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.