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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.

Gun Practice aboard HMCS Rainbow
Gun Practice aboard HMCS Rainbow

In this summertime view, members of Rainbow's crew fire one of the ship's 6-inch guns.

The gun's crew, in their white summer uniforms, perform various duties, including the two sailors at centre who are looking through sights to aim the gun, Rainbow's most powerful weapon. Gun practice like this sought to keep the sailors' performance in line with the standards of Britain's Royal Navy. During its pre-war fisheries patrols and sovereignty activities, Rainbow's heavy guns were less important than the simple presence of the ship itself.

George Metcalf Archival Collection
CWM 19890167-004

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