Auxiliary Patrol Ship



Post wartime badge


Courtesy of Mike O'Keefe


Launched: 1913

Commissioned: 16 Jan 1917

Paid off: Mar 1919

Re-Commissioned: 02 Oct 1939

Paid off: 03 Nov 1945

Fate: Museum ship at Bedford Institute in Dartmouth, N.S.


Acadia, a Dominion government hydrographic survey ship, was commissioned as a patrol vessel from 16 Jan 1919, to Mar 1919, and carried out A/S Patrol in the Bay of Fundy, off the south shore of Nova Scotia and in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. She then resumed survey duty until the outbreak of the Second World War when she was commissioned on 02 Oct 1939, first service as training ship for HMCS STADACONA, later patrolling the Halifax approaches from May 1940, to Mar 1941. She also occasionally acted as close escort from small convoys between Halifax and Halifax Ocean Meeting Point. After refit in 1941, she served as a training ship at Halifax for A/A and DEMS (Defensively Equipped Merchant Ship) gunners and, in Jun 1944, went to HMCS CORNWALLIS as gunnery training ship. Paid off on 03 Nov 1945, she was returned to the Dominion government. Acadia retired from service on 28 Nov 1969, to become a museum ship at the Bedford Institute in Dartmouth, N.S. On 09 Feb 1980, she was handed over to the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic.



Acadia was launched in 1913 at Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England at the yards of Swan, Hunter and Wigham Richardson Ltd. She was the first vessel specifically designed and built to survey Canada's northern waters, and her career took her from the dangerous, ice-infested waters of Hudson's Bay to Nova Scotia's South Shore. In her early years, she was responsible for pioneering hydrographic research in Canada's Arctic waters. At the end of her career, she was used to chart the coast of Newfoundland after it joined Confederation in 1949, creating entirely new charts and updating some that were nearly a century old.

Acadia also holds the distinction of being the only surviving ship to have served the Royal Canadian Navy during both world wars. She served as a patrol and escort vessel from 1916 to 1919. She received minor damage in the Halifax Explosion in 1917 while acting as a guard ship in Bedford Basin, making her the only vessel still afloat today to have survived the Halifax Explosion. Acadia was re-commissioned as a warship in 1939 serving first as a patrol vessel and later as a training ship until the war's end in 1945. (Source: Maritime Museum of NS website)



Photos and Documents          Ship's Company Photos



Commanding Officers


SLt William Alfred Robson, RNCVR - 16 May 1917 - unk

SLt William Alfred Robson, RCNVR - 01 Feb 1918 - 07 May 1918

Lt Henry F. McGuirk, RNCVR - 07 May 1918 - unk

Lt John O. Boothby, RCN - 20 Feb 1940 - 01 Apr 1940

LCdr Hubert G. Shadforth, RCNR - 13 Apr 1940 - 07 Dec 1940

Lt David Kennedy Laidlaw - 08 Dec 1940 - 28 Apr 1941

Lt Stuart Henderson, RCNR - 29 Apr 1941 - 11 Nov 1941

LCdr J.L. Diver, RCNR - 12 Nov 1941 - 19 Sep 1943

LCdr R.B. Campbell, RCNR - 20 Sep 1943 - 15 Dec 1943

LCdr J.C. Littler, RCNR - 16 Dec 1943 - 30 Mar 1944

LCdr Robert A. S. MacNeil, RCNR - 31 Mar 1944 - 06 Jun 1944

Skpr/Lt Frederick W. Durant, RCNR - 07 Jun 1944 - 04 Mar 1945

Skpr/Lt Clyde Courtenay Clattenburg, RCNR - 05 Mar 1945 - unk



     In memory of those who made the ultimate sacrifice    

     Lest We Forget     


PEDDLE, Francis J.


died - 14 Oct 1918

Woodley, Herbert A.

L/Stwd, RCNR

died - 17 Feb 1941



     In memory of those who have crossed the bar    

They shall not be forgotten




Former Crew Members


Angus, Ian, Lt, RCNVR - 13 Mar 1944


Ankenmann, Richard Douglas, A/Lt, RCNVR - 15 Jun 1944


Beal, Ernest Stewart, Lt, RCNVR - 06 Jun 1944


Booth, Philip Sydney, SLt, RCNVR - 09 Jul 1940


Boutin, Jean Pierre, A/SLt, RCNVR - 23 Apr 1940


Burns, Arthur James, Lt, RCNVR - 02 Jun 1941


Cameron, Douglas MacDonald, Lt, RCNR - 17 Jun 1942


Cann, John Shaw, Cd (E), RCNR - 24 Jul 1941


Collier, Cecil Anglin, SLt, RCNVR - 27 Apr 1942


Dowling, Sterling Orr, Surg/Lt, RCNVR - 24 Apr 1944


Easton, Alan Herbert, A/Lt, RCNR - 16 Mar 1940

Flanagan, Arthur Leo, Lt (E), RCNR - 24 Jul 1941


Goad, Frederick Alvin Lt, RCNVR - Jan 1942


Harvey, William Grant, SLt, RCNVR - 05 May 1941


Lumsden, Peter Digby, SLt, RCNVR - Jan 1944


Hatrick, Raymond Gardiner, Lt, RCNVR - 13 Mar 1944


Hollingsworth, Herbert William, Lt, RCNVR - 22 Mar 1943


Ingram, Ralph Thomas, Lt, RCNR - 26 Jul 1940


Johnson, Kenneth Lorne, Lt, RCNVR - Jan 1944


Knutson, Norman John, SLt, RCNVR - Jan 1945


Lawrence, Harold (Hal) Ernest Thomas, Midshipman, RCNVR - 04 Mar 1940


McNeillie, George Gardiner, A/Lt, RCNVR - 16 Feb 1944

Millson, George Dewitt, SLt, RCNVR - 22 Mar 1943


Millson, Lloyd George, SLt, RCNVR -  21 Feb 1944


Mitchell, John Arthur, SLt, RCNR - 22 Jun 1940


O'Kelly, Edward Ross, Lt, RCNVR - 13 Mar 1944


Roberts, John (Johnny) William, Lt, RCN - 20 Mar 1944


Robinson, David Anton Frederick, LCdr (S/B), RCNVR - 18 Jun 1944


Shaw, Frank Edward, A/Wt (Tel), RCNVR - 10 Apr 1944


Stairs, Henry Gerald, A/Lt, RCNVR - 03 Feb 1940


Tyler, Peter Jeffrey, SLt, RCNVR - Jan 1944


Wheeler, Jerald Eldon, A.Wt (E) - 16 May 1944


Whiting, Douglas Paterson, SLt, RCNVR - 26 Jul 1943



Photos and Documents


CPO Leslie Cole on HMCS ACADIA


From the back of two identical photos: "DEMS Classes Firings Halifax, HMCS ACADIA. Les in charge of firings - DEMS classes" and "This is from one of my class of merchant officers whom I took in merchant ship defensive gunnery AA & antisubmarine." 


The photo was sent to Les by F.W. Johnson, 29 Faversham Ave, Anlaby Commons, Hull, York, England


From the collection of C1GA4 Leslie Cole, RCN


Courtesy of Deanna Cazes


CSS ACADIA loading coal at the Naval Dockyard in Halifax in preparation for her first Arctic expedition. HMCS NIOBE in the centre, background

Source/credit: Naval Museum of Halifax MP28.36.75






CSS ACADIA preserved as a Museum Ship alongside the wharves of the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, Halifax, 2007.

Source: Wikipedia

Credit: Robert Alfers