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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.

Dockyard Gate, Halifax, 1917
Dockyard Gate, Halifax, 1917

This rare photograph shows the gate of the Halifax Dockyard (centre, left) and the damage to naval buildings in the explosion's aftermath.

The Halifax Dockyard was a key meeting place for ships, cargoes, and trains. The explosion ripped through this area, damaging the Royal Naval College of Canada (left) and injuring a number of cadets and staff. Elsewhere in the dockyard, flying debris and collapsing buildings killed and maimed people. Some accounts claim that the explosion knocked down two of HMCS Niobe's four funnels. This photograph shows all four (centre, behind damaged centre building) intact, although two of them were so badly damaged that they were later removed.

George Metcalf Archival Collection
CWM 20080060-001_8f

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