The Association was formed in 1920 and is governed by its constitution as revised in 1991, 2001 and 2012. We have an elected Chairman and Vice Chairman and appointed Treasurer, Editor and Public Relations Officer. Ten Trustees who are elected by the membership, together with the Chairman, Vice-Chairman and Treasurer form the Governing body which meets not less than three times each year. Three Trustees serve on the Finance Committee together with the Chairman and Treasurer.
The Annual General Meeting takes place in Central London in October. Another General Meeting is held in April at various venues; at HMS DRAKE 2011, Bletchley Park in 2012, and in 2013 it will be held in Bournemouth. We select venues that will enable members from various parts of the country to attend. Following the formal meeting members enjoy 'shopping' at the Sales stall, looking at display boards for news and future events and socialising with old and new friends. We welcome those who are eligible to join the Association and would like to visit for the first time - contact HQ for further information.
The secretary and his assistant are employed by the Association. The Association is a Registered Charity No 257040 and conducts its affairs according to the Charity Commission regulations. The Association has approximately 5,500 members at home and overseas, many of whom choose to meet at a local Branch, or as an Informal Group, or with friends sharing links with category/ship/shore establishments.
See Calendar page for time and venue of the next General meeting. All Association members are welcome to attend and after a short business meeting are able to socialise with members from many regions of the UK. Please contact HQ if you expect to attend.
See GROUPS and PEOPLE pages.
Each year the AOW holds a Standard Bearers' competition for the privilege of carrying the National Standard at significant events throughout the UK.
Some Branches of the AOW have their own Branch Standard and are awarded a pennant for over 25, 50 and 60 years of service.
When a Branch Standard Bearer is not able to carry on, volunteers for this role would be welcomed, please contact HQ. Upon the closing of a Branch the standard is laid up within the local area, usually in a parish church or museum. Elaine Smith was successful at the National Standard Bearer competition held in April 2012.
The WRNS BT, Registered Charity No. 206529, was founded in 1941 by Dame Vera Laughton Mathews and granted a Royal Charter in 1950. A member is anyone who was serving in the WRNS and transferred to the RN on 1 November 1993, or anyone who has served in the WRNS since 3 September 1939, save only those who have deserted from the Service (even if a pardon has been obtained). The primary objects of the Trust are to provide relief in cases of necessity or distress among members of the Trust and their dependants, to make provision in suitable cases for assistance with further education, to make contributions to other suitable charities to enable them to carry out their respective objects for the benefit of the Trust's members, and to do anything ancillary to any of the above objects.
Further information: www.wrnsbt.org.uk
Congratulations to the WRNS BT on the publication of this comprehensive history of its work over the last 70 years depicting the lives of the splendid women who have served in the Women’s Royal Naval Service since 1917. From its foundation in 1920, the Association of Wrens has supported the Trust throughout the years. Funds are raised by individual member donations, and at Branch and Informal Group meetings and events to enable all ex-Wrens who are in need, to receive help. The stories related in the book illustrate the great work done by the Benevolent Trust and how important it is for former members of the WRNS to know that they can always get help from Trust. We encourage all the members of the Association to continue to support their charity. See HOME page
All members receive 'The Wren' magazine, posted to their home, three times a year.
This features a variety of news, comments and photos contributed by those who have served across the decades, plus a 'Where Are You Now' column.
Articles and photos from RN women at sea and in shore based establishments ensure that we are kept up to date with naval life.
The 'Talking Wren' project enables those with visual impairment to access the magazine via recorded tapes. We are most grateful to the Portsmouth Talking News volunteers for this much needed provision with the assistance of Trustee Penny Wright.
See MAGAZINE page.
These are usually held every three years with an exception being made should a significant Association anniversary occur.
Recent reunion ‘firsts’ have included a Thames boat trip, and a weekend on the York University campus.
Our most recent significant anniversary was the 90th Commemorative service held in St Martin in the Fields on 13 November 2010.
See EVENTS page & GALLERY.
The next National Association Reunion will be held on the weekend of 8th - 10th August 2014 at the Warwick University Campus. Booking forms will be published within The Wren magazine. Join the Association NOW and make sure of your ticket! An application form can be downloaded from the HOME page.
Crown Copyright for photos and text extracts sourced from the Royal Naval Museum Online Collection www.seayourhistory.org.uk, The Imperial War Museum Online Collection www.iwm.org.uk and Royal Navy Picture desk.