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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.

Walter Hose, Commander of HMCS Rainbow
Walter Hose, Commander of HMCS Rainbow

Walter Hose, seen here aboard HMCS Rainbow, became a significant figure in Canadian naval history.

After extensive experience in the British navy, Hose recognized the opportunities for advancement in Canadian service and transferred to Canada to command Rainbow in 1911, formally joining the Royal Canadian Navy a year later. Hose was instrumental in creating both the Royal Naval Canadian Volunteer Reserve and its successor, the Royal Canadian Navy Volunteer Reserve. As Director of the Naval Service from 1922 to 1934, he fought to keep the RCN a viable institution in an era of meagre budgets.

George Metcalf Archival Collection
CWM 20020045-2180

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