Is the Grieving Soldier, sometimes called In Flanders Fields, the most popular war memorial in Canada? You might think so, given the number of communities in which it (or some facsimile) stands.
This one in Hanover is in front of the public library at the corner of 10th St and 10th Ave. A project of the local International Order of the Daughters of the Empire (IODE), the library board and the town council, it was dedicated in 1922.
The Grieving Soldier was designed by sculptor Emanuel Hahn, then a monument designer for the Thomson Monument Company of Toronto. Bronze casts from Hahn’s original sculpture are in Cornwall, ON and Westville, NS. Granite versions were carved by other stone carvers at Thomson, following Hahn’s model. In addition to Hanover, copies are found in towns in Quebec (Gaspé), Ontario (Bolton, Milton, Petrolia, Thunder Bay), Manitoba (Russell) and British Columbia (Fernie). Imitations and influences created by other companies abound in other communities.
If you live in Canada, or if you have ever visited here, you’ve likely carried Emanuel Hahn’s work in your pocket. He designed the caribou on the quarter and the Bluenose schooner on the dime.