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Former WRNS enjoy Ceremonial Divisions at HMS Sultan

10 August 2017
Former members of the Women’s Royal Naval Service (WRNS) were invited to enjoy Ceremonial Divisions at HMS Sultan recently as part of WRNS 100 celebrations.

Former director of WRNS and President of the Association of WRENS, Commandant Mrs Anthena Larken joined the Guest of Honor Vice Admiral Sir Simon Lister KCB OBE, Chief of Materiel (Submarine) as he inspected the personnel on the parade ground with the Commanding Officer of HMS Sultan Captain Peter Towel.

This year marks the centenary of the 1917 formation of the WRNS under the initial leadership of Dame Katherine Furse. 2017 also marks the 25th anniversary of women being allowed to join the RM Band Service.

Writer, Steward and Phot were just some of the many Branches represented among the WRNS veterans who watched on, with several of their Service histories reaching back as far as the mid-1950s.

After the march past and divisions had finished, the group was treated to a special lunch within the Wardroom, meeting women currently Serving who either originally joined as WRNS or recently joined the Service.

 
it’s just lovely to be here and honour the fact that the WRNS is 100 years old, it’s brought back some great memories

Lyn Gannon, who served as a Chief Petty Officer Writer

Among the guests was Lyn Gannon, who served as a Chief Petty Officer Writer in the WRNS from 1976-2000. Lyn’s establishments included HMS Dauntless, Pembroke, Nelson, Vernon, Drake, Centurion, Flag Officer Submarines in Northwood, Raleigh and Sultan.

Lyn said: “My favourite draft of all was when I worked with the Royal Marines in Centurion, they were good times. Another time I will never forget was in 1990 when I was chosen as one of ten WRNS selected as part of the Queen Mother’s 90th anniversary parade where I was also chosen as one of the ten people to meet her afterwards. That memory will remain with me until my dying day. I would never have done it unless I had been in the Navy, it’s the best thing I ever did.”

“Today has been great. I served here at Sultan for three years as a Petty Officer and picked up my Chiefs rate while here, it’s just lovely to be here and honour the fact that the WRNS is 100 years old, it’s brought back some great memories.”

The WRNS100 Centenary Year was launched on International Women’s Day 2017 at Portsmouth’s Historic Dockyard by HRH the Princess Royal, Patron of WRNS100.

The WRNS100 project aims to celebrate, educate and commemorate naval women in their support of the Naval Service and also to recognise their extraordinary achievements during the past century.

The WRNS100 exhibition, Women and the Royal Navy – Pioneers to Professionals runs at the National Museum of the Royal Navy in Portsmouth until the end of 2017.

For further information visit: www.nmrn.org.uk/women

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