Registered Charity No. 257040 • Tel: 02392 725141


Caroline Snell

I joined the WRNS as a DE in 1983, straight from university where I had been the first (and for the next 8 years only) female member of the University Royal Naval Unit.  After basic training at HMS Raleigh and port experience at HMS Daedalus, I went to Dartmouth.  My subsequent appointments included HMS Conqueror, HMS Courageous, RNAS Culdrose and FOST, where I worked in the ops room at Portland which was, in those days, completely staffed by Wrens.  The proudest moment of my life was commanding the WRNS platoon at the Cenotaph in 1986.  Giving the order, “Women’s Royal Naval Service eyes left!” as we marched past was the greatest honour ever.
After leaving the WRNS, I worked as a training officer at Westland Helicopters Ltd and then moved to a job in marketing at the Services Sound and Vision Corporation.  During this time I was also a very active member of the Territorial Army (I know – sorry about that!) and after a short contract working in marketing for the Rambert Dance Company, I felt the pull of military service once more and volunteered for 6 months regular mobilised service in Bosnia.  My 6 months became 2 years and I served 3 tours on ops as a “Wren in army uniform”, on completion of which I was appointed MBE for Services in the Former Yugoslavia.
On my return from Bosnia, I decided to re-train and became a primary school teacher, which I still love.
I have been a member of the Association of Wrens for about 8 years, and initially was not a branch member, but enjoyed keeping in touch through the magazine.  Having settled back in Somerset, I firstly joined the Taunton informal group (if you’re in the area, do come along – we have such a laugh!) and then the Yeovil and District Branch (ditto) of which I am now the Treasurer.
I am married with two daughters, both of whom are currently at university and who keep me in touch with a modern young woman’s perspective on life.  They just think I’m their daft old mother.