The Menen Gate, Ieper, Belgium. (Ypres)
This memorial was dedicated in 1928. It was designed and built to carry the names of all those soldiers of the Commonwealth who died in Flanders Fields but who have no known grave. There are 60,000 names engraved on the walls but the space was insufficient so a wall was erected at Tyne Cot Cemetery to recognize another 40,000.
This ‘arch’ was built over the road along which so many troops marched to their death in the trenches. Ieper (Ypres) was leveled by German Artillery but has been carefully rebuilt to reflect the beauty of the original buildings of the 13th Century.
Every night for 75 years the Firemen of Ieper have paraded beneath the barrel arch in full dress uniform at 8pm to play “The Last Post” as a tribute to the quarter million from the United Kingdom and Commonwealth countries who perished in Belgium. (There was a four year break during German occupation in the Second World War.)
In wet winter darkness or bright twilight warmth of summer people gather to pay their respects….more and more as years go by. There may be fifty, sometimes hundreds….. veterans, families, bus loads of school children……from all over the world.