Language selection


Recherche sur veterans.gc.ca

St. Julien Canadian Memorial

The St. Julien Canadian Memorial commemorates the brave action of the Canadian First Division during the Second Battle of Ypres. There, Canadians withstood the first poison gas attacks of the First World War.

St. Julien, Langemark, Belgium

Share:

First World War

Visitor Information

Brugseweg 123, 8920 Langemark-Poelkapelle, Belgium

The St. Julien Canadian Memorial is about 50 kms north of Lille, 7 kms northeast of Ypres, 30 kms west of Courtrai and 245 kms north of Paris. You can reach Ypres by train or by bus; the stations are side by side in the centre of the town. The Memorial is about 7 kms away from them. You can reach it by bus, direction Roulers (line 745 Roulers) and get off at stop number 36, which is right at the Memorial, beyond the village of St. Julien.

The St. Julien Canadian Memorial is open 24 hours a day.

Certain areas at the St. Julian Canadian Memorial are now restricted due to upcoming work. Visitors can still view the memorial and visit the site. This work is an important part of Veterans Affairs Canada’s continuing commitment to preserve and protect important Canadian cultural resources.

Canada's heroic stand

Visible for several miles from its site beside the main road from Ypres to Bruges, the impressive Canadian Memorial at St. Julien stands like a sentinel over those who died during the heroic stand of Canadians during the first gas attacks of the First World War.

“The Brooding Soldier”

It is one of the most striking of all the battlefield memorials on the Western Front. Rising almost 11 metres from a stone-flagged court, "The Brooding Soldier" surmounts a single shaft of granite - the bowed head and shoulders of a Canadian soldier with folded hands resting on arms reversed. The expression on the face beneath the steel helmet is resolute yet sympathetic, as though its owner meditates on the battle in which his comrades displayed such great valour. The statue is set in the middle of a garden surrounded by tall cedars, which are kept trimmed to perfect cones to match and complement the towering granite shaft.

Inspired design

The designer of the monument was a Regina architect, Frederick Chapman Clemesha, who was wounded while serving with the Canadian Corps during the war. The stone for the shaft was cut in quarries of the Vosges and the surmounting bust was carved in Brussels.

Official unveiling

The St. Julien Canadian Memorial was unveiled on 8 July, 1923, by HRH the Duke of Connaught. Among the many veterans who were present was the former Commander-in-Chief of the Allied Armies, Marshal Ferdinand Foch. Speaking in tribute to those whom the Memorial honoured, Marshal Foch said: "The Canadians paid heavily for their sacrifice and the corner of earth on which this Memorial of gratitude and piety rises has been bathed in their blood. They wrote here the first page in that Book of Glory which is the history of their participation in the war."

In memoriam

The inscription on the Memorial recalls the Canadian participation in the Second Battle of Ypres:

THIS COLUMN MARKS THE BATTLEFIELD WHERE 18,000 CANADIANS ON THE BRITISH LEFT WITHSTOOD THE FIRST GERMAN GAS ATTACKS THE 22ND-24TH OF APRIL 1915. 2,000 FELL AND HERE LIE BURIED
Date modified: