South Shields fire station to screen 30,000th Last Post

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Residents are invited along to South Shields fire station this evening for a big screening of the 30,000th Last Post.

A ceremony will be held as the Last Post is sounded at the Menin Gate in Ypres.

To mark the anniversary, there are plans for the Belgian town’s personal tribute to those who gave their lives during the First World War to be shared with a global audience.

In support of this commemoration, and along with fire stations from across Europe, Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service will be screening the live tribute at its community fire stations in South Shields and Tynemouth.

The service has a close relationship with Ypres, where members of the Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service Ceremonial Squad join fire services from across the UK at the Menin Gate on Armistice Day each year.

Chief Fire Officer Tom Capeling, Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service, said: “The Last Post ceremony is a poignant reminder and a fitting tribute to the thousands of armed service personnel who made the ultimate sacrifice to ensure a better future for us all.

“The 30,000th ceremony will be a very special milestone and we are pleased to invite local people to join us in marking this important occasion.”

Chairman of Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Authority, Coun Tom Wright, said: “We are very proud of our close links with Ypres and I hope people will join us at South Shields or Tynemouth to share in what will surely be a very moving and symbolic event.”

Buglers of the Last Post Association, traditionally drawn from Ypres’ volunteer fire brigade, blow the salute to the fallen every night, watched by increasingly large crowds at the Menin Gate.

The ceremony dates back to 1928, conceived by the people of Ypres as an expression of gratitude for the sacrifice of the allied soldiers who died in some of the bloodiest battles of the Great War.

The Menin Gate, built astride the road along which troops marched to the battle front, commemorates almost 55,000 British and Commonwealth soldiers who have no known grave.

Members of the public can go along to the fire station in John Reid Road to watch the ceremony, which starts at 7pm.