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Canadian Armed Forces: The Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) - Canada and the War - Democracy at War

Type: DocumentImage

The Royal Canadian Navy grew rapidly during the Second World War. The roles it played in military actions ranged from acting as an escort force for merchant ships to fighting German submarines and landing on the coast of German-occupied France as part of major operations. Some of the experiences of the Canadian Navy were recorded in newspapers of the time.

Site: Canadian War Museum

Sailors, Royal Navy, circa 1800-1815

Type: Image

At the time of the War of 1812, sailors of the Royal Navy — like in most navies of the period — had no prescribed uniform. But in 1623, the Royal Navy adopted a system by which sailors could buy ‘Slop Clothing’ at a fixed price. Generally, the seamen's dress consisted of a blue double-breasted jacket, with brass or horn buttons, a short waistcoat — often red but it could be another colour, blue or white trousers, a round hat, a neckerchief — often black, stockings and shoes. Slop clothing was also avaliable in Canada. An advertisement in Halifax’s 'Nova Scotia Royal Gazette' of 24 November 1813 mentioned a ‘Complete assortment of Slop Cloathing, viz, Men and youth's fine Jackets and Trowsers, Scarlet and blue cloth Waistcoats, Woolen and cotton cord ditto [waistcoats], Striped Cotton and red Flannel Shirts, Great Coats, Pea and Flushing Jackets and Trowsers, men’s flannel drawers’, these later items to face the cold North Atlantic weather.

Site: National Defence

Merchant Navy War Dead Database

Type: Document

This database is an index that can be used to search for the names of Canadian Merchant sailors who were killed while serving in Canada's Merchant Marine. It can also be used to search for the names of Canadian Merchant Navy vessels. You can enter the name of the Canadian Merchant Navy war dead, the vessel they served on, or both.

Site: Veterans Affairs Canada

War of 1812 - Biographies - 1813

Type: Document

The story of six key players during the Campaign of 1813 of the War of 1812 can be found on this site.

Site: Parks Canada

2000 Veterans' Week Poster

Type: DocumentImage

Here are some activities and symbols associated with Remembrance Day. Also some little known facts regarding our men over seas and life on the homefront are presented. Service Women, politicians, families and heroes are all remembered on this site.

Site: Veterans Affairs Canada

The French And British Navies

Type: Document

Both Britain and France needed strong navies to protect their coasts, fishing fleets and colonies. The peak of French naval power was during the 1690s, when it dominated the coasts of England. Defeated in 1692, the French navy declined in quality and strength from that point on.

Site: National Defence

"Miserable, rotten, hopeless life" - Canadian Sailors - Second World War- Military Might

Type: Document

Synopsis of television episode on the experiences of Canadian sailors as they face German U-boats on the high seas during the Second World War. This episode is part of the "Canada: A People's History" series. Includes links to educational resources, bibliography, games, puzzles, and video clips.

Site: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

John Cabot embarking in full ceremonial garb on the Matthew at Bristol on 20 May 1497

Type: Image

Sailing west from Bristol in the south west of England in May 1497, Cabot sighted land on 24 June. This was probably Newfoundland but also possibly Cape Breton Island. Cabot took possession of his discovery for England, which gave that country its first claim of trans-Atlantic territory.

Site: National Defence

Advertisement for 'Twin Navy' tobacco, circa 1911

Type: Image

For the Canadians of the day, their new fleet was clearly linked with the Royal Navy. It is worth noting that the warship shown in this circa 1911 advertisement is much larger than anything then in service with the Royal Canadian Navy. Also, McAlpin Tobacco was the Canadian branch of a New York company. (Private collection)

Site: National Defence

Sailors, Marine royale française, circa 1690

Type: Image

These French sailors are working on the running rigging of a warship. During the 17th century, the common sailors of the Marine royale française did not wear uniforms.

Site: National Defence