About This Project

Canada's Naval History is a web module that allows users to explore the history of Canada's navy from its origins to today.

Rather than presenting a detailed narrative,Canada's Naval History uses chronological and thematic approaches to organize and present approximately 700 digitized objects in a content-rich visitor experience. Drawn from the collections of the Canadian War Museum and its partners, these artifacts, photographs, artworks, and documents help tell the story of the country's naval history and highlight the experiences of the men and women associated with it.

Canada's Naval History is made possible in part through Canadian Heritage, and was created by the Canadian War Museum in partnership with the Canadian Naval Centennial, the Naval Museum of Québec, the Naval Museum of Alberta, and the CFB Esquimalt Naval and Military Museum.

Corvette Mess Deck, His Majesty's Canadian Ship North Bay
Corvette Mess Deck, His Majesty's Canadian Ship North Bay

War artist Tom Wood's canvas explores a corvette's crowded mess deck, where much of the ship's crew lived.

Wood's painting likely depicts HMCS North Bay in harbour, since an open inkwell (bottom centre) and drink bottle (right) would have been ill-advised in a rolling ship at sea. Usually damp, the mess deck could be awash in seawater during rough weather. Off-duty sailors attempted to eat, relax, write letters, or read. The mess deck was also a sleeping area, and occupied hammocks are visible at the top of the work.

Corvette Mess Deck, His Majesty's Canadian Ship North Bay
Painted by Tom Wood in 1946
Beaverbrook Collection of War Art
CWM 19710261-4854