Armistice Day Commemorative Events in Ypres - Ieper
11th November is a public holiday in Belgium. A number of commemorative events are held in Ieper (Ypres) to mark the anniversary of Armistice Day on 11th November 1918.
St. George's Church Remembrance Day Service
An early morning service is held in St. George's Memorial Church on 11th November before the Special Last Post Ceremony at the Menin Gate. Due to the demand for places at this service, attendance is by ticket only. Tickets can be applied for from St. George's Church.
Following the service, VIPs and congregation are welcome to join The Poppy Parade which forms up outside St. Martin's cathedral and moves off to the Menin Gate for the 11 o'clock ceremony.
Apply for tickets via the website at:
Website: www.stgeorgesmemorialchurchypres.com (select About Us/Contact)
The Poppy Parade
The Poppy Parade is open to all to take part. Everyone who wishes to join The Poppy Parade is invited to form up in the Vandepeereboomplein square by St. George's Memorial Church and St. Martin's Cathedral.
The idea for The Poppy Parade was conceived in the early 1990s by Lieutenant-Colonel Graham Parker; it takes its inspiration from the poem by John McCrae “In Flanders Fields”, which was written close to Ypres in the spring of 1915. Everyone participating in The Poppy Parade is offered a poppy petal to carry to The Menin Gate Memorial.In Flanders Fields poem
The Poppy Parade moves off in front of the official parade of Standards, bands and VIPs, making its way to the Menin Gate Memorial for the 11 o'clock Special Last Post Ceremony. As the Poppy Parade passes through The Menin Gate all the poppy petals carried by those in this parade are collected in baskets. The Poppy Parade passes through the Menin Gate and is halted at the eastern side of The Menin Gate in a specially reserved area.
During the ceremony the poppy petals carried by The Poppy Parade are released from the roof of the Menin Gate. This is a very special moment which has become an integral part of the annual ceremony at the Menin Gate.
The Special Last Post Ceremony, Menin Gate
Over the last few years the number of people attending the ceremony has grown significantly. Nowadays it is not unusual to see crowds of hundreds of people lining the route of the parade. For this reason the Last Post Association and the city of Ypres are responsible for the arrangements to ensure the smooth-running of the event and for the safety of all those attending.
As space under the Menin Gate is limited during the ceremony, the organizers set up a large screen in the main square near the Cloth Hall so that everyone has the opportunity to watch the live ceremony as it takes place.
The Poppy Parade, the parade of bands and Standards arrive at The Menin Gate Memorial to the Missing for the special 11 o'clock Last Post ceremony. The ceremony usually lasts for about 45 minutes; it includes speeches, prayers, hymns, a choir, wreath laying, Last Post and Reveille.
The ceremony is attended by representatives of the United Kingdom, Belgian and other nations' Armed Forces, local dignitaries, ambassadors, members of the clergy, representatives of United Kingdom fire brigades, Royal British Legion Standard bearers, ex-Service organizations, Friends of the Last Post Association and invited guests.
During the service official wreaths are laid. Members of the public are welcome to lay a wreath to a family member, on behalf of an organization or a school. Anyone wishing to do this is advised to contact The Last Post Association for details of timings and where to stand during the ceremony.
For information about participating in a ceremony see the website for the Last Post Association at:
During the Minute's Silence in the ceremony the poppy petals carried to the Menin Gate by The Poppy Parade are released from the roof of the memorial.Menin Gate Memorial to the Missing
Tea from TOC H Belgium
During the morning and after the ceremony at the Menin Gate volunteers of TOC H Belgium distribute fresh cups of free tea on the main square of Ypres near the Cloth Hall.
For more information about TOC H (Talbot House) see our page at:TOC H - Talbot House
Concert: The Great War Remembered
A concert in St. Martin's Cathedral has been an annual feature of the Armistice Day commemorations in Ieper for the last few years. The concert includes music by bands, the Sint-Niklaas Male Choir and the Buglers of the Last Post Association.
Buy your tickets online via the Last Post Association website. Go to:
Website: www.lastpost.be Last Post Association Great War Remembered Concert Tickets
Toerisme Ieper (Ypres Tourist Office)
Lakenhallen (Cloth Hall)
Grote Markt 34
Tel. +32 57 239 220
Visiting the Ypres Salient
For information about battlefield sites to visit, cemeteries, memorials and visitor accommodation see our page at: