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Birth of the Navy (1910-1914)
HMCS Niobe

HMCS Niobe, one of the Naval Service of Canada's first two ships, was intended in part to train Canadian sailors. A large, obsolescent cruiser, Niobe required many crew and was expensive to operate. Lengthy repairs after it ran aground in 1911, and subsequent budget cutbacks, limited the ship's activities.

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HMCS Niobe in Drydock, around 1911
HMCS Niobe in Drydock, around 1911

Crew members gather around the immense bow of the damaged cruiser in drydock.

HMCS Niobe caused an early embarrassment for the Canadian navy by running aground off Sable Island, Nova Scotia, in late July 1911. The resulting damage to Niobe's rudder, propellers, and bottom required extensive repairs in Halifax's drydock, and deprived the navy of one of its ships for over a year. The court-martial that investigated the incident reprimanded Niobe's first officer and navigating officer for their roles in the incident.

George Metcalf Archival Collection
CWM 20030174-053





Model, HMCS Niobe
HMCS Niobe at Anchor
Boxing Match, HMCS Niobe
Visitors Exploring HMCS Niobe
Oil Lamp, HMCS Niobe
Coaling the Ship, HMCS Niobe
Gun Practice, HMCS Niobe
Gun Deck, HMCS Niobe
"Seeing the World in Comfort," HMCS Niobe
HMCS Niobe in Drydock, around 1911
Diver Going over the Side
View of "Victory" Boat alongside HMCS Niobe
Rope-work, HMCS Niobe
Two Stokers, HMCS Niobe
Boys' Mess, HMCS Niobe
Sailors Sewing Flags, HMCS Niobe
Playing Chess Below Decks, HMCS Niobe
HMCS Niobe's Goat
HMCS Niobe Gun Crew and Gunnery Target
C.T. Cooke, Boy Sailor, HMCS Niobe
Dominion Day, Niobe Boys
At the dockside, HMCS Niobe, Halifax
"Stokers Band," HMCS Niobe
Ceremony on the Quarterdeck, HMCS Niobe