A History of the Royal Navy: Women and the Royal Navy

Jo Stanley
Published by I. B. Taurus

Continuing the History of the Royal Navy series, this new addition reflects on the diverse roles women have played in the Royal Navy services.

‘My grandmother Dame Katherine Furse [the Women's Royal Naval Service’s first director] convinced me that a woman could achieve whatever she set her mind to. Jo Stanley’s wonderful book will inspire women worldwide.’
  1. Hon. Elizabeth Furse, United States Congresswoman (retired)

As nurses, ‘Jenny Wrens’ and, above all, wives and mothers, women have quietly kept the Royal Navy afloat throughout history. From its earliest years, women maintained homes and families while men battled at sea, providing vital support behind the scenes. Later, they also ran maritime businesses and worked as civilians in naval offices and dockyards. From 1884, women were able to serve as nurses in the Queen Alexandra’s Royal Naval Nursing Service and, from 1917, they became members of the Women’s Royal Naval Service. The outbreak of both world wars gave women additional opportunities and saw their role as Wrens, nursing sisters, members of VADs (Voluntary Aid Detachments) and medics change and develop. In more recent times, the development of equal rights legislation has fundamentally changed naval life: women are now truly in the navy and gender is no longer an impediment to career options and development.

‘A meticulously researched tribute to women’s immense contribution to naval service, mirroring their sisters’ with the air force and army.’
  1. Mary Mackie, author of Wards in the Sky: The RAF’s Remarkable Nursing Service

Using previously unpublished material, this is the first book to reflect the diverse roles that women have played in Royal Navy Services. Jo Stanley situates women’s naval activities within a worldwide context of women who worked, travelled and explored new options. This book provides vital fresh perspectives on both women’s military history and the wider history of women who desired to work on or near the sea. The book contains 50 black and white illustrations, eight pages of colour plates and three maps that augment the text.

Published by I. B. Taurus
256 pages
50 black & white illustrations, 8 pages of colour plates and 3 maps

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