Wednesday, 8 April 2020


Very pleased to see that the symbolic Last Post ceremony in Ypres is still carrying on throughout the lockdowns ...

The small Belgian town of Ypres in Belgium, was stuck out in a salient throughout the First World War, and saw the worst of the fighting and shelling.

It became a famous and iconic beacon for all the Allied troops, and remains an extraordinary place today. The townspeople returned to the shattered town and rebuilt it.

They then wanted to create a way of saying thank you to all who had served and died there. When the huge Menin Gate Memorial to the Missing was opened in 1927, they had their perfect location.

It's an enormous archway construction, which on the insides, has inscribed the names of 54,896 soldiers who died in the area, but were never found.

On 2nd July 1928, members of the local Fire Brigade closed the road to traffic, stood in the middle of the arch, and sounded the evocative Last Post tune on their bugles.
Incredibly, the Fire Brigade have done this unstintingly ever since at 8pm every night, broken only by the Second World War occupation of 1940-1944.

When interest in the War had faded, they still carried on, sometimes with no-one watching. But in recent times it has become a nightly spectacle, with huge crowds and wreath laying ceremonies.

I've seen it quite a few times, with the first couple being fairly sparsely populated, but it remains a touching and emotional moment.

Even in these awful days they refused to stop, and are carrying on with just the buglers, ironically back to how it all started, 92 years ago.

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