Legion of Frontiersmen

Aug 112013
 

In the previous post I mentioned my first encounter with the Legion of Frontiersmen, in 1998, when I saw a poster advertising for volunteers. I followed it up and received in return quite a bit of information, which I’m now going to share with you.

Let’s start with the explanatory leaflet (click to enlarge), setting out for the benefit of potential Leaflet frontrecruits who the Frontiersmen are and what they claim to do. Note that of all the various manifestations of the Frontiersmen, this one claims to be The Legion of Frontiersmen of the Commonwealth. Significant because in a letter I received from the Ministry of Defence in December 1998 I was told, “Although we know only a little about it, I can confirm that the Legion of Frontiersmen does exist. Indeed, there seems to be a number of organisations in the United Kingdom with ‘the Legion of Frontiersmen’ in their title. I understand that none of them has a direct relationship with the Ministry of Defence, although one, the Legion of Frontiersmen of the Commonwealth, does at present enjoy associate membership of the Reserve Forces Association. I understand that its members wear uniforms and adopt rank, though we do not believe that these have any official status.” So it would appear that the variant of the Frontiersmen trying to start up in Tywyn in 1998 may have been the only kosher one.

FatsoHere’s a link to the Welsh branch of the Reserve Forces Association. Be warned there are some truly gruesome photos here of politicos socialising with the military and being photographed with young cadets. (No, not those sort of photographs. Really!) For example, look at the picture – how can anyone who’s seen that be expected to believe that the British army is being ‘slimmed down’? You could sleep a bloody platoon in that jacket!

The next document I want to show you is the application for membership (click to enlarge). Pretty straightforward, though there can’t be many application forms that ask if you can ride a horse and what “war medals” you’ve got. Of course, only British Subjects can join which, unfortunately, includes us Welsh.

Membership form combined

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The penultimate little gem is the Training Programme. (Left, click to enlarge.) The note written on it reminded me that my life has been a succession of missed opportunities, for the lieutenant says he’ll need a corporal. That could have been me! Two stripes! My Mam would have been so proud!

Training programme combined

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Finally, we come to the uniform, discipline and personnel record. As 1. makes clear, the Frontiersmen are dressing in British army uniforms. Is that strictly legal? Women are expected to wear their hair in a “bun”! How many women under the age of ninety, and outside of alpine regions, wear their hair in a bun these days? And is that one bun at the back, or top, or two buns, one on each side? Also, “heavy” make-up is banned. (I knew there was another reason that stopped me from joining ;)).

To conclude (and reiterate) . . . the Legion of Frontiersmen is a paramilitary group whose members would be arrested if it was Left wing, Welsh nationalist, or anything other than a private army for golf club bigots and Brit-minded bouncers and other bully-boys. That these nutters are allowed to wander about in British army uniforms, giving themselves silly ranks and titles, is due solely to the fact that they are ‘Queen and country’. They fit into a web of like-minded organisations – Freemasons, ex-service groups, the military, intelligence services, business organisations, private security firms, and of course our very own Welsh Livery Guild – that overlap and interlock.

Uniform combined

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More and more of the members of these groups are giving up on the Conservative and Unionist Party as the English Right undergoes one of its periodic fits of paranoia and reaction to what it perceives to be threats to the Glorious Motherland. These ‘threats’ can be listed thus: ‘Europe’; immigration; devolution, which the English Right views as Britain being broken up. (Curious, really; because in most contexts their ‘Britain’ is usually no more than England.) When thus energised it is not unknown for the English Right to challenge the State itself, or certainly its elected government, evidenced in the twentieth century by such inglorious episodes as the Curragh ‘Mutiny’ and the plot to remove Prime Minister Harold Wilson.

This time there are differences. Britain today is a third-rate power in possibly terminal economic decline. We could be fast approaching the time when conditions will be perfect for the English Right to step out of the shadows in order to ‘save the country’. When that happensGereralissimo Walters, You will be suitably grateful . . . or else!

UPDATE August 11, 11:55: I have just received a phone call telling me that Frontiersmen have been spotted acting as marshals at a vintage steam engine rally at Boatside farm, Three Cocks near Hay-on-Wye.

UPDATE August 12: There were some half a dozen Frontiersmen at the vintage steam rally near Hay-on-Wye yesterday. Wearing what were recognised to be British army uniforms. (Again, is this legal?) They were under the command of a ‘Major’ Michael Walters. Which is a little odd, for on the Countess Battenburg’s Own Frontiersmen Welch Command website we find a ‘Lt. Col M. D. Walters’. (Right, click to enlarge.) Has the wannabe leader of Wales ‘when the balloon goes up’ (see below) been downgraded? If so, why? I think we should be told.

