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2nd September 2012


1st Eynsford & Farningham and 6th Swanley Scouts have recently returned from their joint summer camp at De Kluis in Belgium where amongst the many activities during their camp they visited the WW1 graves in Ypres and took part in the Last Post Ceremony at the Menin Gate.

P1060515.JPGWe took a coach to drive to Tyne Cot cemetery the largest of the WW1 graveyards in the area. Once we arrived we ate our picnic lunch before putting on our smart uniforms before walking around the cemetery. By the entrance is a small visitors centre where the scene is set before taking a stroll through the graves. I think I can truly say everyone was moved by the scale of the site and we all looked through the reference books for soldiers with the same surname or relatives who may have fallen at the time. Then we searched for the grave & left a poppy by it as a mark of respect.

Once we'd finished paying our respects. we returned to the coach for the short drive to Ypres, where we had a couple of hours to explore, visit the Menin Gate before the ceremony later, and more importantly try some waffles & smurf ice cream! 

DSCF0871.JPGAll too soon it was time to put our smart uniforms back on and walk through Ypres to the Menin Gate. Even as we were approaching there were lots of people taking photo's of us, but this did not prepare us for what we were about to experience at the Menin Gate.

As we arrived about 20 minutes before the event, the crowd was already building up and we were given pride of place as the Guard of Honour by the arch which was being used to lay the wreaths. Our colours including the Union Flag were proudly flown under the centre of  the Menin Gate, representatives of the local Fire Brigade sounded the last post which made the hairs stand up on the back of your neck!  A representative from each Group then laid a wreath in one of the arches.



There were many comments from the crowd about how smart we looked and a big thank you from the organisers for taking part.

A truly memorable day which I'm sure will have a lasting effect on all.




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