Hose, Commander W. (1875-1965)

Commander Walter Hose commanded the HMCS Rainbow when it was employed to intimidate the passengers of the Komagata Maru in July 1914. He held command of the Rainbow from 1912-17 before being transferred to Sydney, Nova Scotia with responsibility for anti-submarine operations on Canada’s east coast. He was head of the Canadian Naval Service from 1921-34 and retired at the rank of Real Admiral. He was born at sea on the Australia-bound immigrant ship SS Surat near the port of Galle in Sri Lanka when his parents were returning from Britain to Singapore. His father was an Anglican deacon in Singapore and later, for many years, the bishop. Hose joined the British Royal Navy at Darmounth, U.K., as a cadet in training at the age of fourteen and during his early career he held commands in the Chinese and East Indies stations and in the Home Fleet, as well as in Newfoundland (where he met his wife). In his mid-thirties, with an eye to more rapid promotion, he sought transfer to the incipient Canadian Naval Service, first approaching the Director of the Service in 1909, and finally securing the move, on loan from the British Navy in 1911 and by transfer in 1912. He finished his career in Canada, and died in Ottawa at the age of eighty-nine.

Sources, CFB Esqimault Naval and Military Museum website, article by Dr. Wilf Lund. Manuscript Census, England, 1881, 1891. United Kingdom passengers lists.