For Posterity's Sake         

A Royal Canadian Navy Historical Project



Heroes and History Makers of the RCN





Rear-Admiral Walter Hose


Born with sea salt in his blood, Hose had two good reasons for joining the Royal Canadian Navy. The first was the opportunity for promotion, and the second had everything to do with making an impact on the young service. After transferring from the Royal Navy to the RCN in 1911, he rose to become Director of Naval Service by 1921, a position he held for 13 years, through five different cabinet ministers. Under his guidance, the navy built its plans around what the government would support, established a nationwide footprint through the reserve system, built a tough little fleet of destroyers and established a clearer vision of itself, supported by smart policy. In short, he laid the groundwork for the navy as it prepared for the Second World War.


Restore the Honour- Walter Hose, Father and Saviour of the RCN



This monument is dedicated to the memory of Rear-Admiral Walter Hose, whose final resting place lies immediately to your right. It was his vision, personal efforts and steadfast dedication to the fledgling Naval Service of Canada, in it's time of greatest need, which saved the future Royal Canadian Navy. Perhaps most significant was his dream of the "Citizen Sailor", a concept that led to the birth of the modern day Naval Reserve, an organization that now proudly stretches from cost to coast and whose 24 divisions are represented by the crests emblazoned around the base of this monument. Rightly recognized as the "Father of the Naval Reserve", he will never be forgotten.


Erected in Honour of Rear-Admiral Walter Hose through the joint efforts of Her Majesty's Canadian Ship Hunter, The Royal Canadian Naval Association, The Naval Association of Canada and the Navy League of Canada. Dedicated here, with the kind permission of Heavenly Rest Cemetery, on 22 June 2014.


Photo of the monument courtesy of Phil Beausoleil

Admiral Sir Charles Edmund Kingsmill, CMG, RN


Admiral Kingsmill was born in Guelph, Canada West in 1855, and joined the Royal Navy (RN) as a Cadet in 1869. After an illustrious carrier in the RN, he retired as as Rear-Admiral in September 1908. In May of 1908 he was appointed Commander Canadian Fishery Protection Service and later Director Marine Services of the Department of Marine and Fisheries (Canada). In May 1910 he became the first Director of the Naval Service of Canada and subsequently was promoted to Vice-Admiral on the RN Retired List in 1913. Admiral Kingsmill was promoted to his current rank, on the RN retired list, in April 1917. He continued to serve as Director of the Naval Service until his departure in 1920. He died 15 August 1935.


Admiral Sir Charles Edward Kingsmill


Headstone of Admiral Sir Charles Edmund Kingsmill

A memorial in honour of Admiral Kingsmill and his service to the fledgling RCN (right)

Courtesy of Peter Clarabut, CPO2, RCN

Double click on the photos to view a larger image

Rear-Admiral William (Bill) Moss Landymore


Decorated in wartime after two ships were sunk under him, he rose to the top of the RCN only to defy Ottawa's plan to integrate the military. As a result, he lost his job, but won the hearts of the rank and file Two decades after he fought the German and Japanese navies during the Second World War, Rear Admiral Bill Landymore threw himself into the battle of his life when he took on the government of Canada in an epic struggle that transfixed the nation.  It was arguably the most controversial defence issue in Canadian history and Rear Adm. Landymore, who at 50 could have served five more years, had gone down guns blazing in the best naval tradition. In two years, the RCN's six senior admirals had been retired prematurely or fired. Generals and air marshals had also left.



Click here to read the MARGEN sent by Rear-Admiral Landymore on his final day in the RCN

Lt Robert Gray, VC, RCNVR


British Columbia's Robert Gray was a member of the Royal Canadian Naval Volunteer Reserve who was serving as a pilot with the Royal Navy’s Fleet Air Arm in the Far East. He earned a Victoria Cross in the final weeks of the Second World War for his actions on August 9, 1945. On that day, Gray attacked a Japanese warship and was hit by heavy anti-aircraft fire. Despite the damage, Lieutenant Gray continued his attack and scored a direct hit on the Japanese escort vessel Amakusa, sinking it. Sadly, Gray did not survive. Photo: Department of National Defence. Source: Canadian Virtual War Memorial


At age 25 he'd been awarded the Victoria Cross, Distinguished Service Cross, 39-45 Star, Atlantic Star, Africa Star, Pacific Star, Defense Medal, Canadian Volunteer Service Medal with Overseas Bar, War Medal with Mentioned in Dispatches Oak Leaf.

