Item 2008.1.1.6.69 - Pocock, Roger. The Frontiersman's Pocket-Book. London: John Murray, 1909.

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Pocock, Roger. The Frontiersman's Pocket-Book. London: John Murray, 1909.

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2008.1.1.6.69

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  • 1909 (Creation)

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(1865-1941)

Biographical history

Henry Roger Ashewell Pocock was born November 9, 1865 at Cookham, Berkshire, England. He came to Canada with his father in 1882, and settled in Brockville, Ontario. In 1882 and 1883, he attended the Guelph Agricultural College, and subsequently took a job as a surveyor for the Canadian Pacific Railway.

Pocock enlisted with the North-West Mounted Police at Fort Osborne in 1884. When the North West Rebellion broke out, Pocock marched with Colonel Irvine's relief force from Regina to Prince Albert in the winter weather, freezing his feet during the trek. As a result of the advanced frostbite to his feet, Pocock had to have several toes amputated, rendering him an invalid constable. He kept a diary/scrapbook for each year he was with the N.W.M.P., and later used the collections to write and publish a series of fictional books based on his experiences, the first successful of which was a biographical work titled "Following the Frontier" (N.Y., 1903) also published as "A Frontiersman" (London, 1903). According to Watters (A Check List of Canadian Literature, 1628-1950), Pocock published at least 15 titles between 1888 and 1931. In 1905, Pocock went on to found "The Legion of Frontiersmen of the Commonwealth." He died November 12, 1941.

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Samuel Benfield Steele was born at Purbrook, Medonte, County Simcoe, Ontario on 5 January 1848 to Captain Elmes Steele and Anne MacIan Macdonald. His father served under Nelson and other Admirals in the Napoleonic Wars, moving to Canada in 1832, with his first wife and family. After the death of his first wife, Captain Steele married Sam's mother, and they had six childre, Sam being the eldest.

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Pocock, Roger, ed. The Frontiersman’s Pocket-Book. London: John Murray, 1909. (loose photograph of Roger Pocock tucked inside book; signed at front “S.B. Steele, Col.”)

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  • English

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