Bugle call to echo nightly at National War Memorial
The Last Post bugle call could soon ring out every night from the National War Memorial in Wellington.
The Defence Force confirmed there were plans to have the iconic call played every night for four years, starting on Anzac Day, but details were still being finalised. Wellington City Council spokeswoman Dilys Grant also confirmed the plans.
Returned and Services Association chief executive David Moger was impressed with the idea.
"The sound of the Last Post is something that everybody recognises and understands what it's about. To have that being played in that way, it is so powerful. It just makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up," he said.
He was sure veterans would support the music being played.
"The whole veteran community is absolutely behind all the different projects."
Wellington resident Stephanie Taylor has watched the park develop near her house. She said the idea of a bugle call playing every night "could be slightly annoying," but only if it was loud.
Local businessman Dylan Longley thought the call was a great idea. "To play the Last Post I think would be appropriate," he said.
The British Army call dates back to the the 17th century. National Army Museum curator Windsor Jones said it was originally rather functional, but has gained symbolic significance over the centuries.
"They used to play it to get the men out of the pubs and into the barracks," he said.
Then in the late 19th century "it became music to end their existence on earth".
The Australian War Memorial has been playing the call every evening since 2013. In their Last Post ceremony a unique story about a fallen soldier is read aloud each night.
Australian War Memorial project officer Jodi Hammond said, "it could take 300 years to tell all the stories."
New Zealand's National War Memorial curator Paul Riley believes the ceremony would be similar to the Australian National War Memorial's. However, the details haven't "trickled down to the workers", he said.
"It'll be happening, but we just haven't finalised the details."
The Australians got the idea from a similar ceremony in Europe.
The Last Post has been played at 8 o'clock every evening since 1928 under the Menin Gate memorial in Ypres, Belgium, by members of the Last Post Association.
- © Fairfax NZ News