The Last Post at the Menin Gate
The Last Post Association, founded in 1928, is responsible for the organisation of this daily act of homage.
To honour and remember the soldiers who gave their lives for our freedom
MISSON and symbolism
The Last Post Association is an independant, voluntary and non-profit-making organisation of local people from Ieper. It was this association that first founded the Last Post Ceremony back in 1928 and it is still responsible for the day-to-day running of this unique act of homage.
It is a tradition that the buglers of the Association should wear the uniform of the local volunteer fire brigade, of which they are all required to become members.
The Last Post was a bugle call played in the British Army (and in the armies of many other lands) to mark the end of the day’s labours and the onset of the night’s rest. In the context of the Last Post Ceremony (and in the broader context of remembrance), it has come to represent a final farewell to the fallen at the end of their earthly labours and at the onset of their eternal rest.
True to its statutes, the Last Post Association wishes to honour and remember the soldiers of the British Empire who gave their lives during the Great War of 1914-1918. The Last Post Ceremony seeks to express, day after day, the lasting debt of gratitude which we all owe to the men who fought and fell for the restoration of peace and the independence of Belgium.
With the passage of time, the meaning of the ceremony has become broader and deeper. When the bugles now blow, we no longer remember simply the fallen of the British Commonwealth, but also their comrades-in-arms from Belgium, France and many other allied nations, who willingly made the supreme sacrifice.
We remember, too, that many died on the other side of No Man’s Land: enemies then, but partners now in a united Europe. In this sense, the Last Post Ceremony is not only a mirror reflecting Europe’s troubled past, but also a beacon of hope for all our futures.
Similarly, the Reveille was a bugle call played at the beginning of the day, to rouse the troops from slumber and to call them to their duties. In the context of the Last Post Ceremony (and in the broader context of remembrance), the Reveille symbolizes not only a return to daily life at the end of the act of homage, but also the ultimate resurrection of the fallen on the Day of Judgement.
The Last Post at the Menin Gate
MILESTONES IN OUR HISTORY
Inauguration of the Menin Gate and the playing of the Last Post by the buglers of the 2nd Battalion, Somerset Light Infantry.
The very first Last Post sounded by the Last Post Association in the presence of its founder Pierre Vandenbraambussche, and continued until 30 September.
The Last Post resumed on 1 May 1929.
The Royal British Legion donated 4 silver bugles to the Last Post Association.
The daily Last Post was not played during the German occupation of Ieper in the Second World War.
During the Second World War, when the Last Post could not be played in Ieper, it was played at Brookwood Cemetery in the UK.
Resumption of the daily Last Post Ceremony.
Visit of King Boudewijn of Belgium.
10,000th daily Last Post Ceremony.
Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip, King Boudewijn and Queen Fabiola attended the ceremony.
The first ANZAC Day commemoration at the Menin Gate.
Visit of Pope John Paul II.
Mother Theresa attended the Last Post Ceremony.
20,000th daily Last Post Ceremony.
Last Post played at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra.
80th anniversary of the Armistice: Queen Elizabeth II, King Albert and Queen Paola.
25,000th Last Post Ceremony with Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, Princess Astrid and Prince Lorenz.
The Last Post played at Hamilton, New Zealand.
Air Marshal Sir Ian Macfadyen, National President of the Royal British Legion, donated eight new bugles to the Last Post Association.
90th anniversary of the Third Battle of Ieper: Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip, Queen Paola and the Governor-Generals of New Zealand and Australia.
Aged 109, Harry Patch attends the Last Post Ceremony, the last time that a veteran of the Great War attended the ceremony.
The Last Post Association is awarded the 'Vlaamse Cultuurprijs' (Cultural Award of the Flemish Government).
The Last Post played in Melbourne, Australia.
The Last Post played in Perth and Canberra, Australia.
A special Last Post Ceremony was organised for the European Union summit held in Ieper.
30,000th Last Post: a worldwide tribute to the tribute; publication of the book '30,000 Acts of Remembrance' and launch of the Last Post app.
A Last Post Association delegation travels to Australia.
Return of the Menin Gate Lions for the centenary of the Third Battle of Ieper.
UK commemoration of the centenary of the Third Battle of Ieper: King Filip, Queen Mathilde, Prince William and Princess Kate.
Australian commemoration of the centenary of the Third Battle of Ieper.
New Zealand commemoration of the centenary of the Third Battle of Ieper.
Canadian commemoration of the centenary of the Third Battle of Ieper.
A delegation of the Last Post Association travels to India and Australia.
The Last Post played at the United Nations in New York, attended by King Filip and Queen Mathilde.
Centenary of the Armistice of 1918 with King Filip and Queen Mathilde.
The volunteers of the Last Post Association
- Rik Vandekerckhove (Chief Bugler)
- Tonny Desodt
- Raf Decombel
- Jan Callemein
- Christophe Wils
- Filip Deramoudt
- Brian Claeys
- Gilbert Denturck
- Emmanuel Waelkens
- Youri Van Miegroet
- Pierre Dervaux
- Gil Vermeulen
Photos and videos
- Jan Matsaert
- Francis Vanwynsberghe
- Benoit Mottrie OBE MNZM OAM, Chairman
- Guy Gruwez OBE MNZM OAM MSM, Hon. Chairman
- Philip De Bruyn – Vice-Chairman Finance
- Mathieu Mottrie – Vice-Chairman Operat
- Carl Denys – Press Officer
- Charles Vermeulen – Director
- Philippe Dochy – Director
- Patrick Donck – Director
- Jacques Ryckebosch – Director
- Hans De Keyser – Director
- Cédric Jacques – Director
- Ian Connerty – Secretary (Ceremonies)
- Jan Matsaert – Secretary (Administration)
- Pierre Vandenbraambussche (1928-1936)
- Richard Leclercq (1936-1946)
- Jan Vanderghote (1946-1953)
- Florimond Van de Voorde (1953-1966)
- Guy Gruwez (1966-2006)
- Eugene Angellis (1927-1940)
- Henri Lacante (1927-1940)
- Cyriel Demeulenaere (1927-1950)
- Jozef Arfeuille (1928-1955)
- Albert Catteeuw (1935-1960)
- Maurice Baratto MBE (1944-1980)
- Daniel Demey MBE (1945-1995)
- Antoine Verschoot MBE (1954-12/12/2015)
- Jan Roose (1960-1968)
- Albert Verkouter MBE (1966-2010)
- Martial Verschoot (1980-1987)
- Michel Ghesquiere (1983-2003)
- Filip Top (2007-28/06/2016)
- Dirk Vandekerckhove (1984-16/01/2019)
- Michel Ghesquiere (2003-20/10/2016)
- Eddy Vandermeersch (09/2017-25/11/2018)
- Eric Remy (2007-17/10/2016)
Read more about what the Last Post Association does
Report of activities
The Last Post Association is an independant, voluntary and non-profit-making organisation of local people from Ieper. It was this association that first founded the Last Post Ceremony back in 1928 residents and it is still responsible for the day-to-day running of this unique act of homage.
You can find our annual reports of activities for recent years on the right.