Battle Honour CAMBRAI 1917,'18

Tue, 11/20/1917


The Battle Honour CAMBRAI 1917,'18 is emblazoned on the King's Colour of The Royal Irish Regiment.

CAMBRAI 1917, the last of the three main battles of 1917, began at 0620 hours on 20 November 1917. It was an historic battle because the British used tanks en masse for the first time; some 381 tanks achieved surprise and gave great impetus to the infantry assault.

A total of fourteen of our antecedent Regiments' battalions took part with conspicuous gallantry in the fighting - the 9th, 10th and 11th Battalion The Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers; the 2nd, 8th/9th, 10th, 11th/13th, 12th, 14th and 15th Battalion The Royal Irish Rifles; the 1st Battalion The London Irish Rifles and the 1st, 7th/8th and 9th Battalion The Royal Irish Fusiliers.

Below, Royal Irish Rifles, 36th Ulster Division, before parading for the trenches. Near Bertincourt, 20 November 1917. (IWM (Q 3175))

IWM Cambrai

The 7th/8th Faughs was the only battalion in action on the first day. Despite stiff enemy resistance the Battalion eventually captured its objective, 'Tunnel Trench', and then went on to take the second objective, 'Tunnel Support'. Despite four German counterattacks throughout the morning and afternoon the Faugh companies held their positions. Although the British had breached the Hindenburg Line with astonishing ease, the enemy's determination and repeated counter attacks would ensure that the battle would continue for a further three weeks.