On Thursday 1st November we headed off for a full day visiting key sites around the Ypres salient.
Any visit to this part of the world is a truly humbling experience. We started off the day at Essex Farm Cemetery.
The German Cemetery at Langemark is in stark contrast with those of the British forces.
We visited the Canadian Memorial, Polygon Wood, Buttes New Cemetery and Tyne Cot before heading to the Menin Gate.
Filip (our guide) spend quite some time with us at the gate before leaving us to prepare for the Last Post Ceremony at 8pm.
We arrived at the Menin Gate at 7.30 as arranged. There were already thousands of people waiting and at 7.30 the road through the gate closes to traffic and final preparations get underway for the service.
At 8pm sharp silence descends over the area and the team of Buglers from Ypres Fire Brigade play the Last Post.
After the Eulogy followed the 1 minute silence and then the lone piper. It was now our time to sing Remembrance by Will Todd and Remember Me by Bob Chilcott During the laying of the wreathes.
The acoustic is the Menin Gate is stunning and I have to say the choir sang superbly. At the end of our 2 pieces Debbie and I went to lay a wreath on behalf of the choir.
This is was an incredible experience for us all and I personally believe it’s the most important performance we have given. The Last Post association were delighted with our song choices and were full of praise for the choir, inviting us back at any time we would like.
We continued our tour of the Ypres salient on Friday, visiting Hill 60, Caterpillar Crater, Bayernwald Trenches, Christmas Day Truce Nemorial and the Irish Peace Park
Friday tea time and it was time to board the ferry back to Hull.
It‘s been quite a journey.