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The Women's Royal Naval Service: Wrens who served


The Women's Royal Naval Service: Wrens Who Served

Women had first served as uniformed employees with the Royal Navy in WW1 and proven their worth in roles that had previously been assigned to men.  When war broke out in 1939 the Wrens were rapidly re-established to replace men in supporting roles on shore and to assume new roles previously only open to men.  Wrens who served with the Fleet Air Arm are not well represented in the historical record despite the significance of their contribution to the service.  Some eighty WW2 Fleet Air Arm Wrens came forward and offered stories for this TPYF project.  We were able to interview four of them.  This pack is based around what they told us.  

The web film in this pack is 67Mb in size, and will NOT play while you are downloading it. Unlike other online video, it has been designed for saving to your hard disc and viewing offline more than once (maybe in the classroom).  Please allow plenty of time to download.

You will need to register to access some of the content available. You can do so here.


A VISIT TO THE MUSEUM is an ideal way to put the resources in this pack in context using the Museum's exhibitions and activity workshops. 

The Wrens Exhibition tells the story of the Women's Royal Naval Service from the First World War (1917) until the 1970s.  Artefacts and displays in the exhibition illustrate how women's roles have expanded and diversified in-service until the disbandment of the Wrens and the full assimilation of women into the Royal Navy in the late 1990s.   The wider theme of the changing role of women in the past century and the associated ethical and citizenship questions can be developed using a programme that combines close examination of the Wrens exhibition with a workshop or talk.

Workshops and talks available at the Museum are listed in the Secondary School History and Citizenship Brochure

Of particular relevance to this pack are:

  • The Role of the Aircraft in WW2 - Presentation - 1 hour
  • WW2 Artefacts and Archives

Useful external links with resources for this pack:

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