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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.

Naval Service of Canada Recruitment Poster
Naval Service of Canada Recruitment Poster

This recruitment poster uses imagery of HMCS Rainbow and various naval trades.

Some of the activities depicted, including signalling and gunnery training, accurately reflect aspects of life aboard Rainbow, but others would prove somewhat exaggerated. Rainbow initially conducted training cruises and fisheries patrols but, from mid-1912, budget cuts and inattention to the navy largely confined Rainbow to local voyages with a skeleton crew.

Naval Service of Canada Recruitment Poster
CWM 19940001-980

Transcription in PDF

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