Our Sisters Also Served and Died – Wrens lost due to war action in WW2

From the Naval History Net site I have extracted this list of members of the Women’s Royal Naval Service who were killed by war action in WW2 (not including those who died due to illness or road accidents). Despite the WRNS motto “Never at sea” in fact quite a lot of women were lost at sea on their way to overseas postings. Such women would have been selected for overseas service as the very best in both competence and conduct, so their loss was especially tragic.

Many Wrens served in technical roles, as they would continue to do after the war and do today in the fully integrated Royal Navy.

HMS Daedalus, 23 November 1940, bombing, 10 Wrens killed.

SS Aguila, 19 August 1941. 21 wrens lost when the ship was sunk due to enemy action. There is a memorial in Scarborough. All the chief Wrens are pictured here.

HMS Minos, 13 January 1942, bombing of a Lowestoft cafe popular with local Wrens led to several deaths.

HMS Midge, 18th March 1943, bombing of the Wrens hostel in Great Yarmouth resulted in 8 deaths.

SS Khedive Ismail, 12 February 1944 was sunk due to enemy action, resulting in the single worst loss of servicewomen: 19 WRNS, 53 nursing sisters and their matron, as well as nine members of the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry.

6 Wrens died due to various air crashes. Although women did not serve as pilots in the Fleet Air Arm, those who worked as air radio mechanics did fly on short flights to test the equipment.

Full list

DOI died of injuries. DOW died of wounds. DOWS died on war service. MPD missing presumed dead. MPK missing presumed killed.

