What is the Crow’s Nest?

At the height of the Battle of the Atlantic in World War II, in 1942, St. John’s was the home port for the Newfoundland Escort Force, a handover point for the critical supply convoys. The Crow’s Nest Officers’ Club served as a retreat, for the remainder of the war, where allied naval and merchant officers could relax, share their stories of victory and loss, and have a home-cooked meal.

The Club has become a living museum, owned and supported by volunteer members, that commemorates the contribution of the Royal Canadian Navy, the Royal Canadian Navy Reserve, and the Royal Canadian Navy Volunteer Reserve during World War II.

The Crow’s Nest Military Artifacts Association (a registered charity) conserves, preserves, documents, and displays the hundreds of artifacts related to the War that have been collected.


How to Find Us

The Crow’s Nest is located in the heart of historic St. John’s, near the harbour.

Alan Doyle, the renowned NL musician, has released a heartfelt rendition of a song that traces its origins back to one of the most significant battles during World War II. This song, known as the “Barber Pole Song,” carries with it a remarkable history and connection to a crucial period in our world’s past.

The backdrop for this musical tale is none other than the longest battle of World War II, one that endured throughout the entire duration of the war and finally concluded on May 8, 1945. It’s a piece of history that still resonates with us today.

While Alan Doyle has lent his musical talents to breathe new life into the “Barber Pole Song,” the lyrics themselves were crafted by Anthony Paddon. Paddon, who served as a Surgeon Lieutenant Commander during this momentous battle, left behind an enduring legacy through his words.

Dave Paddon, the son of Anthony Paddon and the current President of the Crow’s Nest, a place where his father spent a significant amount of time between convoys during the war, sheds light on the song’s origins. The challenging and poignant experiences of wartime service served as a wellspring of inspiration for Anthony Paddon.

It was during this period of reflection and inspiration that Anthony Paddon, after hearing the traditional tune “The Road to the Isles” on the radio, decided to embark on a creative journey of his own. This journey led him to pen lyrics that encapsulated life in the 5th Escort Group during World War II. These lyrics would eventually become the beloved “Barber Pole Song.”

Alan Doyle’s rendition of this song not only pays tribute to the historical significance of the battle but also preserves the memory of Anthony Paddon’s storytelling prowess. Through music, history, and the art of storytelling, the “Barber Pole Song” lives on as a poignant reminder of the courage and resilience displayed during World War II.

Hours of Operation

hours of operation are irregular due to COVID-19, please call or email prior to your visit for current opening times.

Contact Information


[email protected]

P.O. Box 23161
St. John’s, NL
Canada, A1B 4J9


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