Joint Irish / Mexico Issue--:
On 12th September 1997, a new 32p stamp marking
the 150th. Anniversary of the San Patricio (St.
Patricks Battalion) Mexican Army, was issued simultaneously by the Irish
and Mexican Post Offices.The stamp, which was designed by Lorenzo Rafael, was available
along with the Mexican stamp 38p ($3.40) on the official first day cover. The first day
cover itself features a soldier of the San Patricio and was designed by Glen
Thompson. The stamp featured a Celtic High Cross, with the crest of the battalion.
We scanned the cover.
The San Patricio followed in a long tradition, dating back to the 16th century,
when young men left Ireland and joined in the armies of their adopted countries. In the
case of the San Patricio, many of its members were persuaded to join following capture in
the Mexican-American War 1845-47. Although it was made up of a number of nationalities the
majority were Irish, serving under a green flag bearing the harp, shamrock and the figure
of St. Patrick. They fought with distinction at the Battle of Buena Vista and in the
defence of the convent of Churubusco in Mexico City before being overwhelmed. Following
the battle, fifty members of the battalion were executed, while the surviving members
disbanded after the war. A plaque in the town of San Angel, where some of the hangings
took place bears the inscription:
"The Irish soldiers of the heroic San Patricio Battalion, martyrs, who gave their
lives for the cause of Mexico"