Objects and Photographs


HMCS Grilse at Speed
HMCS Grilse at Speed

HMCS Grilse, seen here steaming at high speed, was the Royal Canadian Navy's closest ship to a destroyer during the First World War.

In June 1915, millionaire Jack Ross purchased the Winchester, one of the fastest civilian yachts in existence, from the United States and brought it to Canada. Commissioned as HMCS Grilse in July 1915, and with Ross in command, the ship was refitted and armed at the Canadian Vickers shipyard in Montreal before sailing to Halifax to start carrying out patrols. Easily the fastest ship in the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN), Grilse could reach speeds of more than 30 knots (55 km/h).

George Metcalf Archival Collection
CWM 19820331-005

Japanese Cruiser Aso off British Columbia
HMCS Galiano Ship's Company, 1918
Chief Petty Officer James Vinicombe
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SS Brindilla
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HMCS Canada
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SS Audax Sinking
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HMCS Grilse at Speed
HMCS Grilse at Dock, 1916
HMCS Grilse and Allies' Flags
HMCS Grilse Firing a Torpedo, 1915