Wrens at HMS Wildfire, Sheerness, during World War Two.
Back row right hand end Janet Lewis
Wrens carry out almost every type of job including, operating the giant computer “Callossus” used at Bletchly Park to break German codes, wireless telegraphists, radar plotters, weapons analysts, range assessors, electricians, mechanics, drivers, cooks and office workers. In fact, every job a sailor could do a Wren could probably do it better.
Situated on the Isle of Sheppey, in the Thames Estuary, HMS Wildfire was a Royal Navy shore base. In 1939, it quickly became clear that Wildfire would not be big enough and HMS Wildfire II was established a few miles away at Queenborough. Predominantly for minesweepers, its name would be changed to HMS St Tudno after the headquarter ship and finally, when the St Tudno sailed off to war, HMS Wildfire III.
Anne Pearmain's mum was a wren stationed at Sheerness! Her name was Florence (Bunny) Doyle. My father was also stationed here.
Bev Bowles's mum Peggy Naom Dudley. My mum was stationed at Sheerness during WW2. My Dad worked in communications at the Dockyard and that's how they met. She certainly was a 'Bobby Dazzler' as he often said
(we certainly would agree with your dad, She certainly is a "Bobby Dazzler."
John Stockham tells us, "Mum was only 16 and a mother back then but was in the Docks up the Navy mast as an Enemy aircraft lookout . Then Men who could climb up the rope ladders at 56 years old to old for the draft or front line took over . Mum retrained as a captain lathe operator on the mine sweepers and submarines. Sister Leish was a radial drill operator in the same shop. Lots of women took to the tools in times of war building ships fighters and bombers plus other ordnance .
Andy Hartley's mum, Margaret Lee Hartley.
Ann Mansfield’s mum Violet Moore.
The Women's Royal Naval Service (WRNS; known as the Wrens) was the women's section of the Royal Navy. At the beginning of WW2, in 1939, the Wrens were reformed. By 1944 there were over 75,000 wrens in the Royal Navy.
The slogan for the Wrens recruiting posters “Join the Wrens and free a man for the Fleet".
Nick Pott tells us, back row right hand end looks like it could be my grandmother she was Janet Lewis at that time and served at Wildfire later Janet Pott wife of Fred Pott. Janet lived to 94. Not to be messed with, visiting officers who got a bit touchy were known to get gravy down their neck. Another “Punishment” the girls would dish out was swapping offending officers shoes around so they had to search for a matching sized pair and for the drinkers folding the bedsheets in half so they could only get half way down the bed (days before duvets) loved her to bits.
Liz Goddard’s mother-in-law, Phyllis Rose Young
Wrens at Wildfire sleeping in Hammocks. And here's me thinking they would be given bunks or beds.