A FORMER Wren - a member of the Women’s Royal Naval Service - is appealing for old colleagues, many of who she thinks may be living in the Craven area.

First formed in 1917 for the First World War, revived in 1939 at the start of the Second World War, the WRNS was integrated into the Royal Navy in 1993.

Janette Crisp is looking for ex Wrens who joined between the years 1947 and 1981 and who trained at HMS Dauntless (Reading) to help her with an archive of divisional ‘class’ photos she is putting together.

The archive, which is open to former Wrens only, has become a way of people sharing memories and catching up with old friends.

So far more than 1,000 former Wrens have come on board, and during the coronavirus pandemic, it has become a welcome distraction.

“Especially during lockdown it became a place of memories, finding old friends, making new ones, adding photos of adventures and escapades. It brought isolated ladies together, occasionally offered moral support and gave us all things to think and talk about,” she said.

The project has connected women in their 80s and 90s who are housebound, offering a chance of companionship. It is also helping families where an ex Wren family member has dementia with the sharing of photos and anecdotes. And, in one case it has helped a daughter find out about her mum, an ex Wren, who died when she was just 13 years old by tracking down her mum’s old divisional photograph.

Having appealed via social media and naval publications, the project is expanding its net. To get in touch, email: ddpwrens@gmail.com