The Last Post Ceremony
Everyone can attend the ceremony free of charge, without the need for prior reservation, unless you wish to actively participate.
To remember the fallen
Attend the daily Last Post Ceremony under the Menin Gate and pay your respects to those who gave their lives for our freedom.
The calendar below allows you to check if there are individuals or groups who will be actively participating in the ceremony (wreath layers, bands, choirs and/or pipers) on the planned date of your visit.
Every evening at exactly 8 o’clock, the police halts the traffic passing under the Menin Gate to allow the buglers to play their simple but moving tribute to the memory of the soldiers who fought and died here so many years ago.
The daily Last Post Ceremony is free and open to everyone, without the need for prior reservation.
Upon request, the Last Post Association allows individuals or groups who support our mission to actively take part in the ceremony (by laying a wreath, as a band, as a choir, or as a piper).
Order OF ceremony
- Call to attention
- Last Post
- Exhortation (from ‘For the Fallen’ by L. Binyon)
- 1 minute’s silence
- Laying of wreaths
To allow the ceremony to take place in a serene atmosphere, we would kindly ask all those present to:
- behave in an appropriate and respectful manner;
- stand only on the pavements;
- remain quiet throughout the ceremony and do not to applaud during or after it;
- always follow the instructions of the Last Post Association officials.
Attending the Last Post Ceremony at the Menin Gate
How to get there
Parking is possible in all the streets near the Menin Gate, but spaces are always at a premium. The nearest larger parking areas are on the Market Square (Grote Markt), between the cathedral and the town hall (Vanderpeereboomplein) and near the sports centre in the Leopold III-laan (all between 500-750 metres from the Menin Gate). There is also parking on the ring road (about 1500 metres from the Gate).
Bus services are very irregular after nine o’clock in the evening. The last trains from Ieper to Kortrijk leave at twenty past nine and twenty past ten. Your ultimate destination and the number and timing of any connections you need to make will determine how feasible the use of public transport is in your particular case.
Click here for more information on public buses, trains and taxis.
The Menin Gate is situated just 250 metres from the central market square and is visible from it. Most buses also stop on this square. The memorial is roughtly 1 kilometre from the railway station.
A limited number of parking facilities for coaches are available in the Hoornwerk which is close to the Menin Gate. Please note that this area can only be used between 7.30 p.m. and 8.30 p.m.
There is unrestricted coach parking on the ring road (Oudstrijderslaan), not far from the railway station (1 kilometre from the Menin Gate).
Wheelchair-users and others with severe physical or mental limitations are found a special place from which to watch the ceremony.
How, when, what, can I, is it possible to, ...?
Have you checked that the answer to your question has not already been dealt with in our extensive list of FAQs?
It is not possible to reserve places for everyone who asks and therefore the only fair thing to do is to reserve places for no-one. Visitors are therefore expected to find their own place in one of the public areas. The only exceptions to this rule are wreath layers and those with a physical or mental limitation, for whom there is a reserved area.
The ceremony attracts large crowds during most times of the year, so that prompt arrival is recommended. What is ‘prompt’? It differs from evening to evening, but most evenings the Menin Gate is already pretty full by a quarter past seven (the ceremony begins at eight o’ clock).
It depends on the number of participants on the evening in question. The ceremony is seldom shorter than 10 minutes and seldom longer than 25 minutes.
Wheelchair-users and others with severe physical or mental limitations are found a special place.
The Last Post is an act of remembrance. For this reason, the Last Post Association thinks that applause is not appropriate, either during or after the ceremony.
The Last Post Association has developed, in close collaboration with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, the Last Post app for anyone planning to attend the daily act of remembrance under the Menin Gate. Through the app you can find all of the more than 54,000 soldiers who are commemorated on the Menin Gate, as well as the panel on which they are mentioned and with a detailed plan of the memorial. The app offers you also more information on the Last Post Association and the Menin Gate.
Taking your own photographs from the public areas is allowed, but not from the area reserved for wreath layers. Filming of the ceremony is possible with the prior permission of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, but must take place from a static position indicated by the officials of the Last Post Association.
Dogs are welcome on a lead and providing they are well-behaved. The owners of any animals that disturb the serenity of the ceremony may be requested to leave.
Upon request, the Last Post Association allows individuals or groups who support our mission to actively take part in the ceremony by laying a wreath, as a band, as a choir or as a piper,
As far as wreaths are concerned, there are generally three options, all equally acceptable (but all action to be taken by you).
- Bring one with you.
- Buy a traditional RBL poppy wreath from the local Ypres branch of the Royal British Legion (firstname.lastname@example.org). The Tourist Office on the market square (email@example.com) also has a supply of these wreaths.
- Order one from a local florist. Cost varies in accordance with your own wishes, beginning at around £ 15.00 or 20 euros.