UPDATE 27.11.2015: I have just seen the first newspaper photo of a Frontiersman for aShoreham wreath while. (Click to enlarge.) It was in the Wasting Mule of Monday November 23 and shows him laying a wreath at the remembrance service for the Shoreham air show disaster. And very natty he looks, too. But what struck me was the familiarity of the caption, with its reference to ‘the Legion of Frontiersmen’ yet without any introduction or explanation, as if people reading the piece would immediately know who the Frontiersmen are.

 

 

Aug 092013
 

Now I don’t want any of you to think that I’m picking on Right wing Britishers with a penchant for fancy dress, but you must admit, the Brit Establishment, and those on the political Right who support them, do tend to go overboard with the costumes.

In recent posts I have dealt with the Welsh Livery Guild before following that up with this post in which I mentioned the Orangemen (no, not Peter Hain) and the Legion of Frontiersmen. If you haven’t read these posts then I suggest you do so before pushing on with this one. And even if you have read them, maybe it wouldn’t harm to give them a quick glance. What I should have Postermentioned, perhaps, is that I first became aware of the Legion of Frontiersmen some fifteen years ago. The reason I didn’t mention it in the earlier post was because I thought I’d lost the folder . . . but now I’ve found it, gathering dust atop a bookcase, and what a little treasure trove it proved to be.

It all began for me in 1998, when I found this strange poster on our village notice board, and saw others in the area. (Click to enlarge.) ‘That’s for me!’ I said. So I ripped the poster down and ran home to phone the number given thereon. I soon found myself speaking to a ‘Second Lieutenant Gary J Lillywhite’. He was of course an Englander, and must have been new to the area. I say that because I gave him my real name and he didn’t slam the phone down. He may still live in Tywyn. (For all I know there even may be a unit in Tywyn!!!!) Anyway, he sent me some very interesting information, including an application form. Bear in mind that Lillywhite claimed to be representing The Legion of Frontiersmen of the Commonwealth United Kingdom Command. Worth bearing in mind because two different – Warlowor apparently different – Frontiersmen units will be mentioned below. Naturally, following this revelation, I made enquiries about just who and what the Frontiersmen were, or are. And I looked for mentions in the media. (This was before I had a computer and access to the internet.)

I saw nothing until this piece (right, click to enlarge), appeared on August 19th, 1999, in the ‘Westgate’ column of the Western Mail. The column that day was written by the late Michael Boon. For those who don’t remember Boon, he was a worshipper of the British royals and a hagiographer of Charles ‘Carlo’ Windsor. Who better than this English journo to give a good write-up to a bunch of paramilitary Right wingers with a very suspect background, and perhaps even more suspect current motives?

Note that this piece from the Mule refers to the “Welch Command”. Presumably this is the abbreviated form of the grandly named Countess Mountbatten’s Own Frontiersmen Welch Command I mentioned in my earlier post. Here is the Charity Commission entry for Countess Mountbattens’s Own Legion of Frontiersmen. As you’ll see, despite the bullshit about a “Welch Command”, in reality it’s yet another sad, insulting, Englandandwales outfit. There is very little activity reported on the Charity Commission website, and hardly any money, but that probably doesn’t matter. The important thing is that the Frontiersmen – or one manifestation of them – has charity status. Though the ‘Welch’ branch does not use ‘Legion’ in its title, so does this mean it’s a different organisation?

You will also note that the contact mentioned in the Boon piece is Lt Col W B Warlow. This is Wayne Buffet Warlow of Porthcawl. Who, by an amazing coincidence, crops up in the Welsh Livery Guild as current Junior Warden. Thus giving us two direct links between the Frontiersmen and the Guild; the other being Commander John Curteis, Master of the Welsh Livery Guild 2009/10 and among the host gathered at the Frontiersmen ‘Investiture’ at All Saints Church, Penarth in March 2006. Though Warlow is not mentioned as having been at the ‘Investiture’ nor is anyone from his ‘Welch’  outfit. The only local unit mentioned is the Welsh Auxiliary Corps of Frontiersmen. So now we appear to have three separate units of Frontiersmen operating in Wales. There may be a fourth, the Independent Overseas Command. Possibly a fifth, if Countess Battenberg’s ‘Welch’ lot is separate. How many of the buggers are there? Can anyone set up a unit?

I also phoned ‘Lt Col’ Warlow. (Aren’t I a rascal!) We had a little chat about this and that. But when I directed the subject towards devolution I soon realised I’d struck a nerve. To say that he was hostile to devolution would be an understatement similar to saying that EDL members aren’t all that keen on Pakistanis.

