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Life in the Wrens

by Lancshomeguard

You are browsing in:

Archive List > Love in Wartime

Contributed by 
People in story: 
Lyn Lord
Location of story: 
UK and Gibraltar
Background to story: 
Royal Navy
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
25 June 2005

This story has been submitted to the People’s War website by Anne Wareing of the Lancashire Home Guard on behalf of Lyn Lord and has been added to the site with her permission…

I was fifteen when the war started and living with my parents in a hotel in Edinburgh. I remember mum crying on the day war was declared and how it was such hard work making blackouts for all the windows of the hotel.

My father was a very strict man and got even stricter when the servicemen started to arrive. I went off at 17 to join the WRENS and was told that my parents would have to sign the form on my behalf, as I wasn’t old enough. I took it to my father and surprisingly he signed it straight away, saying it was the best idea for me. I took the form back on the Thursday and by the following Tuesday I had reported to Portsmouth at HMS Canberra for my training.

How I hated it, I was so very unhappy I cried most nights. There was this Petty Officer and he made my life hell. Then I thought, well I’m here I’d better start making the best of it, so I stuck with it and 6 weeks later I began to enjoy myself.

I moved to Cauldrose in Devon to HMS Gannet then on to Northern Ireland. I worked hard and got promotion, and then moved from Eddlington back down to Portsmouth.

By now it was 1944 and I went in for a Petty Officer, I had to go to Yorkshire but I got it. I was then sent to Gibraltar where I was stationed when the war finished. It was funny really, I spent all those years in the WRENS but the only time I went on a ship was when I went to Gibraltar then sailed to Malta to pick up other WRENS stationed there.

After the war finished I signed up for another 10 years only leaving the service when I married, I made many friends; discipline was very strict, but I thoroughly enjoyed my time in the navy.

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