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First World War (1914-1918)
The Halifax Explosion

In December 1917, a collision between the relief ship SS Imo and the munitions ship SS Mont Blanc in the port of Halifax led to a massive explosion that devastated the harbour and the city, killing thousands.

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Medal Set, Robert Brett
Medal Set, Robert Brett

Robert Benney Brett survived injuries suffered in the Halifax Explosion, and served in the Royal Canadian Navy until 1920.

Brett's medals reflect service at sea in both world wars. After Brett's recovery, he trained, like many other Canadians, in British warships, including the battleships HMS Canada and HMS Barham. In 1920, epilepsy ended his career in the Royal Canadian Navy, but he nevertheless continued an association with the sea. By the mid-1920s, Brett was working for Canadian Shipping Brokers Ltd., in London, England, and during the Second World War served in the British merchant navy.

Medal Set, Robert Brett
Tilston Memorial Collection of Canadian Military Medals
CWM 19800258-001





Fragment of the SS Mont Blanc
Halifax Pier, 1917
YMCA Building, Halifax, 1917
Dockyard Gate, Halifax, 1917
Albert Medal, First Class Lieutenant Commander Thomas Kenneth Triggs
Albert Medal, Second Class Able Seaman William Becker
HMS Highflyer
HMCS Niobe, 1917
Cadet Robert Brett, 1917
Medal Set, Robert Brett
SS Imo and Halifax Sugar Refinery
HMCS Lady Evelyn after the Halifax Explosion
Captain Edward H. Martin