Battle of Loos Commemoration Dinner with the London Regiment

Saturday 7th October 2017

The London Regiment, Camberwell

Our Company has had a long association with the London Irish Rifles Company (D Company). An annual dinner is held to commemorate the London Irish Rifles Company's most famous battle honour at the Battle of Loos in 1915.

On 25th September 1915, the London Irish led their Division into action, and where Rifleman Frank Edwards and his comrades dribbled a football across No Man's Land before kicking it into the Germans' trench with a joyous shout of "goal". The battalion was able to lead its Division to overcome two lines of German trenches into the village of Loos, before withholding a massive enemy counterattack. During the battle, 5 officers and 66 other ranks were killed, and 4 officers and 144 other ranks wounded. 27 other ranks were also reported as being missing. The Battle of Loos was an attempt to break the deadlock of trench warfare and was the first major push by the British and French forces. There was appalling loss of life, casualties for little strategic or territorial reward. It was also the first use of gas in an offensive but its use did more harm to our own forces than the enemy.

In the bar at Camberwell you can raise a glass to the actual leather football that was retrieved from the German trench.

I had the pleasure of sitting next to the Mayor of Lambeth and her consort and we covered a wide range of topics that had emerged from the Conservative party's conference earlier in the week. We enjoyed the pipers and drummers and the speeches that recalled battle honours of the past and the uncertainties of future reorganisations. Major Bob Brown was the perfect host. On the table in front of the Mistress, Learned Clerk and me was the famous Sirrah Trophy. I had to take a quick picture of the trophy.