Wren wireless telegraphist transmitting a message by radio-telephony

This drawing is one of 14 given by the Wren Gladys E. Reed to the Museum in 1947. Little is known about this artist. She joined the Women’s Royal Naval Service (WRNS) in 1943. From February to July 1943 she was in the Woolwich class and trained at the coding school HMS Cabbala, a shore base near Warrington for wireless telegraph operators. Between 1943 and 1944, Reed worked as a Wireless Telegraph Operator in the Liverpool and Birkenhead area, and was stationed at the shore base HMS Eaglet, Liverpool, the flagship of the Commander-in-Chief of the Western Approaches.

In her off-watch time, Reed kept a sketch record of the work being done by the WRNS, mostly drawn in 5B pencil on cheap paper. She apologetically wrote to the National Maritime Museum Director, Frank Carr: ‘I am afraid you will be more than a little shocked at the untidy state they are in. They were sketched under all sorts of conditions, have been carried wherever I have been stationed, and passed through many people's hands, so that since 1944 have become very grubby. I console myself with the thought that they may still reflect a little of that busy, happy atmosphere that did exist in the WRNS – especially in the “open air” categories'. The sense of shared experience is evident in these on-the-spot drawings, which show the skill of a trained artist as well as the bond that existed between the WRNS.
This drawing is mounted with PAH0094.

Object Details

ID: PAH0095
Type: Drawing
Display location: Not on display
Creator: Reed, Gladys E.
Date made: 1944
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
Measurements: Sheet:: 278 x 214 mm; Folder: 406 mm x 560 mm

Your Request

If an item is shown as “offsite”, please allow eight days for your order to be processed. For further information, please contact Archive staff:

Tel: (during Library opening hours)

Click “Continue” below to continue processing your order with the Library team.