ISSUE 18, July 2006
Editorial
Archbishop Fisher: A Godly man and a Brother
Travel: The train takes the strain
Quarterly Communication: Annual Investiture speech by the Grand Master and Speech of the Pro Grand Master and Report of the Board of General Purposes
Supreme Grand Chapter: Speech by the First Grand Principal and Report of the Committee of General Purposes Grand Lodge of New York: Speech by the Pro Grand Master
   Specialist Lodges: Keeping their eyes on the ball
Education: Planning ahead for the Chair and Events and New premises for Masonic research
Royal Opera House: A right Royal occasion
Royal opening: Beamish Museum
Digital records: Saving our past for the future
Library & Museum: The hall in the garden
Queen's Birthday: Masons played a prominent part
International: A Mason and the Foreign Legion
Masonic Charities: Grand Charity and NMSF and RMBI and RMTGB
Letters, Book reviews, Gardening

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    During a reconnaissance mission on 30 April 1863, the Third Company of the 1st Battalion encountered a much larger enemy force on the Vera Cruz Road. The company had an official strength of 120 men, but had been reduced to 62 by disease.
    As the company’s officers were as sick as its men, the Legion’s contingent commander had appointed staff officers, Captain Jean Danjou and Second Lieutenants Villain and Maudet, to lead the mission. When the Mexicans attacked, Danjou led the force in a bayonet charge to gain relative safety in an abandoned homestead known as Camerone.
    There, for the next ten hours, they fought off repeated attacks by 2,000 Mexican soldiers. At one point, a Mexican lieutenant called on the Legionnaires to surrender. Danjou assembled his men and asked all to swear that they would never surrender – and they did so swear.
    After the refusal was delivered, the Mexicans sounded the degueno, a drum and bugle call indicating that survivors would be given no quarter. Repeatedly, the Mexicans attacked until finally, after a massive general assault, they subdued all fires and overran the entire homestead except for its stable.
    There, Maudet and five Legionnaires, out of ammunition, launched a bayonet charge into the mass of Mexican infantry. One man was instantly killed, riddled with 19 rounds as he tried to shield Maudet. But Maudet and another were mortally wounded, and three Legionnaires found themselves surrounded.
    A senior Mexican officer stepped forward and again asked them to surrender. “On the condition we keep our weapons and you look after our officer,” replied Legionnaire Maine. The terms were accepted by the officer who stated, “To men such as you, one refuses nothing.”
    As per tradition, the Association went to a local club after the ceremony and celebrated with a fine meal and a lot of singing of the Legion’s slow marching songs. The after proceedings were so much like a Masonic festive board that one of the legionaries enquired how he could become a Freemason.
    The Grand Lodge of British Freemasons in Germany is one of the five partner lodges in the Grand Lodge of Germany. Star of Saxony Lodge No. 853, based at Mönchengladbach-Rheindahlen, has a strong connection with the Royal Air Force, especially since it was the only one formed at an RAF station.
    Saxony Lodge No. 842 (GC) sponsored this sixth Lodge in the District of Germany that was consecrated on 22 March 1958 in Hangar No.1 at RAF Jever in northern Germany. The founding members were an international group comprising six from the English Constitution, five from the Scottish and one from the Irish Constitutions. With the closing of the airfield at Jever, the Lodge moved in November 1961 to be close to HQ RAF Germany at Rheindahlen near Mönchengladbach.
    Initially established in a German Lodge room, the Lodge eventually moved ‘on base’, but this was not to be a permanent arrangement, and suitable premises were found in the local village where it meets to this day.
    In early February 2002 it sponsored a daughter Lodge in Münich, Southern Star, the first new Craft Lodge in the Grand Lodge of British Freemasons in Germany for 25 years.

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