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.
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.
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