PHOTO: LIBRARY AND ARCHIVES CANADA—PA116982
HMCS Fraser leaves Vancouver in 1937.
In the aftermath of the first Czech crisis of early 1938, Canada's prime minister, William Lyon Mackenzie King, vacationed in Bermuda where he spent two long afternoons chatting with Admiral Sir Sydney Meyrick, commander-in-chief of the Americas and West Indies Squadron of the Royal Navy. The two talked about war plans for the western Atlantic, and Meyrick was deeply impressed with King's concern over naval preparedness. Indeed, as Meyrick reported to London, King believed that the "readiness shown by the British navy was a very big factor in the avoidance of war" during the recent crisis.
According to most historians, such an interest in things military was uncharacteristic of the prime minister, a ma...