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 Post subject: WRNS Rank structure
PostPosted: Mon Oct 14, 2013 19:54 pm 
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Joined: Fri Apr 01, 2011 17:04 pm
Posts: 167
Location: Ripon, N Yorkshire
Real Name: tony boyle
Group: AFMC
Can anyone clarify the wartime WRNS rank structure for me. I have several books which seem to contradict each other. Bradley and others refer to the top two ranks as Chief commandant and commandant.

Rank and rate Vol II has me very confused. It has a different structure for 1939 -1940 and 1940 to 1993. For example one blue ring was second officer 1939 to 40 but third officer 1940 to 93 at the top end four rings were deputy director 39 to 40 then superintendent 40 to 93. I can't find any references to this switch elsewhere.

Above the rank of Superintendent I am confused as it lists one broad stripe as Director 46 to 51 and Commandant 51 to 93. Then one broad below one normal stripe as Director 39 to 46, Commandant 40 to 51 and finally Chief commandant 51 to 93.
Was there not a single broad ring during the war as it seems to only come in in 1946?

Anyone?


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 Post subject: Re: WRNS Rank structure
PostPosted: Mon Oct 14, 2013 22:35 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jan 02, 2004 21:57 pm
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Location: Blackpool Lancs
Until 1951, Director was both a position and a rank. In 1951, the rank of Commandant was introduced for the officer holding the position of Director. Director equated to Rear-Admiral until 1946, when it was reduced to Commodore. In common with RN Commodores, after 1946 Director/Commandant was only an appointment and not a true rank and the Directors continued to hold the substantive rank of Superintendent.
Chief Commandant/Commandant was a honorary rank held by a member of the Royal Family. Until 1951, the position was called Commandant, but was renamed in that year due to the introduction of Commandant as the rank for the Director WRNS. Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent was Commandant, and later Chief Commandant, from 1940 until her death in 1968. She was succeeded by Princess Anne, who held the appointment from 1974 until 1993, when she became Chief Commandant for Women, Royal Navy; she now holds the honorary rank of Vice-Admiral.

Clear as mud. :)

So: Director WRNS 1939-1946 Dame Vera Laughton Mathews, Commandant Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent.
Director WRNS 1946-1950 Dame Jocelyn Woollcombe, Commandant Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent.
Commandant WRNS 1950-1954 Dame Mary Lloyd, Chief Commandant Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent.

The others were name changes and everything bumped down a level. There wasn't a single stripe, Commodore rank in WW2, they were all Superintendants. I'd have to check that though.

_________________
O suffer us not to sink under the weight of our sins or the violence of the enemy
Sotto le insegne del leone alato


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 Post subject: Re: WRNS Rank structure
PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 20:16 pm 
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Joined: Fri Apr 01, 2011 17:04 pm
Posts: 167
Location: Ripon, N Yorkshire
Real Name: tony boyle
Group: AFMC
Thanks Mike,
As usual a great help, my brain hurts but I think I have got it now!. So if I have read your response correctly then during WW2 there was only one Director, Dame Vera Laughton and one Commandant the Duchess of Kent and both wore a single broad stripe under a normal one on their cuff?


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 Post subject: Re: WRNS Rank structure
PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2013 10:09 am 
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Joined: Fri Jan 02, 2004 21:57 pm
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Location: Blackpool Lancs
tonyboyle2601 wrote:
Thanks Mike,
As usual a great help, my brain hurts but I think I have got it now!. So if I have read your response correctly then during WW2 there was only one Director, Dame Vera Laughton and one Commandant the Duchess of Kent and both wore a single broad stripe under a normal one on their cuff?

Yes, that's correct. :)

_________________
O suffer us not to sink under the weight of our sins or the violence of the enemy
Sotto le insegne del leone alato


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