New Project – Frederick Chapman Clemesha

I’m beginning research on the creator of one of the most loved Canadian WWI monuments in Europe, The Brooding Soldier at St.Julien, Belgium. Clemesha is a fascinating character about whom little is known. He came second in an international competition to design Canada’s premiere WWI memorial in Europe. First prize went to Walter Allward of Toronto for his spectacular Vimy memorial. Clemesha designed his memorial and disappeared after its unveiling in 1923.

The monument commemorates the Canadians in the 2nd Battle of Ypres who withstood the first poison gas attack of WWI and held the line. Lately I have tracked down his living 93 year old daughter and will be interviewing her next month. This is very exciting because she has many photographs of him, including with the memorial-in-progress and in uniform. He fought with the famed “Suicide Battalion” of South Saskatchewan, the 46th Battalion.

7 replies
  1. miles wittig
    miles wittig says:


    I was just doing research on an old picture i have of the church in Bethune France dated 1917. The picture is signed by F Chapman Clemesha lieutenant 46th Regiment.

  2. Bernie Cruikshank
    Bernie Cruikshank says:

    The direction of all your previous books is something my husband and I would enjoy reading. It’s interesting that we all know the story of the Vimy Memorial but the Brooding Soldier one is much less talked about.
    I would love to hear more about the interview with his daughter.

    • Susan Raby-Dunne
      Susan Raby-Dunne says:

      I hope I replied to this since it’s from 2 years ago! I just got an email message to say there was a message on my website here waiting for my reply. Please let me know if I didn’t reply.

  3. Helen M. Ofield
    Helen M. Ofield says:

    We manage two historic sites, one of which is the H. Lee House, designed by Frederick Clemeshaw in 1928 in Lemon Grove. This Tudor Revival mansion was commissioned by Harold Lee, a San Diego auto dealer/garage, who was born in England. The builder of the house was Clemeshaw’s close associate, Scottish joiner George Simpson. We erroneously thought Clemeshaw was British, not Canadian. Then came your wonderful, revelatory book. We have no photographs of him, not even a snapshot, and would gladly reimburse anyone who can supply us with an image(s). Also, what is the cost of “The Brooding Soldier and Its Creator” per copy and in a quantity of 20 or 25?
    Congratulations from all of us at the Lemon Grove Historical Society on writing such a fine book about an unsung, highly creative, heroic man, Ms. Dunne!


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