Jeanne Hudleston nee Robotham

May 1941:HMS Boscawen
Joined the Women's Royal Naval Service at Portland, Dorset, as an “immobile” Wren - i.e. living at home as there were no Wrens living quarters.

May 12th 1941
Started duty as a Wren Shorthand Typist at the offices of the Naval Officer in Charge - Poole, Dorset - I lived at home in Bournemouth. I was 18½ years old.
The day I started work a German Bomber - a Heinkel 111 was shot down in Poole Harbour by a very middle aged Officer, Lt. Cdr. Vuwdy? RNR with an Oerliken gun on the coach roof of the Officers’ accomodation ship moored on Poole Quay - quite a feat!
Late in the summer of 1942 I was posted to another shore establishment in Poole, called HMS Turtle - one of the first Combined Operation bases. I went as Captain's Secretary and I was the only Wren, or for that matter, female, among 200 men. Lord Louis Mountbatten came down to inspect us as he was Chief of Combined Operations at that time. When he got to me in his inspection he said “Aren't you lonely!” I replied “No Sir”, and he burst into guffaws of laughter. I was very happy there and no sign at any time of sexual harassment. I had never heard of such a thing!!

May 15th, 1943
Became a “Mobile” Wren and was also promoted to Leading Wren and posted to HMS Bee, a shore Coastal Forces base at Weymouth, Dorset.

September 18th, 1943
Reported to the Royal Naval College, Greenwich, for a 3 weeks Officers course as a Cadet - CW Candidate.

October 9th, 1943
Promoted Third Officer WRNS. Joined staff of Flag Officer in Charge, London - PLA Building, Trinity Square, London. We lived in a Wrennery - a building called Bowden Court, Ladbroke Road, Notting Hill Gate, London. It had been built for the “young ladies” of Bradley's, the fur shop.

August 1944
Posted to Sea View in the Isle of Wight to a Combined Operations Base.

April 1945
Posted to HMS Turtle, Combined Operations Base at Hamworthy, Poole Harbour, Dorset.

VE DAY, 1945
In the evening a crowd of us went to a fun fair in Poole and I remember being in a large swing boat and enjoying all the lights for the first time in six years. It was wonderful.

December 24th, 1945
Sailed in a troopship to Malta from Liverpool - Christmas Eve. It was the P & O Liner Orion and some of the troops mutinied. We sailed about midnight into a bad storm in the Irish sea.

December 31st, 1945
Arrived Malta. Joined staff of Vice Admiral, Malta and was P/A to his Chief of Staff. Had a most enjoyable year in Malta and returned to England in December 1946.

January, 1947
I was demobilized in London.