Ratcliffian pipes the lament at the Menin Gate, Ypres

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On Saturday 25th February, Arran Grant, Year 11, was chosen by his Pipe Major of the Seaforth Highlanders’ Pipes and Drums to play the lament (Flowers of the Forest) during The Last Post Ceremony, Ieper (Ypres), Menin Gate, Belgium.  The ceremony at the Menin Gate has become part of the daily life in Ieper and the local people are proud of this simple but moving tribute to the courage and sacrifice of those who fell in defence of their town during WWI.

This was a very poignant moment for Arran, as he piped in front of a large crowd including many local dignitaries. He played with great sensitivity and respect while the rest of his band proudly looked on.  Arran then joined the band to play while wreaths were laid at the foot of the memorial.

Several Old Ratcliffians fell during WWI and their names are recorded on the wall of the Menin Gate, Ypres as well as the rear wall of the Ratcliffe College Chapel. It was therefore a fitting tribute that Arran, a current student of the College, had the opportunity to commemorate their lives in this way.  The band performed at several parades during their stay in Belgium and Arran has learnt a great deal from his unique experience. The College is incredibly proud of Arran for his dedication to his piping and his recent achievement in Ypres.