In memory of those who have Crossed the Bar


Isaiah Walton (Ike) Horton


Skipper, OFF VR-0426, RNCVR


Born: 31 Dec 1891, Sandy Cove, Guysborough Co., Nova Scotia


Died: 17 Aug 1979, Halifax, Nova Scotia


HORTON, Isaiah Walton (Ike) - was the eldest son and third of six children born to Freeman Whitfield and Isabelle Maude (Crane) Horton of Guysborough. His father was a master mariner who also served as an officer with the reserve during the war.He began his career in 1913 with the Fishery Protection Service, a branch of the Canadian Department of Marine and Fisheries. Ike had served in the Canadian coastal defence service for more than a year when Britain declared war on Germany on Aug. 4, 1914. The RCN immediately assumed responsibility for the Department of Marine and Fisheries’ operation, as its vessels formed the nucleus of its coastal defence resources. CGS CONSTANCE, whose crew he had joined the year before, was absorbed into the naval service and assigned to patrol and “examination” duties on Canada’s Atlantic coast. On June 25, 1915, Ike was officially promoted to mate, serving with HMCS CANADA for two months. Commissioned into service for the war and refitted as a naval patrol vessel, the CANADA had a raised forecastle and four guns mounted on its decks. Ike was transferred to HMCS SABLE ISLAND on Sept. 1, 1915, and three months later was assigned to HMCS HOCHELAGA; during his service, he was also assigned to base depot on HMCS NIOBE. One of two initial RCN vessels purchased from the British Royal Navy, the NIOBE was designated a depot ship on Sept. 6, 1915. For the next two years, Ike served as mate and acting commander on three coastal patrol vessels: HMCS STARLING, PREMIER and WILFRED C., out of Halifax. In June 1915, Ike married Gwladys Mary Ann Jenkins, a native of Wales. Ike was granted unscheduled leave on Sept. 25, 1916, as his infant son had died the previous day and his wife was “dangerously ill.” The couple lost two more sons in infancy, although Gwladys gave birth to two healthy daughters in later years. On May 8, Ike was transferred to LANSDOWNE, the newly created RCN base at Sydney. This was an ideal location from which to patrol the Cabot Strait and Gulf of St. Lawrence for German submarines as well as provide convoy protection. By year’s end, almost 100 RCN coastal patrol vessels, 1,500 crew and shore personnel operated out of Sydney, patrolling the strait and gulf. From Sydney, Ike and the ship Gwennith hauled a small supply barge, capable of navigating tiny coves, to locations on the Newfoundland and Labrador coastline. After the war, Ike and Gwladys returned to Halifax, where he was discharged from the RNCVR on April 15, 1919. The RCN provided him with transportation money to Guysborough, a subsistence allowance of $3.75, and the first installment of his war gratuity - the sum of $ 108.50 - as he moved back to civilian life. Returning to his home community, Ike converted a workshop and double house on Guysborough’s Main Street into a single-family dwelling and set about earning a living in coastal shipping. In 1936, Ike moved his family to Halifax, where he established Horton & Co. Ltd., Ship Brokers. The firm sold marine engines and supplies in addition to buying and selling ships in the Atlantic region and beyond. Isaiah Walton Horton passed away at Camp Hill Hospital, Halifax, on Aug. 17, 1979. He is buried in Evergreen Cemetery, Guysborough, beside his beloved wife, who died in 1969. (Source: The Chronicle Herald, Halifax, NS)


Ships served in:


HMCS CANADA - Served in CANADA in 1915 as Mate, RNCVR

HMCS SABLE ISLAND - Commanding Officer 1915

HMCS HOCHELAGA - Served in HOCHELAGA in 1915 as Mate, RNCVR

HMCS STARLING - Commanding Officer 1915

HMCS PREMIER - Commanding Officer  1916

HMCS WILFRED C. - Served in Wilfred C. in 1915 as Mate, RNCVR

Coastal Drifter CD 81 - Commanding Officer 1917

HMCS GWENNITH - Appointed Commanding Officer 18 Feb 1918

D/S NIOBE - Recorded on the logs of Depot Ship NIOBE in 1918 as additional


Ike and Gwladys Horton

Skipper Isaiah Horton (left) and his father Freeman Whitfield Horton



Unknown ship's crew


Isaiah (Ike) Horton, 2nd Row, 2nd from left





Isaiah (Ike) Horton - above the letter "E"


This photo is also posted on the ship's company photo page for HMCS SABLE ISLAND



HMCS CANADA c Jun/Jul 1915


Isaiah (Ike) Horton, 3rd row, 7th from right


This photo is also posted on the ship's company photo page for HMCS CANADA



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