News Article

Warning Order Cambrai 2017

29 June 2016

Firstly, I’m sorry there has been ‘radio silence’ on Cambrai 2017 centenary information so far. I can now report that the Regtl Planning Committee meets tomorrow for the first time to start firming up the general outline. However, much work has already been done behind the scenes. Therefore, this email is to brief you on the plan so far, to enable your personal plans to start taking shape.


Gen Outline. The RTR Council has directed that a UK ‘Events Management’ company will run the social events over the weekend and that hotel bookings will be placed in a UK ‘Travel’ company’s hands, probably the same company for both aspects and most likely a company that already has experience organising battlefield tours in France. This will avoid the need for serving officers and soldiers to physically prepare and run the social events. Companies have been approached in outline. To enable the tendering process to get ahead, they now need the detailed ‘requirement’, which will be the task of the Regtl Planning Cttee. Once the final company(ies) has been selected, we will know the cost per head for the ‘social’ events listed in the outline programme below and confirmed bookings can then start. In addition, work has been ongoing since 2012 with the Cambrai Town Council, who have confirmed that all of the needed infrastructure and support mechanisms will be in place. Security arrangements will continue to be reviewed and updated as we approach and go into 2017. A map showing the main locations in Cambrai is attached.


Programme. Note: timings remain indicative at present:

  • Sun 19 Nov: RTR March to the Cenotaph, Remembrance Service and Lunch; along similar annual lines but with centenary embellishments. However, the Main Effort remains the Cambrai weekend.
  • Fri 24 Nov:
    • 14.00: Louverval CWGC Cemetery Drumhead Service.
    • 18.00: RAC Band concert, Cambrai Cathedral.
    • 19.30: RTR Officers’ Reception, Salle de la Manutention (normal location); reception in lieu of dinner night due to anticipated numbers; to include substantial ‘eats’.
    • 19.30: RTR Association Reception, Marché Couvert (normal location); comments as above.
  • Sat 25 Nov:
    • 09.00: Battle of Cambrai Presentation, celebrity historian, Cambrai Théâtre; potentially a repeat presentation if numbers dictate.
    • a.m/p.m: Battlefield Tour; rather than the normal centrally coordinated battlefield tour with coaches, and due to the potential numbers involved, individuals or small groups may wish to conduct their own visits to specific sites of choice supported by centrally produced ‘guide packs’.
    • p.m: Cambrai Football match v. Cambrai Town FC, Cambrai Stadium.
    • 18.00 TBC: Son et Lumières, organised by Cambrai Town Council, Town Square.
    • 19.30: RTR ‘All Ranks Evening’, events building in Town Gardens; exact format yet to be determined.
  • Sun 26 Nov:
    •  09.00 TBC: Cambrai Town War Memorial FR/RTR commemoration ceremony.
    • 10.30: Inauguration of ‘D51 Deborah’ Museum; representative RTR group due to limited space.
    • 11.00: RTR ‘Freedom of Cambrai’ Parade, Town Square; possibly with Presentation of new RTR Standard, subject to Palace confirmation in early 2017.
    • 13.00: FR/RTR Civic Reception, Town Hall; representative serving & retired RTR group.
    • p.m: dispersal.


Accommodation. HHQ RTR has reserved all Cambrai hotels for the period 24 – 26 Nov ahead of a Travel company selection. Some of the hotels will remain reserved for Regtl requirements and Guests, the remainder will become available once a system has been established. HHQ RTR will issue a list of those for whom accommodation will be arranged. For those that wish to get on with their bookings now, the following towns are 15 – 30 mins away by motorway: Arras; Valenciennes; and Saint-Quentin. In addition, gîtes and B&B accommodation is widely available through companies such as Gîtes de France and other websites.


Comms. For now, updates will continue to follow by email from HHQ RTR. In addition, with details to follow, there will almost certainly be a link from the Regtl website to enable the handling of attendance returns and other administration.  

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