CFB Esquimalt Naval and Military Museum Logo

The history of Canada's Navy & Military on Canada's west coast

The Navy List

The Navy List

The Canadian Navy List was published from 1910 to 1965.

These lists are a useful tool for researchers who are trying to track the career of an officer in the Canadian Navy.They provide information about which ships and/or shore establishments individual officers served in, as well as their career advancements and promotions. (Enlisted personnel, however, are only to be found in either Crew or Nominal Lists).

Navy List entry for John FarrowCFB Esquimalt Naval & Military Museum has a near-complete set of Navy Lists for reference here at our museum archives in Esquimalt BC. A project to digitize these hard copy publications, to make them accessible and to preserve them, was co-initiated by Dr. Richard H. Gimblett, who was then Acting Director of Navy History and Heritage in Ottawa, and museum staff member Clare Sharpe in 2011. The project continues.

To address gaps in our set of original Navy List copies, we approached the Directorate of History and Heritage in Ottawa, the Naval Museum of Halifax, and the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa. We're still working on making the publications from our project partners available, but this museum's collection of Navy List books has been fully scanned and digitized and is available here in searchable PDF format (see sidebar on this page, right).

Royal Naval College of Canada (RNCC) students, from the period when the College was based in Esquimalt Dockyard, following its relocation from Nova Scotia in the aftermath of the Halifax explosion. <br></br>The students pictured represent a 'Who's Who' of Canada's early naval leadership.


Rear-Admiral Sir Charles Edmund Kingsmill became the first director of the Department of the Naval Service of Canada, after playing a prominent role in establishing the Royal Canadian Navy in 1910. Along with Walter Hose, he is considered the father of the Royal Canadian Navy.

Rear-Admiral Walter Hose is credited with saving the Royal Canadian Navy. During his watch as Director of the Naval Service (DNS), then as Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), 1921-1934, Hose waged many battles to ensure the RCN's survival.

Victor Brodeur (later Rear-Admiral Brodeur) served in the RCN for 38 years, from 1909 to 1947. His father, Louis-Philippe Brodeur, was Canada's first naval minister. His son Nigel Brodeur is a retired Admiral of the Royal Canadian Navy. Together, the three men represent an RCN dynasty.
Commander (later Vice-Admiral) George C. Jones was Leonard Murray's chief rival and competitor throughout his career. The Murray-Jones feud was common knowledge within the tight-knit family that was the early Royal Canadian Navy.Rear-Admiral Leonard Warren Murray, whom historian Marc Milner considers the most important operational commander in the Canadian Navy's first century.

Vice-Admiral Harry G. DeWolf is a legendary figure in the RCN's history because of his extraordinary achievements at sea as Captain of HMCS HAIDA. He was also an extremely capable Chief of the Naval Staff.