Subseries III - Reserve Division Files

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Reserve Division Files

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Subseries

Reference code

CA ON00093 81/520; 2010/15-30-III

Edition area

Edition statement

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Class of material specific details area

Statement of scale (cartographic)

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area

Date(s)

  • 1913-1979 (Creation)

Physical description area

Physical description

Textual records in Boxes 323-328 and 503

Publisher's series area

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Archival description area

Name of creator

(1923-)

Administrative history

The Royal Canadian Naval Reserve (RCNR) was established in 1923 and was authorized originally to enlist 500 men in nine port divisions, later reduced to five – Charlottetown, Halifax, Montreal, Quebec and Vancouver. Its actual strength between the wars never amounted to more than half that. The members from the RCNR were to be from maritime occupations and to possess a professional knowledge of ships and the sea. Each year they were given four weeks of naval training aboard RCN vessels. On the outbreak of war in 1939, a large number of professional seamen volunteered for service with the RCNR and by May, 1941, approximately 3800 members of the service were on active duty.

Name of creator

(1923-)

Administrative history

In order to train volunteers for naval service, in 1923 15 reserve companies of the Royal Canadian Naval Volunteer Reserve (RCNVR) were organized across the country, a number subsequently increased to 19. Unlike the members of the Royal Canadian Naval Reserve, these men were amateurs – yachtsmen, etc. – with an interest in the sea and ships, but no professional expertise. An RCN instructor provided 30 evenings’ training through the winter followed by two weeks at sea in the summer. The service was often called the “the wavy navy” because rank stripes on the cuff of the officer’s uniform were wavy, and not straight as in the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN). Between the wars the RCNVR never numbered more than 1500, all ranks. After the outbreak of the Second World War the RCNVR played a key role in the RCN’s expansion, providing some 88 percent of the RCN’s total wartime personnel.

Custodial history

Scope and content

Subseries consists of material dealing with the history of the Royal Canadian Naval Reserve (RCNR) and the Royal Canadian Naval Volunteer Reserve (RCNVR) from the 1923 until the mid-1960s. The files contain narratives, signals and messages, newspaper and magazine clippings, press releases, reports of proceedings, a listing of Commanding Officers and historical data.

Notes area

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Classified material is stored in Box 503 Files 20-21.

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