The Last Post


A bugle call marking the end of the soldier's day. The Last Post has origins in the 17th Century British Army, where the duty officer was responsible for checking the unit's positions and sentry posts. A number of "posts" were sounded, with the Last Post ordering soldiers to retire for the night.

The Last Post, played on a bugle, has been incorporated into funeral and memorial services as a final farewell to the dead whose duty is over and whose souls can now rest in peace. At the famous Menin Gate Memorial in Belgium, the Last Post has been played every evening since 1927, with a brief suspension during the German occupation in World War Two. Many Australians, some of whom are listed on NSW war memorials, passed this point on their way to the Great War battles in the Ypres section of the Western Front.

Two medieval stone lions which originally guarded the road to Ypres were presented to the people of Australia by the Belgium government in gratitude for the part played by Australian forces. They can be seen at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra.

Lieut. Col Parker (U.K., Retired) has generously made available a haunting sound file of the Last Post, recorded at the Menin Gate Memorial, Ypres, Belgium, for the Great War website.