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First World War (1914-1918)
The Halifax Explosion

In December 1917, a collision between the relief ship SS Imo and the munitions ship SS Mont Blanc in the port of Halifax led to a massive explosion that devastated the harbour and the city, killing thousands.

Halifax Pier, 1917
Halifax Pier, 1917

This remarkable photograph shows some of the damage caused by the force of the blast and the resulting tidal wave from the Halifax Explosion.

Walter Wonham, training as a Royal Canadian Navy wireless (radio) operator, took this photograph from inside HMCS Niobe. The explosion and resulting tidal wave slammed Niobe into the pier and shattered the gangway leading up to the ship (centre right and left). The explosion also smashed the wireless training school, killing one of Wonham's fellow students and badly injuring four others.

George Metcalf Archival Collection
CWM 20080060-001_9d

Fragment of the SS Mont Blanc
Halifax Pier, 1917
YMCA Building, Halifax, 1917
Dockyard Gate, Halifax, 1917
Albert Medal, First Class Lieutenant Commander Thomas Kenneth Triggs
Albert Medal, Second Class Able Seaman William Becker
HMS Highflyer
HMCS Niobe, 1917
Cadet Robert Brett, 1917
Medal Set, Robert Brett
SS Imo and Halifax Sugar Refinery
HMCS Lady Evelyn after the Halifax Explosion
Captain Edward H. Martin