Home > CMH > Vol. 9 (2000) > Iss. 3
In the spring of 1910 an act of Parliament gave birth to the Canadian navy. What followed were four years of bitter partisan battles over whether this new service would be small and largely coastal, or whether the money was better spent in direct support of the imperial fleet. By the time war came in 1914 the fledgling service consisted of two dilapidated old cruisers—Niobe and Rainbow—acquired solely for training. During the war this navy evolved into a hodgepodge of little auxiliary vessels as it scrambled to meet the new threat from submarines. By the time the war ended, as the official naval historian Gilbert Tucker noted, Canada had nothing more than “a small ship navy.” HMCS Thiepval—all 357 tons of her—was borne into this emerging small ship navy in 1917. The little trawler subsequently had a brief but remarkable career in the service of Canada, and a fate that has left her as one of the West Coast’s most famous tourist sites.
McDowall, Duncan "HMCS Thiepval: The Accidental Tourist Destination." Canadian Military History 9, 3 (2000)