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 mentioned, 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 – or 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, from 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 been 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.)