The story of the WRNS
The 20th century was a period of tremendous change for women throughout Great Britain and in turn for the involvement of women with the Royal Navy.
World War One caused far reaching changes. It enabled the position of women to evolve, allowing them to move into new types of employment and, in turn, experience greater independence. This social turmoil also paved the way for circumstances in which women would be welcomed into the armed services.
World War One provided women with their first real opportunity to prove they had a role in the armed forces, including the Royal Navy.
The position of women in the Navy underwent a transformation throughout the course of the war and continued to do so across the rest of the century. It still continues to evolve today.
Read the story of the WRNS
1917 - 1919 The first WRNS formed during World War One
1938 - 1945 World War Two reformation
1946 - 1969 Post war permanent service
1970 - 1989 Towards integration
1990 - 1993 Women at sea
Women in the Navy today Equality and limitations in the Navy