Lt William Maitland-Dougall, RCN


Lt William Maitland-Dougall, RCN - Canada's only submarine commanding officer lost in action

On March 7, 1918, Lt. Maitland-Dougall, RCN, took D3 to patrol off Le Havre, France. He was in high spirits – it would be a short patrol and he would be ashore in time to celebrate his 23rd birthday. But D3 did not return. What happened was not revealed to the grieving relatives of the crew until several years later. Bombs dropped by a French airship on March 12 sank D3 – the French had not known the Allied submarine recognition signals. Maitland-Dougall and his crew fought to save her but she was lost with all hands. (British divers located the wreck of D3 in 2007.) The Royal Canadian Navy has never officially recognized the accomplishments of Lt. Maitland-Dougall, RCN, then or now. Indeed, few modern submariners have even heard his name. Maitland-Dougall was the first and only Canadian submarine commanding officer to be lost in action. He also remains the youngest to earn command. (Source: CFB Esquimalt Naval and Military Museum)

Rear-Admiral Stuart Edmund Paddon, RCNVR, RCN


Paddon was a member of HMS Prince of Wales crew during the Battle of the Denmark Straight and fatal encounter with Japanese aircraft near Malaya.


The RCNVR provided a small but important role for the Royal Navy's early Radar Systems.


May 27, 1941: The German battleship Bismarck is sunk. Several days earlier, Canadian officer Stuart Paddon was witness to one of the most infamous encounters in naval history - the Battle of the Denmark Strait on May 24. Paddon, then just a sub lieutenant in the RCNVR, was the radar officer on board HMS Prince of Wales, the brand new British battleship assigned along with HMS Hood to sink the Bismarck.


Paddon was in charge of the Prince of Wales' many radar systems - ten, the most numerous on any warship to date. In the early days of the war, radar remained somewhat of a mystery to many - its concepts often misunderstood and technical expertise even rarer. Thus, the Royal Navy (RN) had a difficult time finding suitable officers to operate them. This was compounded by the fact that the Royal Air Force had taken most of the home talent to operate their systems watching British skies.


Paddon and his classmates were in the final year of their undergraduate Physics degree at the University of Western Ontario (UWO) in September 1939. That school year, an unusual curriculum was offered to them by the department head, one that focused on electronics. At the time, electronics was a subject for post-graduate courses, not undergrad. As it turned out, the RN was somewhat desperate for expertise and had approached the RCN about the matter, which in turn passed it on to the National Research Council, and thence to the universities in Canada. In 1940, Paddon and his cohort, now with some electronics training, enlisted and were sent across the Atlantic.


But back to May 24: Paddon, sitting in the room responsible for the Prince of Wales' Type 281 radar, was monitoring the chase against the Bismarck. Clear on his screen were three contacts: Bismarck, the heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen, and a third supply ship. Dutifully, he relayed the coordinates of the enemy ships to the Prince of Wales' gunnery controllers. However, due to the lack of practice on the part of the ship's crew, the gunnery controllers did not take note of Paddon's information. Using traditional optical means, the Prince of Wales nevertheless managed to score hits on the Bismarck...but not before HMS Hood was hit and sunk with only three survivors. It is impossible to know whether better adherence to Paddon's radar information could have saved the Hood. Meanwhile, the chase wore on, and Paddon's only information about the battle was through his radar screen, on which he could actually see the radar reflections coming from Bismarck's 15" shells flying through the air.


Paddon would continue to serve on the Prince of Wales until that ship's demise at the hands of Japanese bombers off Malaya in December 1941. Paddon was fortunate to have survived that sinking and was rescued by one of the escorting destroyers. He spent some months at Ceylon as the Port's Radar Officer, repairing incoming vessels' radar systems, before returning to Canada. During his duty in Ceylon, he noted that many British warships' radar officers were his old classmates from UWO, or were at least Canadian - a small but crucial role often forgotten in history. Paddon continued to serve in the Royal Canadian Navy until retiring in 1972 with the rank of Rear Admiral.


