While some relevant documents are available online or held at The National Archives, the majority of records are held by the Ministry of Defence.
How to look for records of... Women’s Royal Naval Service personnel
How can I view the records covered in this guide?
This is a brief guide to researching records of the Women’s Royal Naval Service, also known as the Wrens.
What do I need to know before I start?
What records can I see online?
What records can I find in other archives and organisations?
What other resources will help me find information?
Did you know?
The Women’s Royal Naval Service was formed in 1917 as a branch of the Royal Navy. It disbanded in 1919 and then reformed in 1939. The service was disbanded fully in 1993 when women were allowed to join the Royal Navy.
Initially, Wrens undertook domestic duties like cleaning and cooking. This was later expanded to a greater variety of roles such as wireless telegraphists and electricians. Most Wrens were based in the United Kingdom.