Jenny Wren Statue in Galt with Navy Lady Roses

JennyStatueWe 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 note

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.



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

Service Records

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

Veteran’s Pin Available From Veterans Affairs Canada

This very special program provides surviving veterans with a handsome certificate and pin, once they submit an application form on the Veteran’s Affairs Canada website:

As you can appreciate this kind of program brings attention to the selfless acts of heroism, courage and loyalty for which these veterans have become renowned, and, in turn, this helps inform and educate new generations of Canadians about these important contributions and events.

Surviving WWII veterans can complete and submit the form on line at the VAC website … here at this link:

Regarding our Archives and Artifacts… For reference or for historical purposes

We have chosen Canadian Military Heritage Museum [a volunteer All Service Museum] in Brantford, Ontario, for Material and Display items.

For Wartime related and Basic Training WRCNS plus some info on Wrens ie Reunions and Material…we have chosen City Of Cambridge Ontario Archives …[related to Galt and HMCS Conestoga the Wrens Training Base]

And donated approx. 20 organization yearly scrapbooks and some Jenny Wren Times Newsletters to the City of Toronto Archives.

In addition – some material has been donated to:

CFB Esquimalt Naval and Military Museum in Victoria BC,

and Naval and Military Museum [HMCS Chippewa] in Winnipeg Manitoba.

We have notation that some earlier wren materials were given to the Canadian War Museum.

The National Library holds all copies of the wartime publication ‘Tiddley Times’ regarding Wrens at Bases during the war years.

Addresses for the Galt Archives and the Military Museum are:


Location: PO Box 669, 46 Dickson Street, Cambridge Ont. N1R 5W8
Phone: 519 740 4680

Primarily paper or photographs HMCS Conestoga, and Wartime Records, Post War Records, Reunion and Miscellaneous Items.


Location: 347 Greenwich St., Building 19, Brantford Ontario
Mailing Address: PO Box 27033, 794 Colborne St, Brantford, Ont. N3S 7V1
Phone: 519-759-1313

Primarily Uniforms (Wartime and Postwar) and Material Collections, Secondary Archives, Reunion and Miscellaneous Items.

Please Note:

There is/was no national Wren Organization…at the moment – 2014- only Winnipeg and Halifax and Toronto have meetings. There were earlier organizations in Victoria, Vancouver, Edmonton, Thunder Bay, London, Hamilton, Kingston, and Ottawa.

Bletchley Park Badge

Eligibility for Bletchley Park Badge,
Second World War…Canada 2014

 “Y”- (for “Wireless”) Service: the Listening Servicean organization just as secret as Bletchley Park during the war.  Without it, however, the Allies would have known nothing of the enemy’s military intentions

  • In the case of the WRCNS W/T SO’s:-in Canada, at Gloucester or Coverdale, or at Gordon Head.
  • LORAN stations,  Baccaro or Deeming whether in the ops room, the ‘Z’ room or the shacks.  

From Bletchley Park the following selected information:

On behalf of Her Majesty’s Government, GCHQ is delighted to recognize the vital service of those who worked at Bletchley Park and its outstations during World War II by presenting surviving veterans with a commemorative badge. These outstations include Canada.

If you know of anyone who served in this capacity (this includes WRENS)  please note the contact.

The names of those who would have been eligible for recognition but are deceased can be submitted for inclusion in an Honour Roll. Instructions and other details on how to apply for the badge can found in the following web page:

{ This Badge comes through the United Kingdom Government.}