Courtesy of John Hawley

Original source of this article is unknown

Larry, Thomas, Gordon, Clifford and Arthur Harrison


Born in Picton, Ontario, the Harrison brothers all joined the Royal Canadian Navy; the only known occasion where 5 brothers served in the RCN at the same time. In the left photo, in happier times Harrison brothers are all wearing their square rig. In the right hand photo, after unification, they came together as pallbearers for their father's funeral.


Click here to read an article from the Picton Gazette 09 Aug 1967

Source: Prince Edward County Archives Microfilm collection

Researched and complied by: © John Lyons 2015

CPO Max Bernays, RCNR


Max Bernays (January 3, 1910 - March 30, 1974) was a Royal Canadian Naval Reserve Acting Chief Petty Officer who fought in the Battle of the Atlantic during the Second World War. He was awarded the Conspicuous Gallantry Medal for his actions aboard HMCS Assiniboine on August 6, 1942.


On August 6, 1942, the Assiniboine engaged the German U-Boat U-210. A fierce gun-battle ensued, causing a major fire aboard the Assiniboine. Lieutenant-Commander John H. Stubbs, commander of the Assiniboine, maneuvered the vessel to ram the U-Boat. Bernays ordered his telegraph operators who were giving orders to the engine room to leave, as the fire began to surround the wheelhouse. Bernays manned the helm and did the work of the two telegraph operators while Stubbs gave orders to ram U-210. As the gun battle grew in intensity, Assiniboine rammed U-210 abaft of her conning tower, crippling the submarine. 38 of the 48 German crew were rescued. Assiniboine's losses were minimal, with one killed and 13 wounded.


Bernays was awarded the Conspicuous Gallantry Medal for his heroic actions. His actions displayed such a degree of courage that Rear Admiral L.W. Murray recommended him for the Victoria Cross. Rear Admiral L.W. Murray believed that "the manner in which this comparatively young rating remained at his post, alone, and carried out the 133 telegraph orders as well as the many helm orders necessary to accomplish the destruction of this submarine, whilst the wheelhouse was being pierced by explosive shell from the enemy's Oerlikon gun and his only exit was cut off by fire, is not only in keeping with the highest traditions of the Service but adds considerably to those traditions. I am proud of the privilege to recommend Acting Chief Petty Officer Bernays for the Victoria Cross."


The RCN's Honours and Awards Committee considered Murray's recommendation and confirmed his selection of Bernays for the VC. However, United Kingdom authorities decided that the recommendation did not come up to the standard usually required for the Victoria Cross, and awarded him the Conspicuous Gallantry Medal instead.


On 25 May 2015, the Associate Minister of National Defence announced that the 3rd Arctic Offshore Patrol ship will be named HMCS Max Bernays.


Crowsnest Magazine Man of the Month, Jul 1954  -  CPO2 Bernays - Page 1Page 2




(Left) A portrait of Chief Petty Officer (CPO) Max Bernays is unveiled during the naming announcement of the third Arctic/Offshore Patrol Ship, held at the CFB Esquimalt Naval and Military Museum. (L-R) Rear Admiral Bill Truelove, Commander Maritime Forces Pacific/Joint Task Force (Pacific); Marilyn Bernays, daughter-in-law of CPO Bernays; Max Thompson, great-grandson of CPO Bernays; Julian Fantino, Associate Minister of National Defence; and Carly Bernays, great-granddaughter of CPO Bernays. LS Ogle Henry, MARPAC Imaging Services


(Right) CPO Max Bernays' awards and decorations


LCdr Frederick Henry Sherwood, DSC w/Bar, RCNVR


A native of Ottawa, Fred Sherwood joined the Royal Canadian Naval Volunteer Reserve in 1933 and was one of 27 Canadians who volunteered for service in British submarines during World War Two.


In 1940, Fred Sherwood and J. D. Woods were the first two Canadian Naval Reservists to take the submarine officer training course. On completion, they were offered a choice of postings - home waters (North Atlantic) or the Mediterranean. They flipped for it, and Freddie ended up staying home while his classmate shipped out to Alexandria, Egypt. As it turns out, J. D. Woods made one particularly unpleasant patrol and decided submarines were not for him.


