National Memorial Arboretum

In 1999 when the Garden was created, it was on a piece of very wet and and muddy land. However, due to some major work carried out at the confluence of the Rivers Trent and Tame, the major floods experienced in the early years are largely a thing of the past.

All trees and shrubs in the garden are maturing and doing the job they were intended to do: attracting birds, bees and butterflies.

The trees are dedicated to various Branches of the Association or individuals. The two rose beds, planted with our own specially created Wren Rose, are a sight to behold when in flower. Almost all of the roses (99.9%) are now dedicated. The whole memorial garden is surrounded by a lovely Beech hedge slightly over a metre high.

In 2009 the striking Aguila Memorial was dedicated. It is much admired by the many visitors who come to the Garden. The Dauntless Association were instrumental in the creation of the memorial: a large wooden carved Wren sitting on a granite base. Between base of the Wren and the granite is a time capsule remembering the names of the 21 Wrens and one Naval Nursing sister who were lost at sea en route to Gibraltar in August 1941.

The Wrens Garden is the peaceful, thought-provoking place it was intended to be. In the summer a wonderful perfume from the roses and flowering shrubs invades the garden, however, this can only be experienced if you come and visit!!

Find out more about the National Memorial Arboretum at

Dedication Plaque


In 1917, the Women’s Royal Naval Service was formed to take up jobs in shore billets, thus releasing naval officers and ratings for sea service. By 1918 there were over 5000 women serving, but efforts to retain the service in peacetime failed.

In 1920 the Association of Wrens was formed to keep alive the friendships made; many members from the Association rejoined the Service when the WRNS was reformed in 1939. During World War II some 75,000 women were serving in the WRNS, carrying out very highly confidential and responsible duties in Britain and overseas. In 1949, a smaller service became a permanent part of the naval scene, and continued until 1993, when the WRNS was fully integrated into the Royal Navy.

The Association of Wrens has continued to flourish since 1920. The garden and its maintenance is made possible by donations.