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History of the Corps of
Frontiersmen of Canada
1904 – 1940
The history of the Frontiersmen prior to 1940 is well documented in The Frontiersmen Historian : The Legion of Frontiersmen of the Commonwealth History and Archives, by Geoffrey A. Pocock.
Under Capt. J.C. Mantell of Weymouth the name was legally changed form “The Legion of Frontiersmen” to “The Corps of Imperial Frontiersmen”. On December 27th, 1940 the new Corps was granted a Dominion Charter under Part II of the Dominion Companies Act (1934) with the principals being Maurice Lionel Fitzgerald, Albert Philip Gower-Rees, and John Jennings Creelman,
The principal reason for the Corps of Imperial Frontiersmen’s change of title resulted from the reluctance of some formations to accept the direction of UK Command. Disassociation was achieved through this title change so they might be perceived as separate from these fractionalized units, and have since then time to present remained loyal to Crown and UK Command even thou the Corps has been strictly under Canada Command.
The Corps was reorganized along military lines (the terms Provincial Commands, Districts and Squadrons were abolished) and they organized a General Headquarters, with Brigades, Battalions, Companies, Platoons and Sections.
Brigadier Blackwell was made Senior Commandant of the Corps and remained as such until his retirement in 1955.
Brigadier Blackwell, upon his retirement, was replaced by, then, Colonel William H. Hocken, G.S.O. (1) L.M.S.M. as the Corps Chief of Staff, and remained this position until the early 60’s.
The new Commandant being Brigadier W. Hocken reorganized the Corps along the lines of the RCMP with Canada divided into Divisions. These being:
No. 1 Division British Columbia
No. 2 Division Alberta
No. 3 Division Saskatchewan
No. 4 Division Manitoba
No. 5 Division Ontario
No. 6 Division Quebec (North West/Central)
No. 7 Division Quebec (East Central/South East)
No. 8 Division Nova Scotia
No. 9 Division Ontario
Brig. W. Hocken was succeeded by a Colonel F.B. Creasy. By this time only two Imperial Divisions remained, these being Ontario and British Columbia.
The BC Division becoming a “Commonwealth Command” in 1961.
In 1968 the Corps of Imperial Frontiersmen became re-affiliated with the Legion of Frontiersmen of the Commonwealth.
Brigadier R. W. Hammell is currently Commandant of the Corps which is now has it’s Headquarters in St. Catherines, Ontario.