Le Pas-de-Calais Libéré – Haillicourt – France
The First Weekend of September Each Year
The Le Pas de Calais Libéré is our annual pilgrimage to Northern France to celebrate the Liberation of the Pas du Calais by the British in 1944. The area around Haillicourt is rich in history of both WW1 and WW2. The British involvement in the modern history of the area is significant with both the World Wars. Vimy Ridge, Loos, Neuve Chapelle, Arras, the Somme in WWI and the retreat of 1940 and Liberation in September 1944 in WWII.
The weekend normally consists of the following:
- Thursday – travel to Haillicourt via ferry in time to make the campsite at Parc de la Lampisterie in the evening where the main group will camp.
- Friday – The first day of convoys where we form up in convoys and visit several villages across the Artois region. We are normally escorted by the local gendarmerie.
- Saturday – The second day of convoys. Don’t forget the tubs of candy to throw to the local children.
- Sunday – In the morning a parade with bands through the Haillicourt past spectators and local dignitaries. Afterwards a free afternoon.
- Monday – Return to Blighty usually visiting one of the many museums in the Calais area. You may return Sunday evening if you prefer.
As always, the organizers especially would like unusual and armoured vehicles. There is no problem with bringing armour on this trip as it is an official event. As long as you have suitable tracks you can run your tanks on the road at the head of the convoy on Sunday (and possibly Saturday). There is a problem with metal tracks and vehicles with these will probably spend most of their time on their low-loader. It would be marvellous if those of you with complete rigs such as Quad, Limber & 25pdr, Matador & 3.7”, tank transporter, trailer & tank, etc. could bring them. You will probably not have many chances to run them like this under full police escort. Post WW2 vehicles are not permitted on the Sunday parade but are ok to drive in the Friday and Saturday activities and convoys. Those with Hotchkiss jeeps need not worry – most of the French jeeps masquerading as wartime vehicles are Hotchkisses!!
The campsite is free and a militaria fair will be on the site. Also entertainment is being organised at the campsite (a 1940’s dance as well as bar and food provisions). Security will also be provided.
If you prefer not to camp then there are several hotels in the area. Participants are responsible for booking their own accommodation but the following links may be useful:
As the organisers provide free camping if you book on the trip you are expected to participate in the event. The fantastic reception that we receive in this region of France is marvellous and the whole trip is a unique experience.