(Photo: © Visitflanders/milo-profi photography)

Tribute to mark 30,000th Last Post at the Menin Gate - July 2015

Posted on centenarynews.com on 18 May 2015
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The Last Post will be sounded for the 30,000th time at the Menin Gate in Ypres on July 9th 2015.

To mark the anniversary, there are plans for the Belgian town's personal tribute to the dead of the First World War to be shared with a global audience.

People will be invited to gather at participating fire stations worldwide to follow live broadcasts of the event.

A short text, commemorating 'a tribute to the tribute', is being specially written for the occasion by the Flemish actor, Wim Opbrouck.

The buglers of the Last Post Association, traditionally drawn from Ypres' volunteer fire brigade, blow the salute to the fallen at 8pm (CET) every night, watched by increasingly large crowds at the Menin Gate.

It's a ceremony dating back to 1928, conceived by the people of Ypres as an expression of gratitude for the sacrifice of the Allied soldiers who died in some of the bloodiest battles of the Great War.

The Menin Gate, built astride the road along which troops marched to the front, commemorates almost 55,000 British and Commonwealth soldiers who have no known grave.

The Last Post has been sounded here largely without interruption since 1928, apart from the years of the German occupation during the Second World War, when the tradition was kept alive at Brookwood Cemetery, near Woking, in the UK.

The tribute marking the 30,000th Last Post is a joint venture between GoneWest, the West Flanders cultural remembrance programme, and the Last Post AssociationInformation for fire brigades and others wanting to participate can be found on the GoneWest website. 

Sources: Visitflanders; Last Post Association; GoneWest; Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Images © Visitflanders/milo-profi photography (Last Post); Centenary News (Menin Gate)

Posted by: Peter Alhadeff, Centenary News