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Second World War
The Navy Ashore  - Women's Royal Canadian Naval Service

The Second World War saw close to 7,000 women in naval service. Founded in 1942, the Women's Royal Canadian Naval Service (WRCNS), often called the "Wrens", performed a wide variety non-combatant roles ashore, both in Canada and abroad.

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Commander Dorothy Isherwood Inspecting Wrens, Halifax
Commander Dorothy Isherwood Inspecting Wrens, Halifax

Commander Dorothy Isherwood (centre left) inspects members of the Women's Royal Canadian Naval Service (WRCNS) in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

One of the officers from Britain's Women's Royal Naval Service who came to Canada to help create the WRCNS, Isherwood became the director of the Canadian service in March of 1943, a position she held until September of that year. Although Isherwood wears the uniform of the WRCNS and the three stripes of a commander in this photograph, she was still officially serving with Britain's Royal Navy.

George Metcalf Archival Collection
CWM 19920141-059





Commander Dorothy Isherwood Inspecting Wrens, Halifax
WRCNS Uniform, Captain Adelaide Sinclair
Presentation Cigarette Case, Captain Adelaide Sinclair
Uniform, Lieutenant-Commander Eleanor McCallum
WRCNS Acceptance Letter to Eleanor McCallum
HMCS Conestoga
WRCNS Summer Work Dress
Commission, Frances Alley
WRCNS Summer and Winter Uniforms
WRCNS on Parliament Hill, Ottawa
HMCS St. Hyacinthe Sweatshirt
WRCNS Training at HMCS St. Hyacinthe
Women's Royal Canadian Naval Service Pennant, HMCS Stadacona
WRCNS Quarters, Halifax, 1945
Unit Office, Naval Headquarters, Ottawa
Wrens Listening for German Radio Transmissions
Training Certificate, Evangeline Harrold
Plotting Room, Naval Service Headquarters, Ottawa
Combat Simulator Ship Model
Forecastle
First Wrens Going Overseas
Uniform, Leading Wren Lorna Stanger
Jenny Whitehead at Work
Canadian Naval Staff in London on V-E Day