Site hosted by Build your free website today!
Halifax City Riots - May 8, 1945
These photo's were made available by Andre Guibert of Austin, Quebec.

Barrington Street - Early morning May 7, 1945

About midmorning on May 7, 1945, the German Radio at Flensburg announced to the world the surrender of Germany's remaining forces on land and sea.

Barrington Street - Mid morning May 8, 1945
On the sunny morining of May 8 there were in the port and its defences about 24,500 servicemen, including 3000 army, 3500 air force and 18,000 naval personnel.  The Halifax police force, numbered 90 men, including the staff at headquarters under City Hall.

At the height of the riots - May 8, 1945

The Navy had managed to keep roughly half its personnel on duty at the Dockyard and in the various ships and barracks, but at noon on May 8th about ninety-five hundred were loose in the streets.  Of these probably not more than a thousand took part in the actual rioting, but many others shared in the loot, and they were joined by about two thousand merchant seamen of all nationalities, an assortment of waterfront labourers and loafers. For the rest of the day and well into the evening the city was in a state of anarchy.
After the riots - May 9, 1945. The staff of Bedard-Girard Ltd. regional office in Halifax. Bedard Girard was an electrical contractor involved in ship and airport construction in the Maritimes during WWII.
Shocked by this spasm of anarchy, the law dealt sharply with convicted offenders, among whom several naval men received severe sentences.  A persistent search recovered large quantities of stolen goods which were gathered, sorted, and if possible were returned to their owners.  A special commission (the Kellock Commission) investigated the riots and placed the primary blame on naval personnel, and the owners of the damaged and looted premised received full compensation from the Canadian treasury.

These excerpts were taken from "Halifax - Warden of the North" by Thomas Raddall and there is a much more detailed events of this riot within its pages.