So, what are we all doing for Camerone Day?
The legionnaires fought for nine hours, by the end of which nearly all had been killed, including Captain Danjou, or wounded. The last five legionnaires on their feet (Sous-Lieut. Maudet, Corporal Maine, Soldiers Catteau, Wensel and Constantin) fought until their ammunition ran out, then decided to charge with fixed bayonets. When they did, Maudet was wounded, and Catteau killed. Maine offered to surrender, providing the Mexicans would say that the legionnaires had done their duty. 'One can refuse nothing to men like you' was the supposed reply.
Of the 65 engaged, 31 were killed in action and a further 9 died of their wounds; 17 were wounded; the fate of 8 is not recorded. The nominal roll is here, with more detailed information about some of the participants here; the pages of the regimental war diary covering the action are here.
here. The parade has always been an attraction for film makers, and a selection of parades can be seen online: 1946 (silent), 1958 (silent), 1959 (silent) - all three at Sidi-bel-Abbes - 2006 (part 2) at Aubagne, 2010 at Aubagne (in four parts - here, here, here and here) and 2012 at Orange. The Legion's march, Le boudin, was written on the eve of departure for Mexico, although the words were not added until around 1870. Feel free to join in here.
This year is, therefore, the 150th anniversary of the battle. As part of the celebrations, a new museum will be opened at the Legion's HQ at Aubagne, increasing the floor area from 800 to 2,000 square metres. A new CD featuring the Legion's band will be released on Deutsche Grammophon. The ceremony will be broadcast on the French TV channel, France 3 Provence-Alpes. The second part of the celebration will take place on the Bastille Day parade on 14 July, when detachments from all of the Legion's current units will take part in the march past.