  1. ARMSTRONG, Rosa M, WRNS, WRNS/ 8622, Daedalus, 23 November 1940, bombing, killed
  2. ASHBURNER, Joan M, Leading Wren, Fleet Air Arm, Radar Duty, 45374, Merlin, 9 June 1944, air crash, killed. Buried Dunfermline Douglas Bank.
  3. BACKLER, Gertrude J, WRNS, 85688, Blackcap, 4 May 1944, DOWS
  4. BACON, Phyllis, Chief WRNS, WA/WRNS 4715, Aguila, steamship, (President II, O/P), 19 August 1941,MPK
  5. BARDEN, Jeanette L, Third Officer WRNS, Khedive Ismail, steamship, (Tana, O/P), 12 February 1944, MPK
  6. BARNES, Margaret W, Chief WRNS, 7860, Aguila, steamship, (President II, O/P), 19 August 1941, MPK
  7. BATCHELOR, Margaret (Peggy), Leading Wren, Fleet Air Arm, Radar Duty, died in the same crash as Jean Ashburner, and is buried next to her in Dunfermline Douglas Bank.
  8. BENJAMIN, Cecilly M B, Chief WRNS, 6965 (WRNS), Aguila, steamship, (President II, O/P), 19 August 1941, MPK
  9. BENNETT, Joyce M, WRNS, WRNS, Daedalus, 23 November 1940, bombing, killed
  10. BESSANT, Laura B, Leading WRNS, 10036, Minos, 13 January 1942, bombing, killed
  11. BLACK, Mona V, WRNS, WRNS, Daedalus, 23 November 1940, bombing, killed
  12. BLACKETT, Winnie, WRNS, WRNS, Daedalus, 23 November 1940, bombing, killed
  13. BLAKE-FORSTER, Cecelia M, 3rd Officer, WRNS, Aguila, steamship, (Cormorant, O/P), 19 August 1941, MPK
  14. BOND, Rosemary F, Leading WRNS, 24350, Kilele, 15 May 1944, DOWS
  15. BONSOR, Dorothy, Chief WRNS, 7862 (WRNS), Aguila, steamship, (President II, O/P), 19 August 1941, MPK
  16. BREAKALL, Marie E, WRNS, 39735, Khedive Ismail, steamship, (Assegai, O/P), 12 February 1944, MPK
  17. BRITAIN, Constance F, Act/3rd Officer, WRNS, FAA, 754 Sqn, Condor, 30 August 1943, air crash, killed
  18. CANNING, Gertrude, WRNS, N/WRNS/33824, Quebec, 30 June 1942, killed
  19. CARLYLE, Agnes K, WRNS, 40911 (WRNS), Khedive Ismail, steamship, (Assegai, O/P), 12 February 1944, MPK
  20. CHAPMAN, Joyce M A, WRNS, P/WRNS 11463, Victory, 12 January 1945, DOWS
  21. CHAPPE-HALL, Margaret E, 3rd Officer, WRNS, Aguila, steamship, (Cormorant, O/P), 19 August 1941, MPK
  22. COATES, Freda C, Leading WRNS, 3339, Minos, 26 April 1941, killed
  23. COLLETT, Phillis A, Petty Officer WRNS, D/WRNS 11235, St Angelo, 30 August 1945, killed
  24. COOPER, Madeleine A, Chief WRNS, 6093 (WRNS), Aguila, steamship, (President II, O/P), 19 August 1941,MPK
  25. CORBETT, Hilda B, WRNS, 53488 (WRNS), Lanka, 8 March 1945, DOWS
  26. CORMACK, Margaret A, WRNS Petty Officer, 32199, Braganza, 7 March 1945, DOWS
  27. COULTAS, Jean, WRNS, 72629, Kestrel, 7 July 1944, killed
  28. COWLE, Vera M, WRNS Steward, P/WRNS 7232, Daedalus, 23 November 1940, bombing, killed
  29. CREIGHTON, Ivy W, Leading WRNS, 2719, Europa, 13 January 1942, bombing, killed
  30. CROCKER, Eileen R, 2nd Officer, WRNS, Landrail, 1 September 1945, air crash, DOI
  31. CROCKFORD, Kitty I, WRNS, 42281, Europa, 12 May 1943, bombing, killed
  32. DALTON, Alison S F, Leading WRNS, 25497, Tana, 1 February 1945, DOWS
  33. DALTON, Winifred B, WRNS, 42535, Khedive Ismail, steamship, (Assegai, O/P), 12 February 1944, MPK
  34. DEAN, Cicely C, 3rd Officer, WRNS, Khedive Ismail, steamship, (Tana, O/P), 12 February 1944, MPK
  35. DOBSON, Margaret E J, 1st Officer, WRNS, Pyramus, 7 July 1941, air crash, killed
  36. DRUMMOND, Anne A, Leading WRNS, 19919, Midge, 18 March 1943, bombing, killed
  37. DUNCAN, Joan R, WRNS, N/WRNS 72461, Pembroke III, 18 June 1944, V.1 bombing, killed
  38. EVERETT, Lily E, WRNS, N/WRNS 42900, Europa, 12 May 1943, bombing, killed
  39. FARMER, Edith A, WRNS, 72463, Pembroke III, 18 June 1944, V.1 bombing, killed
  40. FLETCHER, Gladys, Leading WRNS, 9426 (WRNS), Khedive Ismail, steamship, (Tana, O/P), 12 February 1944, MPK
  41. GOMPERS, Pauline M, Petty Officer WRNS, 43752, Condor, 27 July 1945, killed
  42. GRANT, Mary, Chief WRNS, P/WRNS 2209, Aguila, steamship, (President II, O/P), 19 August 1941, MPK
  43. GREGORY, Nellie, Leading WRNS, P/WRNS 1940, Daedalus, 23 November 1940, bombing, killed
  44. HUGHES, Joan M, Leading WRNS, 15809, Midge, 18 March 1943, bombing, killed
  45. HUNTER, Ethel M, WRNS, 43624, Khedive Ismail, steamship, (Assegai, O/P), 12 February 1944, MPK
  46. JACKSON, Cynthia P M/, Leading WRNS, WA/WRNS 8432, Nile, 12 August 1944, DOW
  47. JACKSON, Thelma D T, Third Officer WRNS, FAA, 816 Sqn, Jackdaw, 23 July 1944, air crash (passenger), MPK
  48. JAGO-BROWN, Anne E, 2nd Officer, WRNS, Midge, 18 March 1943, bombing, killed
  49. JOY, Alilica A B, 3rd Officer, WRNS, Aguila, steamship, (Cormorant, O/P), 19 August 1941, MPK