The only recorded public sighting of the Frontiersmen I am aware of came on June 24th and 25th, 2000, when they were acting as ‘security’ for a medieval re-enactment at Coity castle, near Bridgend. Someone sent me photographs. Not good photos, I know, but they might mean something to somebody. (Click to enlarge.) So I made enquiries in various directions, Frontiersman 2from the MoD to the Defence Advisor at the Kenya High Commission. Why the latter? Because in the literature I unearthed the Frontiersmen claim to have fought against the Mau Mau. That was under the Frontiersmen banner, but I suspect that following Kenyan independence in 1963 they re-appeared in Ian Smith’s Rhodesia as the Selous Scouts (named after F C Selous, an early Frontiersman). Then, when Rhodesia became Zimbabwe, the Selous Scouts may have moved on to defending apartheid South Africa.

So let’s start pulling a few threads together. It can’t have escaped the notice of my perceptive readers that these assorted incarnations of the Frontiersmen in Wales start appearing after the devolution referendum had Frontiersman 1been won in September 1997. And around the time that the Assembly came into being in May 1999. This is no coincidence. For what we have here is an extreme Right wing, British Unionist paramilitary group. But they seem to have respectable antecedents. They overlap and share members with superficially respectable groups like the Welsh Livery Guild, Freemasons, British Legion, etc. They rub shoulders with Deputy Lord Lieutenants. They are allowed to hold ludicrous, quasi-military services in Anglican churches. And that’s why they’re so dangerous!

The Left in Wales loves to focus on the BNP, the National Front, the English/Welsh Defence League. Forget them! These pose no threat beyond causing a bit of bovver. They have no electoral support, they have no influence, and no one with a reputation to defend will ever stand alongside them. They pay homage to ‘The Fuehrer’, yet Hitler, with his known attitudes to alcohol, smoking, disorderly behaviour and degenerates, would probably have had them put them down before he turned on the Brownshirts.

The bigger threat comes from the respectable, semi-secret, organisations I’m dealing with here. Organisations that, collectively, form a network of extreme British nationalist groups determined to keep Wales a colony of England. You may find them funny, there’s certainly a lot to laugh at . . . but where do the linkages lead?

P.S. Looking through my notes from thirteen years ago I came across a tantalising reference to “Group 4”, obviously something I meant to check out.

UPDATE March 7, 2015: I bought the Cambrian News this week and flicked through without noticing the gem below. It was only when I when for a coffee yesterday afternoon that a lady in the cafe drew my attention to it, though why I don’t know. (Odd, that, now I come to think about it.)

Anyway, the local knee-flashers are going through one of their periodic PR exercises, you know the kind of thing, ‘We don’t seek to undermine democracy, we aren’t a source of corruption . . . oh no, we’re really cuddly and lovable, always helping out’. In the accompanying picture is Gary Lillywhite (second left), looking very stiff and upbuttoned. Bearing out what I’ve argued in this and linked posts about the overlap and linkages between all these BritNat organisations. Maybe the Frontiersmen are the military arm of the Freemasons. Perhaps they have funny salutes, hand around the back of the head or something! (Click to enlarge image.)

Lillywhite Masons

Jul 282013
 

This post was originally intended as a follow-up to my post earlier this month on the Welsh Livery Guild. In the post I’d planned I was going to mention that The Welsh Livery Guild is not alone in being an outfit of the costumed Brit Unionist royalist Right. I intended mentioning two other organisations that have made an unwelcome appearance – or reappearance – in Wales, the Orangemen and the Legion of Frontiersmen.

I shouldn’t have to explain about the Orange Order and the part it’s played in Irish – and to a lesser extent, Scottish – history, but maybe a bit more needs to be said about the Frontiersmen. Formed in 1904, in the wake of the Second Boer War, and in imitation of the admired Boer mounted infantry, the Frontiersmen enjoyed a brief popularity, even respectability, before the death-blow fell – Western armies stopped using cavalry except for ceremonial purposes. To which might be added the disappearance, or diminishing acceptance, of the ‘gentleman adventurer’. From then on it was a struggle for the Frontiersmen to justify their existence. With the result that in recent decades, certainly in the UK, this outfit has increasingly attracted sad buggers who enjoy dressing up. (Here is the ARRSEPedia entry.)

Badge

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Here’s what purports to be the official website of the Legion of Frontiersmen GB. As you’ll see, there’s a homepage, and, er, that’s about it. Though note that they describe themselves as being made up of ex-military, ex-police, even ex-civil service(!), who collectively form “an organisation of Civil Defence volunteers”. Bear that in mind, for it will help explain the circumstances in which they see themselves operating. There’s even a TwitterTweet presence @FrontiersmenGB which seems to be nothing more than retweets. As I write this, the most recent of them is about a launch of the Mumbles lifeboat! Finally, there is also an Independent Overseas Command.

