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


RCN Badges

Before the Second World War, RCN ship's badges were unofficial and were known as insignia, and more frequently, but incorrectly, as crests.


Donald Duck prepares to drop his depth charge on an enemy U-boat in this example of gunshield art from HMCS SNOWBERRY.

Through a series of online projects hosted on this website,  CFB Esquimalt Naval and Military Museum has contributed to research and useful resources on a range of topics.

These diverse projects have helped us share information with a much wider community. And they've opened the door for the community to share information with us.

For example,LCdr(retd) Dave Freeman's Badge Project to gather information about RCN badges and insignia prompted many emails, letters and phone calls from people with knowledge of missing or unknown badges. The project has been so successful that his results are about to be published as a book, titled Badges of Distinction

An additional collaborative project to gather information about the service numbers and experiences of women in the Women's Royal Canadian Naval Service (WRCNS)during the Second World War was undertaken because of a growing awareness that these women are a vanishing resource.

A mechanic in the WRCNS. <br>We'd love to know more about this woman's service and experiences.To help preserve the history of the WRCNS, CFB Esquimalt Naval and Military Museum began a project - the WRCNS Registry - to gather data about Canada's Wrens. Due to the efforts of a museum volunteer, the late Mary Grant, an initial list of Wren service numbers and names was compiled.

LCdr Dave Freeman has taken this early information and effort much further with his own research, to a stage where he will soon publish a two volume work on the Wrens' stories and service.

Through cooperative projects like these, we also -
~ provide an online directory of names and baptism dates from bells used for shipboard christening ceremonies - Christening Bells Project;

~ scan Ship Plans from the museum collection for use by model builders and other interested individuals;

~ scan copies of the Canadian Navy List to make them available for researchers online;

~ scan Crew Photos from our collection of images of Canadian naval vessels and the men and women who served in them;

~ scan and share informative and interesting publications from the past such as the Crow's Nest magazine.

CFB Esquimalt Naval and Military Museum looks forward to more partnerships in the future that harness the collaborative power of researchers and the online community.