I found this entry on a forum

100th anniversary of the Royal Canadian Navy (Read 197 times)
Wilkins P J

HMS Ganges

Posts: 24
Gender: male
 100th anniversary of the Royal Canadian Navy
31. Dec 2008 at 18:04
Prepare Shipmates  Smiley
The year 2010 celebrates the 100th year of the forming of the Royal Canadian Navy and is being celebrated 'Big Time' in Halifax Nova Scotia. So start saving your pennies. Remember 2000.
Yours Aye

posted by a chap called Wilkins, ostensibly inviting his Brit chums over to Canada to celebrate that event covered by the text of his message.

It got me thinking.  You see the RCN, whilst formed in 1910, didn't last more than 58 years, destroyed by the Canadian Parliament in 1968 because of the lack of money and the need to economise the countries Armed Forces.  So, whilst not wishing to be pedantic, re-written, the event could well be staged to celebrate 100 years of Canadians fighting at sea for the good of the world with the RCN proper of 58 years, plus the Canadian Navy proper of 42 years.  The name change, although as we will see in a moment or two, was most hated, cannot alter that throughout this long period, Canadians  have "punched their weight" in just about all wars since WW1 producing many hero's, and winning the confidence, trust and admiration of her much larger allies. 

I have a vested interested in Canada in that I served for a short period on the West Coast associated with HMCS/M Grillse [an ex WW2 USN guppy class submarine - Canada's first boat] and later for just over two years based on the East Coast, at Halifax Nova Scotia.  In the latter posting, I served in HMS/M Auriga which the Canadians, for sheer devilment, regularly called HMCS Auriga. My wife accompanied me and our eldest son was born in Halifax Infirmary.  We were fully aware of the changes taking place in Canada [the Maple Leaf; Oh Canada] and the days of Diefenbaker and Pearson. Life in Halifax and Dartmouth was as familiar as it had been in Portsmouth and Gosport, with the local barracks of Stadacona a reminder of HMS Victory [the Portsmouth Queen Street barracks].  Additionally, we also have relations and several sets of friends who live in Canada.  Last year, we toured Vancouver visiting Victoria Island and on Vancouver Island, my old haunt of Esquimalt, and then cruised to Alaska. This year we are cruising from Quebec to New York [four night stay in a Time Square hotel] calling in to look up our old home in Quinpool Road [number 6223] in Halifax.  If you are at all interested, the following two pages part-tell my story as an RN sailor in Canada rectangle_Album.htm and this one, so I will love you and leave you to read them whilst I go off to prepare my true story about the END OF THE RCN .

My previous paragraph end suggests a state of limbo, so now let me tell you that I intend to go backwards, towards the RCN and not forward to the post 1968 navy, back to the END of the RCN, and to a particularly brave Canadian admiral.

This story tells of Admiral Landymore, an officer well loved across the pond.  Credit for bringing it to my attention goes to Andy McCullough, a Canadian friend and one time naval officer in his country's esteemed navy.  It begins with his short introduction "

First though, my only direct memory of the Admiral, who sadly I never met in person.

I was out at HMCS NADEN in the summer of 1966 for Comm training when they scheduled a “retirement” parade for Admiral Landymore.  The first thing they did that day was order all the Naval Reserves, and there were a lot of us, ashore by noon with orders not to return before 1700.  Being a nosey bugger, however, I wanted to watch the parade.  For some reason I wore a “Royal Canadian Navy” cap tally instead of  “HMCS DONNACONA” that I should have been wearing.  So, I cleaned into my number 1’s with gold wire badges and as the parade was forming up I took advantage of the confusion to march to a position alongside the right front of the dais where I stood at ease overlooking NADEN ‘s very large parade square.  Since I was a signalman, it was assumed that I had been posted there as a messenger or something, at least nobody questioned my presence!

Every ship in MARPAC supplied a division, and remember, there were a lot of ships back then, plus all the on-shore facilities such as the comm school, dockyard, etc. also each supplied a division. In the distance a band was heard and all these divisions marched onto the square and virtually filled it up.  Next it was “march on the Guard and Band” and a 100 man guard and 45 person band appeared.

