A special Last Post ceremony was held at the Menin Gate (Centenary News archive photo)

Eve-of-Centenary commemorations in Ypres for 1917 battle

Posted on centenarynews.com on 30 July 2017
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Events have been taking place in Ypres tonight (Sunday July 30) on the eve of the 100th anniversary of the Third Battle of Ypres/Passchendaele.

A special Last Post ceremony at the Menin Gate opened the commemorations, followed by readings, music and drama in front of the Cloth Hall telling the story of Ypres in the First World War. 

The Duke of Cambridge thanked the people of the Belgian town for their daily tribute to British and Commonwealth troops who fell on the battlefields of the salient.

Watched by descendants, he quoted Winston Churchill's words: 'A more sacred place for the British race does not exist in all the world.'

King Philippe of the Belgians paid this tribute: "This battle, 100 years ago, makes the bond between our countries strong and everlasting."

Archive images of veterans talking about their experiences at Passchendaele were later projected onto the Cloth Hall as part of the commemorative event in the Market Square.

Source: UK Depatment for Culture, Media & Sport/BBC broadcast

Images: Centenary News archive