I Only Joined for the Hat
A wonderfully evocative illustrated memoir that gives the reader a rare account in close-up of what life was truly like for World War II Wrens, as they were catapulted into the drudgery and deprivation, mayhem and maelstrom, and the tribulations and triumphs of war. In 1939, the young Christian Lamb felt she had to 'do her bit' for the war effort. Her comfortable life was about to be turned upside down.
With a Naval background, the Women's Royal Naval Service (WRNS) was the obvious choice, besides it had by far the most attractive uniform - topped by the splendid tricorne hat. On joining as a lowly Wren rating she found that this crowning glory was not for her but strictly for officers only. It was to be the first of many nasty surprises.
In "I Only Joined For The Hat", the author wittily describes how class and snobbery had no place in a world of girls from all social backgrounds, suddenly plunged into life together. From scrubbing floors and squad drill to coding and catering, Christian peppers her pages with amusing observations. Here is her own story, starting on the bottom rung, progressing to becoming an officer in charge of the operations room plot that followed the desperate twists and turns of the Battle of the Atlantic - and eventually finding she was tracking her fiance's destroyer as he battled with the deadly German U-boat wolf packs.
Here, too, are many as yet untold stories from fellow Wrens and Naval officers which embellish Christian's own extraordinary experiences.