Officer Training Establishment



HMCS Kings

Source:  HMCS KINGS by LCdr Owen J.W. Parkhouse, RCN - blog


Commissioned: 01 Oct 1941                    Paid off: 19 May 1945


The University of King's College has a long and splendid history-founded in 1789 by Royal Charter granted by King George III. The university, the oldest in the overseas British Commonwealth, was founded because of a war, namely the American Revolution which forced Loyalists from the rebelling colonies northward into British North America. The college was originally located in Windsor, Nova Scotia, however a fire forced it to relocate, and it was rebuilt on the campus of Dalhousie University in Halifax.


The close and amicable relationship between the University of King's College and the Navy which exists today, dates back to the early years of WWII. In May 1941, Angus L. Macdonald, Minister of Naval Services, requested the use of King's College as a Naval Officers' Training School for the summer period of that year. It was later determined "that the national emergency was such that it was necessary to use King's ... for the duration of the war." Accordingly on May 24, 1941, the Stadacona section of the RCN's Officer Training Establishment was transferred to the University of King's College, and a few months later, on October 1, 1941, it was commissioned HMCS Kings.


It was in HMCS Kings that young officers took at 12 week course in seamanship, gunnery, torpedo, navigation and signals before proceeding to sea. Later the course was lengthened to 20 weeks and modified with a view to placing greater emphasis on anti-submarine operations.

Training of officers continued in HMCS Kings until after the war in Europe had ended. When Kings was paid off on May 19, 1945, it had graduated a total of 96 classes and turned out some 4,000 officers for wartime service in the RCN. 42 of these officers paid the supreme sacrifice. Today, the naval yardarm still stands tall in the centre of the quadrangle, and the student pub is officially named HMCS Kings' Wardroom. The ship's bell serves as the Baptismal Font in the Chapel.


(Source:  HMCS KINGS by LCdr Owen J.W. Parkhouse, RCN - blog)



Prob. SLt Edward Gudewill's Course Journal - HMCS KINGS



Photos and Documents




HMCS Kings

From the collection of Thomas Carson

Courtesy of June Copley




Officers on Parade at HMCS Kings - 1943

From the collection of Hugh Hamilton

Courtesy of Mike Hamilton


List of Staff Officers - HMCS Kings circa 1942-43


From the collection of Joseph Roberts, Cdr, RCNR


Sketch of HMCS KINGS by Lt Richard (Dick) Simon


From the collection of Lt Richard (Dick) Simon


Courtesy of Rick Simon


Inspection of students at HMCS KINGS on parade


Written on the back of the photo:  "Roy Tidman, Halifax Chronicle and Daily Star, Halifax, Nova Scotia"


From the collection of William (Bill) Dougall, LTO (LP), RCNVR


Courtesy of Grant Dougall




Signal School Staff

date unknown


Unknown Course Photo

taken between 21 May - 01 Oct 1942

Unknown Course Photo

circa Aug/Sep 1943

Fourth Long Navigation Class

04 Jan 1943 - 18 Apr 1943

F.F. Division

15 May 1943

G.G. Division

26 Jun 1943

M.M. Division

Sep 1943 - Jan 1944

N.N. Division

Oct 1943 - Feb 1944

Exeter Division

Feb-Jun 1944 

Illustrious II Division

Course Start 14 Oct 1944

Warspite II Division

19 Jan - 07 Apr 1945

Navigator's Course  T Division

circa Feb-Apr 45