With regret we report the sad passing of Penny Wright MBE who died peacefully in the presence of family members, on 15th January 2017.
Penny joined the Wrens in September 1958 as a Radio Mechanic reaching Petty Officer rank in 1964, before being appointed 3/0 Air Radio WRNS, then promoted to 2/0 including ‘Schoolie’ duties, before leaving the service in June 1969. Ships served included HMS Ariel, Fulmar, Heron, Goldcrest & Daedalus. Penny represented the WRNS at Shooting & Fencing, and was a RN Saddle Club enthusiast.
A veteran of the Royal Navy and code-breaking centre Bletchley Park during World War Two has been awarded the Service Medal. Pug (Patience) Whitwell, 91, of South Molton, in North Devon, was presented with the medal by Commodore Jamie Miller, the Royal Naval Regional Commander (Wales and Western England) at a ceremony at her nursing home surrounded by friends, family and staff.
The award has come very late in her life, long after she left the Women’s Royal Naval Service (WRN or Wrens), because she was put off applying for it decades earlier by perceived bureaucracy.
Anthea Larken joined the WRNS in 1956. During her early career she held a wide range of posts, including as Range Assessor and Photographic Interpreter. During her career she saw the WRNS go through many significant changes and was directly involved in a number of developments.
She was appointed Director WRNS 1988 – 1991. It was during this period that the WRNS went through one of its most significant changes. In October 1990 the first women joined the crew of a Royal Naval warship, HMS Brilliant.
Joan Burns was a WRNS despatch rider in the Second World War. Despatch riders had the important task of delivering urgent orders and messages between headquarters and units. The women had not only to be able to ride but to be able to maintain their own bikes. They often worked long hours through adverse weather conditions.
Joan made her first uniform by dyeing her jodhpurs navy blue and blacking her riding boots.
At Sea for OBE
HMS Ocean’s Commander Logistics, Commander Jude Terry, was awarded the OBE in the New Year’s Honours List 2017. The news of the award arrived while she was deployed in The Gulf on her second tour in HMS Ocean whilst supporting operations for Commander Task Force 50 (CTF50).
The award of the OBE was in recognition for her work in the Permanent Joint Headquarters (PJHQ), Northwood, during the period in which UK forces were redeployed from Helmand and whilst employed as the Military Assistant to the Chief of Joint Operations.
The Wrens’ Church, St Mary le Strand, was packed for the Association of Wrens annual Carol Service on 10th December. The service was led by the Parish Priest, The Rev Philip Chester. Lessons were read by Pat Davies, Cdr Andrea Crook, Karen Elliott, CPO Aurora Allen and the Chairman, Carol Gibbon. All members of the congregation joined in singing the carols with great enthusiasm. After the service everyone enjoyed tea and mince pies in Chapters Restaurant in King’s College.
Over the decades there have been huge changes in both the role of women in the Armed Forces, as well as in the media – but the rewards have not diminished.
Public relations specialists Chief Officer Pamela Williams WRNS and Lt Cdr Francesca Woodman RNR have almost 60 years of Naval Service between them. Over the decades there have been huge changes in both the role of women in the Armed Forces, as well as in the media – but the rewards have not diminished.
The above competition took place Saturday 19 November, hosted by the Royal Naval Submarine Museum, Gosport.
On display for the event in the museum was a collection of trophies, past and present, dating back to 1944. Uckers boards, provided by Uckers Ya Uckers were on show, and the final was played on a large board donated by HMS DAEDELUS, the RN Air Station that closed in 1996.
Stephanie Higham from Deddington aged 96 (1941-46) 3/O WRNS ‘Y’ Station Linguist HMS Watchful, Gt Yarmouth, HMS Lynx, Dover, HMS Victory, HMS Orlando, Greenock, C in C Western Approaches, London, Plon HQ Schleswig-Holstein. www.deddingtonhistory.uk/worldwars/thebook/.../stephaniehigham
Please look at Stephanie’s story it would be irresponsible to write a summary of such a varied period of service. There is also photo of her and her faithful dog..
AOW members and guests enjoyed the 2016 AGM held at the Union Jack Club on 24 September 2016. The Association, and WRNS100 'memento' stalls both did very good business and we were pleased to be given a generous donation of 'Homeport', the NFF magazine. Members enjoyed meeting friends during the afternoon, some of whom had decided to 'stopover' and have a mini-reunion..
A guard of honour made up of trainee sailors has welcomed a new Commanding Officer to HMS Raleigh. Captain (Capt) Ellie Ablett has relieved Capt Rob Bellfield to become the first woman in Command of the Royal Navy’s largest training base in the South West.
Capt Ablett joined the Royal Navy in 1993, in the first wave of women to join a fully integrated service on the closure of the Women’s Royal Naval Service. She comes to HMS Raleigh direct from an appointment in Whitehall as the Executive Assistant to the First Sea Lord.
A blind war veteran has been awarded France's highest military honour for her part in liberating the country during the Second World War.
Fanny Hugill, 93, from Fairford, Gloucestershire, was awarded the Chevalier de l'Ordre National de la Legion d'Honneur. She was in Admiral Bill Tennant's team that planned the Normandy landings in 1944. .
"We did know how momentous a day it was but of course all the planning had been done so no one was nervous," she said. "We all had a job to do." Ms Hugill said she was "very, very honoured" to have been recognised.
A Mess dinner was held on 7 September in WO & SR’s Mess at HMS Nelson.to celebrate the renaming of the Family Service Specialisation to Royal Navy Welfare.
Royal Navy Welfare covers the whole world where there are serving RN personnel. Our main offices are based in Nelson, Drake, Yeovil and Helensburgh, with satellite offices in 45 Cdo, Rosyth, Liverpool, Birmingham, Northwood, Poole, Sultan, Collingwood, Gibraltar, CTCRM, Stonehouse and 40 Cdo.