The Battle of Arras Commemoration

In News by Jim Anderson12 Comments

The 100th Anniversary of the Battle of Arras will take place on Sunday 9th April 2017. The battle was significant for Scottish Regiments with 44 Battalions taking part alongside 7 Scottish named Canadian Battalions. Thus, the commemoration is one of the priorities for the World War One Scottish Commemorations Panel. Plans are evolving for the national focus for the commemoration which will take place in the French Town of Arras but in addition to the main event there will be a Battle of Arras Commemoration held at Edinburgh Castle.

Very warm welcomes will be extended to all those descendants and members of Regimental and Tri-Service Associations in both France and Scotland who wish to participate. More detail will follow in due course but the timetable for each event is outlined below. Given the large anticipated number of Canadians making their way to Vimy Ridge and Arras, along with an expected number of New Zealanders and Australians and South Africans, it is recommended that those wishing to attend Arras 100 on Sunday 9 April 2017 should make their accommodation and transport arrangements in early

City of Arras, France

Sun 9th April 6.30am International Commemoration led by the City of Arras at Carriere Wellington/Wellington Tunnels

9.30am Scottish representative Commemoration Service in Faubourg d’Amiens CWGC Cemetery, led by The Rt Revd Dr Russell Barr, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland

11.00am Formation and unveiling of a giant international Poppy in Place des Héros in Arras

3.00pm (tbc) Canadian commemorations at Vimy Ridge

6.30pm (tbc) Beating Retreat by The Pipes & Drums and Military Band of the Royal Regiment of Scotland accompanied by the Battle of the Somme Pipe Band and (tbc) Pipers and Drummers of antecedent Canadian Scottish Regiments and (tbc) the Pipes & Drums of the RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police)

Edinburgh Castle

Sat 8th April TBC Battle of Arras Presentation. Location to be confirmed.

Sun 9th April 12.30pm Rehearsals for all participants in the Beating Retreat incl Standard Bearers and Bands. Potentially conducted in Redford Barracks

6.00pm Battle of Arras Commemoration Service. Permission has been requested for use of the SNWM

7.00pm Beating Retreat with Regimental and Tri-Service Associations Standard Bearers. Edinburgh Castle Esplanade

8.00pm Battle of Arras Reception. Permission requested for use of Edinburgh Castle.

Further information can be obtained from: –
Stephen Elliot, Head of Events and Liaison, Legion Scotland –


  1. Alexander Macdonald

    My uncle Andrew McDonald was a private S/8578 in the 1st Bt. Gordon Highlanders. He was killed on 11th April 2017 and his name appears on Bay 8 Wall at the Faubourg D’Amiens CWG Cemetery in Arras. I hope to be able to attend the Scottish Service on 9th April at 9.30am amongst other events. I will stay in the area until 11th April to privately commemorate the 100th anniversary of his death.

  2. Rafael Smart

    My granpa James Lamont Smart volunteered from Argentina in a english regiment. He was part of the Machine Gun Corps and was condecorated Military Cross by George V (after 1917 battles).
    His condecoration was published in the London gacette.
    We dont know so much about exactly where he was. We heard Arras as other cities.
    I would love to be there with my 14 years son Timoteo.
    If anybody can help me to have more information about him, I will love it.
    Muchas gracias from Patagonia
    Rafael Smart

  3. Willie Archibald

    My grandad William King Archibald was killed at Arras in April 1917. He left a young wife who was six months pregnant with a son who was to be my father. I will be in Arras this April, Willie Archibald

  4. Peter Trace

    I will be attending Hibers Trench Cemetery on 20th April, the anniversary of my Great-Grandfather’s death, would be interested to know if anyone else will be there also.

  5. Pat Watson

    My Great Uncle, Charles Hall Pearson, was killed in the Battle Of Arras on the 9th April 1917 aged 19. He was in the Northumberland Fusiliers, 20th Tyneside Scottish Division, he is buried in Roclincourt Valley Cemetery, grave reference 11 B. My sister and I visited the grave in April 2015, we had intended to return for the centenary this year and are very disappointed due to unavoidable family commitments we cannot. We intend to visit a few months later. It would have been wonderful to have met with other relatives on the day.

    I would recommend to anyone who has not done so to also visit Chemins De Memoire (Ring Of Remberence), Notre Dame de Lorette, near Arras, a memorial commemorating 600,00 names of men who died in Northern France, from all nations during WW1. My sister and I were very moved when we found our Great Uncle’s name inscribed there.

    I would be interested to hear from the two people whose relatives are also buried in Roclincourt and will be there on the 9th, if any commemoration takes place in the cemetery.

    1. Alastair Ogilvie

      My great uncle Ian Gowan died near Arras on 9th April 1917. He had enlisted as a Private in the 9th Royal Scots in November 1914. Service number 350731. He was promoted Corporal in 1915 and in 1916 held the rank of Lance Sergeant in his Battalion. He is buried at Roclincourt Valley Cemetery. His brothers also served in the way, Alastair serving with the 9th Royal Scots then the Canadian Artillery. I shall visit Ian’s grave on the 8th and attend the events on the 9th. { Alastair (Nigel Gowan) Ogilvie }

  6. Margaret Elizabeth Roberts

    My Grandad, George. Osborne Ballantyne Dinwoodie aged then 27 living at the time in Pwhelli lost his life on the 18th April 1917 in the battle of Arras, leaving two children (my Father John and his Sister Nancy.

  7. John McMunigal

    James McMunigal was my great-uncle. His brother Benjamin was my grandfather. Although not able to attend the 100th ceremony of his death I did visit his grave several years ago. I will be thinking of his, and his comrades, sacrifice on the 9th April. I would be interested to hear back from any other relative.

  8. Philip Cairney.

    Pte Peter Cairney No 28887, 1st battalion, was wounded at we think the second battle of Ypres before being sent to Salonika. Entering that theatre of war 19/8/15. We are unable to find out any more and would be very grateful if you could help us in any way.
    Yours faithfully,
    Philip Cairney, his youngest son.

  9. John McCafferty

    Has there been any arrangements made for relatives attending the commemorations in Arras on 9th april ?.
    Regards, John McCafferty.


      SO good to see another family member at Roclincourt valley cemetery .My name is Gordon Benson and I am named after my grandad his grave isD9 if my memory is correct ,I will be there on that day and if you are going over I would like to meet you.By any chance is your relative in the first row inside the gate as we just missed them on the 90th year,Hoping to hear from you.

  10. Ian Grant

    My grandfather, Captain Thomas Brydone, Royal Scots, was wounded at Arras on 11 April. He was mentioned in a dispatch on 9 April. We have his diaries of that time. I would be interested in more details of the commemorations, as I would like to be present at that time.

Leave a Comment