Copyright © 2012 - All Rights Reserved - Steve Eeles - www.25throyalfusiliers.co.uk
Although no memorial was raised, in Great Britain, specifically to the men of the 25th Battalion Royal Fusiliers (Frontiersmen) who gave their lives during the Great War in East Africa, and subsequently in other theatres after being transferred to other Battalions of the Regiment, they are amongst those commemorated on the Royal Fusiliers Memorial in Holborn.
The war memorial consists of a bronze statue of a Royal Fusilier surmounting a tapered Portland stone plinth with a stepped base. The front (west) face is mounted with the Royal Fusiliers’ badge in bronze with the following carved dedication* :-
THE ROYAL FUSILIERS
(CITY OF LONDON REGIMENT)
TO THE GLORIOUS MEMORY
22000 ROYAL FUSILIERS
WHO FELL IN THE GREAT WAR
On the rear (east) face is a bronze plaque listing the Royal Fusilier Battalion details, the 25th are recorded in the list of Service Battalions with the qualifier “Frontiersmen”.
The 25th Battalion Royal Fusiliers (Frontiersmen) was only raised for service in the Great War and the text above reflects this. The Royal Fusiliers Memorial was, however, further dedicated to those “ROYAL FUSILIERS WHO FELL IN THE WORLD WAR 1939-1945” and “THOSE FUSILIERS KILLED IN SUBSEQUENT CAMPAIGNS.”
In addition to the Royal Fusiliers memorial it is also safe to say that the men of the battalion who gave their lives during the war were amongst those remembered on the Frontiersmen memorial unveiled in the Church of St. Clement Danes on the Strand on Sunday November 9th, 1924.
The Times of Monday, November 10th, 1924 carried the following report;
MEMORIAL TO FRONTIERSMEN
The morning service at St. Clement Danes yesterday was attended by a detachment of the Legion of Frontiersmen and a memorial tablet to fallen frontiersmen was unveiled in the church by Major-General Lord Loch. Before the ceremony a procession was made to the war shrine, which stands on the south side of the church, and wreaths were placed upon it. In unveiling the tablet, which was presented by Captain B. Ashton, LORD LOCH said it was impossible to number the frontiersmen who had fallen in the service of the Empire; but, as they had gathered from all over the Empire, so they had given their lives in every part of it. The tablet bore the following inscription:- “In memory of the many thousands of Frontiersmen who died for the British Empire in the Great War, 1914-1918. Lest We Forget.” After the congregation, kneeling, had sung a special hymn, the detachment of Frontiersmen passed in procession before the memorial.
The unveiling was also reported further afield, the Manchester Guardian of the same date carried the following report;
LEGION OF FRONTIERSMEN MEMORIAL
Lord Loch unveiled at the Church of St. Clement Danes, London, yesterday, a memorial tablet presented by Captain Burchardt-Ashton to the Legion of Frontiersmen in memory of his comrades in the Legion who gave their lives in the war.
Regrettably, the memorial tablet appears not to have survived the passage of time. The Church of St. Clement Danes was extensively damaged by German bombing during the Second World War and the tablet is believed to have been lost as a result of this.
Whilst no specific memorial was raised in Great Britain, one was erected in the country in which the battalion served. Dedicated “to the Glory of God and in memory of the officers and men of the Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment) 25th (Service) Battalion (Frontiersmen)” the memorial consists of three large lancet windows at the west end of All Saints Cathedral, completed and consecrated in 1952, in Nairobi, Kenya.
City of London Corporation website [http://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/about-the-city/history-and-future/history-and-heritage/war-memorials/Pages/default.aspx]
The Times, Monday, November 10th, 1924
The Manchester Guardian, Monday, November 10th, 1924