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Remembering Royal Navy's finest

By Eddie McIlwaine

You can't have forgotten my story a while back about a little wren adopting me as her friend and greeting me every morning on the back doorstep after breakfast.

We've moved on since and my feathered acquaintance has actually pecked seed out of my hand on a couple of occasions. I wonder, when she chirps, if she is trying to tell me something.

However, my wren stays away when there are others around and is frightened of cameras.

What I wasn't aware of when I wrote the original piece was that 2017 is the 100th anniversary of the Royal Navy's Wrens, set up in 1917 during the First World War, so that women could become sailors.

Quite a coincidence, you must agree. Especially as, back in 1967, when I was trying to write a feature article on the 50th anniversary of the women's service, I was to meet a Wren in Belfast for an interview only for the get-together to be cancelled, probably because her ship had to sail.

All I can say now is that my feathered wren is an unexpected bonus - even though she never saw service as a sailor (so far as I know).

Belfast Telegraph


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