LCdr Sherwood served as Watchkeeping Officer in HMS SEALION from 1940 to August 1941; as First Lieutenant in HMS L23 from August 1941 to January 1942; and as First Lieutenant in HMS P211 (later renamed SAFARI) from January to November 1942. It was while operating in the Mediterranean around Malta that he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for "courage and skill in successful submarine patrols".


In December, 1942, he completed the legendary 'Perisher' - the Royal Navy Submarine Command Course so named because it had a failure rate of 40-60%. Pass, and you were guaranteed to get a submarine command. Fail, and you were immediately returned to surface ships never to see the inside of a submarine again. On graduation, he became Commanding Officer of HMS P556 (aka 'The Reluctant Dragon', because frequently she didn't want to dive!), from March to June 1943, then CO of HMS SPITEFUL from July 21, 1943 to July 24, 1946.


Under his command, SPITEFUL completed the three longest patrols for a S-boat at the time, sinking multiple Japanese ships. By April, 1945, SPITEFUL had bombarded installations on the Andaman Islands and Christmas Island. "Just to keep them on their toes."


Fred, and his future wife Mary (herself a cipher clerk at Allied Headquarters in Burma), married in Santiago, Chile in 1947 and spent many happy decades together.


In 2010, a dinner was held for Canadian Perisher graduates and submarine CO's. There, LCdr Fred Sherwood sat across from LCdr Alex Kooiman - the oldest and newest Canadian Perisher graduates, sixty-five years apart. In July, 2011, the Victoria Submarine Command Team Trainer, part of the Canadian Forces Naval Operations School in Halifax, Nova Scotia, was named after him. In the words of CANFLTLANT at the time, Commodore Larry Hickey, himself a graduate of Perisher, "We honour a fine submarine officer who was tested in war, and who delivered the goods. The Command Team Trainer named in his honour ensures that Fred Sherwood will not be forgotten by the Navy writ large, and more importantly, by the Canadian submarine community."


On the 14th of May, 2013, Fred Sherwood passed away peacefully in Ottawa, Ontario. In the words of his son, Tim Sherwood - "He was many things to many people during his life, but he was always a submariner in his heart." (Source/Credit: The Submariners Association of Canada)

Rachel Mari-Anna Dube (Richard) 1918 - 2009


The name probably means nothing to most people. However, if you were in the Royal Canadian Navy (or its post 1968 permutations) any time after 1948, there is a very good chance you met Rachel at some point in your service.


Rachel lived in Halifax and ran a little operation just outside RCN barracks, HMCS Stadacona. And while most sailors in the RCN eventually passed through barracks at Stadacona, most of those sailors also ended up in Rachel's little restaurant, just two blocks away from the main gate.


You see, to us sailors, Rachel was better known as Momma Camille and she served the best fish & chips in Halifax. She was known as The woman who fed the fleet and many a Saturday night run ashore in in "Slackers" ended at Momma Camille's Fish & Chips.


Momma Camille retired in 1984 although the name of her fish & chip shop can be seen all over Nova Scotia.


She passed on at age 90 on 22 May this year. Many a retired and serving sailor will be hoisting a glass in thanks to Rachel for saving us from the fare of "A" Block in "Stad".


Fair winds and following seas, Momma Camille. (Source: Article from unknown newspaper - 26 May 2009)


Click here to read newspaper articles and letters of thanks to Mama Camille

Ng Muk Kah, B.E.M. (1917 - 2009)


Generations of sailors who visited Hong Kong will mourn the death of Jenny. She was a much loved living legend who, for all the colony’s constant change, remained the same incomparable institution for over half a century.


Much of her life was an enigma. However. the authors of her twenty-seven Certificates of Service generally agreed that she was born in a sampan in Causeway Bay in 1917. Her mother, Jenny One, according to her one surviving Certificate of Service, which was copied in 1946 from an older, much battered and largely illegible document, ‘provided serviceable sampans for the general use of the Royal Navy, obtained sand, and was useful for changing money‘. She brought up her two daughters to help her.


