Fonds 2002/14 - Harold T.W. Grant fonds

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Harold T.W. Grant fonds

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Reference code

CA ON00093 2002/14

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  • Photocopied 2002 (originally created 1931-1967) (Reproduction)
  • 1931-1932, 1943-1945 (Creation)

Physical description area

Physical description

8 cm of textual records

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Name of creator

Biographical history

Vice-Admiral Harold Taylor Wood Grant (1899-1965) was a former Chief of the Canadian Naval Staff during 1947-1951. Born in Halifax, he entered the Royal Naval College of Canada at Halifax in 1914, and graduated in December 1916. His first sea appointment came in 1917 as a Midshipman on HMS Leviathan. In 1919, he was promoted to the rank of Sub-Lieutenant, and after service with the Royal Navy, he returned to Canada to join HMCS Patriot in 1923.. Between 1927 and 1931, he served in ships of the Royal Navy including HMS Warspite and HMS Queen Elizabeth. In 1931, he was appointed to the Canadian destroyer, Saguenay and served with this ship until he was appointed Director of Naval Plans in 1934. In 1935, he was named Director of Naval Reserves with the rank of Commander, and in 1936 he took a naval staff course in the United Kingdom, later serving on the staff of the Commander-in-Chief, Atlantic Fleet, in HMS Nelson. In 1938, he was given command of the Canadian destroyer HMCS Skeena and a year later that ship was assigned to take King George VI and Queen Elizabeth to and from Prince Edward Island during their Royal tour of Canada. Shortly after the outbreak of the Second World War he was posted to the Command Staff, Atlantic Coast, and in 1940 was promoted to the rank of Captain and sent to Ottawa as Director of Naval Personnel. >From September 1942 to March 1943, he was Captain (D), Newfoundland and in charge of the escort fleet operating out of St. John's. In March of 1943, he was appointed in command of the Royal Navy cruiser Diomede and later the HMS Enterprise. Grant was awarded the Distinguished Service Order for his part in the Bay of Biscay action on December 28, 1942. He was also mentioned in despatches for his service in the D-Day invasion fleet in 1944 and later was wounded during the naval bombardment of Cherbourg, winning the American Bronze Star there. Early in 1945, he commissioned as Commanding Officer with HMCS Ontario. He was appointed to be Additional Commander of the Military Division of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire in January of 1946, and in February, assumed the post of Chief of Naval Administration and Supply and as Third Member of the Naval Board. On February 28, 1946, her was promoted to the rank of Rear-Admiral. In September of 1947, he was appointed Chief of the Naval Staff and promoted to the rank of Vice-Admiral and held this appointment until December 1951 when he retired after 37 years of service in the Royal Canadian Navy. Following his retirement in 1951 he served as President of Home Steamship Lines of Montreal and headed the Royal Canadian Navy Benevolent Fund from 1956 to 1963. He had married Christian Mitchell, of Halifax in 1932, and they had three children.

Custodial history

Scope and content

Fonds consists of photocopies of correspondence primarily between Harold T. W. Grant, his fiancée and then his wife, Christian Mitchell. The letters were written while stationed on, and as Commander of various ships including HMCS Saguenay, HMCS Ontario, HMS Enterprise and HMS Diomede and provide a glimpse of life in the Navy during both the Second World War and peacetime. The letters often described the ports he visited, and Grant wrote about Jamaica, Barbados, Trinidad, Bermuda, St. Lucia, Portland, Portsmouth, Belfast, Hong Kong and other locales. Other correspondence includes letters of congratulations on his engagement, marriage, the birth of his children, naval accomplishments and honours. Of particular interest are letters of congratulation on Grant's Bay of Biscay victory as well as a letter to Mrs. Grant, from her husband on VE Day, May 8, 1945.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Fonds received from the Grant family in May 2002.


Language of material

  • English

Script of material

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Finding aids

Copies of the finding aid are located in the first file of the fonds and in the Reading Room at the Directorate of History and Heritage. Electronic copies are also available. The finding aid is an inventory of the letters.

Associated materials

There is a biography file on Vice-Admiral Harold T.W. Grant.

Related materials


No further accruals are expected.

General note

The letters have been numbered and are arranged in numerical order. Some letters have been copied in such a way that requires the right hand side of the page to be read first.

Physical description

Some copies are poor and handwriting is illegible at times. Some letters have been partially transcribed.

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