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Royal Naval College of Canada

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  • Horatio Nelson Lay, Rear Admiral (1903 - 1988)
    Order of the British Empire (OBE) - "For gallantry and distinguished services before the enemy. This Officer was in command of one of HMC Destroyers engaged in convoy and other duties in United Kingd...

The Royal Naval College of Canada (RNCC) was established by the Department of the Naval Service after the formation of the Royal Canadian Navy in 1910. The college was placed under the auspices of the Minister of Naval Service (and of Marine and Fisheries) and controlled by the Director of the Naval Service, Rear-Admiral Charles Kingsmill. The initial goal was to train a new generation of Canadian naval officers for the RCN. The college existed from 1911 to 1922 and educated about 150 students until it was closed due to declining numbers and budget cuts by the government of Canada. As the RCN did not have large ships of its own other than HMCS Niobe and HMCS Rainbow, the cadets followed a course of study that would qualify them for eventual service on British warships. The graduated midshipmen were required to serve approximately one year of "big ship duty" as part of their training.

The College was housed in a refurbished three storey brick building, the former naval hospital, at the north end of HMC Dockyard. The structure was built in 1863 to replace the original hospital destroyed in an 1815 fire. However, the building was heavily damaged in the 1917 Halifax Explosion. In the Spring of 1918, the college was temporarily moved to facilities at the Royal Military College (RMC) in Kingston, Ontario. In September, the college was relocated to the naval dockyard at Esquimalt, British Columbia. The college was closed in 1922 after a parliamentary decision.