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First World War (1914-1918)
The Home Front

The war at sea affected Canadians in a variety of ways. While extensive recruiting efforts at home sought men to become sailors in the Canadian and British navies, Canadian shipyards built warships and merchant ships to expand Allied navies and to replace vessels lost to submarine attack.

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Submarines at Canadian Vickers Shipyard, Montreal
Submarines at Canadian Vickers Shipyard, Montreal

In 1915, Canadian Vickers in Montreal received a contract to manufacture small "H class" submarines like these for Britain's Royal Navy.

The British had ordered 20 submarines from the United States in early 1915, but America was still neutral, which interfered with the orders. The American firms contracted out 10 of the "H class" submarines to Canadian Vickers, which delivered them quickly, since many of the components had already been manufactured south of the border. Six of the submarines left Halifax for Britain on 22 July 1915 and the other four sailed a few weeks later.

George Metcalf Archival Collection
CWM 19830056-019





Recruiting Poster, Royal Naval Canadian Volunteer Reserve
Llewellyn and Joseph Lush, 1914, Newfoundland Royal Naval Reserve
Victory Bonds Will Help Stop This
Boy's Civilian Sailor Suit, RMS Missinabie
Ship Building, J. Coughlan & Sons Shipyard, Vancouver
Merchant Ships under Construction, J. Coughlan & Sons Shipyard, Vancouver
Launching of the SS War Camp, J. Coughlan & Sons Shipyard, Vancouver
SS War Camp at Sea
Shift Change at J. Coughlan & Sons Shipyard, Vancouver
Polsons Iron Work Yard, Ship War Hydra on Stocks
Starting the Freighter
Cargo Ship Half Hull Model, Canadian Vickers
Submarines at Canadian Vickers Shipyard, Montreal
Anchored Naval Mine Model