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Saint Julien Memorial

Saint Julien Memorial

The Brooding Soldier

A sculpted soldier guards the Canadian Forces Memorial near the hamlet of St Julian in Langemarck-Poelkapelle since 1922.

With his hands, the statue rests on a rifle, a traditional military salute to the dead, known as the 'Rest on your arms reversed.' The statue faces the spot where the German army discharged chlorine gas on 22 April 1915 during the First World War. Although the gas attack punched holes in the front, the Germans did not manage to exploit it; quite the contrary.

Indeed, Canadian troops launched a counterattack and knocked the German army back into their original positions. The monument commemorates the two thousand Canadian soldiers who died nearby during the Second Battle of Ypres in April and May 1915. Anyone visiting the memorial is literally on Canadian soil. Earth was brought in from Canada to build the park around the monument.

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