Director of Wooden Shipbuilding, Imperial Munitions Board

The Imperial Munitions Board was created in November 1915 by the British Ministry of Munitions to encourage and assist Canadian industry in producing munitions for the British war effort during the First World War.

As head of the  the British Ministry of Munitions appointed Joseph Wesley Flavelle, a leading figure in Candian business during the late 19th and early 20th century.

Joseph Flavelle appointed Robert Butchart to the Imperial Munitions Board as Director of Wooden Shipbuilding, with the mandate of using British Columbia shipyards to produce wooden cargo ships for transporting munitions and war materiel from Canada to Britain.

Sir Joseph Flavelle (1858-1939) was the head of the Imperial Munitions Board during the First World War. Robert Butchart served under him as Director of Wooden Shipbuilding. (Author's collection)
Sir Joseph Flavelle (1858-1939) was the head of the Imperial Munitions Board during the First World War. Robert Butchart served under him as Director of Wooden Shipbuilding. (Author’s collection)

Robert Butchart set up his offices as Director of Wooden Shipbuilding on the third floor of the Belmont Building on downtown Victoria.

The Belmont Building. 600-620 Humbolt Street / 801-807 Government Street, in downtown Victoria. Robert Butchart and the B.C. Cement Company maintained corporate offices on the third floor of the Belmont Building between 1919 -1943. (photo by Author)
The Belmont Building. 600-620 Humbolt Street / 801-807 Government Street, in downtown Victoria. Robert Butchart and the B.C. Cement Company maintained corporate offices on the third floor of the Belmont Building between 1919 -1943. (photo by Author)

Here are links to some historic photographs of wooden cargo ships built in British Columbia shipyards for the Imperial Munitions Board during Robert Butchart’s tenure are Director of Wooden Shipbuilding:

We will add links to more historic photographs in the near future.

Would you like to leave a comment or question about anything on this page?