Normally, this penchant for dressing up and playing soldiers would be harmless enough, laughable even. But then, as I started making a few enquiries into the recent activities of the Frontiersmen in Wales I ran into a name I’d recently seen linked with the Welsh Livery Guild. And I saw others, who should have known better, also lending credibility to these Walter Mitty types. But of greater worry to us should be that Wales is specially favoured, with Countess Mountbatten’s Own Frontiersmen Welch Command. Though, confusingly, there may be another Frontiersmen outfit in Wales, the Welsh Auxiliary Corps of Volunteers.

You’ll note that the ARRSEPedia entry (above) is made by the ARmy Rumour SErvice or ARRSE. Here’s a link to an interesting thread on ARRSE from which I have plucked the piece on the left, though whoever posted it does not give the source. (Click to enlarge and read carefully.) Here’s a further thread from ARRSE.

WarlowNow if we read the extract on the left, it refers to a big get-together – or “Investiture” – for Frontiersmen and friends at All Saints Church, Penarth on March 5th, 2006. Among the good and great we see the name of “Commander John Curteis the Vice Lord-Lieutenant of South Glamorgan”. This can only be Commander J M D Curteis RD FCA DL who went on to become Master of the Welsh Livery Guild in 2009/10. The Brigadier Alun Thomas-Evans referred to seems to be the same man as this Freemason. Maybe readers will recognise other names from the host in attendance.

Among them Earl Kitchener, the mayors of Penarth and Barry, the local sea cadets, Gorseinon College band, and the ghost of Queen Victoria. (OK, I made up that last one.) What were these people thinking of to lend ceredibility to this bunch of inadequates! Or maybe they view the Frontiersmen differently. Just look at who was involved. The British Legion, the Freemasons, various Jugend groups, the Welsh Livery Guild, Unionist political parties . . . and it all takes place – where else! – in an Anglican church. If you want to find the underpinnings of the British State, and the interconnectedness of the different strands, here they are for you. How many more organisations are there like the Welsh Livery Guild and the Frontiersmen?

For all I know, these clowns in the Frontiersmen may be legally entitled to own and train with weapons. It’s a worrying thought. Especially when we put it into the wider picture. Going back to the Welsh Livery Guild for a moment, I note that Brigadier R E L Jenkins CBE DL, Master in 1998/99, (and another Deputy Lieutenant) is, or very recently was, Director of Movements for the British Army. Which fits with my rather disturbing theory.

Forget ‘civil defence’ and ‘natural disaster’, what I fear we have here is a network of like-minded groups organised to step into the breach if the great unwashed get too stroppy, or if events in Scotland or Wales take an unacceptably un-Unionist tack. These paramilitary and semi-secret groups are linked by an adherence to an extreme variant of the ‘Queen and Country’ outlook. Which means that no matter how many Welsh symbols they choose to use, no matter how much of the Welsh language they employ, these bastards are our enemies. They may be little more than a secret army-in-waiting. At least, that’s how I believe they see themselves.

Dennis Coslett, portrait

Commandant Dennis Coslett FWA

I note that on its website the Welsh Auxiliary Corps of Volunteers ” . . . offers support to the Welsh Assembly Government in Wales”. Was such an offer ever formally made? If so, what was the official response? Funny when you think about it, isn’t it . . . I can recall back in 1969 Cayo Evans and the Free Wales Army boys getting arrested and banged up for (among other things) wearing unauthorised uniforms. There were other arrests in 1990(?) of the Meibion Glyndwr Colour Party for a similar offence. So why can some in Wales wear contrived or illegal uniforms with impunity?

There can only be one answer. Despite the bollocks about us all being equal before the law, in practice, it all comes down to which side you’re on. If you support the English monarch, the Union, and all that goes with it – including the colonial status of Wales – then you can ponce about in a uniform that would bring tears to the eyes of the most emotional costume designer for a Ruritanian operetta. You can also give yourselves ludicrous ‘ranks’ (even impersonate military officers), award yourselves pretty medals, and nobody’s gonna touch you cos you’re on-side. Making Britain not a lot different to a third world country or a totalitarian state.

Footnote: I should explain, for those perhaps too young to know, that in the old days, when a young man about town (such as I once was) went to measure for a bespoke suit, the tailor, when taking the inside leg measurement, would ask, “Which side does Sir dress?” In other words, ‘Which side do you prefer to have them hang?’ It seemed an appropriate title for this piece considering the pricks I’ve been dealing with.