Royal Canadian Navy 1910-1950


Amanda Howie & Carolyn Klassen

Welcome to our Royal Canadian Navy Web page. We have spent the past few weeks researching this information and we hope you enjoy the site. If you have any comments or need anymore information feel free to write to us. Write Amanda or Carolyn.


The Beginning


The idea of the Canadian Navy was concieved in January 1910. This was when it came before the House of Commons. Laurier annouced the program of 11 ships. These ships included;


The were all to be built in Canada. This would develop the industrial base of the navy. The cost of the building of these ships would be one third grne third greater than buying from Britain, but Laurier thought Canada should go ahead with it anyway.


The Naval Act became law on May 4th, 1910. L.P. Brodeur became the Minister of Naval Service and Rear Admiral Kingsmill was the first director. The Act provided a Regular Naval Force, a Volunteer Naval Force, a Naval Reserve, and a Naval College. Openings for the Roal Naval College of Canada (RNCC) were advertised across Canada. Citizens applied from all over Canada even though the college was located in Halifax. The entrance exam date was set for November 1910. The British Naval Act of 1866 applied to all those who became members of Canada's Naval Service.


The First Captain of Canada's First Commissioned ship the HMCS Rainbow.


The first ships in the Naval service were the cruisers HMCS Niobe and HMCS Rainbow, they were built in Britian. Both were Her Majesty's Canadian Ships. The HMCS Niobe was launched from Britain in 1899, but did not join the Canadian fleet until October 21st, 1910. She was armed with sixteen six-inch guns, a dozen twelve-pounders and two eighteen-inch torpedo tubes. The HMCS Rainbow was sent to Canada two months before the HMCS Niobe, but she did not reach Esquimalt, B.C. until November 7th, 1910. She travelled 15, 000 miles to the Pacific Coast. The trip would have been shorter, but the Panama Canal would not be built until 1914.