Behind her perpetual great gold-toothed grin Jenny complained; ‘I velly chocker. All time work in sampan, no learn to lead or lite.’ But what she lacked in education she made up more than a hundredfold with her immense and impressive experience in ship husbandry, her unfailing thoroughness and apparently inexhaustible energy, her unquestionable loyalty and integrity, her infectious enthusiasm and her innate cheerfulness.


Officially, Jenny’s Date of Volunteering was recorded as 1928. From then until 1997, when the colony became a Special Administrative Region of China and the Royal Navy moved out, she and her team of tireless girls, who at one time numbered nearly three dozen, unofficially served the Royal and Commonwealth Navies in Hong Kong by cleaning and painting their ships, attending their buoy jumpers, and, dressed in their best, waiting with grace and charm upon their guests at cocktail parties. Captains and Executive Officers would find fresh flowers in their cabins and newspapers delivered daily. And many a departing officer received a generous gift as a memento from Jenny. For all of this, she steadfastly refused ever to take any payment. Instead she and her Side Party earned their keep selling soft drinks to the ships’ companies and accepting any item of scrap which could be found on board.


Most treasured of all Jenny’s distinctions was the British Empire Medal awarded her in the Hong Kong Civilian List of the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 1980 and with which she, formally named Mrs. Ng Muk Kah, was invested by the Governor of Hong Kong, Sir Murray MacLehose.


In later years, Hong Kong was no longer visited by the great fleets of battleships and cruisers which gave Jenny and her Side Party their livelihood and she found it increasingly difficult to make ends meet. Yet she stayed fit and was always willing to undertake any work available. 


Jenny died peacefully in Hong Kong on Wednesday 18th February 2009. She was 92 years old.  (Source: Naval Historical Society of Australia)


- Chief and Petty Officers' Association (Esquimalt) newsletter Bulletin" article on Jenny's Side party  -  Page 1     Page 2


Margaret Martha Brooke, LCdr, RCN, Canadian naval hero


Photo of Margaret Brooke courtesy of Department of National Defence


Margaret Martha Brooke (BHSC'35, BA'65, PhD'71), a palaeotologist and Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) Nursing Sister decorated for gallantry in combat during the Second World War, died on January 9, 2016 in Victoria, B.C. at the age of 100 years.


On April 13, 2015 the Government of Canada announced that an Arctic/Offshore Patrol Ship (AOPS) would be named after Brooke, who holds degrees from the U of S College of Home Economics and the Department of Geological Sciences at the College of Arts & Science. She is the author of several papers in the field of palaeontology.


On October 14, 1942, during a crossing of the Cabot Strait off the coast of Newfoundland, the ferry SS Caribou was torpedoed by the German submarine U-69. The ferry sank in five minutes. Fighting for her own survival, Lieutenant-Commander (LCdr) Brooke also did everything humanly possible to save the life of her colleague and friend, Nursing Sister Sub-Lieutenant Agnes Wilkie, while both women clung to ropes on a capsized lifeboat. In spite of Brooke’s heroic efforts to hang on to her with one arm, her friend succumbed to the frigid water.


For this selfless act, Brooke was named a member (Military Division) of the Order of the British Empire.


The HMCS Margaret Brooke will be the second of six Harry DeWolf-class AOPS constructed as part of Canada's National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy. Construction began in 2015.


Brooke grew up in the small farming community of Ardath, SK during the Depression. Her mother was determined that her daughter would attend university so, in 1933, she moved to Saskatoon to attend the University of Saskatchewan.


After earning a BHSC in 1935, she joined the Royal Canadian Navy in 1942. She was serving as a Nursing Sister in the RCN hospital in HMCS Stadacona, Halifax, NS, when the fateful ferry incident occurred.


After she retired from the RCN in 1962, she returned to Saskatoon and the University of Saskatchewan where she earned a BA and then a PhD in biostratigraphy and micro-palaeontology. She remained in the Department of Geological Sciences as an instructor and research associate until her retirement in 1986.


Vice-Admiral Mark Norman, Commander of the Royal Canadian Navy, issued a statement on behalf of the RCN and the Canadian Armed Forces on the passing of Lieutenant-Commander (ret’d) Brooke, calling her a “true Canadian naval hero.”


Government of Canada news release