Menin gate is a memorial located in the city of Ypres in West Flanders Belgium. The gate is a Memorial to all the allied forces who defended the city during the first world war and also to the soldiers whose bodies were never found.
The memorial was opened on the 24th of July 1927 and is the eastern exit of the city which was the same exit the allied forces marched through when they had finished defending the town and started to march onwards.
The designer of the gate was Sir Reginald Bloomfield (20 December 1856 – 27 December 1942). Reginald was also the designer of several other War Memorials some of which included : Belgian War Memorial , The Royal Air Force Memorial , the cross of sacrifice , saint Georges memorial cross and more.
The last post is played everyday at 8:00 pm everyday at the gate and has been uninterrupted since July 2nd 1928 even during the second world war the last post was played in secret at the military graveyard in Ypres.
Menin Gate at Midnight
Menin gate at midnight is the most well known piece of artwork associated with the Memorial. The picture depicts the spirits of WW1 soldiers rising from the ground and marching around Menin gate in the middle of the night. The piece is an oil on canvas style of artwork painted by the Australian artist Will Longstaff
Will attended the unveiling of the Memorial and during the night of the unveiling he was walking around the gate and looked out onto the fields and he saw spirits of the soldiers who fell defending the city rise up out of the ground and he was inspired to paint the picture so in the following week he flew back to his home in London and painted the picture immediately and finished it in one take.
Menin Gate is a truly important memorial, due to it remembering all those soldiers who were never found it allows families and friends to be able to pay their final respects to people who have died in wars but were never found. The Menin gate has the names of all the soldiers that were never recovered across all the Wars and only them. This means that if any soldiers are found/identified over the years they are taken off of the walls of Menin gate and given proper burials and tombstones