RCN Nominal Lists
Lieutenant-Commander (retired) David J. Freeman is a naval historian and researcher. He is the author of Canadian Warship Names, and will soon be publishing Badges of Distinction, a book about unofficial badges of the Canadian Navy.
The first ship to bear the name NADEN was a small wooden schooner built to carry out hydrographic surveys in 1913. Handed over to the RCN in 1918, she was situated in Esquimalt Dockyard for use in training naval cadets.
In 1920, she succeeded the old cruiser RAINBOW in the crucial function of being the depot ship on whose books were borne the names of all officers and men serving ashore in Esquimalt.
RCN Nominal Lists
In July 1944, the Canadian Naval Mission Overseas (e.g. CNMO in London), issued a Basegram to all ships in UK waters which stated that commencing immediately, " ... Nominal Lists are henceforth to be rendered quarterly on 15th days of January, April, July and October."2
To determine the availability of such lists, 22 ship names were randomly selected from the following series in the National Archives: RG24, D 13, Volumes 11715, 11722, 11725, 11729, 11732, 117239, 12006, and 12007. Each volume contained several files. Some ships had one or two files on various subjects but according to information in NAC search aids, all ships were to have some nominal rolls.
Some conclusions may be drawn from my search of the National Archives records e.g.
1. only a few ships have nominal lists in their NAC files that date from 1943;
2. none of the files surveyed had any lists earlier than 1943;
3. most ships have nominal lists for 1944 and 1945; but
4. some ships have no nominal lists.
CFB Esquimalt Naval and Military Museum currently holds a Nominal List for HMCS PRINCE ROBERT dated late 1940. No other list is held for this period nor for 1941 or 1942. In his travels, the author has located and copied several nominal lists for various periods as well as post war crew lists. These include:
COATICOOK, April 1945
ST FRANCIS, c.1940/41
SKEENA, Sep 1944
QUESNEL, September 1944
VANCOUVER (2nd) September 1943
Some LCI(L)s for 1944
In summation, a selection of nominal rolls have been filed away in NAC in Ottawa. To see such lists, one must make a personal visit to the archives on Wellington Street, or hire someone in the Ottawa area to do the required search on your behalf.
Readers who may have in their possession - or know of the existence of - a nominal roll or crew list for any of HMC Ships from 1910 to 1946, are asked to contact the author via this web site or the Naval and Military Museum, CFB Esquimalt, PO Box 17000 Stn Forces, Victoria, BC, V9A 7N2.