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Second World War
The Navy Ashore  - Building the Royal Canadian Navy

The Royal Canadian Navy expanded dramatically during the Second World War, acquiring ships and recruiting personnel to meet the constantly increasing demands placed upon it. Ships had to be built, repaired, and maintained, and people recruited, trained, and supported.

Outfitting a Minesweeper at Night
Outfitting a Minesweeper at Night

In this dramatic night-time scene, a recently-launched minesweeper is being outfitted in a shipyard.

Workers perform a variety of tasks, including welding or cutting metal (bottom centre). Even after a ship had been launched, further construction work and installation of armament and equipment was necessary before it could enter service. In 1942, when Caven Atkins painted this scene, Canadian shipyards were straining to meet the demand for warships, corvettes and minesweepers that could serve as convoy escorts.

Outfitting a Minesweeper at Night
Painted by Caven Ernest Atkins in 1942
Beaverbrook Collection of War Art
CWM 19710261-5655

Halifax Dockyard
Hull of a Minesweeper under Construction
A New Gun for the Destroyer
Outfitting a Minesweeper at Night
HMCS Micmac
Diver, First Class
Diving Knife
Calisthenics at HMCS Cornwallis
"Do You Fit in Here?"
Seamen on Jetty Being Instructed on Bends and Hitches
Semaphore Training Tool
Signal Flag Hoist
Nurse's Uniform, Sub-Lieutenant Georgia Hayes
Service Dress Uniform, Captain Charles Best
Foot-Powered Dental Drill
Canadian Sailor in Hospital
Barrington Street Patrol, Halifax
Colt Revolver
Navy Police and Sentry in Dockyard, Halifax
Cap Ribbon Order
Service Club, Sydney, Nova Scotia
Three Sailors at Rest Base, Northern Ireland
Boxing Instruction