Canadian Naval Memorial Trust
On the eve of the 70th anniversary of the commissioning of HMCS Sackville, the Canadian Naval Memorial Trust
has launched a new website dedicated to promoting not only the legacy of the ship and the Second World War,
but of all Canadian sailors – past, present, and future.
HMCS Sackville was one of more than 120 corvettes built in Canada during the Second World War. Corvettes were the workhorses of the North Atlantic, escorting convoys and protecting the supply lines from the menace of U-boats. HMCS Sackville was built at Saint John, NB and commissioned on 29 December 1941. It is the last intact corvette of its kind in the world. Moored in Halifax harbour, she remains a lasting memorial to all those who served in the Navy during the Second World War. The ship was retired in 1982 after years of service as a research vessel. In June 1988, the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada declared HMCS Sackville a National Historic Site and work was started to restore the ship to the original 1941 configuration.
The new Canadian Naval Memorial Trust website also features a collection of oral testimonials from veterans who served aboard HMCS Sackville. In partnership with The Memory Project Archives, almost 100 interviews with veterans who shared their experiences serving on the Corvette fleet during the Second World War have been donated to the Trust for use on this site.
Commander William Gard, a long serving Trustee and retired member of the Royal Canadian Navy, shared his hopes for the future of the Trust and HMCS Sackville:
“HMCS Sackville is an iconic vessel and we are endeavouring to preserve this legacy for future generations and all Canadians. HMCS Sackville represents the soul of the Navy and is a symbol of the service of all sailors from 1910 when the Royal Canadian Navy was formed, right through to present day. In effect, it represents the past, present, and future sailors of the Royal Canadian Navy – just as the Vimy Memorial is to the Army.”
Plans are underway to design a new flooded graving dock to give a permanent home for HMCS Sackville which would be open year-round and accessible by the public. The Trust is hoping that Canadians from coast to coast to coast will come to recognize HMCS Sackville as a symbol of Canada’s great contribution winning the Battle of the Atlantic and ultimately, the re-conquest of Europe.
If you are interested in supporting Canada’s Naval Memorial Trust and HMCS Sackville, you can become a Trustee through their website – www.canadasnavalmemorial.ca.
For more information on HMCS Sackville, visit our Focus On page dedicated to veterans who served aboard corvettes!