WRNS Ratings Mine Net Workers Supervised Wren Officer Imperial War Museum © IWM (Q 19640)

The First Sea Lord has paid tribute to the "bravery, skill & commitment" of those who served in the Women's Royal Naval Service formed 100 years ago today.

People around the world have joined in with the celebration on social media by using hashtag #WRNS100.

The Women's Royal Naval Service (WRNS), more commonly known as the Wrens, was formed in 1917 when the Royal Navy faced a shortage of men during the First World War.

It was disbanded in 1919 before being revived at the beginning of the Second World War.

Wren Code Breakers WRNS100 Coding Room Black And White Imperial War Museum © IWM (A 23512)
Credit: © IWM (A 23512)

By 1944, WRNS Officers and ratings numbers were at their peak with 74,000 women serving. One of the slogans used in recruiting posters was "Join the Wrens and free a man for the fleet."

The pioneering work of these women helped pave the way for women across the Armed Forces today.

More from Forces Network: Women’s Royal Naval Service Celebrate Centenary In Greenwich

Forces Radio BFBS’ Amy Casey met WRNS veteran Jonni Berfield 93, a Second World War Wren Coder. Jonni joined the Wrens in 1942 and was part of the code breaking team.

Without realising it, Jonni received the last transmission from German battleship the Scharnhorst before it was sunk off the coast of Norway in the Battle of North Cape. Hear her explain the breath taking moment she realised what was happening.

The Women's Royal Naval Service was disbanded in 1993 when women transferred fully into the Senior Service.

Cover Photo Credit: © IWM (Q 19640)