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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Victoria in Capital Regional District, British Columbia — The Canadian Pacific
 

Naval Defence: Yesterday and Today

La Défense navale d'hier et d'aujourd'hui

 
 
Naval Defence: Yesterday and Today Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., May 22, 2014
1. Naval Defence: Yesterday and Today Marker
Inscription.

The first Royal Navy warship dropped anchor in Esquimalt Harbour in 1848. Since then, the harbour has witnessed a fascinating evolution of naval power. Though global politics and weapons systems may change, Esquimalt remains a major strategic base.

In the [illegible - early?] years, the surrounding forests provided wood for repairs to masts and spars. The first structures were hospital huts built during the Crimean War (1854-56). As steam replaced sail, Vancouver Island's large reserves of coal helped power Britain's new ironclad warships.

The harbour's increasing activity helped justify the construction of Fisgard Lighthouse in 1860. The completion of a drydock in 1887 gave Esquimalt full repair facilities, and was the high-water mark of the British naval presence on Canada's west coast.

After the turn of the century, new threats closer to home led Britain to start recalling her forces from the outposts of the Empire, and in 1905 the last ships of the Royal Navy's Pacific Squadron left Esquimalt. Canada had to assume responsibility for her own naval defence, and in 1910 the Royal Canadian Navy was formed. Equipped at first with two aging British cruisers—one on each coast—the R.C.N. grew by fits and starts. Years of peacetime austerity were followed by feverish shipbuilding and training in time of

Naval Defence: Yesterday and Today Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., May 22, 2014
2. Naval Defence: Yesterday and Today Marker
Esquimalt naval base in background
war.

Today, Canadian sovereignty on the west coast is protected by the men, women, ships and aircraft of the Canadian Maritime Forces Pacific.

C'est en 1848 que le premier navire de guerre de la Marine royale a jeté l'ancre dans le port d'Esquimalt Depuis, le port été témoin de l'évolution fascinante de la puissance navale. Et, en dépit des changements au niveau des politiques globales et des systèmes d'armement, Esquimalt reste une base stratégique d'importance.

Dans les premiers temps[?]es forêts avoisinantes fournissaient le bois nécessaire à la réparation des mâts et des espars. Les premiers batiments à être construits furent les baraquements d'un hôpital au cours de la guerre de Crimée (1854-56). Et comme la voile a été supplantée par la vapeur, les vastes reserves de charbon de l'île de Vancouver ont aidé à propulser les nouveaux navires de guerre cuirassés de la Grande-Bretagne.

L'activité croissante du port a permis de justifier la construction du phare Fisgard en 1860. L'achèvement du bassin de radoub en 1887 fit d'Esquimalt un centre de radoub complet et il marqua le point culminant de la présence des forces navales britanniques sur la côte ouest du Canada.

Au début du vingtième siècle, de nouvelles manaces se profilerent à l'horizon de la Grande-Bretagne quie commença à rapatrier ses forces des avant-postes de son empire et c'est en 1905 que les dernies navires de l'escadre au Pacifique de la Marine royale quittèrent Esquimalt. Cela obligea le Canada à assumer ses responsabilités en matière de défense navale et à créer, en 1910, la Marine royale canadienne. Équipée tout d'abord de deux croiseurs britanniques plutôt vétustes—un sur chacune de nos côtes—la Marine canadienne s'est développée par à-coups. Les années d'austérité du temps de paix firent place, en temps de guerre, à l'activité fèbrile des chantiers navals et des centres d'instruction.

De nos jours, le Canada assure la souveraineté de sa côte ouest grâce aux hommes et aux femmes, aux navires et aux appareils de ses Forces maritime Pacifique.

[Photo captions read]
Ships of the Royal Navy in Esquimalt Harbour, about 1870.
[French version not available]

HMS Amphion in Esquimalt drydock, about 1889.
Le navire HMS Amphion en radoub à Esquimalt, vers 1889.

[Bottom right photo caption not available]
 
Erected by Parks Canada.
 
Location. 48° 25.967′ N, 123° 26.934′ W. Marker is in Victoria, British Columbia, in Capital Regional District. Touch for map. Marker is on the grounds of Fort Rodd Hill and Fisgard Lighthouse National Historic Sites of Canada. Marker is at or near this postal address: 603 Fort Rodd Hill Road, Victoria, British Columbia V9C 2W8, Canada.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Wisdom on the Water / Prudence en Mer (about 120 meters away, measured in a direct line); Fisgard Lighthouse / Phare de Fisgard (about 120 meters away); Repository / Manoeuvre du "repository" (about 120 meters away); Lower Battery / Batterie inférieure (about 120 meters away); Underground Magazine / Magasin souterrain (about 150 meters away); Get Your Bearings / S'Orienter (about 150 meters away); Team Work / Travail d'equipe (about 150 meters away); Canteen / Cantine (about 180 meters away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Victoria.
 
Also see . . .
1. Fort Rodd Hill and Fisgard Lighthouse National Historic Sites of Canada. (Submitted on November 8, 2016, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
2. Fort Rodd Hill Info. (Submitted on November 8, 2016, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
3. CFB Esquimalt Naval & Military Museum. (Submitted on November 8, 2016, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
 
Categories. Patriots & PatriotismWar, World IWar, World IIWaterways & Vessels

 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on November 8, 2016. This page originally submitted on November 8, 2016, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 134 times since then and 34 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on November 8, 2016, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.
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