For Posterity's Sake         

A Royal Canadian Navy Historical Project



Then Trillora (1922)

HMCS Grilse

HMCS Grilse, seen here steaming at high speed

From the collection of Richard Pearson / Courtesy of Jeffrey Read

Click on the above photo to view a larger image


Commissioned: 15 Jul 1915

Paid off: 10 Dec 1918

Fate: Foundered in a hurricane 21 Sep 1938


Built by Yarrow & Co., Glasgow, Scotland, HMCS Grilse was the Royal Canadian Navy's closest ship to a destroyer during the First World War. In Jun 1915, millionaire Jack Ross purchased the Winchester, one of the fastest civilian yachts in existence, from the United States and brought it to Canada. Commissioned as HMCS Grilse in Jul 1915, and with Ross in command, the ship was refitted and armed at the Canadian Vickers shipyard in Montreal before sailing to Halifax to start carrying out patrols. Easily the fastest ship in the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN), Grilse could reach speeds of more than 30 knots (55 km/h).  Since she was unsuited for winter service n Canadian waters, Grilse left Halifax on 11 Dec 1916, for the Caribbean and was reported lost in a storm. She turned up at Shelburne, N.S. three days later, however. After several months' refit Grilse resumed her patrol duties until she was paid off on 10 Dec 1918. An effort was made to sell her in 1920, but no adequate bid was received, and during 1921-22 she was attached to a youth training establishment in Halifax dockyard. In 1922 she was sold to Solomon Guggenheim, who renamed her Trillora, and was still in his possession when, on 21 Sep 1938, she foundered at her jetty, in a hurricane at Roslyn, Long Island Sound.


Commanding Officers

Lt John Kenneth Leveson Ross, RCNVR - 15 Jul 1915 - 15 Jul 1916

Lt W. Wingate, RCNVR - 16 Jul 1916 - 10 Jan 1917

Cdr J.T. Shenton, RCN - 10 May 1917 - 25 May 1917

LCdr Wilfred Tyrrel Walker, RCN - 26 May 1917 - 16 Dec 1917

Lt Herbert Henry De Lally Wood, RCNVR - 17 Dec 1917 - 16 Jan 1918

Mate Thomas Charles Moore Cotton, RCNVR - 17 Jan 1918 - 11 Feb 1918

LCdr Wilfred Tyrrel Walker, RCN - 12 Feb 1918 - 05 May 1918

Lt Arthur Francis Thomas - 06 May 1918 - 10 Dec 1918


     In memory of those who have crossed the bar    

They shall not be forgotten


Cotton, Thomas Charles Moore


6th Commanding Officer






Hunt, Herbert Walter


Drafted to Grilse 03 Jul 1918 as Slt, RNCVR






Keohane, James William


Drafted to Grilse 10 May 1917 as Ch/Art, RCN

Kerr, John Matthews


Drafted to Grilse 01 May 1918 as Mate, RNCVR





McLean, Simon Alexander


Drafted to Grilse 16 May 1917 and 01 May 1918 as W. Op 3rd Cl, RNCVR






Pearson, Richard







Smith, Herbert Edgar


Drafted to Grilse 11 May 1917 as W. Op 4th Cl, RNCVR, and 01 May 1918 as W. Op 3rd Cl, RNCVR






Walker, Wilfred Tyrrel


4th Commanding Officer

7th Commanding Officer

Wood, Herbert Henry De Lally


5th Commanding Officer





Photos and Documents



Ship's company photos for HMCS Grilse