Explore History

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.

Diving Knife
Diving Knife

Royal Canadian Navy divers used diving knives like this to help them perform tasks underwater, including the inspection of vessels and salvage operations.

The knife (top) has a wooden handle and is threaded just below the grip so that it can be screwed into the sheath (bottom) to prevent it from slipping out and getting lost. One edge of the blade (lower) is serrated to help cut rope and other materials. The sheath is made of brass to resist corrosion, and is cylindrical to accommodate the rotation of the knife blade as the knife is screwed into place.

Knife, Diving
CWM 19900076-590

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