During World War I, a naval reserve corps was stood up in Canada, the RNCVR (Royal Naval Canadian Volunteer Reserve). At the end of the War, the Navy numbered some 9 000 sailors, including 8 000 members of the RNCVR. In spite of its value, this naval reserve was immediately demobilized in 1918.
En 1923, amidst the general disarmament following the end of World War I, many saw the Canadian Navy as an extravagant expense that could easily be dispensed with. The Government seriously considered abolishing the Naval Service.
This is when Rear-Admiral Walter Hose proposed a solution that was to save the navy from extinction: the creation of a naval reserve force made up of civilians who would pursue a part time military career. The units would be based in the major cities across Canada, rather than on the coasts only. The idea was approved and on January 31, 1923, by Order in Council of the Privy Council, the Royal Canadian Naval Volunteer Reserve (RCNVR) was stood up. For his part in bringing about this event, Hose is today considered the “Father of Canada’s Naval Reserve.”