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First World War (1914-1918)
The Merchant Navy

From 1914 to 1918, Canadian and Allied merchant ships and mariners transported personnel, munitions, weapons, and food to Great Britain and Europe as part of the Allied war effort. German U-Boats (submarines) and mines claimed tens of thousands of Allied lives and thousands of ships.

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Convoy of the First Contingent
Convoy of the First Contingent

This photograph captures the fleet of ocean liners carrying more than 31,000 Canadian troops steaming into Plymouth Harbour in England.

These liners carried the largest number of Canadians ever to leave Canada at one time. The convoy was escorted by British warships, its departure shrouded in secrecy due to fear of German naval attack. After an uneventful 12-day Atlantic crossing, the Canadians landed in Plymouth Harbour to much celebration.

George Metcalf Archival Collection
CWM 19920085-1010





Canada's Grand Armada, 1914
Convoy of the First Contingent
Bridge, RMS Megantic
Canada's Answer
SS Scandinavian, Canadian Transport
Pin, RMS Missanabie
Convoy in Bedford Basin
Dazzle-painted Merchant Ship, Halifax Harbour
Thomas Moore in Summer Uniform
Merchant Navy Cap Badge, Thomas Moore
Medal Set, Thomas Moore
Thomas Moore, Postwar