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Naval Traditions and Culture

Naval traditions and culture encompass a wide range of activities, events, and objects, often unique to naval service. Some, like the "crossing the line" (meaning, the equator) ceremony, are old and well-established, while others, such as gun shield art, related directly to Second World War experiences. Many reflect companionship, commemoration, recreation, or esprit de corps.

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Dawn Gun Stations in HMCS Pictou
Dawn Gun Stations in HMCS Pictou

Harold Beament's painting depicts the crew of HMCS Pictou's 4-inch gun and the griffon from their ship's crest painted on the gun shield.

During the Second World War, Canadian warships adopted a variety of unofficial crests, as well as artworks prominently placed on their gun shields. While some were based on the ship's name, or featured characters based on popular cultural references, others had less obvious origins. In Pictou's case, the griffon was a reference to the ship's commanding officer, Anthony Griffin.

Dawn Gun Stations in HMCS Pictou
Painted by Harold Beament
Beaverbrook Collection of War Art
CWM 19710261-1007





Dawn Gun Stations in HMCS Pictou
Daisy Mae, HMCS Mayflower
HMCS Westaskiwin's Gun Shield Art
HMCS Shawinigan's Gun Shield Art
HMCS Rosthern Insignia
Ship's Badge, HMCS Inch Arran
Concert Party, HMS Canada
Jam Session at Sea, Seamen's Mess
"Crossing the Line" Ceremony
Boxing, HMCS Swansea
Naval Wedding, Halifax, Nova Scotia
Royal Canadian Navy Rum
"Beatty" Toby Jug
"Jellicoe" Toby Jug
Jewellery Box
Christmas Trees, HMCS Border Cities
Dining in the Wardroom, HMS Puncher
Model 6-inch Naval Gun
Model Cannon
Royal Naval College of Canada Rugby Game
Shearwater Flyers National Football Championship, 1957
Sunset Ceremony
Anniversary Celebrations, Quebec City
Dockside Religious Service
"Piping the Side"
Bosun's Call
Ship's Bell, HMCS Swansea
Ship's Bell, HMCS Inch Arran