Today marks 75 years since Ypres was liberated by the Polish armies, and the responsibility for sounding the Last Post transferred from Brookwood back to Ypres.
When Ypres was occupied in 1940, the daily service ceased. Mr. Edgar Ashley Cook, MBE, a successful Woking businessman (and a WWI veteran) heard about this and was upset by the stoppage. Together with a group of friends, he formed an organisation to replicate the Ypres service and the Surrey Last Post Association was born.
The first service was held in Brookwood Cemetery in January 1941. Captain GFW Wilson, DSO, RN was the first President. Despite the difficulties of those dark days and other commitments, the service was held as regularly as possible for the next four years.
On the 6th September 1944 the Poles rolled into Ypres and the nightly ceremony was restarted under the Menin Gate. Tonight’s ceremony was the 27,393th uninterrupted nightly ceremony held at the Menin Gate since the liberation.
Four Members of the Brookwood Last Post Association were at the ceremony tonight in Ypres. Our Chairman, Kevin Davis, Senior Standard Bearer, Tom Milne, Standard Bearer Eddie Jones and Treasurer, Stephen Wood. Our Chairman said the Kohima Epitaph.
We are extremely proud of Brookwood’s links to the Last Post Association and humbled by our involvement today.