I don’t remember too much about the arrival of the Admiral nor his very, very long inspection, but I’ll never forget the march past.  After the Guard and all 30 or so divisions marched by, the Band approached to end the parade.  As the drum major hit the “eyes-right” marker, the band simultaneously switched to the slow march and broke into “Auld Lang Syne”.  The band continued past the dais, counter-marched and went back, still at the slow, counter-marched again, and at the “eyes-right” marker switched back to the quick-march and “Heart-of-Oak” and completed the march past. This entire evolution was executed flawlessly by the Band.  My eyes were watering and I looked at the Admiral and tears were streaming down his cheeks as also was the case of the other Admirals and senior officers on the dais behind him.  My eyes still tear-up just writing this. "

That excellent intro sets the scene.

Admiral made war on unification and went down, guns blazing

Posted by: David Shirlaw

Mon Dec 15, 2008 12:20 pm (PST)


Admiral made war on unification and went down, guns blazing

Decorated in wartime after two ships were sunk under him, he rose to the top
of the RCN only to defy Ottawa's plan to integrate the military. As a
result, he lost his job, but won the hearts of the rank and file


Special to the Globe and Mail

December 15, 2008

OTTAWA -- Two decades after he fought the German and Japanese navies during
the Second World War, Rear Admiral Bill Landymore threw himself into the
battle of his life when he took on the government of Canada in an epic
struggle that transfixed the nation.

In 1965, Rear Adm. Landymore, a fighting sailor who had two ships sunk under
him in four months in 1940, chose to deliberately defy Paul Hellyer, the
minister of national defence, over the latter's ambitious and controversial
plan to unify Canada's three services into a single force wearing a common
green uniform.

At stake was the unique identity and soul of Rear Adm. Landymore's beloved
Royal Canadian Navy, along with its traditional blue uniform and rank
structure. He'd served three years with the Royal Navy before the war, and
believed passionately in the RCN's British heritage.

As the head of the post-integration Maritime Command and Commander Canadian
Atlantic Sub-Area, he was in an extremely difficult position. Theoretically,
he had no choice but to follow the elected government's orders. If he didn't
agree with Mr. Hellyer's plans, he could resign.

But Rear Adm. Landymore felt he had a strong moral duty to oppose
unification, which split opinion in the armed forces and across the country.
"If I didn't speak out, who would?" he said. At a senior officer's briefing
in Ottawa in November, 1964, he told Mr. Hellyer that he couldn't accept a
plan that meant demolishing the navy. "In his professional opinion, economy
and proper command and control could be achieved by integration alone,"
wrote Tony German in his 1990 book The Sea is at Our Gates: The History of
the Canadian Navy. "Unification was unnecessary and highly unpalatable to
the vast majority, he said - and Landymore knew his people."

It was a solid shot across Mr. Hellyer's bow from an officer described as a
"tough-minded, tireless professional and a first-rate leader." Now, with the
navy facing institutional chaos, shrinking budgets, recruitment falling by
40 per cent and suffering an acute identity crisis, Rear Adm. Landymore was
determined to restore morale to the fleet and fight for the RCN's very soul.

To organize opposition against Mr. Hellyer, he convened a series of meetings
of high-ranking officers in Halifax during the summer of 1965. Among other
things, he wanted to make sure his officers would not ask to be retired. "Of
367 officers at the meetings, three didn't fully agree. Landymore reported
what he'd done and the views of his officers to the chief of personnel,"
wrote Mr. German.

Shocked that Rear Adm. Landymore would oppose him in such a public manner,
which seemed disloyal in the extreme, Mr. Hellyer considered disciplining
him or firing him. Problem was, that would have meant sacking a second top
operational commander in less than a year.

In fact, Mr. Hellyer displayed a grudging respect for his opponent in his
1990 autobiography, Damn the Torpedoes: My Fight to Unify Canada's Armed
Forces. "To his credit, and unlike some of the others, he took me seriously
and worked out a strategy not unlike a political campaign. He made frequent
visits 'below decks' to ingratiate himself with the sailors. He volunteered
to act as their agent in redressing grievances. He would be their champion."

Known as a sailor's sailor, Rear Adm. Landymore was "popular, admired by all
ranks, and is remembered as being a forthright, four-square, hands-on
commander and staff officer," wrote Robert Caldwell in the 2006 book The
Admirals: Canada's Senior Naval Leadership in the Twentieth Century.

