'The Brooding Soldier' of St. Juliaan/St. Julien
by Sandy Lindsay
Photos by Bill Streeter

April 13, 2017


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Southampton resident Bill Streeter has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to the battles in which Canadians participated.

With the 100th anniversary of Vimy, Streeter began to reminisce over other monuments that commemorate fallen Canadian troops. "One of the most moving for me is 'The Brooding Soldier," says Streeter.

"St. Juliaan/St. Julien was the site where the German army first used gas as a weapon against the French and Canadian troops in 1915," says Streeter.  "It was stored in tanks much like welding tanks today, and when the wind direction was blowing in the right direction toward the allies, the Germans opened the tanks."

The French troops retreated immediately while the Canadians moved forward with urine soaked rags over their faces and drove the German troops back 4.5 miles.  The 18,000 Canadians held the line but more than 2,000 died.

Commemorating the site is a large memorial, the 'Brooding Soldier', that was actually one of the designs submitted for Vimy.  "It is a very moving location perched on the top of a ridge looking down to Ypres and the surrounding countryside," says Streeter.

Click the orange arrow to read the second column

The Brooding Soldier

 While Streeter says there may be others from this area who may have died in the battle of Vimy, he found this gravemarker at the Canadian Cemetery No. 2 by the grounds of the Vimy Memorial.


"Private D. McIntyre died during the battle on April 9th.  He was born in Paisley on September 10th, 1882.  His next of kin was his mother Mary and prior to enlisting he was a 'railroad' man.  He was not married.

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Thursday, April 13, 2017