HMCS Naden

The following discussion took place on the RCN History List in August 1999. All posts appear here with the permission of their respective authors.

From: Jack Arrowsmith (

Does anyone have any further information regarding the following vessel which the Canadian 'Department of the Naval Service' had in service:

A 1914 Survey indicates the following:
"NADEN" 88/1913, Displacement 118, 80x20x9ft, crew 12 (all deck), 2 boats (capacity 29), Sail, 1 pump, 4-3in hawsers, provisions carried 10 days, refrigeration none, syren none, whistle none, foghorn yes, International signal flags yes, International signal books yes, Semaphore no, signal lamps no.
Based at Essquimalt, BC. Hydrographic Survey.
Sold with EXMOUTH II, to Joseph W. Hobbs, at Esquimalt, 1920.

From Laurie Farrington (

Reference: Esquimalt Naval Base: A History of Its Works and Its Defences, by Major F.V. Longstaff, 1941, distributed by the Victoria Book & Stationery C. Ltd, 1002 Goverment Street, Victoria, BC, Canada.

Page 81 footnote (6) says:
Dominion Government Ship Naden, built in the City of Vanvouver in 1913, of wood, with auxiliary screw engine, 88 tons. First used as a tender to the Dominion Government Survey Ship Lillooet, and fitted with a deck cabin or house. About 1918, being laid up at New Westminster, she was loaned to the Naval Department. The deck cabin was removed and she was commissioned as a tender to the Naval College at Esquimalt for training in sail. She eventually succeeded the Rainbow as Depot Ship upon whose books the names of Officers and Ratings were borne while serving ashore. In 1925 the ship was sold to Mr. J.W. Hobbs of Vancouver City for the sum of $1,091. However, her name persists to the present time in the form of the Naval Barracks and Training Establishment. Authority for much of the above is "Annual Report Naval Service, 1920," page 28, Hydrographic Survey.

From Rollie Webb (

The " Naden " was built by Wallace Shipyards Ltd. the predecessor of Burrard Dry Dock as their hull # 85 and was actually constructed in North Vancouver. Wallace had originally run his shipyard on False Creek in Vancouver and moved it to the North Shore in 1906./07 era. There is a picture in the North Vancouver City Archives of the vessel of the launchways with all her sails set, apparently just prior to launch.

Somewhere I have seen a reference that the Naval Service actually bought the vessel while it was under construction and did not actually order it.

By the way this was the second " naval vessel " built by Wallace/Burrard. The first was the all wood fisheries cruiser " Kestrel " , 136' in length, completed in 1899. This vessel really did look like a warship, with a ram bow and ornate carved woodwork around the upper bow. Apparently she was lost 20 years later off Honolulu " while employed in the cable station supply service ". She did not last very long in Government Service being registered with commercial owners by 1913.

From George R. MacFarlane (

Capt L.R.W. Beavis book "Passage" states Beavis was given command of Naden in 1915.He was ordered to take her up the Fraser River and moor her inside Popular Island. The RADM W.O. Story RN Retd Senior Naval Officer West Coast was onboard for the passage. He was further ordered to hide her in one of the numerous inlets if the Germans broke the blockade and came our way and to destroy her at once if the Germans discovered her!

She was laid up in Wheelbarrow Creek Millbay Vancouver Island later on.

Joseph William Hobbs Lieutenant [WW1] Transferred RCNVR. Purchased her for $1,091.00 in 1920 and used her as a training ship for the Vancouver Half Company of which he was the Commanding Officer. He also purchased the Stadacona and was engaged in the rum trade at the time. Hobbs went on to greater heights in later years in Scotland.

From Laurie Farrington (

Further to an earlier discussion about HMCS Naden - the seaging ship and not the shore naval barracks - I have found references to her in a bound volume of Sea Breezes, a series of newsletters of the Royal Naval College of Canada first opened in 1911 at Halifax, and temporarily housed in RMC Kingston after the Halifax explosion in December 1917, and which moved finally to Esquimalt in September 1918.

In the June 1921 newsletter mention is made of the cruises made by the cadets in HMCS Naden between Vancouver Island and the mainland. She proceeded under sail most of the day and anchored over night in places such as Chemainus, Maple Bay, and Fulford Harbour. Training in seamanship and navigation was the order of the day.

In the June 1922 newsletter - the College closed in June 1922 - the instructional cruises in HMCS Naden were described. She is referred to as the College schooner.

After the closing of the College, the name Naden was transferred to the shore establishment or naval barracks and HMCS Naden was commissioned on 3 September 1922 under the command of Lieutenant-Commander C.T. Beard.

2. On the subject of the name Naden, we must distinguish between the seagoing Hydrographic Survey ship Naden and the naval barracks or shore establishment called HMCS Naden, Esquimalt BC.

- In 1918 the schooner Naden of the Hydrographic Service was temporarily transferred to the Naval College in the Esquimalt dockyard. She did not show in the Royal Navy List as being in commision until 1920. The College closed in June 1922. She served as the Depot Ship (replacing HMCS Rainbow) upon whose books the names of officers and men were borne when serving ashore in Esquimalt. This Depot Ship function as HMCS Naden changed in September 1922.

- From that time on people serving ashore in Esquimalt were appointed to and borne on the books of HMCS Naden.

From David J Freeman (

I concur with Laurie Farrington that NADEN was sold in 1925 vice 1920.

According to my records NADEN was the tender to the College up to 1 Jun 1920 when she took over as depot ship for the shore barracks. She was sold in Jul 1925, her duties as depot ship being taken over by a motor boat from the College, the ex Blue Boat.

I have no records concerning to whom she was sold but it could not have been before 1925.

Last Updated: 10 September, 1999.

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