Firefighters at sounding of 30,000th Last Post

The Last Post is sounded at the Menin Gate. Picture: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images
The Last Post is sounded at the Menin Gate. Picture: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images
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LOCAL firefighters are to gather to mark the sounding of the 30,000th Last Post under the Menin Gate as a commemoration of the First World War.

Senior officers and staff from the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) will join with councillors, and representatives from local communities at Livingston fire station to mark the event in Ypres, Belgium.

The Last Post, reminiscent of the bugle that sounded at the end of each day to announce to allied troops that they could rest, is sounded daily under the gate by the local fire brigade in Ypres as a reminder of those who sacrificed their lives in the First World War.

When the 30,000th Last Post is sounded by the buglers under the Menin Gate on Thursday a moment of silence and contemplation will be held in as many fire stations as possible around the world.

Chief Officer Alasdair Hay, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, said: “The first sounding of the Last Post happened on July 1, 1928 and barring four years during the occupation, it has sounded daily since.

“Traditionally, the bugle is sounded by members of the local fire brigade and that is why fire services across the world will be taking part in this particular event in support of the efforts of our colleagues in Belgium who have carried out this tribute so diligently over the years to remember fallen comrades.

“For staff at SFRS it will be an opportunity for us to reflect on the sacrifices that were made for us as well as remembering all those who served during the war. I am pleased that SFRS staff will be taking part in this commemorative event at our stations to mark this important occasion.”

Those gathered for the memorial at the station will hear the sound of the bugle and take a moment of silence to remember the fallen.

Livingston fire station manager Martyn Brandrick said: “Honouring the Last Post is a fitting way for us to remember those who sacrificed their lives for us in World War One.

“There is a tremendous sense of camaraderie within the firefighting community and it is fitting that officers and partners from around West Lothian will be supporting this event and welcome members of the local community to share in the experience.”

The ceremony at the Menin Gate will be televised live by the public broadcaster VRT and can also be followed worldwide via www.deredactie.be.