illegal.
12) In 1939 the Canadian Division of the Legion of Frontiersmen broke away and they changed the mural crown to a beaver. Many Frontiersmen in Eastern Canada became the Corps of Imperial Frontiersmen. We do not have an illustration of the C.I.F. metal badge. See:
13) This is another rare badge with the starburst added. This badge was produced for the Mounted Troop and was to fit onto the breast-plate of horse harness, which is a vee-shaped leather strap which goes on the horses chest area. There remains a possibility that it may also have been worn on the Wolseley helmet used by one Troop on ceremonial occasions instead of the Stetson.
© Copyright Geoffrey A. Pocock. All rights reserved. This article may not be reproduced in any form, in part or in full, without prior permission.