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CANADA IN THE WAR AT SEA 163

 

large number of these volunteered their services, and as many as necessary were entered for service during the period of the war.

There were other matters, of course, requiring immediate attention, such as naval intelligence, contraband, enemy and neutral commerce, censorship, movements of stores and troop transports, the organization of mine-sweeping flotillas, coastal patrols, harbour defence, etc. The personnel of the staff employed at Headquarters had to be increased by over one hundred per cent.

Just before the outbreak of war, the Dominion Government purchased two submarines which were building at Seattle for the Chilean Government. The crews were recruited from officers and men in the Dominion, the Government being fortunate in this respect in obtaining the services of two retired officers of the Royal Navy who had previous experience in submarines. These vessels were also placed at the disposal of the Admiralty. Permission was likewise obtained from the Admiralty to use the Shearwater as a depot ship for the submarines, which were at first actively employed in the defence of the British Columbian Coast and, after the destruction of Admiral von Spee's squadron, for training operations and cruising. The Niobe continued to be employed under the command of the rear-admiral commanding the North American station until September, 1915, when, owing to the very considerable amount of almost continuous steaming that she had done since the outbreak of war, it was considered that the general state of her machinery and boilers would not warrant her continuance on this duty. This fact, in conjunction with the urgent necessity for a depot ship to be used to accommodate numerous drafts of men passing through Halifax, and of a parent ship for the vessels employed on patrol work, etc., on the Atlantic Coast, caused the decision to be made to pay her off and recommission her for the purposes indicated. Since that date she has proved suitable for her new functions, and of considerable


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