  50. KILBURN, Aileen M, WRNS, WRNS, Midge, 18 March 1943, bombing, killed
  51. KIRK, Evelyn M, Leading WRNS, WRNS, Excellent, 27 April 1941, bombing, killed
  52. LE PAPA, Olive I F, WRNS, W/4206 (WRCNS), Hochelaga (RCN), 21 April 1944, MPK
  53. LIVESEY, Moira I, WRNS, 27237, Shrapnel, 11 September 1944, DOWS
  54. MACPHERSON, Florence, 3rd Officer, WRNS, Aguila, steamship, (Cormorant, O/P), 19 August 1941, MPK
  55. MAYES, Betty G, WRNS, 91114, Women’s Royal Naval Service, 1 May 1944, DOWS
  56. McBURNEY, Jean, WRNS, R/WRNS 183588, Cochrane II, 19 April 1942, killed
  57. McLAREN, Victoria C, 3rd Officer, WRNS, Aguila, steamship, (Cormorant, O/P), 19 August 1941, MPK
  58. MEYNELL, Betty, WRNS, 73009, Kestrel, 7 July 1944, killed
  59. MILLER, Kathleen, 3rd Officer, WRNS, Aguila, steamship, (Cormorant, O/P), 19 August 1941, MPK
  60. MILNE HOME, Isabel M, 3rd Officer, WRNS, Aguila, steamship, (Cormorant, O/P), 19 August 1941, MPK
  61. MORRIS, Phyllis O, Leading WRNS, 20665, Lanka, 19 June 1945, DOWS
  62. NICKSON, Aileen A B, WRNS, 38215, Khedive Ismail, steamship, (Tana, O/P), 12 February 1944, MPK
  63. NORMAN, Mildred G, Chief WRNS, R/3612 (WRNS), Aguila, steamship, (President II, O/P), 19 August 1941, MPK
  64. NORTHFIELD, Beryl M, WRNS, P/WRNS 6198, Daedalus, 23 November 1940, bombing, killed
  65. NYE, Beatrice M, WRNS, N/WRNS 46151, Khedive Ismail, steamship, (Tana, O/P), 12 February 1944, MPK
  66. OGLE, Christine E, 2nd Officer, WRNS, Aguila, steamship, (Cormorant, O/P), 19 August 1941, MPK
  67. PEARSON, Hilda, WRNS, P/WRNS 1304, Daedalus, 23 November 1940, bombing, killed
  68. PERKINS, Peggy I, Leading WRNS, 60387, Women’s Royal Naval Service, 4 April 1945, DOWS
  69. PETT, Olive D, WRNS, 62192, Lynx, 27 June 1943, killed
  70. POWELL, Violet B, Leading WRNS, 36051, Midge, 18 March 1943, bombing, killed
  71. RAINTON, Muriel A, WRNS, 32115, Midge, 18 March 1943, bombing, killed
  72. REDDING, Sybil D, WRNS, P/WRNX 7386, Hornet, 7 March 1941, DOWS
  73. REGAN, Ellen E, WRNS, 36839, Midge, 18 March 1943, bombing, killed
  74. REITH, Josephine C, 3rd Officer, WRNS, Aguila, steamship, (Cormorant, O/P), 19 August 1941, MPK
  75. REYNOLDS, Norah K, WRNS, P/WRNS 7691, Daedalus, 23 November 1940, bombing, killed
  76. ROBINSON, Marion C, 3rd Officer, WRNS, Khedive Ismail, steamship, (Tana, O/P), 12 February 1944, MPK
  77. SCOTT, Rachel, WRNS, 18543 (WRNS), Odyssey, 27 August 1945, killed
  78. SHEPHERD, Elsie E, Chief WRNS, 8870 (WRNS), Aguila, steamship, (President II, O/P), 19 August 1941, MPK
  79. SLAVEN, Catherine J, Chief WRNS, C/9322 (WRNS), Aguila, steamship, (President II, O/P), 19 August 1941, MPK
  80. SMAIL, Heather M, Act/Leading WRNS, 43136, Khedive Ismail, steamship, (Assegai, O/P), 12 February 1944, MPK
  81. SMITH, Beatrice M, Chief WRNS, 6116 (WRNS), Aguila, steamship, (President II, O/P), 19 August 1941, MPK
  82. SMITH, Catherine P, WRNS, 40183, Pyramus, 15 February 1943, MPK
  83. SQUIRES, Isobel F, Petty Officer WRNS, 68358, Condor, 27 July 1945, killed
  84. STAFFORD, Audrey H, WRNS, 60199, Khedive Ismail, steamship, (Assegai, O/P), 12 February 1944, MPK
  85. STALLWORTHY, Eileen M, WRNS, 83359, St Angelo, 30 August 1945, killed
  86. TANSLEY, Pamela A, Leading WRNS (S), WRNS, FAA, 755/756 Sqn, Kestrel, 7 July 1942, air crash, killed
  87. THOMPSON, Margaret M I, WRNS, 10781, Minos, 13 January 1942, bombing, killed
  88. TODD, Margaret P, Leading WRNS, 51125, Khedive Ismail, steamship, (Assegai, O/P), 12 February 1944, MPK
  89. TURNER, Rita M R, WRNS, WRNS, Midge, 5 April 1943, bombing, DOW
  90. VALENTINE, Helen M J, Leading WRNS, 21962, Khedive Ismail, steamship, (Tana, O/P), 12 February 1944, MPK
  91. WALDEN, Elizabeth A, Petty Officer WRNS, 18938, Badger, 5 April 1943, DOWS
  92. WARDELL, Dorothy M, WRNS, P/WRNS 6923, Daedalus, 23 November 1940, bombing, killed
  93. WATERS, Ellen J, Chief WRNS, C/WRNS 7491, Aguila, steamship, (President II, O/P), 19 August 1941, MPK
  94. WELLS, Rosalie, Chief WRNS (S), R/WRNS 6120, Aguila, steamship, (President II, O/P), 19 August 1941, MPK
  95. WHITE, Betty R, WRNS, 36211 (WRNS), Khedive Ismail, steamship, (Tana, O/P), 12 February 1944, MPK
  96. WHITTALL, Ellen V, Petty Officer WRNS, 1669, Britannia II, 18 September 1942, killed
  97. WILKIN, Dorothy, Leading WRNS, 7459, Britannia II, 26 October 1942, killed
  98. WYLLIE, Pamela I, Leading WRNS, 47044 (WRNS), Khedive Ismail, steamship, (Assegai, O/P), 12 February 1944, MPK

