Last Post Ceremony at the Menin Gate. Photo by Thierry Monasse for the OPCW.

Commemoration of the Centenary of the First Large-Scale Use of Chemical Weapons – 21 April 2015

Time Programme
10:30 Arrival of delegations at the Het Perron Cultural Centre
(Het Perron, Fochlaan 1, 8900 Ieper, Belgium)
The Theaterzaal
OPCW Commemorative Meeting

The PolyvalenteZaal
Unveiling of The OPCW Commemoration Plaque jointly by the Director-General of the OPCW, the Minister of Defence of Belgium, the Chairperson of the Conference of the States Parties, and the Mayor of IeperRemarks by the Director-General of the OPCW
The PolyvalenteZaal
Buffet lunch
14:00 Delegates leave for the Menin Gate by bus
14:30 – 15:00
The Menin Gate
The Last Post Ceremony

  • The Last Post
  • Exhortation (from “For the Fallen” by L. Binyon)
  • One minute silence
  • Lament
  • Wreath laying:
    • Director-General of the OPCW and Chairperson of the Conference of the States Parties
    • Minister of Defence of Belgium and Mayor of Ieper
    • Representatives of the OPCW Regional Groups
  • Reveille
(5-minute walk)
Delegates walk from the Menin Gate to the Souterrains for the OPCW Exhibition
15:15 – 15:30
The Souterrains
Opening of the OPCW ExhibitionOpening of the Exhibition “Chemical Weapons in World War I” by the Director-General of the OPCW, the Chairperson of the Conference of the States Parties, and the Mayor of Ieper
15:30 – 16:30
(15-minute walk)
Visit to the In Flanders Fields Museum (optional)


Event Details

The Last Post Ceremony

The Last Post Ceremony is conducted at the Menin Gate Memorial in Ieper on a daily basis to honour the memory of soldiers who fell in the defence of Belgium during World War I. The Menin Gate Memorial was constructed on the site of the old city gate leading to the Ypres Salient battlefields and The Menin Road, through which many British and Commonwealth troops had passed on their way to the Allied front line.

After the “Last Post” bugle call, a minute’s silence is observed, followed by wreath-laying and a reading of the Exhortation, taken from Laurence Binyon’s poem “For the Fallen”, before “Réveille” is sounded:

“They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.”

In Flanders Fields Museum

The In Flanders Fields Museum is a world-renowned museum and research centre dedicated to the study of World War I. It is housed in the historic Cloth Hall at Ieper, which was reconstructed after being virtually destroyed during the First World War. The museum is named for the eponymous poem by John McCrae.

The museum was reopened in June 2012 after extensive renovations which have sought to bring visitors a more intense perception of the experience and futility of war.

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