Royal Canadian Navy :
Historical Photos & Christmas Cards


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.

Surnames in this section: This is not a complete list -- for example, the complete ships' companies of HMCS Aurora, Niobe, Patrician, Patriot, and Rainbow are listed, per the 1911 and 1921 censuses. The casualties of HMCS Athabaskan, which was sunk April 29, 1944, are also listed. Adams, Akers, Alexander, Armstrong, Arnott, Arpin, Atkinson, Bankes, Beal, Beaupre, Bell, Bennet, Benson, Biletchi, Binnie, Birchall, Block, Blyth, Bordinuck, Borglund, Bowen, Boyd, Bridgman, Brosseau, Browett, Brown, Callanan, Campbell, Carmichael, Carr, Carter, Cherry, Clark, Clarke, Clason, Clement, Colburn, Cole, Commerford, Connors, Corbet, Couvrette, Coyle, Creber, Creechan, Creed, Crocker, Crone, Culmer, Davis, Dawson, Day, De'Ath, Dean, Derouin, Dicy, Domshy, Donaldson, Douglas, Dubbs, Duhamel, Duy, Eaglesham, Ecclis, Edwards, Ellliott, Forbes, Gagnier, Gallant, Ghel, Gillis, Giroux, Glover, Goldfinch, Gourley, Grant, Granville, Gray, Greer, Gregory, Gunn, Haliday, Hall, Hamm, Handley, Hansen, Hart, Hatt, Hawkins, Heaney, Helfrich, Hill, Holowaty, Hood, Howe, Isbell, Jamieson, Jeandron, Jefferson, Johnston, Jones, Kennedy, Kernaghan, Kiren, Kite, Knight, Knox, La Roche, Laliberte, Lang, Langley, Lapierre, LeVere, Lee, Leitch, Leonard, Lindley, Livingstone, Long, Longstaff, Lowe, MacLellan, Marlatt, Martin, Mazur, McCullough, McDowell, McEwan, McGinnis, McKenzie, McMillan, McMurdo, McNeil, McWilliams, Meek, Mercer, Merril, Miller, Mitchell, Montague, Montgomery, Monture, Moore, Morina, Mosley, Murray, Musgrave, Nairn, Naughton, Nelson, Newell, Nicolson, Oberich(?), Olson, Page, Patterson, Paxton, Peach, Pearson, Peebles, Pelletier, Philley, Poirier, Pope, Porth, Randall, Rayworth, Reid, Rennie, Richards, Ritchie, Robertson, Roruiq, Ross, Rowland, Ryan, Samson, Seaborn, Seal, Seeley, Seguin, Seymour, Simmons, Simpson, Sivertz, Small, Smith, Sockett, Speers, Sproston, St Pierre, Stapleton, Storey, Swainson, Sykes, Tassell, Taylor, Thivierge, Thomas, Thompson, Tinkess, Trottier, Turbide, Tushingham, Vokey, Vollet, Walters, Webber, Webster, White, Wilkinson, Williamson, Wood, Wright, Yorke, Young.

Ships or crews shown in this section: HMCS Beacon Hill, HMCS Bonaventure, HMCS Carlplace, HMCS Chilliwack, HMCS Cornwallis, HMCS Huron, HMCS Kamsack, HMCS Kings, HMCS Loch Morlich, HMCS Naden, HMCS Niobe, HMCS Nootka, HMCS Ontario, HMCS Peregrine, HMCS Prince Robert, HMCS St Laurent, HMCS Sioux, HMCS Ste Therese, HMT Thalia or HMT Jackdaw, HMCS Thetford Mines, HMCS York. Section revised October 19, 2020.

