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We are pleased to announce that limited public access to the Last Post ceremony at the Menin Gate will resume on 1 July 2020 following the announcement of the relaxation of Covid-19 restrictions in Belgium.

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Members of the public will be able to attend the daily ceremony, held every evening under the CWGC’s Menin Gate memorial, however, the number of attendees will be restricted. A maximum of 152 people will be able to attend each evening and strict social distancing of 1.5 metres will be enforced under the Menin Gate. The participation of musical groups will not be allowed until further notice.

The Last Post at the Menin Gate

The Last Post, the traditional final salute to the fallen, has been played under the Menin Gate every evening since 1928 – only postponed during the years of Nazi German occupation. It has continued without members of the public present throughout the lockdown period after receiving special dispensation from the Belgian authorities.

Geert Bekaert, Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s Area Director for the Western European Central region said: “On behalf of the CWGC, I would like to thank all stakeholders and the Belgian people for continuing to honour the fallen soldiers of the Commonwealth nations, even in these difficult Covid-19 circumstances.”

What time is the Last Post at Menin Gate?

The Last Post daily ceremony begins at 8pm local time every evening underneath the Menin Gate. The road underneath the memorial is closed off by the police shortly beforehand. 

Who plays the Last Post at the Menin Gate?

The Last Post at the start of the ceremony, and the Reveille at the end, are both played by the buglers of the Last Post Association, the organisation that organises the evening events. 

When the Last Post was first played at the Menin Gate, as part of the inauguration ceremony, it was sounded by buglers from the 2nd Battalion, Somerset Light Infantry. Today members of the local volunteer fire brigade and the Last Post association play each evening.

Can I lay a wreath at the Menin Gate?

People or groups who wish to lay a wreath should apply in the usual manner, using the form on the Last Post Association’s website.

The inauguration ceremony of the Ypres Menin Gate, 1927

The Menin Gate history

The CWGC Menin Gate Memorial to the Missing is one of the most recognisable war memorials in the world. Designed by Sir Reginald Blomfield it bears the names of over 54,000 British and Commonwealth soldiers of the former British Empire and her allies who died in the Ypres Salient during the First World War and who have no known grave.

Built on the site of the original gate to the city - which the British and Commonwealth soldiers would have marched through on their way to the front lines, the Menin Gate Memorial takes the form of a triumphal arch and is adorned by carved oak and laurel wreaths. It is also inscribed with latin phrases, which translate to ‘For Country’ and ‘For King’.

Menin Gate Last Post live stream

CWGC will be live-streaming the first public post-lockdown Last Post ceremony via Facebook. Join our event and be notified when we're going live.

The Last Post ceremony Ypres

The first ever Last Post to be played at the Menin Gate was at the inauguration of the Memorial in July 1927. The ceremony has become an enduring symbol of remembrance for those who lost their lives during World War One, and continues to this day.

When is the Last Post played?

At the Menin Gate, Ieper, The Last Post is played every evening at 8pm, as part of a daily act of remembrance by the people of Ieper in memory of all of the Allied forces that fought and died in defence of the city.

Special Last Post ceremonies are also held at the Menin Gate for events like Remembrance Day, where an extended programme will be held and often attended by heads of state and other invited guests. 

The Last Post is also played at a wide variety of remembrance events around the world, including Remembrance Day events in November and Anzac Day in April, and is usually played to mark the beginning of the traditional two minute silence. It is also traditional to sound the Last Post as part of military funerals and rededication services. 

What is the Last Post played on?

Traditionally the sounding of the Last Post is a bugle call, harking back to its origins as a signal call by the British Army in the 18th century. 

Today is still played on the bugle, but can also be played on a trumpet or a cornet if a bugler is unavailable. 

If you want to see the Last Post ceremony in person, why not plan a trip to Belgium yourself and visit the CWGC’s Ypres war graves and memorials, as well as the CWGC’s own Ieper Information centre, just a stone’s throw from the iconic Menin Gate memorial.

Tags Last Post Belgium Menin Gate Ypres