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Old 01-10-18, 08:55 PM
Guzzman's Avatar
Guzzman Guzzman is offline
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Default Provincial Marine

I have a query regarding a forerunner of the RCN - the Provincial Marine.

The Provincial Marine was a small Canadian hybrid navy, naval in work but miitary in administaration. It came under the command of the governor and commander of the forces in British North America and was superintended by the Quarter-Master General's department of the army. Provincial Marine vessels were used to transport troops and government stores in peace time, with the capability of being transformed into fighting vessels if necessary.

The origin of the Provincial Marine lies in the Seven Years War of 1756-63. The British required naval forces on the inland waterways in their struggle with the French for North America. The outbreak of hostilities between the American colonies and the mother country in the 1770's saw a renewed requirement for naval forces on the Great Lakes. The colonial administration called in a professional naval officer, John Schank, to run the Provincial Marine and he in turn moulded the organisation after the Royal Navy.

Officers of the Provincial Marine wore uniforms which were very similar to those of the Royal Navy, but not officially sanctioned. During the 1790's the uniforms of the officers were described as "blue and white, with large yellow buttons with the figure of a beaver, over which is inscribed the word 'Canada'". This remained the same until the War of 1812 when Sir George Prevost officially approved uniforms for the officers. On February 3rd, 1813 General Sheaffe was instructed that the "uniform of the officers of His Majesty's [Provincial] Marine on the Lakes to be the same as the Royal Navy, but no Officer to rate higher than a Commander." The sailors of the Provincial Marine had no prescibed uniform, as was the case in the Royal Navy at the time.

I have two questions.

Firstly, does anyone have any illustrations of the uniforms worn by the officers of the Provincial Marine?

And secondly, does anyone have an example of the 'yellow' buttons with 'Canada' above a Beaver? Any images of this button would be greatly appreciated!

Many thanks.

Pete
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