Anthea Larken 1 - It became obvious to me that we had come to a brick wall

    Anthea Larken

    Name: Anthea Larken

    Rank: Commandant

    Service: 1956 ' 1991

    Job: Director WRNS 1988 - 1991

    Anthea Larken joined the WRNS in 1956. During her early career she held a wide range of posts, including as Range Assessor and Photographic Interpreter. During her career she saw the WRNS go through many significant changes and was directly involved in a number of developments.

    She was appointed Director WRNS 1988 ' 1991. It was during this period that the WRNS went through one of its most significant changes. In October 1990 the first women joined the crew of a Royal Naval warship, HMS Brilliant.

    In the clip below Anthea talks about joining the Manpower Planning Department in 1979. Her first job there was to prepare a report on the future of female employment in the WRNS.


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    Extract Text (Duration1.08)

    I came back in to the Ministry of Defence, MOD Navy, on the staff of the Director of Manpower Planning and my first job was to write a paper on the future employment of the WRNS. Now it quickly became obvious while I was doing that and researching for it, and I went to the States and I went to Canada to see how their women were employed, and it quickly became obvious to me that we had come to a brick wall and whereas there was a chance of moving along it a bit, unless we could go to sea, really our future employment of more senior officers and ratings, or more senior officers particularly, was limited.

    It became obvious to me that we had come to a brick wall

    1.08 mins - mp3 File

    Dull jobs unless we go to sea

    0.57 mins - mp3 File

    Women were going to go to sea the decision had been taken

    0.50 mins - mp3 File

    The catalyst was a shortage of men

    0.44 mins - mp3 File

    November 1993 the WRNS ceased to exist

    0.53 mins - mp3 File

    They do an extremely good job

    1.29 mins - mp3 File