More than Uniform

Caird Research Project, The National Maritime Museum 2021-2022

Posted on Tue, April 5th, 2022

‘More than Uniform’ Research Project

Dr Jo Horton, Caird Research Fellow 2021-2022 at the National Maritime Museum, Royal Museums Greenwich, is reaching out to the remaining Wrens who served during World War Two, in a wider context post de-mobilisation and during the 1950s, and to their families. Dr Horton is conducting detailed material culture focused research into WRNS uniform of the period, uniform, hat, badge, and military regalia manufacture. She is particularly interested in assessing examples of domestic intervention, tailoring, re-shaping, insertion, and mending found in objects at the Prince Philip Maritime Collections Centre. To understand how personal adaptation of uniforms may have influenced public perception of WRNS appearance and uniform functionality in increasingly diverse and demanding roles.

A key part of this research will be oral histories, so Dr Horton is inviting contributions from individuals and/or their families to garner private perspectives on WRNS uniform (from dress to specialist workwear) worn by Wrens of different cultures, backgrounds, physicality, interests, and occupations. Jo hopes to correspond with interested parties, via video communication apps such as Zoom, in person discussion, telephone calls or correspondence by letter.
She is interested in hearing about the way in which the experience of wearing uniforms during wartime, and the public, private and personal-physical responses to uniform, may potentially have shaped the fashion and/or clothing identities of Wrens post-service, their ambitions, and lives. Dr Horton is interested in all types of WRNS uniform from officer and ratings uniforms (at home and overseas) and mess dress, to those associated with mechanical and outdoor roles such as overalls, boiler suits, bell-bottomed trousers, despatch riders and mail boat uniforms.

Please contact Dr Horton in writing at the following address:
Dr Joanne Horton
c/o Curatorial,
Caird Library,
Park Row,
Royal Museums Greenwich
Park Row,
SE10 9NF.

Image credit: The National Maritime Museum, Greenwich.