On April 11, 1966, the undeclared war between minister and admiral reached a
new low when The Globe and Mail quoted an unnamed DND spokesman who said,
"naval officers still retain to some extent an above-decks, below-decks
mentality ... Sailors just don't scrub decks now, they're skilled men and
the old attitudes of officers just doesn't fit. We're trying to change

Considered a gratuitous and unfounded attack, the remark was thought by many
to have come from Mr. Hellyer's special assistant, former RCAF wing
commander Bill (Leaky) Lee. Rear Adm. Landymore was incandescent with rage
and demanded a denial or public apology. He was ignored. Suddenly, it seemed
to him as though it was open season on admirals.

Two months later, Rear Adm. Landymore was scheduled to testify on naval
matters to Parliament's standing committee on defence. Following protocol,
he submitted his remarks to Mr. Hellyer the day before. The next day he
discovered that his brief on personnel issues, which had outlined serious
morale problems because of unification, had been changed.

"Hellyer claims Landymore made no protest about the changes as they made
their way to the committee meeting," wrote Marc Milner in his 1999 book
Canada's Navy: The First Century. "As it turned out, the minister's office
had wanted a more positive spin on the situation than the tone contained in
Landymore's original report. Later, one of Hellyer's staff took
responsibility for altering the report."

Believing he had no choice but to obey his minister, Rear Adm. Landymore
"choked down his disgust and delivered the report as changed. Hellyer had
effectively stopped expert evidence key to the defence of Canada from being
heard," Mr. German wrote.

The final showdown occurred on July 12, 1966. Mr. Hellyer asked for his
resignation. Rear Adm. Landymore refused to give it to him. He preferred to
be sacked.

"There was no alternative but to fire Landymore," wrote Mr. Hellyer. "He
didn't seem too surprised when he heard the verdict."

Depressed and discouraged, he had just one more card to play. He asked a
retired RCN officer, Liberal MP David Gross, to set up a meeting with prime
minister Lester Pearson. The following day, Rear Adm. Landymore went up to
Parliament Hill and met with Mr. Hellyer's boss.

Mr. Pearson said he "fully supported" integration but didn't know how far
Mr. Hellyer would go in the process. He promised the government would not
interfere with naval traditions.

"Landymore felt a final sense of betrayal," Mr. Milner wrote. "It was some
time later that Pearson confided to Landymore: 'If one more admiral had
resigned I was going to tell Hellyer to stop unification.
' None did, and
Pearson failed to protect the traditions that Landymore and others held
dear. 'I believed the Prime Minister of Canada was an honest, thoroughly
sincere man,' Landymore concluded years later. But he wasn't.' "

Back in Halifax, Rear Adm. Landymore decided to go public about his
dismissal, which made front-page headlines across Canada. The publicity
created an enormous controversy. "By late July, Landymore's name was a
household word," Mr. Caldwell wrote. "Open warfare was conducted between
opponents of unification and the government. Critics of unification seemed
to be galvanized ... Hundreds of letters and telegrams were sent to the
prime minister, the minister and members of Parliament. The debate on Bill
C-243, the unification bill, became a highly sensational and contentious

It was arguably the most controversial defence issue in Canadian history and
Rear Adm. Landymore, who at 50 could have served five more years, had gone
down guns blazing in the best naval tradition. In two years, the RCN's six
senior admirals had been retired prematurely or fired. Generals and air
marshals had also left.

Confident he had followed his conscience and done the right thing, Rear Adm.
Landymore prepared to haul down his flag. First, though, his sailors paid
their admiral a heartfelt tribute by giving him an emotional farewell.

Exactly a week after he was fired, personnel turned out in strength at the
dockyard in Halifax. "Ship's sides and roadways were lined with cheering
sailors and civilian employees," Mr. German wrote. "Every ship in harbour
flew signal flags spelling Landymore's name; above them flew flags BZ: Bravo
Zulu: 'Well done, Landymore.' There was nothing else to say."

Seven months later, on Feb. 23, 1967, Mr. Hellyer couldn't resist one final
salvo when he told a parliamentary defence committee that Rear Adm.
Landymore was fired for "18 months of consistent disloyalty to the people he
was paid to serve."

Disgusted by that spurious charge, Rear Adm. Landymore gave his version.
Four days later, Mr. Hellyer was forced to retract his statement but had the
last laugh when the government rammed the unification bill through on Apr.
25, 1967, and the RCN passed into history.

Raised in Brantford, Ont., he was the only son of Frederick and Gladys
Landymore, and graduated from Brantford Collegiate Institute before
attending the Royal Military College in Kingston.

