For years beyond count the Legion Etrangere -
the storied French Foreign Legion - had been the
final home for the dregs and scum of the Western
World, outlaws and outcasts whose only motto
was to become the infamous "March or Die".
Posted to remote and forgotten desert outposts
the Legion defended the frontiers of French Morocco against ruthless Berber and Rif tribesmen who gave no quarter and
asked for none. Amid this scorpion filled wasteland known as the Moroccan Rif, Clifford would find a new home and family.
Assigned to the Legion’s 3rd Regiment, Clifford was taken under the wing of the battalion's Swiss born commander Lt. Col.
Albert de Tscharner. Clifford became fast friends with four other Legionnaires of diverse backgrounds. He and his new
companions - Heinrich "Heini" Schultz , the tall and good natured Ole “Swede” Thorvaldsen, Giuseppe "The Dwarf" di
Toscano, and the former Royal Flying Corps pursuit pilot Reginald " Reggi" Stuart-Smythe - collectively became known to
the rest of the battalion as "The Four Musketeers". Somehow when the group gave itself this nickname they forgot to
include Clifford in their number and he in effect became something of the "Fifth Beatle" in the group.
(There is some evidence to suggest that two of his new friends were in fact not strangers at all. Research hints at the
possibility that Clifford may have actually taken "Heini" Schultz prisoner during the very last days of World War One.
Sometime before this Clifford’s unit – the 117th Supply Train accidentally shot down a British Sopwith Snipe fighter and
had out of an overriding sense of guilt adopted the dazed pilot as a mascot after pulling him from the wreckage. This pilot
may well have been Reggi Stuart-Smythe.)
|Above: Clifford seated center with the battalion's M1914 Hotchkiss heavy
machine gun aptly named "Mademoiselle". Kneeling to Clifford's right and
holding the strip of ammunition is "Heini" Schultz. The two other
Legionnaires are unidentified. The photo was taken during one of the
countless unnamed actions of the Rif War which engulfed French and
Spanish Morocco in the mid-1920's.
Photo: The Archives of The Noble & Antediluvian Order
of The Brotherhood of the Purple Fez
Of the many adventures that were to befall
Clifford and his friends the most pivotal was
without question the ill-fated battle of Jebel al
Sharif in 1928. While on extended patrol
Batallion de Tscharner was ambushed by
some 6000 determined Berber and Rif
tribesmen, Clifford's battalion of 300
Legionnaires was pinned down on a waterless
ridge for six days before attempting a fighting
retreat under the steady hand of the battalion
commander, Lt. Col. Albert de Tscharner.
Over 300 miles from their home base, Fort El
Hajeb, and with no hope of relief, the
Legionnaires were whittled down by their
relentless attackers as they fell back, mile by
bloody mile. After more than a week’s march
under constant assault the sad remnants of
Batallion de Tscharner were finally
surrounded and overwhelmed. Clifford
himself was knocked unconscious and passed
over by the enemy for dead. Assuming
himself the sole survivor when he awoke the
day after the battle, he had no way of
knowing that Col. Tscharner and his four
friends had indeed survived and made their
way to safety. But another fate awaited
Clifford as he wandered the Sahara
alone, the proverbial "Lost Legionnaire". That same guiding hand
would eventually lead him back to America and even stranger
|Right: The always smiling Clifford seated with bandaged hand during a
lull in the battle at Jebel al Sharif. To Clifford's left is Giuseppe di
Toscano and behind is "Swede" Thorvaldsen.
Photo: The Secret Archives of The Noble & Antediluvian Order
of The Brotherhood of the Purple Fez
Of the wandering after the massacre of his battalion, Clifford remembered little and wrote less. That which he did record was
lost in the cataclysm that would in the end engulf both Clifford and his pride and nemesis - the Purple Fez. The surviving
fragments of his so-called Fez Diary are as enigmatic as were the desolate wastes in which he was lost. What has been gleaned to
date by the tireless research of devoted members of the Brotherhood from Clifford's extant writings offer a valuable window
into his discovery of the so-called Temple of the Ages and the treasure that had lain dormant within its labyrinth-like corridors
for some three thousand years. This part of Clifford's story is outlined in the pages that follow forthwith.
|Above: Clifford's medal group as it would have looked at the time of his discharged from the Legion. His U.S. World War One
Victory Medal is picture here again along with his French issued Medaille Militaire, Croix de Guerre T.O.E. with Palme and his
Medaille Colonial with its two campaign clasps.
Medals: The Secret Archives of The Noble & Antediluvian Order of The Brotherhood of the Purple Fez