To celebrate its centenary, the Wellington School Corps of Drums travels to Ypres this weekend for an historic and memorable experience. They will be taking the original bugle which played the first ever Last Post at the Menin Gate memorial
The Gate lists the names of 55,000 British and Coommonwealth soldiers killed at Ypres who have no known grave. The Last Post has been sounded at the Menin Gate every night since 1928 (except during the Second World War).
The Corps of Drums, one of the very few school bands left in England, will meet up with many Old Wellingtonians will also be travelling to lay a wreath. Over 200 people will represent Wellington School in this historic pilgrimage.
“The bugle has been loaned by the Army Cadet Force at Frimley Park, and we are honoured to be able to play our part in such a memorable occasion,” said Martin Reader, Headmaster of Wellington School. “We wanted to make sure that this Centenary was more than a celebration and honoured the tremendous sacrifices that were made during the war”.
“This is our chance to create our own piece of local history”, commented Mr Reader, “The Old Boys are especially pleased to be making the trip – some went during their own time at school.”
Wellington has many strong associations with the Menin Gate as the first ceremony was performed by buglers from the Somerset Light Infantry, many of whom were Old Boys of the school and many lost their lives in the conflict. Their names are celebrated in the school chapel which was built as a monument to the fallen after WW1.