A Sea Of Politics: Navy, Part 2

His Majesty's Canadian Ship Niobe visits Cornwallis, N.S., in 1912. She had become part of Canada’s navy in 1910. Inset: Sir Charles Kingsmill in 1908. The Naval Service of Canada came into being on May 4, 1910, when royal assent was granted to Sir Wilfrid Laurier’s Naval Service Act. By the end of that year Canada had two training cruisers in service and the prime minister had plans to build five more, plus six torpedo-boat destroyers, a naval college, a naval school to train lower deck personnel, and a system of naval reserves. But by 1914 virtually none of this had come to ...

It Began With Fish And Ships: Navy, Part 1

From top: Before she was commissioned as a naval patrol vessel in 1915, Canada saw service as a fisheries patrol vessel. Here she is seen off Bermuda prior to 1910; Crew members of HMCS Niobe pause while on deck in this photo taken before World War I. The cruiser was commissioned in the Royal Canadian Navy in September 1910. A century ago this year Canada ordered its first armed patrol vessels, Canada and Vigilant. The government of Sir Wilfrid Laurier bought them for the Fisheries Protection Service (FPS), but also as the modest beginnings of a p...

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