Explore History

Birth of the Navy (1909-1914)
HMCS Rainbow

One of the Naval Service of Canada's first two ships, HMCS Rainbow's duties included the training of sailors and maintaining a naval presence on Canada's Pacific coast. Small and inexpensive to operate, Rainbow was well suited to these purposes, but limited budgets still constrained the ship's activities.

HMCS Rainbow's Officers Greeting Dignitaries
HMCS Rainbow's Officers Greeting Dignitaries

Senior naval officers and politicians were present for HMCS Rainbow's arrival in Esquimalt on 7 November 1910.

Among them were Vice-Admiral Charles E. Kingsmill, Director of the Naval Service (centre, with beard), and Richard McBride, the premier of British Columbia (facing camera, in top hat). This view, looking towards the rear of the ship, shows McBride and senior naval officers with Rainbow's officers and honour guard, including a ship's boy. The breech of one of the ship's 4.7-inch guns can be seen in the foreground.

George Metcalf Archival Collection
CWM 19890167-005

HMCS Rainbow Arriving at Esquimalt, British Columbia, 1910
HMCS Rainbow's Officers Greeting Dignitaries
HMS Shearwater and HMCS Rainbow at Esquimalt, 7 November 1910
Gun Practice aboard HMCS Rainbow
Mess Deck, HMCS Rainbow, around 1910
Walter Hose, Commander of HMCS Rainbow
Ship's Wheel, HMCS Rainbow
HMCS Rainbow Sailors and Capstan
Naval Service of Canada Recruitment Poster
HMCS Rainbow "Cleared for Action"
14-inch Mark IX Torpedo