Spanning two days, the commemoration programming will be presented and anchored by Kirsty Young from a BBC studio at The Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s Tyne Cot Cemetery, near Ypres. Kirsty will be joined by broadcaster and historian David Olusoga in the studio, together with special guests, and Dan Snow will be bringing all the reaction to events and meeting those taking part.
The commemorations will begin on BBC Two on Sunday 30 July, with a special broadcast including the traditional Menin Gate ceremony followed by a dramatic event in the city’s Market Square. The imposing façade of the Cloth Hall will be illuminated with projections and lights, together with special live performances from artists including Dame Helen Mirren, Daniel Mays, Alfie Boe, War Horse, and the cast of The Wipers Time.
Every evening, the last post is played at the Menin Gate. The distinctive sounding of the bugle call remembers all the men who fought and fell fighting for the restoration of peace around Ypres during the First World War. On this evening, TRH The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will attend the ceremony. TM The King and Queen of the Belgians will also be in attendance.
Following The Menin Gate ceremony, there will be a special event in Ypres Market Square. Presented in front of the historic Cloth Hall, this will be broadcast live on BBC Two and will feature music, stunning projections and live performances. In attendance, among an audience of thousands, will be TRH Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, TM The King and Queen of the Belgians and the British Prime Minister. Highlights of the evening will include performances by Dame Helen Mirren, Daniel Mays, the cast of The Wipers Times introduced by Ian Hislop, a specially written extract from War Horse narrated by Michael Morpurgo, a tri-service orchestra and the voices of the National Youth Choir of Scotland.
Daniel’s reading is towards the end of the broadcast (at 2 hours 43 minutes) but we encourage you to watch the entirety of this extraordinary and moving tribute to the soldiers who bravely fought and to those soldiers whose lives were lost during the long fought Battle of Passchendaele in World War I.
Lest We Forget.
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