why do they play the last post on anzac day


The \”First Post\” call signals the start of the duty officer\’s inspection of a camp\’s, sounding a call at each one. The \”Last Post\” call originally signaled merely that the final sentry post had been inspected, and the camp was secure for the night. In addition to its normal garrison use, the Last Post call had another function at the close of a day of battle. It signalled to those who were still out and wounded or separated that the fighting was done, and to follow the sound of the call to find safety and rest. Its use in ceremonies in nations has two generally unexpressed purposes: the first is an implied summoning of the spirits of the Fallen to the, the second is to symbolically end the day, so that the period of silence before the
is blown becomes in effect a ritualised night vigil.


The Last Post as played at the end of inspection typically lasted for about 45 seconds; when played ceremonially with notes held for longer, pauses extended, and the expression mournful, typical duration could be 75 seconds or more. This custom dates from the 17th century or earlier. It originated with British troops stationed in the, where it drew on an older Dutch custom, called taptoe, from which comes the term Tattoo as in. The taptoe was also used to signal the end of the day, but originated from a signal that had to be shut, hence that the day had ended. It comes from the Dutch phrase Doe den tap toe, meaning \”Close the tap\”.


The Dutch bugle call, now used for remembrance events, is not the same tune as the Last Post. The \”Last Post\” was used by British forces in in colonial times, but was replaced by the different \” \” by the, first used in 1862 and officially recognized in 1874. In military tradition, the Last Post is the bugle call that signifies the end of the day s activities. It is also sounded at military funerals and commemorative services such as ANZAC Day and Remembrance Day to indicate that the soldier has gone to his final rest. The Last Post is one of a number of bugle calls in military tradition that mark the phases of the day. While Reveille signaled the start of a soldier s day, the Last Post signaled its end.


The call is believed originally to have been part of a more elaborate routine, known in the British Army as tattoo, that had its origins in the 17th century. In the evening, a duty officer had to do the rounds of his unit s position, checking that the sentry posts were manned and rounding up the off-duty soldiers and packing them off to their beds or billets. He would be accompanied by one or more musicians. The first post was sounded when the duty officer started his rounds and, as the party proceeded from post to post, a drum was played. The drum beats told off-duty soldiers it was time to rest; if the soldiers were billeted in a town, the beats told them it was time to quit the pubs.

Tattoo is a derivation of doe den tap toe, Dutch for turn off the taps, a call which is said to have followed the drum beats in Dutch pubs while British armies were campaigning through Holland and Flanders in the 1690s. (The American practice of taps or drum taps also originated from the routine. ) Another bugle call was sounded when the party completed its rounds, reaching the last post this signaled the night sentries were alert at their posts and gave one last warning to any soldiers still at large to retire for the evening. The Last Post was eventually incorporated into funeral and memorial services as a final farewell, and symbolises the duty of the dead is over and they can rest in peace.

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