June 10, 2023

Taylor Daily Press

Complete News World

Last Post First time on Bastions Outside Menin Gate: “Nice, But We Can’t Control the Weather”

After the bell tower and the cloth halls, a second monument to Ypres has now disappeared behind scaffolding for several years: the restoration of the Menin Gate began on Monday. The Last Post was published on Monday evening for the first time since 1928 on the forts around and outside the gate. It’s also a beautiful site, but a challenge for those who are less mobile and prefer nice weather.

After a few years of isolated, but unique, celebrations in the midst of the Corona crisis, the Strikers are ready for another special series of The Last Post. “Due to the construction of scaffolding for the restoration work, the Last Post can no longer be made under the Menin Gate, but on the turf of the forts adjacent to the Gate. As far as I know, this has never happened before,” said Benoit Mutry, President of the Last Post Association. “We don’t move far and compare it to another room in the same house. The trumpeters are in front of the gate, that’s a pretty picture.”

“For us, there are relatively minor changes,” says Rafe Decomble, 62, who has been blowing Last Post for more than 22 years. “The gist is, we still do the latest post every day and continue to commemorate the 55,000 names on the portal.”

Passage for wheelchair users

The names of the missing are hidden through the websites, but remain physically available via a digital application, which can be consulted at the CWGC Information Center at the gate.

“We compared it to another room in the same house. The horns on the gate, that’s a pretty picture.”

Viewers can climb the new location of the Last Post via a path on the corner of Menenstraat and Bollingstraat. As there are a few stairs at the bottom, wheelchair users have to follow a detour of a few hundred meters through the more accessible path to reach the fortifications along the Aalmoezenersstraat. Especially for them, the Last Post Association distributed a card via social media.

See also  Semiconductor nanowires enable the production of highly efficient and inexpensive solar panels

“Fortunately I had help from my family, because it would have been impossible for me to do it on my own,” says wheelchair user Juni Suffrens (75) from the Limburg village of Eggnpelsen. “We come every year. The view is nice. It was better with a few degrees warmer, but it’s dry at least.”

We will remember them

“The space in the bastions is larger than our familiar place under the Menin Gate, so that at least more people can attend the last engagement,” said Mutre. This also provides the opportunity to organize a quiet party. The only thing we can’t control is the weather. We may be in for the rain, but hopefully the weather gods will be on our side for the first few months. We have prepared everything well, but it remains a process of trial and error. Come autumn we’re thinking of going down again, but then on the bridge over the waters of the fortress in front of the Menin Gate. There we paved the subsoil and had lighting to get through the wet and dark winters.”

“Near autumn, we think of going down again, but then on the bridge over the waters of the fort in front of the Menin Gate.”

The restoration should be completed within two years. “We are doing everything we can to keep inconvenience to the local population to a minimum,” says CWGC Director Gert Bekaert, who manages and maintains the portal. We also ensure that Menin Gate continues to fulfill its raison d’être every day: We will remember them!

See also  First immunizations against monkeypox virus: 50 Amsterdam residents summoned

4 million euros

The two-year restoration will cost at least 4 million euros, of which 300,000 euros will be paid by the city of Ypres. Research conducted in 2019 showed that there were no structural problems in the construction of the Menin Gate. The nature of the business is to protect the Menin Gate from long-term damage. “It’s mainly about erosion and minor damage,” says Geert Pickart, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s (CWGC) area manager for Western and Southern Europe. Part of the work is to restore the natural stone elements, such as the 1,065.36 square meter nominal plaques, and the lion and sarcophagus on the roof. The roof sealing will be completely renewed and the brick facades re-integrated with lime mortar. The impressive coffered ceiling will also be repaired and repainted. Finally, repairs are also being made to the vaults, stair turrets and bronze ukuleles (round openings in the ceiling, ed.). “