Most of Monday was a rest day for our choristers before the final two performances of the tour; The Last Post Ceremony at Menin Gate and the Anniversary of the Battle of Polygon Wood early Tuesday morning at Buttes New British Cemetery.
And just so you don’t miss it – make sure you tune into the livestream on YouTube from 1.05pm (Aust Time Tuesday) for the pre-service and continue watching via YouTube or the ABC from 1.30pm for the Dawn Service.
Our choristers had a later start than usual today (Monday), heading to Memorial Museum Passchendaele 1917 in Zonnebeke to discover more about WW1 and what happened in the Flanders region.
It was an incredibly comprehensive museum, with adjacent original dug outs used by Australian soldiers. There were also replicas of the trenches from WW1.
On the way back to our hotel in Kortrijk, we stopped by Essex Farm Cemetery. This Cemetery has a memorial for John McCrae, the Lieutenant Colonel and doctor with the Canadian Army who wrote the famous poem, In Flanders Fields.
The memorial states the poem’s words which McCrae is said to have scribed when his friend was killed in 1915.
The cemetery also has a memorial for the 49th West Riding Division, a division from Yorkshire, England which lost 9,500 lives by the end of WW1.
After a restful afternoon in Kortrijk, our choristers and APs were on the bus by 6.30pm to head to Ypres to perform at the Last Post Ceremony at Menin Gate.
While this service is held at 8pm every night, tonight’s commemorative event involved our choir, along with the Australian Army Band and dignitaries, including the Governor General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC (Retd).
Our choir enjoyed performing O Valiant Hearts, Amazing Grace and the Australian and Belgian National Anthems.
Now, it’s time for a bit of sleep, before our choristers and APs are back on the bus at 12.45am to head to Buttes New British Cemetery.
It’s going to be an incredibly emotional morning and we will perform out best to honour our soldiers doing what Birralee does best – singing.
Tune in if you can! But we’ll tell you all about it soon.
#belvob2017 #wewillrememberthem #lestweforget