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 recruits 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.
Here’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.
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!
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.
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 happens, 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 a 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.