The Women's Royal Naval Service (WRNS) of the First World War was demobilized in 1919 and was reformed until April 1939. The main objective was for women to replace certain personnel in order to release men for active service. At first the Wrens were recruited from navy families living near the ports.
During the Second World War the Women's Royal Naval Service was expanded rapidly. Between December 1939 and June 1945 numbers increased from 3,400 to 72,000.
WRNS units were attached to most naval shore establishment in Britain. A large number of women served abroad in both the Middle East and the Far East. Some members of the service were employed in highly secret naval communications duties.