One Comment Add yours

  1. Reblogged this on battleoftheatlantic19391945 and commented:
    “WARSHIP WEDNESDAY, March 16/2022@20:34-WLL, more than precisely S.S. Khedive Ismail, WAS NOT a WARSHIP; though with GREAT INTEREST, CONCERN, ETC., in SURFING THIS BLOG…IT WAS A MUST, A SERIOUS MUST…POST, and THEN SOME!!! When YOU READ this Wikipedia Posting, with VERY MUCH INTEREST, YOU WILL LEARN THAT VERY MANY of Khedive Ismail’s COMPANY…WERE LOST…K.I.A., A CASUALTY; DUE TO THE DEPTH CHARGE ATTACKS, SET AT SHALLOW, ON THE JAPANESE SUBMARINE, BY HIS MAJESTY’S DESTROYERS!!! FOR a STEAM SHIP, MERCHANT VESSEL TO SINK IN 3 MINUTES, IS A REMORSEFUL THOUGHT, THOUGH A W.W.II/1939-1945…KNOWLEDGE; OF SADLY AND HURTFULLY=HOW MANY OF S.S. Khedive Ismail’s Company…being a SINKING IN 3 MINUTES, WOULD HAVE HORRIBLY WENT DOWN WITH THE SHIP….AS IT WAS VERY little time, TO JUMP OVERBOARD, and TO GET TO A Carley Float-AND RESCUED BY HIS MAJESTY’S DESTROYERS!!! IT IS NOTED, THAT THIS WAS THE 3RD LARGEST LOSS OF LIFE, IN A SINKING DURING W.W.II/1939-1945!!! S.S. Khedive Ismail WAS SAILING IN CONVOY, WITH WARSHIP ESCORT PROTECTION, AND AS WE MOURN THE HEROES AND HEROINES LOST IN S.S. Khedive Ismail; THE JAPANESE SUBMARINE WAS SUNK, WITH ALL HANDS…AND REVENGED…BY HIS MAJESTY’S DESTROYERS MENTIONED!!! The Battle for the Pacific/1941-1945, AND ITS NAVAL WARFARE…WILL BE RESEARCHED, AND WRITTEN by MANY INTERESTED PEOPLE; AS WE MUST KEEP W.W.II MILITARY, and NAVAL HISTORY ALIVE!!!” .”TO THE CASUALTIES OF THE S.S. Khedive Ismail, YOU ARE NOT FORGOTTEN, WE REMEMBER…Still stands thine ancient sacrifice, a humble and a contrite heart; Lord God of Hosts be with us yet, LEST WE FORGET, LEST WE FORGET!!!” Poem by Rudyard Kipling. “At the going down of the SUN, AND in the MORNING; WE WILL REMEMBER THEM, WE WILL REMEMBER THEM!!!” “Still TRUE to the IDEALS, WHEN as THEY WERE YOUNG MEN-HEROES…WOMEN-HEROINES, THEY SAILED to MEET THE FOE AGAIN, THEIR NAMES OF S.S. Khedive Ismail ENROLLED IN HONOUR’S COURT, THEY ARE ALL RIDING ANCHOR…ON THE HIGH SEAS, NOT IN HOME PORT!!!” “EVEN THOUGH YOUR ADVERSARY WAS REVENGED-LOST, SUNK-WITH ALL HANDS; YOUR LOSS IS MOURNED BY MANY…Yours Aye-WITH LOVE-RESPECT-CONCERN….Brian CANUCK Murza….Killick Vison, W.W.II Naval Researcher-Published Author, Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada. Blog credit: women engineers’ history

    Like

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