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Letter: All Hands On Deck’ Appeal For Former ‘Dauntless’ Wrens

Published on: 15 Nov, 2020
Updated on: 15 Nov, 2020

From: Janette Crisp

Co-Coordinator, Dauntless Div Photos 47-81 ddpwrens@gmail.com

I am looking for former Wrens, anyone who joined during 1947-81 and trained at HMS Dauntless (Reading).

I’m compiling a searchable, accessible archive of Divisional “class” photos that only ex-Wrens may access. The collection also encourages old friends to be rediscovered, memories shared and new friendships/support groups formed.

With permission from various Wren support groups, I started this archive and for want of anywhere better or more accessible, I stored the collection in a private FB group and contacted all the Wrens I could trace, using normal social media sources. But I know there are many hundreds of ladies out there who don’t use social media.

Within days, I realised the idea was much bigger than just photo storage. A friend came on board to help with the deluge of information that landed on my desktop and within a month we had more than 1,000 “members” in the group.

That’s when we discovered this was so much more than just an archive of old photos. Especially during lockdown, the site became a place of memories, finding old friends, making new ones, adding photos of adventures and escapades.

We brought isolated ladies together, occasionally offered moral support and gave us all much to think and talk about. Within the first month of existence there were more than 10,500 social interactions within the group.

During the 34 years of HMS Dauntless operation, 30,000 Wrens went through the gates of that training establishment. At 40 divisions (classes) per year means about 1,360 classes, obviously with a potential for 1,360 class photos. We have about 600 photos, 42.5% of what’s possible.

We’ve published in all the usual naval and other military publications but we’d like to reach those ladies who don’t read these or use social media.

If you were in the Wrens, or you know of any ladies who were, please get in touch with us because we’d love to hear from you and quite possibly, offer the opportunity to reconnect with old classmates.

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test One Response to Letter: All Hands On Deck’ Appeal For Former ‘Dauntless’ Wrens

  1. Angela Crush nee Chandler Reply

    June 18, 2021 at 5:19 pm

    I joined the WRNS in February 1956 and have the official photo of our division.

    I read your article in the ‘Let’s Talk’April/May edition

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