Last Post to resound for the 30,000th time

Today, Thursday 9 July, is a very special day for the Last Post, as it will be blown for the 30,000 time under Ieper's Menin Gate. A large-scale participative event is taking place for the occasion, involving fire services and other organisations across the world. The Flemish public broadcaster VRT is making an extra effort for live transmission, joining efforts with various countries. There will also be images from abroad, from England, Scotland and Wales among other places.

The Menin Gate in Ieper shows the names of 54,897 soldiers of the British Commonwealth who perished in the Great War and whose remains were never recovered. The daily Last Post is a tribute to them and to all those that fell in war.

The tradition was installed in 1928 by the Last Post Association. Since then, the sound of bugles could be heard every evening under Menin Gate, only to be interrupted by the Second World War between 1940-1944.

The Last Post Association has expressed its intention to honour this tradition forever. It's mainly members of the local Ieper fire services that are doing the job. The centenary of the First World War has been attracting big crowds to the event for some time now.

A worldwide event

For the occasion of the 30,000th Last Post, the cultural remembrance programme of the province of West Flanders, GoneWest, has joined efforts with the Last Post Association to set up a special programme. This includes a participative event, in which people from all over the world will be asked to follow the Last Post ceremony live at 8pm CET (GMT +2) in their local fire station on 9 July.

A text composed by West-Fleming Wim Opbrouck, an actor and theatre great (photo), will be read out in each of the participating fire stations by a local person (the mayor, the chief fire officer, the youngest fireman, the oldest fire fighter etc.) while Opbrouck will read out his text in Ieper.

Over 160 local fire stations and other organisations have confirmed they will take part in countries such as France, Germany, the U.K., Ireland, the Philippines, India, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the U.S. etc.

A unique worldwide cooperation

The VRT will broadcast the event live and is cooperating with colleagues from the BBC, ITV and Sky (U.K.), Channel 7 (Australia), ZDF (Germany), Bell Media Community One (Canada), New Zealand, France and India, quite a unique operation in its kind.

The broadcast will include live coverage from Ieper and other Belgian cities and communities, but also from other locations worldwide, such as Westminster Abbey in London, Scotland's Edinburgh Castle, Cardiff Castle (Wales), the Neue Wache (Berlin) Canberra (Australia), Halifax (Canada) New Delhi (India) etc.

The ceremony can be followed live on the VRT's second TV channel Canvas and will be offered available via livestream via deredactie.be and here at Flandersnews.be.