For Posterity's Sake         

A Royal Canadian Navy Historical Project

Photos and Documents from the Collection of

Jim Silvester

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James Clark Silvester, PO1, QR2, CD, RCNVR/RCN(R)


Born: 07 Apr 1923



Service Summary

Enlisted in the RCNVR 06 Nov 1939 at HMCS Chippawa at age 16

Rated Ordinary Seaman - 07 Apr 1940

Drafted to HMCS Stadacona - 09 Jul 1940

Rated QR3 - 28 Sep 1940

Drafted to HMCS Naden - 07 Oct 1940

Drafted to HMCS Naden III (Comox) - Nov 1940

Drafted to HMCS Malaspina - 15 Mar 1941

Rated Able Seaman - 07 Apr 1941

Drafted off HMCS Malaspina - 16 Sep 1941

Rated QR2 - 04 Oct 1941

Drafted to HMCS Quesnel - 06 Oct 1941

Rated Leading Seaman - 15 Apr 1943

Rated PO2 - 05 Aug 1944

Drafted to HMCS Stadacona 08 Sep 1944

Drafted to HMCS Hochelaga 10 Sep 1944

On Leave - 28 Sep 1944 - 16 Oct 1944

Stand by draft to HMCS Peregrine - 17 Oct 1944

Drafted to HMCS Inch Arran - 18 Nov 1944

Drafted off HMCS Inch Arran 09 Jan 1945

In Military Hospital - 09 -18 Jan 1945

Stand by draft to HMCS Peregrine 18 Jan 1945

On board HMT Aquitania - 19 Mar 1945 (for transit)

To HMCS Niobe - 26 Mar 1945

Drafted to HMCS Ontario - 25 Apr 1945

Rated PO1 - 15 Aug 1945

Drafted off HMCS Ontario 29 Nov 1945

Honourably released at HMCS Chippawa 31 Jan 1946

Re-enlisted in RCN(R) at HMCS Chippawa - 23 Apr 1955

HMCS Skeena  10 Aug 1957 - 22 Aug 1957

HMCS Assiniboine 08 Apr 1961 - 18 Apr 1961

Honourably released - 28 Apr 196


I was aboard HMCS Quesnel when we picked up the survivors off the SS Fort Camosun, which had been torpedoed by a Japanese submarine, and also when we rounded up Japanese fishing boats in Dec 1941 on the West coast. Sailed Quesnel through the Panama Canal to Halifax when the ship was employed for escort duties for convoys. Commissioned HMCS Inch Arran and served as Buffer during time aboard. Commissioned HMCS Ontario in Belfast, Ireland 25 Apr 1945. Travelled to Malta, Alexandria (Egypt), Through the Suez Canal, Aden (Arabia), Colombo (Ceylon), Trincomalee (Ceylon), through the Malacca Straits to Hong Kong (China). On 18 Sep 1945 was stationed ashore as A/RPO. Ontario returned to Canada via Honolulu and on arrival at Esquimalt most oft he crew was discharged. I was honourably release 31 Jan 1946.


On 23 Apr 1955 I re-enlisted in the RCN(R) at HMCS Chippawa where my duties were mostly Parade Ground GI, instruction new entries and UNTDs in rifle and parade ground drills as well as classroom instruction. I was flag bearer, carrying the White Ensign on all parades and had the privilege of carrying the White Ensign for the last time at HMCS Chippawa before it was changed.


I served in HMCS Skeena for naval training 10 Aug 1957 to 22 Aug 1957 and HMCS Assiniboine for naval training 08 Apr 1961 to 16 Apr 1961.


I was honourably released from the RCN(R) on 28 Apr 1965

Field Gun Crew 1941

J. Silvester ABQR2; A.S. Hickes, OS; L.G. Moore, OS; N.L. Bourne, AB; A.Z. Kennedy, AB; E.M. Herbert, AB; F. Ticehurst, AB; Roger Twiss, AB; D.C. Motley, AB; Philip Petit; John Slessor, AB; Jerry Kennedy, AB; E.P. Murphy, AB; N. Agland, Sig; L.J. Montgomery, AB; L.A. Mohn, AB

Edinburgh, Scotland, 1945




While stationed and waiting to pick up the Ontario We were given a week end off. This allowed me to go to Edinburgh Scotland and visit my mom's sister and her husband (my aunt and uncle)


(1) Edinburg Castle, Entrance to the Shine  (2) Sir Walter Scott Monument  (3) Forth Bridge (Firth of Forth), Edinburgh, Scotland

Colour Party Front: (L-R) PO2 Les Williams, PO1 Jim Silvester, PO2 Jack Sheedy

Rear: CPO1 Charlie Gilraine

Colour Party Front: (L-R) PO2 Les Williams, PO1 Jim Silvester, PO2 Jack Sheedy

rear: CPO1 Charlie Gilraine

behind colour party: LCdr J. LeMaistre

right of platoon, with white belt, C1 Jim Borthwick

Front Row: Lt. G. Calder, CPO2 Ed Bobbie, unknown, LS Jack French, PO2 Les Williams, CPO1 Jim Borthwick, Lt Wally Fox-Decent

Middle Row: PO1 Don Cameron, unknown, unknown, LS Graham Lowden, PO1 Jim Silvester

Rear Row: Unknown, unknown

Photo dated: Mar 1965

Photos from the Winnipeg Free Press of members of the RCNVR prepare to leave for Esquimalt


Party of 20 Winnipeg Boys Leave for Base at Esquimalt 

Newspaper article from the Winnipeg Free Press

The White Ensign is lowered for the final time at HMCS Chippawa, 15 Mar 1965



These photo are from Jim Silvester's photo album.  Some were taken by his brother and some by him - so it is not known exactly what ship they were taken from.  Jim's photo labels have been included to provide as much information as possible on each photo.