History of the National Naval Reserve Monument
The genesis of the National Naval Reserve Monument dates back to the 50th anniversary of the Naval Reserve. In the lead-up to this notable half century milestone, Ottawa was an ideal place to celebrate the national significance of this anniversary given its role as Canada’s capital and the symbolic centre of our democracy.
As part of the celebrations, a large anchor was selected from a Halifax yard and sent by rail to be emplaced adjacent to HMCS Carleton, Ottawa’s naval reserve unit. The monument was installed by the Thomas Fuller Construction company, operated by retired Royal Canadian Naval Volunteer Reserve member Captain Thomas Fuller (1908-1994), a decorated Second World War naval hero who also served as commanding officer of HMCS Carleton from 1948-1951.
On May 6, 1973, in unison with Battle of the Atlantic Sunday, the National Naval Reserve Monument was unveiled by Governor General Roland Michener in a ceremony with the ship’s company of HMCS Carleton. A plaque on the monument declares that “The reservist is twice the citizen,” a reminder of the dual identity of Naval Reservists.
Thousands of Canadians from across the country serve in the Canadian Armed Forces as Naval Reservists during times of conflict and peace while also engaging in civilian life.