Eighty years ago today, the only Canadian naval ship named for the city of Weyburn would strike a mine and sink off the coast of Gibraltar.  

The HMCS Weyburn was a Flower-class corvette, serving with the Royal Canadian Navy. The Flower-class was a designation for ships that were primarily used in an escort capacity across the Atlantic Ocean. The ships were commonly sponsored by the communities they were named for as well.  

The Weyburn was ordered in February of 1940 and would be laid down by the Port Arthur Building Company in Port Arthur, Ontario in December of that year. Once it was completed on July 26th, 1941, it would set sail through the Great Lakes, and make its way to Montreal where it would be commissioned into the Royal Canadian Navy on November 26th. When fully crewed, it would have a complement of 85 sailors. 

The Weyburn would initially be assigned to the Halifax Force for local escort work but would need repairs and retrofitting, which was handled in Halifax in March and April of 1942. After those repairs, it was part of the Western Local Escort Force. Then, in July of 1942, it was assigned to the Gulf Escort Force, helping convoys that were sailing from Quebec City to Sydney, Nova Scotia.  

In September of 1942, the HMCS Weyburn would receive new tasking. It was assigned to duties in connection with Operation Torch, which was the Allied landings in North Africa ahead of the invasion of Italy. The ship would set sail for the United Kingdom as part of Convoy SC.100. During the voyage across the Atlantic, the Weyburn would pick up survivors from the ship Athelsultan, which had been torpedoed by a German U-boat southeast of Cape Farewell, the southernmost part of Greenland.  

The HMCS Weyburn would arrive in Northern Ireland on September 27th, 1942, and from there it went to Liverpool, England to get fitted with additional anti-aircraft guns. After this retrofit, it was assigned to escort service between the United Kingdom and the Mediterranean Sea.  

On February 22nd, 1943, the Weyburn would be sailing near Gibraltar, at the mouth of the Mediterranean Sea. The ship struck a mine, which tore open the midships on the port side of the corvette. The funnel would split from bottom to top, and the decks buckled. Pipes burst in the engine room as the seawater entered.  

The crew would remove the firing pins from all of the depth charges that were on the ship, to prevent them from exploding if the ship sank. However, two of the pins were jammed and could not be removed.  

The ship HMS Wivern, a Destroyer that was part of the convoy, came to the aid of the Weyburn. The Wivern put the bow of the ship against the stern of the Weyburn to help get the crew off of the ship. Then, something gave way on the inside of the Weyburn, and it began to sink. The two depth charges that still had the firing pins would explode, killing those in the water, while also severely injuring and killing several members of the crew of the Wivern.  

The Wivern would be towed back to port, along with the survivors from both ships.  

In all, seven members of the crew of the ship would perish as a result of the incident, including the commanding officer, Lieutenant Commander Thomas Maitland Wake Golby, who had been the commanding officer since it was first commissioned on November 26th, 1941.  

The others who perished were Sub-Lieutenant Wilfred Bark, Steward Eric Ewald Eisner, Leading Stoker Richard Stanley Hall, Stoker Melvin Clarence Morrison, Able Seaman William Henry Shelley, and Stoker Maurice Arthur Savoie.