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First World War (1914-1918)
War in the Pacific

At the outbreak of war in August 1914, only three obsolete ships and two recently-acquired submarines protected Canada's west coast. Canadians feared that German cruisers might attack merchant ships or bombard cities and towns. After these attacks failed to materialize, many vessels and personnel were transferred to the Atlantic to deal with the growing German submarine threat.

Sailor with Sennet Hat and Camera, HMCS Rainbow
Sailor with Sennet Hat and Camera, HMCS Rainbow

A Canadian sailor, wearing a straw sennet hat, takes a photograph aboard the cruiser HMCS Rainbow in Pacific waters.

Standing beside a binnacle holding one of the ship's compasses, the sailor looks down at the folding camera's viewfinder, with his right hand ready to trip the shutter and take a photograph. The cap tally on his hat is marked "RNCVR Pacific", a reference to the Pacific Division of the Royal Naval Canadian Volunteer Reserve. Between 1914 and 1917, Rainbow made several patrols off the coast of North and Central America, sailing as far south as Panama. This photograph was likely taken during one of these cruises.

CFB Esquimalt Naval and Military Museum

HMCS Rainbow in Drydock, Esquimalt
Commander Walter Hose, HMCS Rainbow
Sailor Standing by HMCS Rainbow's Wheel
Sailor with Sennet Hat and Camera, HMCS Rainbow
HMS Algerine in Esquimalt, 1914
Canadian Submarine at Esquimalt
British 18-inch Torpedo
Japanese Cruiser Aso off British Columbia
HMCS Galiano Ship's Company, 1918
Chief Petty Officer James Vinicombe
Sailor's Summer Uniform, Lionel Channing, HMCS Shearwater
HMCS Shearwater in the Panama Canal
HMCS Shearwater's Crew
Cargo Ship Seen from Canadian Submarine
Sailor and 3-Pounder Hotchkiss Gun, HMCS Shearwater
Stoker Abner Beckwith Willford and Ship's Crew, HMCS Shearwater
Canadian Sailor with Banana Plant
Canadian Submarine in Harbour