Brigadier General Frank Crozier (1879- 1937) was a highly controversial figure in his day. As a young soldier he saw active service in the Boer War and West Africa before being forced to leave the British army because of financial irresponsibility. He tried to start a new life in Canada and then, on his return to Britain, joined the Ulster Volunteer Force, a Protestant paramilitary militia.
On the outbreak of the First World War he was appointed second-in-command of a battalion in 36th Ulster Division, becoming its commanding officer in autumn 1915 and leading it in action on 1 July 1916 on the first day of the Somme battle. He commanded a brigade with much success for the rest of the war.
Forbidden to stay on in the British army after the war, he became inspector-general of the Lithuanian army in 1919, but resigned after six months. Made commandant of the Auxiliary Division of the Royal Irish Constabulary at the height of the Irish war of independence, he resigned in highly controversial circumstances. After being declared bankrupt for a second time, he was involved in the League of Nations Union and turned to pacifism, becoming a founder member of the Peace Pledge Union. By now he had, through his best-selling writings, become a thorn in the side of the establishment. Charles Messenger’s meticulously researched and highly readable biography of this maverick soldier is the first full account of his life and times.
BROKEN SWORD The Tumultuous Life of General Frank Crozier 1879-1937
Brigadier Frank Crozier was a British officer whose controversial career encompassed twice being declared bankrupt and forced to resign from the Army; military leadership of the Ulster Volunteer Force militia; commanding an Ulster Brigade on the first day of the Somme; running a special unit of the Royal Irish Constabulary in the dirty war against the IRA; and finally and ironically turning to militant pacifism. Charles Messenger does full justice to Crozier’s amazing life in this deeply researched biography.