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Former Wren takes 80 year trip down memory lane at The Coalhouse Fort in Tilbury

As trips down memory lane go, Christian Lamb’s takes some beating. Almost eighty years after serving in the Women’s Royal Naval Service, the Wrens, Christian has returned to one of her most eventful postings – The Coalhouse Fort in Tilbury.

She was in charge of making Navy ships less magnetic in order to avoid exploding enemy mines.

Women's Royal Naval Service, the Wrens
Women’s Royal Naval Service, the Wrens Credit: AP/Movietone News

Formed in 1917 women in the Wrens took on roles from radar plotters to weapons analysts. Christian was one of the first to sign up when it was revived in 1939 for World War II.

Christian Lamb
Christian Lamb signed up for the Wrens in 1939 

I felt like I hadn’t joined the Wrens to sit in an office in London I wanted to go to a port and see lots of sailors and have fun – that sort of thing.


Christian Lamb spent a year at Coalhouse Fort working in a skill called ‘degaussing’, changing the magnetic fields of ships to help them avoid mines. She worked her way up to become an officer managing a team of other Wrens.

It was interesting to feel you were doing something useful for war – you were perhaps helping to save people’s lives.


Christian is also a published author
Christian is also a published author 

To add to her distinguished career in her late 80s Christian became a published author writing a book about her life in the navy full of stories from her time in Tilbury.

ITV News