Royal Navy Museum marks centenary of WRNS

Wrens Group embarking sentry with Ross rifle.jpg

Second World War WRNS with their kit

The National Museum of the Royal Navy, Portsmouth, is marking the centenary of the formation of the Women’s Royal Naval Service (WRNS) with an exhibition entitled Pioneers to Professionals. Women and the Royal Navy.

On show within the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, the display opens on 18 February and charts the history of women and the Royal Navy from the age of sail to the present.

Two Wrens cleaning depth charges, First World War.jpg

WRNS working on depth-charges during the First World War

Untold stories

Drawing on the collections of the National Museum of the Navy, in addition to loans from other museums and private individuals, the exhibition shines a light onto an area of naval history that has all too often been forgotten.

Among those whose story is told are Hannah Snell, who disguised herself as a man to serve in the Royal Marines, and Ann Hopping, who went to sea on Royal Navy ships in the 18th century.

The exhibition also explores the role of women during two world wars and considers the realities of everyday life in today’s Royal Navy.

For more about Pioneers to Professionals. Women and the Royal Navy, click here.

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3 Responses to Royal Navy Museum marks centenary of WRNS

  1. P Nicholson says:

    Just a note to say my mother is one of the few recipients of the Legion d’honeur for her work at Southwick House during WW11 as a 17 year old Wren involved with the planning of the Logistics for the DDay invasion

  2. Sylvia Brooks: nee Padgett says:

    I was a writer in the Jaunty’s office at Poole where the United States Advance Amphibious Base operated at HMS Turtle in Poole in the lead up to D Day; which was two days before my 21 birthday…now hedging towards 94 years…Ex-wren

  3. Robin Ennion says:

    My mother was a wren (2/o E M Theophilus and first marriage) in WW2 serving, apparently, in SHAEF HQ, at which location I have no idea. Similarly, I have no knowledge of her service record, but am interested in understanding an admiralty message naming her. Can you suggest/recommend who I can send a scanned copy of the message to and who might interpret it, please?
    Thanks,

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