Registered Charity No. 257040 • Tel: 02392 725141

International Women’s Day

‘Well as I say, I was called-up for the WRNS. I’ve always said I wouldn’t volunteer because I had a good home and a good job. I was a machinist. I was on flying suits and so I would never have volunteered but once I did, I made up my mind that’s where I am, and that’s it. I was 19.

The boys, it was normal they went to war. But to call girls up, my Mum thought it was terrible. I think she thought I was going straight to fight somewhere. But we wasn’t, we were dry land sailors. She said “It isn’t right, Len” to my Dad. “It’s bad enough they’ve taken the boys but now the girls, it isn’t right at all.”
She didn’t like it. But I loved it, I really did. She was proud, I think. And specially my Dad. My Dad carried this photo, that was his photo. It went into his wallet. He used to say “That goes with me everywhere”.

Before, I’d always had to be in at a certain time, wherever I went. If a dance lasted late, I’d get an extension, I could come home later. I always had to be in at half-past ten and when we went dancing on a Saturday, they went on to about eleven o’clock. Or if my uncles were there – my mum had two younger brothers – that was alright because they were there looking after me.

When I joined the Wrens, I was free. So when I came out of the Wrens I said, ‘Now that’s it. I’ve been in the Wrens, I’ve brought no trouble home, so I can come home what time I like now!’

Rosie McCandless
1944 – 1946