Attending the Last Post Ceremony is a deeply moving and important experience so we anticipate you’ll have a few questions about what to expect.
For groups touring with us to this region of Belgium, we’ve compiled a list of FAQs to help answer any questions you may have about attending and participating in the Last Post Ceremony but if you can’t find the answers you’re looking for, you can call the team on 01332 347 828 and we’ll be happy to provide you with more information.
ATTENDING AND PARTICIPATING
Do we have to book to attend the ceremony?
If you just want to attend the ceremony and don’t want to take part, you can just turn up to watch the Last Post Ceremony. If you wish to lay a wreath, you will have to apply to do so which we can help you with.
Can we take part in the ceremony?
Yes. This is subject to availability so we recommend asking us about this early so that we have the best possible chance of organising your participation.
How do we apply to participate in the ceremony?
Those who wish to participate, including bands or choirs who wish to perform as part of the ceremony, must submit an application in advance. We can arrange this for you once you have expressed your interest in participating.
How many people can take part in the ceremony?
Three people can take part. One person to lay the wreath, plus two more.
Do we have to pay to participate?
No. Participation is free.
We are a music ensemble, can we perform in the Last Post Ceremony?
Yes it is possible for music ensembles to perform in the Last Post Ceremony. See our blog on ‘Performing at the Last Post Ceremony’.
DETAILS OF THE CEREMONY
What is the order of the ceremony? (The extended version)
- Call to attention
- Prayer and/or speech
- Last Post
- Exhorataion (from ‘For the Fallen’ by L. Binyon)
- 1 minute’s silence
- Laying of wreaths
- National anthem(s)
How long does the ceremony last?
Depending on the number of participants on the evening in question, between 10 and 25 minutes.
When do we need to arrive?
The ceremony starts at 8pm but we recommend getting there for 7.15pm to get a good view as the ceremony is very popular, especially during the centenary celebrations.
Why do we have to be there so early?
The ceremony is very popular, especially during the centenary celebrations. Getting there early will ensure that everyone is able to see what is happening. Those who are laying the wreath must be at the Menin Gate by 19.30pm.
What should we wear?
Those participating in the Last Post ceremony should wear Scout, Guide, School or Concert uniform or be smartly dressed.
Are we allowed to take photographs or film the ceremony?
Taking your own photographs from the public areas is allowed, but not from the area reserved for wreath-layers. If taking photos on phones, please make sure they are on silent. Filming of the ceremony is possible with the prior permission of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.
Can we applaud?
The Last Post is a remembrance ceremony. For this reason, please do not applaud during or after the ceremony.
Are there special arrangements for people with a limitation?
Yes, wheelchair-users will be allocated a particular space.
LAYING A WREATH
Do we have to provide our own wreath?
Yes. Wreaths are available at group’s own cost and arrangement. We recommend purchasing them through the British Legion prior to departure and taking them with you. (They can provide special Scout and Guide ones). We don’t advise purchasing wreaths when you are over there as there are a limited number.
How many wreaths can we lay?
Due to the popularity of the ceremony, we recommend laying just one wreath on behalf of the whole group.
Can we leave the wreath there?
Yes, you can leave the wreath there or you can take it back with you.
Can we do something other than lay a wreath (eg. Provide a guard of honour)?
Yes, we can help to arrange this.