In 1934, he matriculated as a gentleman cadet, and two years later was
commissioned as an acting sub-lieutenant in a tiny RCN that had no immediate
need for his services. Instead, he was sent to the Royal Navy to serve on
three cruisers before the war started on Sept. 1, 1939.

By March, 1940, he was a torpedo and communications officer aboard HMCS
Fraser, a River-class destroyer. Three months later, he survived his first
sinking when his ship collided with the British cruiser HMS Calcutta. Sent
to HMCS Margaree some months later, he survived the loss of that ship when
it collided with a merchant vessel in October, 1940. Clearly, Rear Adm.
Landymore was quickly using up his nine lives.

He served in various staff appointments before his appointment to HMCS
Uganda as gunnery officer in 1944, where he later witnessed the majority of
the ship's company voting themselves out of the final months of the war in
the Pacific. That service won him a mention-in-despatches (MID).

After the war, his first notable appointment occurred in 1951 when he was
made captain of HMCS Iroquois. He commanded the destroyer during two tours
of duty during the Korean War. He received a second MID and was appointed an
officer of the Order of the British Empire.

In 1958, he was given a plum appointment when he was made captain of HMCS
Bonaventure. The 16,000-ton carrier flew McDonnellBanshee jet fighters and
Grumman Tracker anti-submarine aircraft in support of NATO operations in the

During his command, he pioneered the idea of sustained operations, keeping
aircraft airborne around the clock. "If the carrier and its aircrew could
not do that, he reasoned, the viability of naval aviation could be
threatened," wrote Mr. Caldwell. He left the "Bonnie" in September, 1959,
and three years later was promoted rear admiral.

On Nov. 16, 1964, he took over the East Coast fleet from Rear Adm. Jeffry
Brock, who had been fired by Mr. Hellyer three months earlier. Thus, he
became de facto head of the navy, since the position of chief of naval staff
had been abolished in August of that year.

During his retirement, Rear Adm. Landymore performed charity work and served
as chairman of the board of Halifax's Grace Hospital. He never spoke about
unification and what it had cost him, preferring to stay silent in the
tradition of the "silent service."


William Moss Landymore was born July 31, 1916, in Brantford, Ont. He died
Nov. 27, 2008, of natural causes in Halifax. He was 92. He leaves his wife,
Eleanor, and his children Lauretta, Roderick and John. He also leaves
grandchildren, six great-grandchildren and four stepchildren. He was
predeceased by his first wife, Joan, whom he married in 1940, in 1998. His
ashes will be buried at sea.

This is a more recent input, again sent to me by Andy McCullough.  It is a salute from the highest echelon and fits perfectly on this page.  Landymore-e.pdf

I wonder, do we have such brave admirals in the RN ?:  we did once have one called David Luce, a submariner, but that is a different story which I tell on this page THE PROMISED TWO NEW AIRCRAFT CARRIERS - a la 1966.

However, what of now [December 2008] and the news that both carriers {Queen Elizabeth and Prince of Wales} will be delayed a further two year - and another delay, and yet another, and then the cancellation of at least one of them altogether - will we have an admiral who will speak out for the ever decreasing Royal Navy?  I suspect not.

Anyway of near-importance, there is a buzz from the MOD on high, that because of the impoverished Navy {and obviously the Army and the Air Force too} that drastic plans are afoot to centralise defence and the costings thereof.  The air-world has already been 'tri-serviced' and there are hundreds of sailors in Afghanistan fighting alongside soldiers.  It would appear {nay is highly probable} that we could lose the Royal Navy as was [limited though it is, but still dressed in navy blue] in exactly the same way as the Canadian politicians got rid of the Royal Canadian Navy.  I won't take bets because I will probably have gone before it all comes to fruition, but watch this space !

Remember that hitherto, the Royal Navy has always been involved 'in the thick of it' wearing a recognisable naval uniform {colour and style} and, most importantly, called such, and that has been the case certainly from the Crimean War through to the Boer Wars, WW1 [Royal Naval Division], WW2 et al, extant to this decade of the twenty first century.  When the expression 'Money is the root of all evil' was coined, it addressed the "evils" of HAVING money, but we all know that the poor and deprived people of the world face "evils" on a daily basis by NOT HAVING money.  Evil is perhaps too strong a word to use in this case, and CRIMINAL might be more appropriate, but whatever word is used, it would be tragic to see the passing of the Royal Navy,  which is a possibility!