Royal Canadian Navy : Historical Photographs


This section contains historical photos related to the RCN. If you have any photos in your family album, taken by yourself, or perhaps a friend or relative, please send me a scan as I would love to use it in this section. Items are listed more or less as received from website users. Section revised February 9, 2018.

Crew list of HMCS Niobe, 1911. A sortable and printable list of 575 names of the crew of HMCS Niobe, transcribed from the 1911 Canadian census, and with additional information from other sources. Corrected February 8, 2017. Crew list of HMCS Rainbow, 1911. A sortable and printable list of 214 names of the crew of HMCS Rainbow, plus 12 names of the crew of HMCS Kestrel, transcribed from the 1911 Canadian census, and with additional information from other sources. Added September 26, 2016. Crew lists of HMCS Patriot, Patrician & Aurora, 1921. A sortable and printable list of 496 names of the crew of HMCS Patriot, Patrician & Aurora, transcribed from the 1921 Canadian census images on These lists seem to have been compiled from pay records and not from actual census interviews, but I have no proof of that. Added July 9, 2017. thumbnail Marines of HMS Niobe, about 1900. Niobe was handed over to Canada in 1909 and became her first warship: HMCS Niobe. Photo is a stereoscope slide. thumbnail HMCS Niobe, before 1911. Postcard mailed in 1911 showing HMCS Niobe, Canada's first warship. thumbnail Andrew Boyd Handley of HMCS Niobe. He appears in the crew list of HMCS Rainbow in 1911, and he was photographed on HMCS Niobe in the 19-teens. Added Aug. 17, 2016. thumbnail William Ireland Creed of HMCS Niobe. Two photos of him, one possibly taken on HMCS Niobe. Also a photo of his wife, Mary Ann Elizabeth Hill, plus a short biography. thumbnail John Montague of HMCS Niobe. A faded and water-damaged photo of John Montague, an English boy who was put into the Royal Navy for stealing a pair of boots in London. thumbnail William Rennie of HMCS Niobe. It's not certain yet that this is William Rennie, but this photo was found in the papers of Elizabeth Rennie, and this man may be her brother. thumbnail HMCS Niobe, Model Lifebuoy. Once owned by William Truscott's great-uncle, who served on HMCS Niobe. The model is about 10 inches across. thumbnail Crew of HMCS Ste Therese, 1944. Two photos taken in Bermuda, August 4, 1944. A partial crew list is included. Men identified in the photo are: Glover, Lindley, McGinnis. thumbnail Crew of HMCS Chilliwack, 1945. Official crew photo taken in Ireland, June, 1945. Only one man is identified: Gerald James Ryan. A link is given to a full-size photo. thumbnail Crew of HMCS Chilliwack, 1944. Three photos and three news clippings. Official crew photo taken before June 20, 1944. Includes 38 signatures with home towns and a link to a full-size photo. 6 men identified: Biletchi, Commerford, Long, McMurdo, Ryan, Sequin. thumbnail Gerald James Ryan of HMCS Chilliwack. Three photos of him taken during WW 2; two in RCN uniform and the other as a merchant navy seaman. thumbnail HMCS Beacon Hill crew, 1945-46. An undated publicity photo with the four crew members named. Surnames: Bank, Corbet, Morina, Smith. thumbnail Crew of HMCS Prince Robert, 1943. Official DND crew photo dated December 28th 1943. Only Kenneth William Helfrich, John ("Jack") McKirdy Miller and Harry Lorne Sykes are identified. A link is given to a full-size photo. Sailors of The Queen. A rare look at our past: the ships and sailors that participated in the Queen's Coronation in 1953. This is a 20-minute video from the CBC archives. A Stoker's War, 1941-1945. This 50-minute home doc­u­ment­ary on YouTube shares personal photo­graphs taken by Leading Stoker Gilbert Davis, as he narrates stories of his navy experiences; from joining the Royal Canadian Navy in 1941 and defending Canada's west coast aboard the HMCS Bellechasse to his service on the HMCS Merrittonia escorting Merchant Marine convoys across the Atlantic Ocean to provision needed supplies to England and the European allies, through to the mass surrendering of the German U-boat fleet on the Foyle River near Londonderry in Northern Ireland at the end of the war.
       Recorded while nearing his 90th birthday, Gilbert's recol­lec­tions are of daily war-time service life rather than distinguished battles, told in a manner that only a dedicated serviceman could deliver; his emotion resonant as he describes the saving of a single survivor from a torpedoed supply ship. One of only a few servicemen who traveled with a personal camera during the war, Gilbert Davis shares his experiences through his own photos and words.
