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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.

HMS Highflyer
HMS Highflyer

The Royal Navy cruiser HMS Highflyer tried unsuccessfully to save the burning SS Mont Blanc on 6 December 1917.

With the Mont Blanc ablaze and abandoned by its crew, volunteers from Highflyer rowed to the Mont Blanc to offer assistance. With one exception, they perished when the Mont Blanc's cargo exploded. The explosion also damaged Highflyer, killing three and wounding 50 others. The inscription on the photograph refers to Highflyer's successful fight against a German commerce raider in 1914.

George Metcalf Archival Collection
CWM 19750148-058_2

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