There is no national Wren organization though there were a number of separate ones across Canada… sadly depleting. The average Wartime Wren WRCNS is at least 89. Return of Wrens was 1952 and up to 1966/7, then became CF Maritime Command.
2017 is 75th anniversary of the founding of the Wrens.
Our members are WRCNS, and Wrens as named, but includes UK WRNS, Canadian RCN and RCNR and CF and the return of RCN.
Sadly the CF interrupted the wrens and this broke the chain with newer members not following the traditional Wrens.
All Wartime, Post War and Peacetime Wrens and Naval Women may apply for Veterans compensation.
Reserve Wrens or CF [Reserve] wrens may not know they are ‘Veterans’ and may have a connection to the system.
A VETERAN should have served a specific time and be honourably discharged.
Wrens have items at Toronto City Archives on Spadina Rd near Castle Loma. The organization memorabilia ie Jenny Wren Letters and membership files, Wren Association of Toronto notebooks with photos,and similar.
York Association (HMCS York) Toronto has been formed. Two former wrens are on Executive. We turned over to it most of the Wren Locker…ie photos and such. There is a museum room at York but you may have to make arrangements to get in.
RCMI, Royal Canadian Military Institute, has some collections of Naval memorabilia and has a large Library of many books. On University near Dundas in Toronto. Make arrangements to see by calling.
CMHM Canadian Military Heritage Museum, has the physical collection re uniforms etc.and naval memorabilia and a small library…in Brantford. Check opening times. small fee.
U of T University of Toronto, has the soldiers tower in the University. The Law School occupies the former Wren Quarters. Soldiers Tower has a wren stained glass window and small artifacts in the Tower.
Cambridge Archives in Cambridge [Galt] has wren fonds..these are called up items. Short Hours need appointment. Most of the real archive in paper etc are here. Including postwar, uk and others..plus all the original photos etc.
Branksome Hall, Toronto, a girls private school provided a few Wren recruits. as did University of Toronto.
See also Museums and Archives.
The Wren Association of Toronto invited Wrens, family and friends and
Her Honour, The Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell
Lieutenant Governor of Ontario (seated front with the gorgeous red hat)
To celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the Women’s Royal Canadian Naval Service
Many people attended and enjoyed a fabulous lunch and celebration of the Wrens
Saturday, 9th September 2017
Royal Canadian Military Institute
426 University Avenue
Toronto, M5G 1S9
12 Noon for 1pm
3 course Chicken or Vegetarian Lunch, with Wine
Price to be confirmed
Dress. Medals, Wren Uniform (Optional), Business Suit
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
‘Navy Lady’ is a trademarked Rose bush and will be available in the Spring 2016.
The Grower is JC Bakker and Sons, Limited of St Catharines, Ontario.
Please contact your local retail garden store and request one for your own garden.
Come out this Saturday, August 22nd to see us march.
The parade takes place on Saturday, August 22nd at 10:30 am starting at the Princes’ Gates and continues down Princes’ Boulevard.
Further information about the Warriors’ Day Parade can be found at www.thewarriorsdayparade.ca
Note: Veterans and one companion ride free on the GO Train on August 22.
Check out our events calendar here
Our rose continues to be available, and is successfully growing all across Canada, and even into the USA now!
Check your local garden centre to see if you can obtain one of our lovely red rose bushes for your garden.
Sadly, many of the lovely women who worked on this project have crossed the bar. We miss you Betty, Bev, Pauline and Margaret!
We received this note recently from the lovely people at the Cambridge Public Library, caring for the garden where our Jenny Wren statue is surrounded by the Navy Lady rose…
On a lovely day, one of our staff took this great picture and shared it on social media. We wanted to share it with you. Here’s what we posted…
“Such a beautiful day – and the roses are in full bloom by our Jenny Wren statue. A lovely tribute to their service. Do you know the story of Jenny Wren? It’s well worth knowing! Enjoy!”
The Foundation of the Women’s Royal Canadian Naval Service:1942—Brief notes
It was said that Canada asked the British Admiralty by signal ‘Please send us a Mother Wren”*
and while that communiqué has not surfaced in Archives, we wish to believe that is true.
The following personnel returned to Britain and in 1947 according to the Wren Newsletter ** were:
The British Wrens *1947
Joan Carpenter C.B.E ‘retired May 1946, last appointment Deputy Director Welfare, W.R.N.S HQ.
Secretary. W.R.N.S. Benevolent Fund.
Dorothy Isherwood ‘appointed Commander of British Empire 1947, retired 1946 serving in the Mediterranean as Superintendent to Commander , returned to BBC
June 1943 appointed Acting Captain D/WRCNS replacing Captain Brock.
Doris Taylor ‘after serving W.R.C.N.S.- joined UNRRA retired 1947
Lorna Kellet ‘retired May 1947 Chief Officer Portsmouth, joined BBC
Betty Samuel ‘retired 1946 after serving one year in Australia, Chief Officer on staff- now in Germany with Control Commission
Elizabeth Sturdee mentioned by Isherwood, returned early to be married in UK
Additional Information: The Canadian Wrens :1947
Adelaide Grant Macdonald Sinclair O.B.E., L.LD :
‘ In 1947 Executive Assistant to Deputy Minister of Welfare
Lt Cdr Sinclair became Director and Commander 1943-45 of Women’s Royal Canadian Naval Service.
Isobel Janet Macneill: O.B.E., L.L.D. and O.C.
Joined 1942, Lt Cdr 1943, CO of HMCS Conestoga in Galt 1943-45.
‘Only woman in the Canadian Navy to Command a Ship’
Returned briefly in 1954 to RCN.
Honourary Commandant of the WRCNS: 1947
H.R.H. Princess Alice Mary
Original Director of the Women’s Services 1942
Captain Eustache Brock
It appears that the British Wrens tasked for the foundation of the WRCNS arrived in April 1942 had all returned after handover to Lt Cdr Adelaide Sinclair in August 1943.
Source: * Blue Tapestry: Book by Vera Laughton Mathews , The story of the WRNS: Page 150
**Wren Newsletter: published Halifax NS, Vol 1, No 1, February 1947 : Page 1.
Wrens… come out to our last meeting before the summer break!
June 17th at noon at the Naval Club.
Here’s How To Get Your Service Records.
The need for service records comes up every so often. Please keep the following information for future use.
- Canadian – Service Records, ATIP Personnel Records Div. Library and Archives Canada 395 Wellington St. Ottawa ON K1H 0N4.
- British – Director of Naval personnel, Navy Search, TNT Records Management. PO Box 7814, Tetron Point, William Nadin Way, Swadlincote, Derbyshire DE11 1EG email@example.com.