CFB Halifax Badge

Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Halifax is the current collective term for the buildings, wharves and other facilities at the Canadian Naval Dockyard in Halifax, Nova Scotia. It is currently the largest military base in Canada History. HMC Dockyard Halifax was acquired by the Canadian government from the Royal Navy following the withdrawal of British military forces from Canada in 1906. Prior to 1906, it was known as Royal Naval Dockyard, Halifax and is one of the oldest defence establishments in Canada, having been established by the Royal Navy during the 18th century. While awaiting transfer to Canada, the dockyard fell into disrepair. The dockyard was formally taken over from the British government by Canada in 1910, with no changes to the layout. The dockyard in 1910 comprised a Naval Hospital, a blacksmith shop, workshops, three slipways, five jetties, residences, coal and victualling stores and 75 other miscellaneous buildings.

During World War I, the dockyard underwent significant expansion, acting as headquarters for the Royal Canadian Navy and as the North American headquarters for the Royal Navy. During the 1917 Halifax Explosion, the dockyard was severely damaged, with many of its buildings demolished. New ones were swiftly erected for the war effort. However, following the end of the war in 1918, the number of dockyard staff was reduced significantly. In 1939, the dockyard’s were extended to the north and south. With the onset of World War II, this was still not large enough and the lands of the French Cable Company in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia were acquired and integrated into the base. In 1942, the Royal Canadian Navy acquired the Army Ordnance Depot in Dartmouth and an area on the east side of Bedford Basin was turned into an ammunition depot. During the war, new construction replaced nearly every building that had existed prior to the war. HMC Dockyard encompassed 1,255 acres after all the acquisitions In 1948, the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic was established on the premises of the dockyard. In the 1950s, an Underwater Training Unit, the School of ABCD Warfare and the Damage Control School were under the administration of HMCS Stadacona and operated out of dockyard facilities.

HMC Dockyard Halifax is located on the western side of Halifax Harbour at the southern end of The Narrows. It hosts the headquarters of Maritime Forces Atlantic (MARLANT), the formal name for the Atlantic Fleet. HMC Dockyard Halifax contains berths for Canadian and foreign warships, Formation Supply Facility, Fleet Maintenance Facility Cape Scott, shore-based training facilities as well as operations buildings for MARLANT and other organizations such as Joint Rescue Coordination Centre Halifax (JRCC Halifax).

Today’s object is an embroidered badge for the facility and although the design follows British naval heraldry for the most part, note the maple leaves (symbol of Canada) at the bottom of the rope loop in the design:

This badge has clearly seen some use as the black has discoloured to a bluey-purple colour, indicative of repeated exposure to water. I am not sure the context in which this badge might have been worn, it seems unlikely it is a veteran’s blazer badge so the most likely use was on a flight suit or set of overalls on the sleeve, the back of the badge is covered in felt to protect the rear of the stitching and the colour here is a deep black where it has been protected from the weather:

One comment

  1. CFAD Bedford, or Bedford Magazine as it was known then, a lodger unit of CFB Halifax, was the scene of a rather large explosion right at the end of WW2, not as big as the ‘Halifax Explosion’ mind you but substantial.
    I used to go there to work with the torpedo techs from time to time and they came to the school I was an instructor in for their courses.
    We also got most of our ordnance from there, CFAD Renoius being the other one in the region until it was razed and the site turned into a federal prison I almost ended up working at.
    HMC Dockyard is right in the middle of the city, impossible to miss driving downtown 🙂

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