Here come the WRENS

An interesting photo which shows more than just a platoon of wrens in step.   The photo was taken during the visit of the First Sea Lord, Admiral Lord Louis Mountbatten.

wrens platoon

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15 Responses to Here come the WRENS

  1. gunther says:

    no rc chapel, no comms building and there is a jetty just beyond the guard house. dunno, but late forties poss’ early fifties..the other photo would be mid to late fifties, the five loch class frigates are there as is the cruiser, and there is a ship which could possibly be an aussie inboard of one of the loch class. plus the aircraft carrier.

  2. gunther says:

    oops the comms centre is there, thought it was the guardhouse..


    Taken on the sports field Philly–Port Wireless in the background

  4. Albie Cross says:

    was there a reason for Wrens to march 4 abreast or if you tack on the 3rd officers and P.O’s 5 abreast ? ( and I could be wrong but that might be the Port W/T Office ZLE.)

  5. Chook says:

    The old Port w/t is in the background??? and they are marching in 4 ranks, so I presume that they are on the Sports Ground at Philomel no Idea when cos I don’t know when the Port W/T shifted to North Head, I’m not that old!!!

  6. John Snow says:

    Port W/T shifted to North Head about August September 1958. I think Paddy Boyle was Chief Tel I/c. One watch was Ldg Tel Appleby plus 2 the other myself as Ldg Tel with Stu Bryden and Bonga Crengle. Cooked our meals but not sure about watch system now. Had two rooms for sleeping quarters.

    • Albie Cross says:

      my memory of Paddy Boyle at Irirangi is a quotation :- ” that WILL be the bloody day when Paddy Boyle gives his tot away “.

  7. Nick says:

    Yep, its the old Port WT Office. Later became the welfare officer’s office.

    • Lindsay says:

      Interesting comments, Wrens in four Ranks , must have been a special event, would be on the Footy field ( the only area big enough for a full parade. I would go for late 50’s and the Wrens would be the last to march off after the guard and the Sailors , the fact that there some civvies , would also indicate a extra special event eg. presentation of the colour or something .Wren Officer (Right Front) cculd be Trigger Gunn P.O., Signals , later commissioned. Comments re Port W/T spot on. Bunting used to man a voice circuit to the barge dumping Ammunition out beyond BarrierWe only manned the circuit at night so the sparkers could get their beauty sleep

      • Janet Braggins (nee 3/0 Janet Brockie) says:

        I think the WrenPO (probably Chief PO) on the right is Barbara Bilton, the other further back looks like Chief Wren Eve Balfour-Kinnear. The Officers on the other side are (from the front – me! (3/0 Janet Brockie) then 2/0 Marion McFarland and 3/0 Maureen Warring. Noeline Gunn was a 3/0 at the time but she was travelling with the Mountbattens as Lady Mountbattens’ PA and wasn’t at the parade. I’ve a further 6 photos of the event.
        I thought the building was the guardroom at the main gate, but you Coms people know that I was wrong.

    • Jim D says:

      Wasn’t it the RC Chapel before it became the Welfare Office?

      • Frank Rands says:

        No Jim, It was certainly the Port W/T which later became the Welfare Office before it was demolished. Interestingly they have just widened the main entrance into the base and during excavation they found a huge lump of concrete which was one of the old aerial bases. The lump remains as they couldn’t get it out.

      • Jim D says:

        Thank you for that Francis – definately failed the spatial awareness test – not realising that the RC chapel was to the left of the Welfare Office!

  8. Janet Braggins (nee 3/0 Janet Brockie) says:

    This was taken on 29th March 1956 during the visit of the First Sea Lord, Admiral Lord Louis Mountbatten. We were retiring from the parade which was held on the football field (that is the guard house by the main gate in the background).

  9. Josie Healy says:

    Josie Healy(nee TUHI)
    Yes, the photo was taken during the visit of the First Sea Lord, Admiral Lord Louis Mountbatten.
    I was a participant and have the same photo. I am in the process of preparing a brief on the cultural aspect for NAVY today to which we performed a welcome for the First Sea Lord. Cheers.

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