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WRAN belt with white plastic buckle

Date: 1968 - 1972
Overall: 1000 x 400 x 5 mm, 0.02 kg
Medium: Cotton, plastic
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Margaret White
Object Name: Belt
Object No: 00047809
Place Manufactured:Australia

User Terms

    A white detachable cotton belt with white plastic belt buckle from a summer dress used by Margaret White during her service in the WRANS from 1968 - 1972.
    HistoryPrior to the outbreak of WWII, Mrs Florence McKenzie and a small number of others realised that women could replace men in the field of communications during the event of war. Mrs McKenzie, an electrical engineer, began training women in telegraphy. Her training school was named the Women's Emergency Signalling Corps. Fourteen women were trained by Mrs McKenzie and later employed by the Royal Australian Navy.
    A decision was made by the Naval Board to begin recruiting more women in July of 1942 and the Women's Royal Australian Naval Service (WRANS) was formally established as a part of the Royal Australian Navy in October 1942. Women were trained to replace male wireless telegraphists and some members undertook other positions and worked as motor drivers, stewards, cooks ,writers and supply assistants.
    When the war ended in August 1945, instructions were given for the WRANS to demobilise and the last war time member of the WRANS was discharged in 1948.

    Margaret White applied and was selected to join the WRANS as a Recruit Wran Radar Plotter.
    She began her appointment on 30 September 1968 and was discharged on 25 September 1972. There were over six hundred members of the WRANS in Australia by 1970. Members of the Women's Royal Australian Naval Service were posted to land based areas all over Australia including HMAS CERBERUS in Victoria for training, HMAS WATSON in Sydney, HMAS HARAN near Canberra and HMAS ALBATROSS at Nowra.
    The information published in the 'WRANS Recruitment Booklet' of 1968, donated by Mrs White provides information about the procedures that potential recruits were required to undertake prior to their selection. The recruitment selection process included medical examinations, an aptitude test and an interview with a naval psychologist. No specific educational qualifications were required though many potential recruits were required to take a typing test were carried out for various positions .

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