MONTREAL, Quebec—The ships and crews of Canada Steamship Lines that served in World War One are the focus of a new online gallery commemorating the 100th anniversary of the conflict’s start.
Twenty-nine CSL ships were taken from their commercial routes along the St. Lawrence River and Great Lakes and put into service at the battlefront between 1914 and the war’s end on Nov. 11, 1918. Of those vessels, 14 were sunk by enemy u-boats, gunships or mines and two foundered in storms at sea. At least 75 crew members lost their lives.
Visitors to the section will find an overview of the part CSL ships played in the war effort written by Great Lakes maritime historian Skip Gillham, along with photographs and a brief account of what happened to each vessel.
There are tales of tragedy, like that of the Acadian, torpedoed by the German submarine U-117 off southern England just two months before the Armistice with the loss of 25 lives. And there are the feats of the A.E. McKinstry, Mapleton, and Winona, which made it through the Great War, returned to service on the Great Lakes, and survived wartime duties once again in the Second World War.
Links to the Merchant Navy War Dead Registry allow gallery visitors to find out more about the crew members who lost their lives.
To view the gallery, please visit: cslships.com/WWI