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A Corvette named Timmins

In this edition of Remember This, the Timmins Museum: National Exhibition Center looks back at the HMCS Timmins, which patrolled the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans during the Second World War
The HMCS Timmins, right, was a flower-class corvette commissioned by the Royal Canadian Navy during the Second World War. The first ships of this class bore the names of small communities, such as Napanee, which speaks to the modest plans the Navy initially had for the ships. The second round of ships, in 1940-41, were named after larger cities such as Halifax and Vancouver. Timmins Museum photo

From the Timmins Museum: National Exhibition Center:

During the Second World War, Britain, which is an island nation, was under serious threat by German U-Boats which were interrupting the flow of merchant ships across the Atlantic. The Royal Navy and Royal Canadian Navy commissioned a large number of corvette-type warships to help form convoys to escort these ships across the ocean.

While the British ships were named after flowers, the Canadian ships were named after Canadian communities because, in the words of Admiral Nelles, “flowers don’t knit mittens”, and the navy hoped that the namesake ships would garner local support.

Inspired by the naming of HMCS Cobalt, the city of Timmins petitioned their local MP, J.A. Bradette, to have one of the new corvettes honour the famous gold mining city which was making important contributions to the war effort. Their appeals were noticed, and HMCS Timmins was commissioned February 10, 1942.

As hoped, the people of Timmins frequently sent comfort kits and supplies to the sailors on board the ship. One letter published in the Porcupine Advance thanked local residents for the ten thousand cigarettes and other items including electric toasters and baseball gear.

The HMCS Timmins spent a few months patrolling the west coast of Canada in 1942 before moving to Halifax in October of that year where it operated in the Western Local Escort Force until the end of the war.

Each week, the Timmins Museum: National Exhibition Centre provides TimminsToday readers with a glimpse of the city’s past.

Find out more of what the Timmins Museum has to offer at and look for more Remember This? columns here.