• Entry type: Cultural Artefact
  • Entry ID: AWE0567

WRANS Memorial Window

  • Occupation Commemoration


One of the original fourteen females to join the Royal Australian Navy (RAN), Jess Scott Doyle (née Prain) was the inspiration for the creation of a lasting memorial to all those in the Women’s Royal Australian Naval Service (WRANS) during the war and later in peacetime. Under her direction a memorial committee raised funds and completed research and design details for the window memorial. Arthur Griffiths and Patrick Pearce of Celtic Studios completed the memorial in time for the RANS 75th anniversary ceremonies in 1986.


The window symbolizes things with which every WRAN can identify without favour to rank or rating. There are two figures, one in the dark wartime uniform representing the dark days of the war and the second in the white summer uniform representing the peacetime service. They both face slightly to the right thus eliminating their category badges. Every category badge is incorporated in a surrounding roped border and across the base are the rank badges from leading hand to officer.

The background shows distant rolling hills with radio masts and ships in convoy, as many WRANS, including the original fourteen, worked inland in Canberra maintaining radio contact with ships at sea and all over the world. HMAS Harman was the telecommunications nerve centre of the naval war in the Pacific.

The foreground suggests the bow of a ship and a bollard to show the strong link the WRANS had with ships in port.

The window was unveiled by Lady Stephen, wife of the then Governor General Sir Ninian Stephen at the RANS 75th anniversary ceremonies in 1986.

Window Committee

  • Nan Carrol
  • Gwenda Garde
  • Margaret Jones
  • Nance McQueen
  • Jess Doyle (Prain)
  • Jean Nysen
  • Sue Timbury
  • WOWR M Christensen
  • WOWR M Weir, OAM

Published resources

  • Book
    • Ships belles : the story of the Women's Royal Australian Naval Service in war and peace 1941-1985, Fenton Huie, Shirley, 2000

Related entries

  • Related Organisations
    • Women's Royal Australian Naval Service (WRANS) (1941 - 1984)
  • Related Women
    • Doyle, Jess Scott (1921 - 1988)