The Toast: To the Wrens-God bless them!

wren crest with wrcnsThe Women’s Royal Canadian Naval Service was founded as part of the Royal Canadian Navy in 1942


It is time to take a final Roll Call of all those women who served in the WRENS during the Second World War. These few are the connection with our history of Women during wartime: what they did: where they went: and what happened to them when they finished serving and then got on with their lives.

If you are aware of any living wartime WRCNS and have contact with them the Wren Association of Toronto would like to have this information and contact.


Any information, diaries, stories and family remembrances of Wren mothers, daughters, sisters, aunts, cousins and wren friends would be welcome Additional information on those Wrens who have long departed and would enhance the History of the Wrens.

We can provide donation locations for memorabilia.

If you are aware of a WRCNS person who has died and know of the names, and date and location but are not certain if this person would be in the forthcoming List of WRCNS we ask that you please fill in the Book of Remembrance form and send it in.


Or email your information to Navylady@thewrens.ca
1-2288 The Collegeway, Mississauga, ON L5L 3Z5


—–On May 31st 2022 we will list what has been accumulated —-
Please send in the information now.

******TIME SENSITIVE *****

Wakey, Wakey, Rise and Shine!


The time has come for all good Wrens – and their descendants – to show they had heeded the call.

It is 78 years since the WRCNS began and this year in the time of Covid 19 pandemic, many of our them are in their 90s and sadly leaving us at an accelerated rate.

It is the time to request that our Wrens or their children, consider their historical connection to the Royal Canadian Navy as one of the 6783 WRCNS – a small group but mighty.

A draft Volume of all the Women who joined the WRCNS during Second World War is nearing completion. Where known, this lists their service number, maiden, married, first and nicknames, rank and trade.

A Second volume now underway will describe their times and lives in the service and will include photos, histories, memoirs, etc, which will tell the stories in the words of the Wrens themselves, wherever possible.

To date, the maiden names of some 800 Wrens can not be matched with their married names.

These women varied in age from just 18 to 45. In a time of crisis, they answered the call to service.

Do you hold any Wren photos, trivia, biographies, memoirs, notes, memorabilia or documents, of yourself, your aunt, cousin, sister or your mother, or even your grandmother? If so, please let us know so we can make arrangements to obtain copies of such items.

Tell us what you have.

Write to:

LCdr D Freeman, RCN Ret’d
CFB Esquimalt Naval & Military Museum
PO 1700 Station Forces
Victoria, BC
V9A 7N2

Or, Send an email via this web site:

Attn: D Freeman

Out Pipes! All hands on deck. Step lively there!

NOTE: This invitation will ONLY be open to 31 JANUARY 2022.



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.

Continue reading

UK Wrens – Request from Janette Crisp, Co-Coordinator Dauntless Division Photos 47-81

I am hoping to get in touch with any Wrens who trained at HMS Dauntless (Reading) in the UK between 1947-1981 (in the early years it was also known as Training Establishment Burghfield).

We have created a project called Dauntless Division Photos which, once complete, will provide an archive of easily accessible Division photos. But right now the project is also linking thousands of Wrens from this time period – rekindling old friendships, making new ones, reliving memories, sharing anecdotes and generally being a support and comfort during this unsettling time.

It’s a mammoth task being created by Wrens for Wrens.

If you know of anyone who was a post-World War II Wren, chances are they trained at HMS Dauntless. Please tell them about this project and ask them to contact us.

I can be contacted at ddpwrens@gmail.com– Many thanks Janette Crisp

Preston Scout House Alumni Band

The Preston Scout House Alumni Band [Cambridge] is a Continuation of the Preston Scout Band that played Sunday Marching Music for the WRENS in Galt during the training sessions during World War II.

The Preston Scout House (Alumni) Band is an award winning band with a distinctive knees-up marching style, with fully extended arms swinging to shoulder height, which was developed during the World War II years. When on Sunday morning church parades, the band would accompany members of the local Women’s Royal Canadian Navy Service (WRENS – WRCNS) to services. The marching style produced a comfortable, biting pace that made Scout House look different from every other drum and bugle corps in North America. In the 1950s and ’60s, the use of B flat horns also made the Band sound different from the other drum and bugle corps of the day.

We tried to get this band for the Rose dedication in Cambridge in 2010. It did not happen. We had a Sea cadet Band, they were very good too.

Beds for Modern and Allied Vets at Sunnybrook

There are some new developments at Sunnybrook.

30 more beds for Modern and Allied Vets have been assigned by VAC.
This brings the total to 80 beds.

There are still a number of vacancies for WWII and Korean Vets.

We urgently need your help to get the word out to fill up these beds.

Please send this to your friends, relatives, etc.

If you know someone who may qualify, here is the phone number to call:  1-800-268-7708.

Wren Memorabilia

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.

Celebrating the 75th Anniversary of the Women’s Royal Canadian Naval Service


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
4wren crest with wrcns26 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 navylady@thewrens.ca

‘Navy Lady’ Rose

Navy Lady‘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.


Here’s the round up of the project as a whole…

ACTM Navy Lady and/ or 1910-2010 Canadian Naval Centennial Rose.
Wren Association of Toronto took this project on on behalf of all the Wren Associations across Canada. The associations have no national group just a loose network.
We became project coordinators between the Grower and Naval organizations and the Naval Centennial Group.
The rose is trademarked by Agriculture and Agri Food Canada and will have trademark protection for the duration. [ie many years]. JC Bakker and Sons Limited, have the exclusive growing rights.
It is said ‘excellent quantities’ will be available each year.

Our aim was to promote, and make the information known regarding the project set us by the Centennial Group.
The number of plants was contingent on timing as there is a lead time to get a rose bush to market and therefore we targeted Naval Organizations and Events. 3500 rose bushes were produced in 2010.
Most of the events which included a planting of the rose were initiated by Naval Groups or persons.
The royalty on the trademark will go to Agriculture Canada for trademark and rose plant, and the costs for producing the rose were taken up by JC Bakker and Sons Limited who provided the care and expertise as an enterprise and will recover costs.
Wrens and friends, and naval organizations promoted their own events including the planting and use of the rose for their own purposes.
The Wren organizations will receive no monies from this project.
Because of limited number of plants. we did not promote the rose to the Public at large in 2010
The Centennial Rose is may be used as a Remembrance, Celebration, or Event rose in the future.

Rose Committee Wren Association of Toronto


First Planting

The first planting of the 1910-2010 Canadian Naval Centennial Rose ACTM Navy Lady took place at the Wardroom at CFB Esquimalt, Victoria, British Columbia, March 8, 2010.

This early event featured three rose bushes planted in tubs on the Wardroom patio.

Naval /Civic Planting 

The largest number of roses plantings of 40 rose bushes, was May 15, 2010 in a Memorial Park in Sackville New Brunswick, the namesake town of HMCS Sackville.

The Canadian Memorial Trust-Second World War corvette is docked at Halifax and was visited by HM the Queen in 2010.

Official Planting

Historical recognition and Blessing of the 1910-2010 Canadian Naval Centennial Rose ACTM Navy Lady, took place at a lovely well attended ceremony May 16, 2010 wherein,.

12 rose bushes were planted in Cambridge Ontario, at the Libraries and Galleries,in front of the Jenny Wren Statue.

Galt-Cambridge is where most of the WRCNS Second World War, started basic Naval training.

Warrior's Day 2015

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

Navy Lady Centennial Rose availability for 2015

Navy LadyOur 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!