Communication by the Last Post Association Ieper
From 1 July 2020: (limited) public attendance resumes at the Last Post ceremony
In recent months, the Last Post Association has done everything possible to ensure the continuity of the daily Last Post ceremony. Now that the corona regulations are starting to be relaxed, from Wednesday, 1 July 2020 it will once again be possible for a limited number of members of the public to attend the ceremony.
The continuity of the daily ceremony remains unbroken
Since the outbreak of COVID-19, the Last Post Association has done everything possible to ensure the continuity of daily Last Post ceremony. From Saturday, 14 March 2020 onwards, the ceremony took place without public attendance. From Wednesday, 18 March 2020 onwards, the daily tribute was played by just a single bugler, although this number was again increased to three on Monday, 11 May 2020.
Chairman Benoit Mottrie: “The Last Post Association is proud that we have been able to continue our unique tribute to the fallen, which has been played every evening, without fail, since the end of the Second World War. We are grateful to the City of Ieper, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and all other individuals and organisations who have made this possible. From our own country and around the world, we have received many thousands of messages of support and appreciation for our efforts to ensure the continuation of the daily Last Post. In particular, I would like to thank the buglers, ceremonial assistants and members of the LPA board for their outstanding work during these past difficult months.”
As a result of the relaxation of the corona measures, it is intended to allow members of the public to once again attend the Last Post Ceremony with effect from 1 July 2020. Numbers will, however, be limited to a maximum of 132 people each evening and strict social distancing of 1.5 metres will be enforced under the Menin Gate. The reservation of places in advance is not possible (first come, first served).
Chairman Mottrie: “These measures are essential to ensure the health and safety of all attendees and we would ask for everyone’s co-operationin ensuring full compliance. People or groups who wish to lay a wreath should apply in the usual manner, using the form on our website. The participation of musical groups will not be allowed until further notice.”
1 July 2020
For everyone connected with the Last Post, 1 July 2020 represents yet another new milestone in the ceremony’s long history. For this reason, the ceremony will be a special one, attended by Burgomaster Emmily Talpe and Geert Bekaert, director of the CWGC. Canada, Australia and New Zealand have also indicated their wish to be represented by the ambassadors. Finally, the British Embassy also sends a delegation.
The ceremony on 1 July 2020 can be followed via livestream on the Facebook page of the Last Post Association: https://www.facebook.com/lastpostieper
Please always check the website and/or the social media of the Last Post Association for possible updates.