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. Should display correctly on your hand-held device. 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. Should display correctly on your hand-held device. A link to a photo of William Edward Elliott has been added beside his name in the list. Revised Feb. 19, 2020. 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. Should display correctly on your hand-held device. 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. 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 as a Ship­wright. The model is about 10 inches across. thumbnail Unidentified HMCS Niobe and HMCS Rainbow crew members. Two photos purchased on Ebay by William Truscott. 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. 7 men identified: Biletchi, Commerford, Kennedy, Long, McMurdo, Ryan, Sequin. Revised October 19, 2020. 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: Bankes, Corbet, Morina, Smith. Corrected June 19, 2020. thumbnail HMCS Beacon Hill crew, 1945-46. Thanks to James Bankes for this photo of 11 men and one PO, reputedly from HMCS Beacon Hill. James's father, Reginald Vincent Bankes, is the only man identified. Added June 19, 2020. 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, Andrew Thompson Mitchell, Lloyd Montgomery, and Colin Murdo Nicolson. Revised October 19, 2020. 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 is 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 is needed. A link was added to a photo of the team. Revised February 21, 2020. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. thumbnail What happened to HMCS Prince Robert's clock? Don West knows, and here are three photos to prove it. 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. thumbnail HMCS Athabaskan, Memorial Plaque. Thanks to Yvan Martin­eau for two photos of memorial plaques -- one in the village of Brignogan in Britany, France, commemorating the sinking of HMCS Athabaskan, with the loss of 128 crew members. The second photo, in a naval war museum on Pointe de St-Mathieu, shows a plaque with the names of the dead. thumbnail HMCS Cornwallis, Terra Nova Div., 1958-59. Thanks to Gord Cunningham for this photo of the graduating class of Terra Nova Division (Nov 3, 1958 to March 30, 1959). A photo of the men's signatures on the back of the photo is also provided. Two men are identified: Ronald Seburn Bridgman and Jim Hall. HMCS New Glasgow
a found photo of Doug De'Ath, a previously unknown sailor of HMCS New Glasgow This man has been re-united with his lost photo. He was ident­i­fied as Doug De'Ath of Campbell River, who joined the RCN in 1954.
crew members of a British armed trawler Thanks to Kerr Anderson for three photos related to the naval career of his wife's maternal grandfather, Robert Forbes. Also identified is CPO Robert Roy. A group photo shows crew members of a British armed trawler, almost certainly HMT Thalia or HMT Jackdaw. crew members of HMCS Kootenay, 1960 Thanks to William Gard for this panoramic photo of the crew of HMCS Kootenay, taken in March, 1960. HMCS Kootenay, 49th commemorative service Thanks to William Gard for these 18 photos of the 49th com­mem­orative service for the crew members of HMCS Kootenay who were killed in the RCN's worst peace­time accident, October 23, 1969. Surnames so far: Bell, Birchall, Bowen, Brown, Connors, Couvrette, Gourley, Gregory, Hamm, Jefferson, Lapierre, Lee, Mazur, Mosley, Walters, White. HMCS Huron 1 in Hawaii Thanks to William Gard for this undated photo of crew members of HMCS Huron (I) HMCS Nootka at Sea, 1953 Thanks to William Gard for this photo of HMCS Nootka seen up close during a jackstay transfer about 1953. HMCS Cornwallis, mixed group Thanks to Greg Trudeau for this photo of a mixed group of Army, Navy and Air Force men, pre-1967, at HMCS Cornwallis (the cap tallies all are Cornwallis), but the purpose of the group is a mystery. HMCS Quebec in Copenhagen, 1954 Thanks to Cam Longhurst for this photo of HMCS Quebec tied up in Copenhagen, May 24, 1954. Dennis Stapleton, 1934-2009 Thanks to Doug MacBean for two photos of his brother, Dennis Stapleton, who died February 12, 2019. Dennis served on HMCS Micmac and HMCS Magnificent in the 1950's, and in recent times was a volunteer on the Haida in Hamilton, as a Sparker in the radio room -- watch the YouTube video of him teaching Morse Code. thumbnail This painting by naval artist Dale Byhre, was commissioned by William Truscott, to honour his father's 93rd birthday in April, 2019, and to com­mem­orate the four gen­er­ations of William's family who have served at sea. Shown in this thumbnail A 14-minute video on Youtube titled: "HMCS Bonaventure (1945-1970) of the Royal Canadian Navy". Informative and enjoyable. thumbnail Thanks to Bob Moore for this official RCN photo of the crew of HMCS Loch Morlich, taken in 1944 or 1945. One of the crew members is his grandfather, Engine Room Artificer Joseph Kee Pearson. thumbnail HMCS Cornwallis, 1968. Thanks to Earl Storey for this photo he posted on Facebook, of Skeena 1/68 Division. This was the second-last 16-week course before the changeover to tri-service basic training. Earl is the only one identified. thumbnail HMCS Kamsack, Oct., 1943, crew photo with names. Thanks to Richard Bowes for this photo owned by his brother-in-law. Everyone is identified, but with quest­ions about rank, etc. Sur­names: Adams, Armstrong, Atkinson, Beal, Beaupre, Bennet, Binnie, Block, Blyth, Borglund, Brosseau, Callanan, Carmichael, Carr, Cherry, Clark, Clement, Cole, Crocker, Culmer, Davis, Dean, Derouin, Donaldson, Gallant, Giroux, Greer, Gunn, Haliday, Hatt, Heaney, Howe, Isbell, Jamieson, Jeandron, Johnston, Jones, Kernaghan, Knight, Laliberte, LeVere, MacLellan, Marlatt, Martin, McEwan, McWilliams, Meek, Mercer, Merril, Newell, Olson, Patterson, Paxton, Peach, Peebles, Pelletier, Poirier, Porth, Richards, Ritchie, Robertson, Ross, Samson, Seeley, Seymour, Speers, Tassell, Taylor, Thomas, Thompson, Tushingham, Webster, Williamson, Wood, Young. Revised August 9, 2020. thumbnail On April 2, 1959, Allan or Allen Moore of Magog, QC, was killed, along with three other men, when their Tracker aircraft botched a landing on HMCS Bonaventure, and crashed into the ocean. Many thanks to René Audet for two 2004 clippings from a Magog newspaper com­mem­orating the tragedy. Added February 19, 2020.

The Halifax VE-Day Riots, May 7 & 8, 1945, were shameful days for the RCN. After victory in Europe was announced, rioting broke out in downtown Halifax. When peace was restored the centre of the city was in ruins; three people died, hundreds were injured, and millions of dollars in damage was inflicted. This is an eye-witness account by navy medic Don Douglas, in a letter written to his family the day after the riot. Names mentioned: Jack Akers, Admiral Murray.

Added June 21, 2020.



This section contains images of Christmas Cards, listed in order of ship or establishment. Section revised July 26, 2020.

NRS Churchill Christmas card NRS Churchill, circa 1955. HMCS Grandmere Christmas card HMCS Grandmere. Unknown date. Added July 26, 2020. HMCS Lanark Christmas card HMCS Lanark, circa 1957-59. HMCS Springhill Christmas card HMCS Springhill. Before 1945. Added July 26, 2020. HMCS St Croix Christmas card HMCS St Croix. Unknown date.

Email me if you have corrections or comments.

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