Royal Navy women break the record!

HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH on Twitter From AB to Cdr, here are 9 of our 83 females which is 13% of the ship's company a current @RoyalNavy record. 3 are original @wrns100

Photo credit UK Defence Journal.

WWII Wrens beat the Saturday shoppers!

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..

Capt. Ellie Ablett C.O. for HMS Raleigh

New Commanding Officer for HMS Raleigh

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.

WWII Wren honoured for D Day planning

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.

HMS NELSON WO & SR's Mess Dinner event

A Mess dinner was held on 7 September in WO & SR’s Mess at HMS 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.


HMS Queen Elizabeth - Shipshape And Almost Ready

The first of Britain's new aircraft carriers is less than six months away from her sea trials. HMS Queen Elizabeth is nearing completion at Rosyth, north of Edinburgh.  Despite recent problems with manpower, the Royal Navy is confident it will have the personnel and skills required to operate the new platform. Commodore Jerry Kyd, the Commanding Officer, told Forces TV:

AOW members enjoy Summer Part 3

Another selection from members sharing fun, friendship and memories during July, August and September 2016.

Not forgetting all those who stood at stalls on behalf of AOW/WRNS BT & WRNS100 - thank you ladies!

Keep in touch with the Association of Wrens through our magazine 'The Wren' where you will find many more photos and stories from all the decades.

FB users can find us on the official 'Association of Wrens' page.


Fire at WRNS Church - St Mary le Strand

Sunday 24th July was very nearly catastrophic for the WRNS Church.  A bang and horrible smell of smoke signalled a fire at the back of the church.  Fortunately, it was at the end of the service when the congregation was gathered at the back for coffee so the church wardens were able very quickly to get to the immediate cause, a faulty fuse box.

AOW members enjoy Summer 2016 Part 2

A few photos showing AOW members out and about in the community:

HMS WARRIOR coffee morning held onboard 20th July organised by Tina Lowe & Portsmouth Branch with AOW stall holders and visitors

Nottingham informal group choose to have a three month regular meet-up and it seems to be a great success!

A 'summerset' image for some of Edinburgh Branch visiting onboard HMS SOMERSET!

Swansea Air Show AOW shares a table with the RN - Penny Marner shows the sash! July 2016.

Chairman's Letter Summer 2016

I hope that by the time The Wren Magazine arrives on your doorstep we will be having some lovely summer weather with some warm sunshine. The role of Chairman continues to be a very busy and fulfilling one.  I have attended numerous meetings, visited many places and got to meet some lovely people not to mention coping with the endless administration which continues on a daily basis. In February we once again met with the WRAC Association and each meeting we have we include more people.

AOW members enjoy Summer 2016

A few photos showing AOW members out and about in the community:

Cheltenham Branch went to Portsmouth for three days combining a visit to the RN Submarine Museum, various sites in HM Dockyard with the Communicators' Annual lunch.

Can you see them? Members of AOW Cheltenham Branch at the RN Submarine Museum

Swindon Branch put on a wonderful display at the Armed Forces Day - selling WRNS100, BT & AOW mementoes. Their supporters goupr includes AOW Chairman Carol Gibbon.

Standard Bearers' Competition 2016

The Biennial Standard Bearers Competition took place this year at HMS Collingwood on Saturday 7th May 2016. Once again it was organised and executed by Andy Christie and the Royal Naval Association who not only did a great job in the planning of this event but were also extremely supportive of our Association.  We had five competitors all of whom had competed in previous competitions but for some it was a long time ago.  There were eight competitors for the RNA who represented the various areas.

Edinburgh & District Branch reach 70yrs!

On the 24th April 1946, the Edinburgh and District Branch of the Association of Wrens was formed. Seventy years to the day the anniversary was celebrated with a service at Canongate Kirk, the Kirk of Holyroodhouse and Edinburgh Castle followed by a reception at the Macdonald Holyrood Hotel attended by Anthea Larken CBE, National President, Carol Gibbon, National Chairman and Captain Chris Smith RN, Naval Regional Commander Scotland & NI.

Margaret remembers the Barracuda bomber!


Today, 91 year old former Leading WRNS Armourer, Margaret Moorcraft visited us with a special purpose in mind, to see the rebuild of the world’s last remaining Fairey Barracuda Torpedo bomber. Why?.... because 73 years ago she was working on Barracuda Aircraft and has not seen one since leaving the Navy at the end of Second World War.

Dame Marion Kettlewell DBE

Dame Marion, Director of the Women's Royal Naval Service 1967-1970, former President of the Association of Wrens and Vice-President of the WRNS Benevolent Trust, died on 11th April 2016

Her obituary can be found at The Telegraph

Dame Marion's oral History is available at Imperial War Museum


Membership can be renewed on-line!

For speed and convenience, you may now renew your membership on-line. It's really simple. Go to the renewals page, have your membership number handy, select your membership type, and after filling out the short form, you can pay with your credit card.

Membership runs from 1st April until 31st March so please try to renew before the end of April, although you can renew at any time. If you don't want to renew on-line, there's a form in the Spring issue of every magazine



Lt Serena Davidson RN - congratulations!

Top rewards for Culdrose Flight Commander


Flight Commander Lieutenant Serena Davidson , from Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose, has been awarded a commendation for her work in the Gulf.

Lieutenant Davidson, the Flight Commander of Palembang Flight of 849 Naval Air Squadron was presented with her Commander Joint Operations (CJO) Commendation by the New Fleet Commander, Vice Admiral Ben Key CBE.

A Woman's Ship: WRNS on the UNICORN

HM Frigate Unicorn Museum, Dundee opening hours and lecture date.

A permanent exhibition including WRNS material is opening at HM Frigate UNICORN, DUNDEE, from March 3rd Thurs -Sun, 12pm to 4pm (concessions). There will also be a lecture entitled 'WRNS on the UNICORN - A Personal Voyage' on Wed 9th March 7pm £5 entry. Contact 01382 200900. Supported by local Veteran WWII AOW members.

Fact, not fiction - OUR history matters!

AOW Writing Workshop at Greenwich 20th January 2016
For those who may not wish to parade, or attend meetings or reunions, this alternative AOW event proved to be very successful and may well result in future submissions to The Wren, articles for specialist publications, memoirs prepared for archives, family history, and perhaps even a ‘best seller’!