Last Post Association

Buglers of the Last Post Association
Logo of the Last Post Association
Logo of the Last Post Association.

Under the royal patronage of HRH King Albert II, in accordance with the provisions of its own statutes and in keeping with a wider spirit of remembrance, the Last Post Association seeks to honour the memory of the soldiers of Great Britain and its Empire who died during the Great War of 1914-1918.

Founded in 1928, the Last Post Association began the Last Post Ceremony and it is still responsible for the daily ceremony at the Menin Gate Memorial in Ypres (Ieper). Traditionally, the Buglers of the Association are members of the Ypres Voluntary Fire Brigade and they wear the uniform when performing the Last Post Ceremony.

The Last Post Association is a purely voluntary and wholly independent body. It is charged with the daily organisation of the sounding of the Last Post under the Menin Gate Memorial, as well as the organisation of special ceremonies. It is the aim of the Last Post Association to maintain this ceremony in perpetuity.

The Association also seeks to promote the ideals that the Menin Gate Memorial has come to represent, not only in terms of suffering and self-sacrifice but also in terms of solidarity, duty, courage and service to the fatherland.

To achieve these objectives this ceremony takes place at 20.00 hours each evening and is played by a dedicated team of local buglers.

About the Menin Gate Daily Last Post Ceremony

Buglers of the Last Post Association, wearing the uniform of the Ypres Volunteer Fire Brigade. (1)
Buglers of the Last Post Association, Ypres.

The Last Post ceremony takes place every night. It starts at exactly 8 o'clock (20.00 hours) with the bugle call to attention. Visitors are advised to arrive at least a few minutes before 8 o'clock. At holiday times there may be large crowds gathered to watch the ceremony, so arriving at the Menin Gate in plenty of time is highly recommended. The road through the centre of the Gate must be kept clear; visitors should remain on the pavement.

Last Post

For the normal daily ceremony the Last Post and Réveille bugle calls are played.

Extended Ceremony

At busy times for visitors to Ypres, special events and for specially arranged participation the extended format of the ceremony is performed. This is as follows:

This is a solemn, dignified event and all those attending are respectfully requested not to clap at the end of the proceedings.

How to Participate in the Last Post Ceremony

Lieutenant-Colonel Graham Parker, OBE (Retired), a Vice-President of The Western Front Association, with a wreath to be laid on behalf of the Association at the Menin Gate Memorial.
Lieutenant-Colonel Graham Parker, OBE (Retired), a Vice-President of The Western Front Association with a poppy wreath.

The number of visitors attending The Last Post ceremony has increased dramatically over the last few years. Nowadays there is an event at the ceremony almost every evening with visiting choirs, bands and Standards. Throughout the year crowds now gather to attend the ceremony, especially at weekends. Each year many hundreds of students attend from schools throughout the United Kingdom during school trips to the battlefields of the Ypres Salient.

Laying a Wreath

Visitors wishing to lay a wreath at the ceremony are welcome to do so. No reservation is necessary and there is no fee for admission to participate in the ceremony.

Plan to arrive at the Menin Gate at least 10 minutes before 8 o'clock. There will be members of the Last Post Association in attendance and they will advise you where to stand if you are laying a wreath. Usually wreath layers will stand on the pavement in front of the south stairway. At the appropriate time after the minute's silence a Member of the Last Post Association will give the signal to for the wreath layer(s) to walk across the road to the northern stairwell, where the wreaths are usually laid.

Arranging a Special Ceremony

Groups and organizations wishing to make arrangements to participate in the daily ceremony in the form of a musical or military contribution should contact the Last Post Association. The ceremony will be extended to allow for a more elaborate order of service and to include any special requirements for musicians, choir, Standards, bands, etc. For contact details go to:

Website: Last Post Association: Ceremonies

How to Order a Poppy Wreath

A Royal British Legion poppy wreath.
RBL Poppy Wreath

A poppy wreath, a poppy spray, a poppy cross or a poppy chaplet can be ordered from the Royal British Legion.

These poppy wreaths, sprays and crosses are made by the Royal British Legion Poppy Factory. They are available to order for a recommended voluntary donation and are posted from the Royal British Legion village at Aylesford in Kent.

Please be aware that orders for poppy wreaths placed in late October cannot be guaranteed to arrive before Remembrance Day on 11th November.

For illustrations of the poppy wreaths, sizes and recommended voluntary donation visit the Royal British Legion website at:

Website: www.britishlegion.org.uk/remembrance/wreaths

Calendar of Events at the Menin Gate Memorial

Royal British Legion Standards on parade at an extended Last Post ceremony at the Menin Gate Memorial.
Royal British Legion Standards on parade at the Last Post ceremony at the Menin Gate, Ypres.

To find out about the calendar of events during the year and to see listings of groups attending forthcoming and previous events visit the Last Post Association website:

Website: Last Post Association: Calendar of Events

Membership and Funding

The Last Post Association is an independent and voluntary organisation. To finance its work the Association raises funds. All are welcome to support the Association with donations, Associate Membership or Full Membership subscriptions. In this respect the Association relies heavily on the support of its own affiliated members, supplemented by gifts and donations from various secondary sources.

To find out how you can become a member of The Last Post Association visit the website at:

Website: The Last Post Association: Membership

Last Post Association Contact Details

To contact the Last Post Association go to:

Website: The Last Post Association: Contact

Website: www.lastpost.be

Related Topics

Menin Gate Memorial to the Missing

View of the Menin Gate Memorial from the south-east, looking at the eastern entrance.
Menin Gate Memorial

The Memorial to commemorate the names of over 54,000 officers and men of the United Kingdom and Commonwealth Forces who died in the Ypres Salient before 16th August 1917 and who have no known grave.

Menin Gate Memorial to the Missing

Sounding the Last Post at the Menin Gate Memorial

Hear a live recordings of Last Post and Réveille at the Menin Gate see our page about the ceremony at: The Last Post and Réveille (sound recording)

Acknowledgements

Selected text and logo courtesy of The Last Post Association.

(1) Photograph courtesy of the Ieper Tourist Office, copyright Stad Ieper: Tijl Capoen.