Explore History

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.

HMCS Lady Evelyn after the Halifax Explosion
HMCS Lady Evelyn after the Halifax Explosion

In this photograph, likely taken from HMCS Canada on the day following the Halifax Explosion, HMCS Lady Evelyn (centre) returns to port.

The Lady Evelyn, a Post Office vessel acquired by the Royal Canadian Navy in 1917, was on patrol in the approaches to Halifax Harbour at the time of the explosion, and returned the following morning. This photograph was probably taken by Sub-Lieutenant Arthur Rankin, who was serving as Canada's navigation officer. One of Canada's guns is visible in the foreground.

George Metcalf Archival Collection
CWM 20080041-028

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