Admiral Sir Charles E. Kingsmill (July 7, 1855 - July 15, 1935), often referred to as the “father of the Canadian Navy” was hooked by the beauty of the Big Rideau and established a home on Grindstone Island.  He now resides permanently in a local cemetery.  Kingsmill was the first Director of the Canadian Naval Service (which later became the Royal Canadian Navy).

Charles Edmund Kingsmill was born at Guelph, Ontario in 1855. In 1870 he joined the Royal Navy as a midshipman. He was promoted Sub-Lieutenant in 1875, Lieutenant in 1877, Commander in 1891, and Captain in 1898. During his career in the Royal Navy, he commanded HM Ships Goldfinch (1890-91), Blenheim (1895-95), Archer (1895-98), Gibraltar (1900), Mildura (1900-03), Resolution, Majestic (1905-06), and Dominion (1907).

At the behest of then Prime Minister Wilfred Laurier in 1908, Kingsmill retired from the Royal Navy and returned to Canada to accept the post of director of the Marine Service in the Department of Marine and Fisheries under then Minister of Marine and Fisheries Louis P. Brodeur. The appointment predetermined his eventual appointment as Rear-Admiral RCN and director of the Naval Service of Canada upon the formation of the RCN on May 4, 1910. He served in that position for 11 years and guided Canada’s nascent Navy through its first decade. He was made Vice-Admiral on 17 May 1913 and a full Admiral in 1917.

He was appointed honorary aide-de-camp to His Excellency the Governor-General in 1909. He was made a Knight Bachelor in 1918. He was awarded for outstanding services as the Director of Naval Services of Canada 1910 - 1921.

He retired on Dec. 31, 1921 and died at his summer home on Grindstone Island, near Portland, Ontario in July 1935.  As a tribute to Kingsmill in the context of Big Rideau Lakes’ historical significance in the early development of Canada as a nation, the Portland Historical Society, in a collaborative effort with the Beautification Committee, has designed and constructed a nautical flagpole in Hanna Park near the waterfront overlooking the lake.

Admiral Kingsmill flagpole in Hanna Park

Admiral Sir Charles E. Kingsmill (July 7, 1855 - July 15, 1935) was the first Director of the Canadian Naval Service (which later became the Royal Canadian Navy).

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Charles Edmund Kingsmill was born at Guelph, Ontario in 1855. In 1870 he joined the Royal Navy as a midshipman. He was promoted Sub-Lieutenant in 1875, Lieutenant in 1877, Commander in 1891, and Captain in 1898. During his career in the Royal Navy, he commanded HM Ships Goldfinch (1890-91), Blenheim (1895-95), Archer (1895-98), Gibraltar (1900), Mildura (1900-03), Resolution, Majestic (1905-06), and Dominion (1907).

At the behest of then Prime Minister Wilfred Laurier in 1908, Kingsmill retired from the Royal Navy and returned to Canada to accept the post of director of the Marine Service in the Department of Marine and Fisheries under then Minister of Marine and Fisheries Louis P. Brodeur. The appointment predetermined his eventual appointment as Rear-Admiral RCN and director of the Naval Service of Canada upon the formation of the RCN on May 4, 1910. He served in that position for 11 years and guided Canada’s nascent Navy through its first decade. He was made Vice-Admiral on 17 May 1913 and a full Admiral in 1917.

We cannot display this gallery

He was appointed honorary aide-de-camp to His Excellency the Governor-General in 1909. He was made a Knight Bachelor in 1918. He was awarded for outstanding services as the Director of Naval Services of Canada 1910 - 1921.

He retired on Dec. 31, 1921 and died at his summer home on Grindstone Island, near Portland, Ontario in July 1935. - From Wikipedia's entry.

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[…] a local burial site is recorded and under Events a local airplane crash is documented. Under People Admiral Kingsmill, founder of the Royal Canadian Navy, and a long time resident of Grindstone Island is commemorated, […]