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Birth of the Navy (1910-1914)
Creating the Navy

Created in 1910, the Naval Service of Canada was renamed the Royal Canadian Navy in 1911. It was the product of an intense Canadian political debate driven by Great Britain's efforts to bolster its naval defences against the rapidly growing German navy.

Naval Service of Canada Recruiting Poster
Naval Service of Canada Recruiting Poster

This poster describes the sorts of recruits - both men and boys - wanted for Canada's newly created naval service.

HMCS Rainbow forms the central focus, but the poster also highlights aspects of naval life, including gunnery and signals training, and presents an alluring scene of sailors landing on a beach. Following the creation of the Naval Service, over 800 men and boys were recruited by posters like this one. The 1911 election of Sir Robert Borden's Conservative government, which had opposed the creation of the navy while in Opposition, saw these numbers slashed to 350, and HMCS Niobe consigned to port.

Recruiting Poster
CWM 19940001-980

Transcription in PDF

Service Dress Jacket, Admiral-of-the-Fleet Sir John Arbuthnot "Jackie" Fisher, around 1910
British Ships in Halifax, 1901
American Cruiser USS Olympia
HMS New Zealand (right) and HMAS Australia (left)
CGS Canada Model
Bell, CGS Canada
1 1/4 - Pounder Naval Gun
Royal Navy Warships in Esquimalt Harbour
HMCS Niobe, Stern View
HMCS Rainbow arrives at Esquimalt, British Columbia
Rear-Admiral Sir Charles E. Kingsmill
Bicorn Hat, Rear-Admiral Sir Charles E. Kingsmill
Arrival Ceremony, HMCS Rainbow, Esquimalt, British Columbia
Rifle, MK I* Lee-Enfield
Naval Service of Canada Recruiting Poster
First Naval Recruits, HMCS Niobe
Royal Naval College of Canada, Class Photo, 1911
Royal Naval College of Canada, Machine Shop
Cartoon, HMCS Niobe Coronation Contingent, 1911
Sailors Marching, Esquimalt