• Entry type: Organisation
  • Entry ID: AWE0390

Ex-Women’s Royal Australian Naval Service (NSW)

(From 1968 – )
  • Occupation Ex-Armed services organisation


On 28 June 1963 a Steering Foundation Committee was formed to set up an association for members who had served in the WRANS. The Ex-Women’s Royal Australian Naval Service was established on 20 September 1963.

The Association aims to provide social contact and to look after the welfare of members through self-help funding.

Membership of the Association is available to any female who served with the Women’s Royal Australian Naval Service (WRANS) as well as female Navy sailors since 1985.

At the end of the World War II (the last wartime WRAN was discharged in 1948) ex-personnel set about re-establishing their lives in peacetime. For many this involved raising a family. By 1963, almost 20 years after the war’s end, a group of ‘girls’ found that there was still a common bond (from the war years) between them and decided to place an advertisement in the North Shore Times about plans to start an association.

Once established, monthly meetings were held, for many years, at “Johnny’s” Naval House at Grosvenor Street Sydney. The area known as the ground floor “Snake Pit” and the “Wrannery” on the first floor were popular meeting places. An open invitation was extended to ‘country girls’ to attend meetings when they were in Sydney.

During the 1980s Johnny’s Naval House was refurbished and now houses the Sydney Futures Exchange. Meetings were moved to the Gallipoli Club and later the City of Sydney RSL. Meetings are still held here on the second Friday of each month, 3rd Floor, City of Sydney RSL, 565 George St at 1300 hrs. Any Ex-Wran, or serving sailor is most welcome.

The Association produces a magazine (six times per year) The ‘Ditty Box’ through which information is disseminated. Members are advised of the changes in conditions/benefits and entitlements available from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs. Also listed are social functions and news, as well as changes to the contact registry.

Published resources

Archival resources

  • Private Hands (These regards may not be readily available)
    • Records of the Ex Women's Australian Naval Service Assoc. (NSW)
    • Ex Women's Australian Naval Service Assoc. (NSW)

Related entries

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    • McKenzie, Florence Violet (1892 - 1982)
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