In the afternoon we attended one of three sell-out concerts that day held in the cathedral. At forty euro’s a ticket that was a nice little earner for the folk who organise the ‘Last Post’ ceremony at the Menin Gate every night at 20:00.
For our money, sat near the back, we got to see the heads of the musicians and the head and shoulders of the choir behind them, so not exactly the best seats in the house. I hope they get it sorted out before the 200th anniversary.
The following morning we made our way to St Symphorien Military Cemetery on the outskirts of Mons, Belgium, to visit the graves of John Parr, the first Commonwealth soldier to be killed in The Great War and George Ellison, the last soldier, killed at 09:30 on the 11th, just ninety minutes before its end. He was 40 years old with a family, what a terrible waste. Their graves are just across from one another and between their two deaths 750,000 Commonwealth soldiers were to die on the Western Front alone.