Collection FC 8 L44 L47 - Legion of Frontiersmen Collection

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Legion of Frontiersmen Collection

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FC 8 L44 L47

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Administrative history

The Legion of Frontiersmen is a volunteer paramilitary organization that was founded in 1905 by Roger Pocock (1865-1941) to take up the call to protect the British Empire in times of need and remain vigilant in times of peace. The organization soon expanded across the British Empire and, by WWI, there were more than 10,000 men enrolled. Pocock had served in the North West Mounted Police and fought in the Boer War, but he envisioned the Frontiersmen as being "civilian, self-supporting, and self-reliant," not under any specific police or military organization. Although the British War Office would not recognize the Frontiersmen during WWI, members were able to serve together by enlisting en masse to specific regiments, including the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry.

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Scope and content

The Frontiersmen Collection is organized by country—Canada, England, Australia, New Zealand, and India—and includes correspondence, financial and legal records, meeting minutes, newsletters, and a variety of military forms, as well as photographs, maps, banners, and medals. It is home to the official Charter Certificate for the founding of the Legion of Frontiersmen Canadian Division, whose headquarters are located in Edmonton. The highlight of the collection is a group of nine field diaries penned by Roger Pocock dated 1905-1917. This collection is closely related to several others housed in Bruce Peel Special Collections, specifically the Sir Samuel Benfield Steele Family Archive which includes Pocock's papers. It continues to grow thanks to ongoing donations.

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Immediate source of acquisition

The Legion of Frontiersmen Collection was acquired by Bruce Peel Special Collections through acquisitions and significant donations from Stephen Gallard, Geoff Pocock, and William Shandro.


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The collection is housed in Bruce Peel Special Collections, located in the Rutherford South building on the University of Alberta North Campus in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Bruce Peel Special Collections is part of the University of Alberta.

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Restrictions on access

The Legion of Frontiersmen Collection is available to students, staff, and the general public for use within the library’s supervised reading room upon presentation of valid photo identification (e.g., ONEcard, driver’s license, passport, or citizenship card with photo).
All researchers (including students, faculty, visiting scholars, and members of the general public) must submit a Retrieval Request Form at least 24 hours before their visit to Bruce Peel Special Collections in order to be sure that library materials have been retrieved from storage and are available for their use.

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Finding aid was written by Paul Gifford, with assistance from Rachel Osolen, 2016-2017 and Jeff Papineau.

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