First World War Coastal Defences at Seymour Narrows

by John MacFarlane 2017

Seymour Narrows  Guns

Removing Coast Defence Guns From Seymour Narrows (Photo courtesy of the MMBC.)

At the commencement of the First World War it was realized that the naval forces on the Pacific coast of Canada were limited and insufficient. It was perceived that an enemy cruiser might enter the Strait of Georgia by the northern route and obtain access to coal at Nanaimo BC or at Vancouver BC. The Juan de Fuca Strait was protected by the guns at Fort Rodd Hill.

Sixteen sea mines were loaded from HMS Newcastle on CGS Newington (which had been equipped with mine laying gear). The intent was that if needed the mines would be laid just west of Malcolm Island so as to block the main channel leading to Johnstone Strait. The eastern entrance to Johnstone Strait was patrolled by three motor launches carrying 14–inch torpedoes.

Seymour Narrows  Guns

Guns From HMCS Shearwater Protecting Seymour Narrows From Possible Enemy Attack. (Photo courtesy of the MMBC.)

To prevent the arrival of an enemy raider two 4–inch guns from HMCS Shearwater were mounted on the mainland side of Seymour Narrows a short distance north of Ripple Rock. These guns were manned by members of the RNCVR. After the destruction of Admiral von Spee’s squadron at the Falkland Islands on December 8th the guns were removed and returned to HM Dockyard Esquimalt BC. The mines were never laid.

Seymour Narrows  Guns

RNCVR Personnel Removing Guns From Seymour Narrows (Photo courtesy of the MMBC.)

To quote from this article please cite:

MacFarlane, John M. (2017) First World War Coastal Defences at Seymour Narrows. 2017.

New Nauticapedia Book Just Published!

Volume Four in series

The Nauticapedia List of British Columbia's Floating Heritage Volume Four

Book — British Columbia's Floating Heritage
For more information …

Site News: March2nd, 2019

Databases have been updated and are now holding 56,584 vessel histories (with 5,550 images) and 58,184 mariner biographies (with 3,673 images).

© 2002-2019