PHOTOS: 100th Anniversary of the Battle of Camerone in Aubagne in 1963

A new part of the PHOTOS series. Enjoy rare photographies which present the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Camerone that was commemorated in Aubagne in 1963, within the new HQ of the Foreign Legion and the 1st Foreign Regiment (1er RE). In fact, it was also the very first Camerone Day celebrated in France and not in Algeria’s Sidi Bel Abbes.

Two weeks ago, on April 30, 2023, the Foreign Legion commemorated the 160th anniversary of the famous battle. As usual, the main celebrations took place in Aubagne. Sixty years earlier, in 1963, celebrations were held at the same site, for the very first time. This was a consequence of the end of the Algerian War (1954-1962) and the country’s declaration of independence. Thus, in late 1962, the Legion had to leave Sidi Bel Abbes, the institution’s long-established headquarters, and relocate to Southern France. There, the 3e BMLE transformed an abandoned camp in the Marseille region into a new Motherhouse of the Legion, the Vienot.

On April 30, 1963, the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Camerone festivities took place at the new camp, renamed the Caserne Viénot, with the famous War Memorial being transferred from Sidi Bel Abbes to Aubagne and re-erected at the camp’s large parade ground. The memorial was unveiled during the centenary of the battle. At the time, a military parade occurred in Marseille, too, as part of the festivities.

Most of the rare photos were provided to our website and published, as usual, with the kind permission of Krzysztof Schramm, historian of the Foreign Legion veteran association in Poland, A.A.A.L.E. de Pologne, and the author of the awesome book called I regret nothing.

Note that the photos are quite unique as they show the original appearance of the camp before the later construction of modern buildings and the Legion Museum.

As always in the PHOTO series, just click the image to enlarge it.

Related posts:
PHOTOS: Lieutenant Mafteiu and Algerian Mounted Company in the early 1930s
PHOTOS: 2nd Foreign Regiment’s Color Guard in the early 1900s
PHOTOS: 2e CMRLE in Indochina in 1953
PHOTOS: 3rd “Camerone” Company, 4e REI