- A.N. Other and NHSA Webmaster
- History - general, Ship histories and stories
- RAN Ships
- HMAS Harman (base)
- September 2006 edition of the Naval Historical Review (all rights reserved)
(So says Telegraphist Wran S.V.T.)
And now Telegraphist Wran D.G.H. also has a few words on the subject.
We girls of the Wrans often hum the words of the song from Gilbert and Sullivan’s immortal HMS Pinafore:
I cleaned the windows and swept the floor
And polished up the handle on the big front door
I polished up the handle so successfullee
That now I am the Ruler of the Queen’s Navee!
as we go about sweeping, and doing lots of other things not attributed to the cabin boy in the opera.
Our ambitions, moreover, don’t reach as high as the Gilbert and Sullivan boy. We do not aspire to be the rulers of the King’s Navee. Our only desire is to give service in the traditional way of the Navy.
Yet, like the ‘ruler of the Queen’s Navee’ in Pinafore, the Wrans are likely to ‘stick to their desks and never go to sea’, although the idea of women going to sea is not new. Indeed, the time-honoured call of ‘show a leg’ originated in the days when women went to sea. In the days before Nelson, wives used to accompany their husbands on voyages. When the morning call was piped, it took this form: ‘All hands, all hands, all hands. Show a leg, show a leg.’ All were required to thrust out a leg. Masculine legs were quickly detected and their owners pulled out of their bunks unceremoniously. The wives slept on.
Happiness is the keynote of the Harman wireless station. Lovely surroundings and excellent conditions prevail. Wrans at Harman, and no doubt everywhere else, have an administration which treats them with every consideration and kindness consistent with disciplines.
And Harman upholds the tradition of the Navy in all its truest and noblest aspects. On Sunday, there is a church service. Parade for church is an event of importance. It marks the end of a week of usefulness and good purpose. The service is simple and direct, and carries a message of loyalty and faith. All emerge mentally refreshed and ready for another week’s work.