Saturday, 18 July 2015
The town of Ypres occupied a strategic position during WWI, standing in the path of Germany's planned sweep to the Belgian coast and the Channel ports. It never came under German control but the town itself was reduced to ruin and has since been reconstructed, faithful to the detail of the original buildings. The Menin Gate, at the eastern entrance to the town, is a memorial to the missing: British and Commonwealth soldiers who were killed in the Ypres Salient but whose bodies have not been found. The memorial is inscribed with over 54000 names but was found to be too small to contain the all names of the missing and so another 34000 are commemorated on a memorial in Tyne Cot cemetery. Every evening at 8pm buglers (from the local fire brigade) play the Last Post here, a tradition started in 1927 when the gate was unveiled and continued unbroken apart from a period during WWII.