Royal Canadian Navy Reserve’s 100th Anniversary this May!

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Image by Hans Toom from Pixabay

The Royal Canadian Navy Reserve has turned 100, and the Royal Canadian Navy is paying its marks of respect to the services of the Navy Reserve during World War II.

The latter had formed the backbone of the Canadian Navy during the long battle of the Atlantic.

In a recent tweet,  the Royal Canadian Navy tweeted,

“Throughout the #SecondWorldWar, the reserve force was the backbone of our Navy. With our Naval Reserve in its 100th year of service, we thank the citizen sailors who served during the #BattleoftheAtlantic.

 #NAVRES100 #CanadaRemembers

100 Years of Canadian Reserve Forces
Source: Twitter

The Royal Canadian Navy’s reserve is celebrating 100 years of service to the Nation.

It strives to recruit and train sailors for the Royal Canadian Navy for deployment in its own and foreign countries.  It also aids and enhances the Navy’s interest in reaching out to the citizens of Canada.

1. The Beginning of the Royal Canadian Navy

The Royal Canadian Navy’s reserve was started in 1923 under the leadership of Rear Admiral Walter Hose. Admiral Walter Hose also introduced a reserve force called the Royal Canadian Navy Volunteer Reserve (RCNVR).

The Royal Canadian Navy Reserve(RCNR) was mainly made up of sailors from the merchant navy. RCNVR comprised of had limited military training, and many had full-time jobs.

100 Years of Canadian Reserve Forces
Image by David Mark from Pixabay

The creation of the Reserve aimed to support the Royal Canadian Navy during the war.

Little was known back then that the RCNVR and RCNR will play a vital role during the Battle of the Atlantic. Both the reserve forces were combined in 1946.

2. Uniform

Interestingly, the Royal Canadian Navy Volunteer Reserve was called Wavy Navy due to its Uniform. The regular Navy Officers wore a straight line to depict their rank on a tunic.

The Reserve force officers, on the other hand, wore a wavy line to differentiate themselves.

 3. Training in the Early Days

Post initial selection, which included a fitness board by doctors and an oath to the king, the reserves joined with a stipend of $48 per month.

The recruits were issued uniforms.

As part of training,  the recruits were trained to survive on the bridge during the war and were trained on basic warfighting and survival skills.

100 Years of Canadian Reserve Forces
Courtesy: Unlimphotos

4. Contribution to World War

The reserve force continued to back and support the Royal Canadian Navy during the prolonged Battle of the Atlantic and World War II.

Numerous sailors were recruited from all over the country, even cities and villages without seashores.

The worthiness of the reserve forces came to attention with the declaration of World War II in 1939. The recruitment rate of sailors doubled within a very short period.

Within six years, the Canadian Navy became the third largest in the world. The Navy had a borne strength of 100,000.

In September 1939, the reserve forces went into the World War. The force joined into destroyers and minesweepers of the Navy.

Despite initial resistance and apprehension of having reserve force fought the war standing shoulder to shoulder with the Navy

During the war,  Canada continued to help Great Britain by ensuring a continuous supply of food and military aid.

This supply of food and military aid was provided using merchant ships.

The escort of these merchant ships by the Canadian Navy ships ensured delivery of 150 million tons of supply.

The war saw 14 Royal Navy ships sinking due to enemy action and another 8 to the collision. 2000 Navy sailors were martyred in the war, most of which were from reserve forces.

Last Updated on by Janhavi Ramesh Kowligi

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