thumbnail Basic Training in Western Canada. Possibly the grad­ua­tion photo of 15 men in basic training, in or near Calgary, about 1944. All are identified. Surnames are: Boyd, Brown, Campbell, Colburn, Dicy, Gagnier, Gray, Hart, Holowaty, Hood, Kite, Monture, Ober­ich(?), St Pierre. thumbnail HMCS Ontario, 1945. Three photos, one taken in Hong Kong & two in Pearl Harbour, after Japan's surrender. Two photos are of the ship's company mustered on a jetty. Surnames: Grant, St Pierre. Submitted by Al Brosseau, whose email address no longer works. thumbnail HMCS Naden, 1958/59 Comm School. Trade Group 1 graduation photo of 10 men plus an officer & 2 POs. Only 5 men identified. Surnames so far: Domshy, Duhamel, Duy, Nairn, Richards. thumbnail Unknown Ships in PWC Drydock. Three photos, two of an unknown RCN destroyer, and one of what might be HMCS Provider, in drydock in Esquimalt, BC, late 1980's. thumbnail HMCS York, Ottawa Division, 1944. Two photos; one a basic training graduation photo. Identified are: Herbert Pope & LS Bill Webber. Also a 2nd photo of Herbert Pope who later sailed on HMCS Carlplace -- see the adjacent photo. thumbnail Crew of HMCS Carlplace. Commissioned Dec. 13, 1944, she was the last RCN frigate to enter service. Herbert Pope and possibly LtCdr Charles E. Wright, ship's captain, are identified. thumbnail HMCS Thetford Mines With Some Crew Names. Two photos -- one of the ship at sea and one of the crew signatures on the back (most are damaged). The only name mentioned is Anthony (Tony) Mazur. thumbnail A Naval Family, 1919 & 1945. Two photos sent me by Don Montgomery shows his father and three older brothers, all of whom served in the RCN during WW2; his father also in WW1. thumbnail Crew of HMCS Sioux, 1944. Crew of HMCS Sioux gathered on the foc'sle, 1944. Identified are Albert Eaglesham and Lloyd Montgomery. thumbnail Commonwealth War Graves in Hong Kong. Six photos sent me by Jim Diggins showing scenes of the well-maintained Sai Wan War Cemetery. thumbnail Unidentified WW2 Sailors. This photo was found in a thrift store in Campbell River, BC. Can you identify anyone? thumbnail Jim & Doris Alexander. Two photos of a WW2-era sailor, Jim Alexander and his wife Doris. Photos probably taken in Toronto. More info needed. thumbnail HMCS Cornwallis Silver Medal, 1944-45. Two photos, front and back of a silver hockey medal from HMCS Cornwallis, engraved with name of L/S E.A.W Newman. More info needed. thumbnail HMCS Bonaventure Crew, 1960's. Three photos -- one of the crew of HMCS Bonaventure, and two of collision damage to the bow of HMCS Chaudiere. thumbnail HMCS Cornwallis Gun Crew, 1962. MacKenzie Division, 66-man gun crew. thumbnail HMCS Huron & St Laurent, 1944. Three photos -- one of ice-covered HMCS Huron, one of the upper deck of HMCS St Laurent, and one of a battleship, possibly one of the three "Prince Class" armed merchant ships in the RCN. Revised August 23, 2017. thumbnail HMCS Cornwallis Phys Ed, 1944-45. Three photos, originally owned by PT instructor Kenneth W. Helfrich, taken during WW2. Most are unident­i­fied. Surnames so far: Arnott, Dawson, Dubbs, Ecclis, Edwards, Goldfinch, Helfrich, Kiren, Langley, Roruiq, Rowland. Revised Dec. 29, 2017. thumbnail HMCS Peregrine Hockey Team, 1945. Thanks to Ed Creechan for these two photos of the HMCS Peregrine hockey team. Ed's father, James Creechan, is the only player identified. Added May 5, 2017. thumbnail HMCS Protector II, 1943. Thanks to Colin Gillis for these two photos one of "Anson Division", HMCS Protector II, with 64 men, and the other with 23 men. Colin's father, Ronald Edward Gillis, is the only one identified. Added June 8, 2017. thumbnail HMCS York, July, 1944. Thanks to Paul Mak for two photos -- front and back of M83 Division, showing 24 petty officer recruits plus their division leader. In addition to Paul's grandfather, Charles Samuel Browett, there are 23 signa­tures: Balearras, Bud, Garvey, Gerold, Glassic?, Gray, Hammond, Harris, Lachapelle, Lawton, Lobattan(?), Maclean, McArthur, Muir, Mulvinna, Murphy, Perin?, Power, Ross, Summers, Woodward. Added July 24, 2017. thumbnail HMCS St Hyacinthe, 1945. Thanks to Jason Wryghte for this photo of the shore patrol of HMCS St Hyacinthe. Surnames: Alexander, Clason, Coyle, Ghel, Granville, John­ston, La Roche, Leonard, Living­stone, Long­staff, McCul­lough, McDowell, McMillan, McNeil, Musgrave, Naughton, Nelson, Randall, Small, Smith, Sockett, Taylor, Tinkess, Trottier, Vollet, White, Wilkin­son, Yorke. Added July 25, 2017. thumbnail What happened to HMCS Prince Robert's clock? Don West knows, and here are three photos to prove it. Added January 25, 2018. thumbnail HMCS Kings, Officer Training, 1945. Thanks to J.A. Newman for this photo of 18 officers. All are identified. Surnames: Arpin, Carter, Clarke, Crone, Hart, Hawkins, Knox, McKenzie, Miller, Page, Philley, Reid, Seaborn, Seal, Sivertz, Sproston, Swainson, Wood. Added February 9, 2018.

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