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
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
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
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.
Web site created by Mark Griffin