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.

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Bezoek aan de Last Post in Ieper

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

1927
The history of the last post - menin gate
24/07/1927

Inauguration of the Menin Gate and the playing of the Last Post by the buglers of the 2nd Battalion, Somerset Light Infantry.

1928
02/07/1928

The very first Last Post sounded by the Last Post Association in the presence of its founder Pierre Vandenbraambussche, and continued until 30 September.

1929
01/05/1929

The Last Post resumed on 1 May 1929.

1929
® IFFM
Schenking klaroenen door British Legion
15/09/1929

The Royal British Legion donated 4 silver bugles to the Last Post Association.

1940
20/05/1940

The daily Last Post was not played during the German occupation of Ieper in the Second World War.

1940-1944
1940-1944

During the Second World War, when the Last Post could not be played in Ieper, it was played at Brookwood Cemetery in the UK.

1944
06/09/1944

Resumption of the daily Last Post Ceremony.

1957
17/03/1957

Visit of King Boudewijn of Belgium.

1960
08/10/1960

10,000th daily Last Post Ceremony.

1966
13/05/1966

Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip, King Boudewijn and Queen Fabiola attended the ceremony.

1967
25/04/1967

The first ANZAC Day commemoration at the Menin Gate.

1985
17/05/1985

Visit of Pope John Paul II.

1986
MoederTheresa1986
02/10/1986

Mother Theresa attended the Last Post Ceremony.

1988
20/02/1988

20,000th daily Last Post Ceremony.

1997
Last Post Australian War Memorial 1997
Nov. 1997

Last Post played at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra.

1998
11/11/1998

80th anniversary of the Armistice: Queen Elizabeth II, King Albert and Queen Paola.

2001
31/10/2001

25,000th Last Post Ceremony with Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, Princess Astrid and Prince Lorenz.

2007
25/04/2007

The Last Post played at Hamilton, New Zealand.

2007
08/06/2007

Air Marshal Sir Ian Macfadyen, National President of the Royal British Legion, donated eight new bugles to the Last Post Association.

2007
12/07/2007

90th anniversary of the Third Battle of Ieper: Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip, Queen Paola and the Governor-Generals of New Zealand and Australia.

2008
28/09/2008

Aged 109, Harry Patch attends the Last Post Ceremony, the last time that a veteran of the Great War attended the ceremony.

2009
02/02/2009

The Last Post Association is awarded the 'Vlaamse Cultuurprijs' (Cultural Award of the Flemish Government).

2012
A delegation of the Last Post Association travels to Australia for Armistice
Nov. 2012

The Last Post played in Melbourne, Australia.

2014
australia2014
March 2014

The Last Post played in Perth and Canberra, Australia.

2014
26/06/2014

A special Last Post Ceremony was organised for the European Union summit held in Ieper.

2015
30,000th Last Post - A tribute to the tribute
09/07/2015

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.

2015
Australia2015
Nov. 2015

A Last Post Association delegation travels to Australia.

2017
Australia’s Menin Gate Lions gift strengthens friendship with Ypres
24/04/2017

Return of the Menin Gate Lions for the centenary of the Third Battle of Ieper.

2017
30/07/2017

UK commemoration of the centenary of the Third Battle of Ieper: King Filip, Queen Mathilde, Prince William and Princess Kate.

2017
Australie-25092017-100eVerjaardag-3e-SlagOmIeper
25/09/2017

Australian commemoration of the centenary of the Third Battle of Ieper.

2017
New Zealand-11102017-100eVerjaardag-3e-SlagOmIeper
11/10/2017

New Zealand commemoration of the centenary of the Third Battle of Ieper.

2017
Canada-08112017-100eVerjaardag-3e-SlagOmIeper
08/11/2017

Canadian commemoration of the centenary of the Third Battle of Ieper.

2017
A delegation of the Last Post Association (Ieper-Belgium) travels to India and Australia for Armistice
Nov. 2017

A delegation of the Last Post Association travels to India and Australia.

2018
Last Post New York 2018 UN Security Council
23/04/2018

The Last Post played at the United Nations in New York, attended by King Filip and Queen Mathilde.

2018
Armistice 2018: speeches Chairman Benoit Mottrie
11//11/2018

Centenary of the Armistice of 1918 with King Filip and Queen Mathilde.

The volunteers of the Last Post Association

Who’s who

The team

Buglers

  • Rik Vandekerckhove (Chief Bugler)
  • Tonny Desodt
  • Raf Decombel
  • Jan Callemein
  • Christophe Wils
  • Filip Deramoudt

Ceremonial assistants

  • Brian Claeys
  • Gilbert Denturck
  • Bart D’Hulster
  • Johan Moors
  • Youri Van Miegroet

Pipers

  • Pierre Dervaux
  • Gil Vermeulen

Photos and videos

  • Jan Matsaert
  • Francis Vanwynsberghe
The members
bestuur-board
The board
  • 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)
The members
THE PAST

Chairmen:

  • Pierre Vandenbraambussche (1928-1936)
  • Richard Leclercq (1936-1946)
  • Jan Vanderghote (1946-1953)
  • Florimond Van de Voorde (1953-1966)
  • Guy Gruwez (1966-2006)

Buglers:

  • 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)

Ceremonial assistants:

  • Michel Ghesquiere (2003-20/10/2016)
  • Eddy Vandermeersch (09/2017-25/11/2018)
  • Emmanuel Waelkens (2006-2021)

Piper:

  • Eric Remy (2007-17/10/2016)
The members

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 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.