View over CWGC 'Dud Corner' Cemetery and the former battlefields of Loos (Photo: Centenary News)

Battle of Loos Centenary events - September 2015

Posted on on 16 July 2015
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First details have been announced of commemorations in France to mark the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Loos in 1915.

The main ceremonies, involving the Royal Irish Rifles, will take place in the town of Loos-en-Gohelle, near Lens, on Saturday September 26th 2015.

The centenary programme includes a one-day conference on the battle, which saw the first British use of poison gas in the Great War.

There will also be a dramatic presentation inspired by the death in action of Rudyard Kipling's son, John; and an air show.

John Kipling, only son of the British author, is among the names of the missing engraved on the walls of the Loos Memorial at Dud Corner Commonwealth Cemetery, just outside Loos-en-Gohelle. Also commemorated there is Fergus Bowes-Lyon, elder brother of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother.

The British attack at Loos was launched on September 25th 1915 as part of a French-led plan to defeat German forces ranged across northern France from Artois to Champagne.

After several of weeks of fighting, the British had lost up to 60,000 men casualties (men killed, wounded or missing) and made negligible gains. German losses were around 26,000

The panel on the Loos Memorial recording Lieutenant John Kipling's name (top left)

 Loos Centenary commemoration dates include:

September 12/13: Reconstruction of a First World War military camp in Vendin-le-Viel, near Loos-en-Gohelle.

September 18: Conference on the Battle of Loos with Gilles Payen, from Loos Sur les Traces de la Grande Guerre, and historian Simon Godly (Mairie de Loos-en-Gohelle).

September 20: Battle of Loos Air Show (Lens Benifontaine aerodrome).

September 25: Drama inspired by the story of Rudyard Kipling's John (Foyer Omer Caron, Loos-en-Gohelle)

September 26: Commemorations in conjunction with the London Irish Rifles, assembling 10am at Loos British Cemetery, Rue Salengro, Loos-en-Gohelle. 

More details can be found here.


The Battle of Loos will also be marked in Scotland, with a national commemorative event in Dundee on September 26th 2015. Scottish soldiers accounted for more than 7,000 of the British dead. 

Information supplied by Pas-de-Calais Tourisme

Images: Centenary News

Posted by: Peter Alhadeff, Centenary News