The war at sea affected Canadians in a variety of ways. While extensive recruiting efforts at home sought men to become sailors in the Canadian and British navies, Canadian shipyards built warships and merchant ships to expand Allied navies and to replace vessels lost to submarine attack.
This civilian three-piece sailor suit, with trousers, top, and cap, was worn by seven-year-old Frederick Hart in 1918.
In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, mock naval or army uniforms were popular clothing for children, especially young boys. Store advertisements and mail-order catalogues of the era show a wide variety of these outfits. This suit's cap carries a tally for the RMS Missanabie, a Canadian ocean liner sunk on 9 September 1918 by the German submarine U-87, with the loss of 45 lives. The cap tally could be a commemorative item to mark the Missanabie's sinking.