News

Commander Jane Allen has now clocked over 2,000 miles

Commander Jane Allen set off from HMS Victory on 21 October last year, to walk anticlockwise round the coast of mainland UK to raise money for two naval charities, the WRNS BT and RNRMC charities. Here she provides an update on her most recent travels in Scotland where she has now clocked over 2,000 miles.

Having walked across the Scottish border at the end of April, it has taken me a further 664 miles to reach John o’ Groats, where the ‘bootometer’ clicked 2,031 miles. The magical 2,000 miles had been achieved earlier in the week on the approaches to Wick. Meanwhile, the Victory Van has already covered over double the mileage (4,696) in support.

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All change at the top for the Women’s Royal Naval Service Benevolent Trust

At our Annual General Meeting we said farewell to Commander Andrea Crook RN, our Chairman of 7 years and welcomed our Vice Chairman Commander Heather Rimmer RN to the role of Chairman. We wish Andrea well with her forthcoming studies and thank her for her great contribution to the Trust and her additional support for the WRNS100 Project.

Heather will be joined by our new Vice Chairman, Commander Catherine Jordan RN who has been a Trustee for a year and we wish our new team good luck and every success.

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Walking the first 1000 miles

Cobseo members have been previously advised that to mark both her recent retirement from the Royal Naval Reserve and the 2017 Centenary year of women’s service in the Royal Navy, Commander Jane Allen is undertaking a solo 5,500-mile charity walk around the coast of mainland Britain.

Starting and finishing at HMS Victory in Portsmouth, Jane’s walk aims to raise funds and awareness for two important Naval Charities – WRNS BT and RNRMC.

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Victory Walk – First 500

Looking back on the first 500 miles (Portsmouth to Hullbridge, Essex) of the Victory Walk, the main difficulty is remembering where I’ve been! Being on the move almost every day means that the walk becomes a blizzard of place names, each to be reached, passed and left behind.

Perhaps the two most difficult things to leave behind were Navy Command HQ with the ongoing WRNS100 demands, and Portsmouth’s Spinnaker Tower. It took 60 miles and Selsey Bill before the Tower eventually disappeared behind me! WRNS100 did not conclude until mid-December, with a superb reception for 100 serving and veteran naval women in the Speaker’s House, Palace of Westminster. Shortly afterwards I broke for a Christmas break in a cosy rented cottage in Kent.

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HMS Collingwood spoilt for choice at WRNS festive sale

Personnel across HMS Collingwood were treated to cakes and other home-made goodies at the Base’s annual WRNS BT Festive Sale.

The Women’s Royal Naval Service (WRNS) celebrated its centenary on 29th November 2017 and events have been going on all year to commemorate this Anniversary, the women who served throughout this time, and their remarkable achievements. Five volunteers from The Women’s Royal Naval Service Benevolent Trust (WRNS BT) visited HMS Collingwood to tempt sailors and civilians alike with brownies, malt loaves, cakes, biscuits and even jars of marmalade, all home-made by ten talented members.

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HRH Princess Royal celebrates the WRNS at service of thanksgiving

HRH The Princess Royal has attended a service of thanksgiving at Portsmouth Anglican Cathedral to mark the formation of the Women’s Royal Naval Service (WRNS) 100 years ago.

Princess Anne is also the Chief Commandant for Women in the Royal Navy and will be unveiling a commemorative stone after the service in the Cathedral grounds.

The commemorative stone depicts the unique shapes of four female naval uniform hats from the past 100 years.

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Former Wrens and Naval Servicewomen celebrate WRNS100 in Portsmouth

Naval Servicewomen and generations of former Wrens who served in support of the Royal Navy across the century gathered in HM Naval Base, Portsmouth at the end of September to celebrate 100 years since the Women’s Royal Naval Service commissioned in November 1917, during the First World War.

On Friday 29th September HMS Duncan, the sixth T45 class Air Defence Destroyer hosted an early evening reception for nearly 50 veterans and currently-serving women sailors.

Commander Eleanor Stack RN, HMS Duncan’s Commanding Officer and Captain Bill Oliphant RN, Captain of HM Naval Base, Portsmouth presided over an all-female RN Guard at the evening sunset ceremony, led by Guard Officer Lieutenant Jane Pizii RN. Ten per cent of HMS Duncan’s Ship’s Company are women, including the Logistic Officer, Navigating Officer, Medical Officer, and her most senior Engineering Warrant Officer.

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Headquarters British Forces Gibraltar held its WRNS100 Anniversary celebration

Headquarters British Forces Gibraltar held its WRNS100 Anniversary celebration over the weekend of 9-11 June which proved to be a huge success thanks to the tireless efforts of the committee members, , CPO Claire Talbot, Mrs Charlotte Walliker, Lt Louise Moxworthy, Mrs Elaine David, MAA Claire Bell, AB Natasha Boddy and AB Claire Nicholson.

The event opened with a cocktail party in the Tower, with Cdre Walliker Command British Forces Gibraltar welcoming the ladies back to the Rock. There was also the opportunity for a brave few to visit HMS Ledbury.

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Navy Wrens honoured at new tribute garden in Plymouth city centre

A tribute garden has been planted to commemorate a century since the formation of the Women’s Royal Naval Service. The new floral design describes the anniversary and was planted by a Royal Navy working party assisting the city council.

This project came about through a conversation with the former Lord Mayor’s consort and Councillor Brian Vincent. He was keen to support the National Centenary celebrations of the formation of the Women’s Royal Naval Service in 1917 and knew there were gardens around the City of Plymouth used for such purposes.

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WRNs on parade to mark 100th Anniversary

Former members of the Women’s Royal Naval Service (WRNS) have joined the recruits at HMS Raleigh on parade to mark the 100th anniversary of the formation of their Service.

Nearly 40 blue-badge WRNS accepted the invitation to take a trip down memory lane by spending the day at the establishment. The highlight of the event saw the former WRNS perform a march-pass during the passing-out-parade ceremony for the latest group of recruits, who were marking the completion of their initial training.

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