Michael and others,
My error :) I thought you were a Canadian citizen thus my surprise about the
Last Post not been known to the Canadians, I am sorry for the error but
pleased to hear that Canada maintains the same remembrance for the troops, I
personally think the "poppy" symbol is one of the most powerful we have to
remind people of our history.
However it always dates our politicians on television when their speeches
are re-shown, if they've got a poppy on it was made between 1 Nov and 11 Nov
You may find this following reference helpful. It is about the recent
250,000 sounding at Menin Gate and includes an MP3 sample!
This is more emotional but the poem is one used widely in the UK.
John-Paul Johnson's contribution seems logical to me although I had not
heard the bit about the Officer of the watch.
I found this snippet :
The Bugle Call "Last Post"
Its origin dates back as far as 1544, when it was used for posting guards.
The first official War Office version appeared in 1798, as part of a
sequence of calls known as Setting the Watch.
The Last Post was sounded at 10:00pm, to end the day's work. Originally it
was a cavalry call sounded on trumpets but was later adapted for bugles.
but I cannot
vouch for its accuracy.
It does suggest though that The Last Post could well have been in period for
the Peninsula War and the War of 1812.