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First World War (1914-1918)
HMCS Grilse, Torpedo Boat

HMCS Grilse was the Royal Canadian Navy's fastest ship during the First World War. Originally built as the yacht Winchester, Grilse was converted to a torpedo boat and served off Canada's Atlantic coast.

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HMCS Grilse on Convoy Duty
HMCS Grilse on Convoy Duty

Looking forward along HMCS Grilse's long, narrow hull, war artist Arthur Lismer's print captures Grilse's destroyer-like shape and high speed.

Armed with two 12-pounder guns, one of which is seen in the foreground, and a 14-inch torpedo tube, Grilse was often described as a torpedo boat. Grilse and other small Canadian naval vessels carried out coastal patrols and escorted ships out into the Atlantic, but could not cross the ocean. Such convoy work helped discourage U-Boats that might be waiting for ships leaving the major ports of Halifax, Saint John, or Sydney.

HMCS Grilse on Convoy Duty
Print by Arthur Lismer
Beaverbrook Collection of War Art
CWM 19710261-0357

HMCS Grilse at Speed
HMCS Grilse on Convoy Duty
HMCS Grilse at Dock, 1916
HMCS Grilse and Allies' Flags
HMCS Grilse Firing a Torpedo, 1915
Torpedo Practice, HMCS Grilse
Torpedo Gyroscope
Lieutenant Jack Ross and Sailors of HMCS Grilse
Cutlass, 1900 Pattern
H.M.C.T.B. Grilse Cap Tally
Two Sailors on Board HMCS Grilse
HMCS Grilse's Crew