At St Julian, on the main road from Ypres (Ipres) to Bruges called Vancouver Corner by Canadian soldiers during WW1, stands a white granite monument, the bust of a Canadian soldier standing at “rest on arms reversed”. On the front of the monument is a bronze plaque with “CANADA” in relief. It marks the battlefield where 18,000 Canadians on the British left withstood the first German gas attacks on 22-24 April 1915. 2,000 fell and lie buried nearby.
I was fortunate to be visiting the area last November at the time when a tour of aboriginal veterans was taking place. With the help of Steve Douglas, Director of the Maple Leaf Legacy Project, I found my way to this memorial to witness the ceremony.
The memorial was designed by architect and sculptor Frederick Chapman Clemesha, the son of Alfred and Laura ( Westley) Clemesha. He was born in Preston, Lancashire on 3 August 1876 and educated at the Friend's School, Bootham,
Clemesha and his partner Portnall carried out a large volume of private and public work in Regina including The Crescents and Old Lakeview residential developments. He no longer appears in the Regina city directory after 1922.
According to a report in the Regina Leader-Post he died in San Diego ca August 1958.
Monday, 27 March 2006
at 8:47 am