The longest serving female senior rate in the naval service, WO1 Barbara McGregor and the first female Command Warrant Officer in the naval service, WO1 Annette Penfold MBE, are taking on a 100-mile walk in Wales in celebration of WRNS100.

The WRNS100 appeal is celebrating and commemorating the centenary of the formation of the Women's Royal Naval Service and women's service in the Royal Navy. 

The walk is taking place between 13 May and 21 May and will begin with the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path and end in Cardiff.  Others will be joining Annette and Barbara along the way.

The team will be raising money for The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity, specifically the Twickenham100 campaign, which celebrated 100 years of the Army vs Royal Navy rugby match.

Day 5

Half way point! Today, the team arrived at Christ College in Brecon to be met by Huw Richards who showed us around parts of the college. POPT Maguire (Mags) and 7 female phase 2 ratings from HMS Raleigh who were undergoing leadership training also joined the team at the college. 5 were from the Hydrography Branch and the other trailblazing submariners. The team also met with Lt Cdr Mitch Vowles and the 2 previously mentioned Royal Marines.

Next up was Mount Street School where the team had the chance to speak with both Junior and Infant classes. The school has an Armed Forces Covenant Garden and the children tested the team with questions about the Royal Navy and the Wrens.


After departing the school the team followed the Taff Trail 10 miles along the beautiful Brecon Canal Path eventually arriving at Talybont. As former Wrens we thoroughly enjoyed the company of the delightful young women of today’s RN who laughed with us, shared our experiences (dits) asked many questions of us and we know they enjoyed the walk as much as we did. They were and are a credit to the uniform they wear. Capt Ellie Ablett will be immensely proud.

The team write on their blog: 

"As former Wrens we thoroughly enjoyed the company of the delightful young women of today’s RN who laughed with us, shared our experiences (dits) asked many questions of us and we know they enjoyed the walk as much as we did. They were and are a credit to the uniform they wear. Capt Ellie Ablett will be immensely proud.
Another 10 miles cracked, bring on tomorrow! It’s going to be an emotional day."

Day 4

The morning started at the RNLI Station Porthcawl and the team were joined by Steve Jones and Richie John both HMS Cambria Ships Company. Dawn Lane Ex Chief Wren RP, Emma Hughes, Kelsey Rowsell, Emma Bishop all URNU students also joined the team as well as Alison Thomas from Bridgend who also helped bump up the fundraisie total with £100 sponsorship money.

The team had pallned to walk around Trecco Bay but due to tides & high water meant that a detour had to made through the forest, the team probably could have benefitted from a helping hand from charity ambassador, Bear Grylls.

Shortly after the team passed Big Dipper (the biggest sand dune in Europe) they continued through Merthyr Mawrand. They finished the day very damp and mud splattered but spirits high at Ewenny Garden Centre, another 10 miles down!

Day 3

The day started at Surfside Cafe Caswell Bay and the team were joined by Celia Saywell, Gail Allen, Adrian Davies, Gill Davies, Gina Wilson, Lt Scott Hamer, Jayne Powney, Sergeant Julie Mayberry, Gail Cope, Marine Probert, Marine Holland and Sub Lt Tyler Daniels (and her dog Oscar).

Despite the poor weather forecast the team walked along the Welsh Coastal path to Castellamare, where they were met by the Lord Lieutenant of West Glamorgan; D Byron Lewis esq. and his wife. They were also joined by the president of the Swansea and South Gower branch of the Royal British Legion who presented Barbara with a plaque.

The team stopped briefly at RNLI station at Mumbles, where they were given a guided tour. As they continued they team were only stopped by a fellow walker who asked about the challenge and kindly donated himself. Another 10 plus miles done, 70 more to go!

Day 2

The day started at Pointz Castle and the team were joined by Celia Saywell as the walk continued along the Pembrokeshire Coastal path.

Having passed Newgale, the team took some time out from the hundreds of steep steps and vertical descents to enjoy a walk along the sandy beach.


It wasn't just the terrain that the team had to deal with, either. 

"We were halted by a convoy of twenty tractors I don’t know who was more surprised, us or the drivers that six strange women waving Wrens 100 Flags and cheering as they went past."

The team eventually made it to Broadhaven, where they were met by the ladies from the Pembrokeshire Branch of the Association of WRENS (see above photo).

Day 1

Annette Penfold, Annie Lagrue, Larraine Cox and Kim Pattison started at Newport Parrog Boating Club after a quick bite to eat at the Morawelon Cafe.

Fantastic views, difficult terrain but the team continued to make progress and finished the day at the Ship Inn in Fishguard.

For daily updates on the Wrens 100-mile walk, you can visit the Wrens Walking Wales blog, here.

To support WO1 Barbara McGregor, WO1 Annette Penfold MBE and their growing team, click here!

A massive thank you to the Wrens Walking Wales team and good luck with the rest of your walk!