Free a man for service at sea

On 19th July 2013, as part of the very popular 1940s Variety Show at Memory Lane, we will perform  "Free A Man For Service At Sea".  (Approx running time 35 minutes.)  This light comedy is set in 1943 in a Halifax Wrens' recruitment office in Halifax during WW2. 

In early 1942, when the Wrens were established here in Canada, a training facility was set up at Halifax Dockyard and named HMCS Cornwallis whilst a new base was being made ready in the Annapolis Basin.  HMCS Kings at Dalhousie was named 'the stone frigate'.  Here they trained Naval Officers.

To be a cook in the Wrens, you just had to have previous experience cooking for a large family.  To be a Steward, you just had to like housework (cleaning). 

Girls could join the Wrens from the age of 18 and in 1943, candidates up to the age of 56 were allowed to join.  However, many young women lied about their age so that they could join the Wrens because they liked the uniform.  The Wrens attracted women from all walks of life, including farm girls, debutantes, students and factory workers.

After passing a medical examination, basic training took 2 weeks.  Some women hated it and ran away or deliberately got pregnant so that they could leave.

In this play you will meet a recruitment officer, Officer Leonard, who is a 'hard nut to crack', Connie and Cathy who  are 'joined at the hip' and Ralph Drummond who finds comfort in a whisky bottle, to name but a few.


  • GINNY as Officer Leonard
  • SHEILA as Officer Clark
  • TIM as Commander Houghton
  • ROWAN as Mary Aubrey
  • JOAN as Mrs Aubrey
  • LINDA as Connie Brooks
  • NORMA as Cathy Dunbar
  • ODETTE as Maralyn Rich
  • THEA as Martha Drummond
  • JOHN as Ralph Drummond
  • BRONA as Megan Banks
  • EMMA as Jennifer Banks
  • BOBBIE as Dorothy Gillis
  • NIKO as Ruby Barton
  • KRISTY as Gloria Barton

Written by Sue Higgs and Directed by Robin Webber.

Many thanks to Debbie Storey for painting the Wren poster.