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Collection Archive
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Biographical details H.M.S. DAUNTLESS, a naval shore establishment at Burghfield in Berkshire, has been used by the Women's Royal Naval Service since 1946 as a training and drafting centre.
Description The collection was presented in 1976. It consists of volumes and loose papers, 1914 to 1921 and 1939 to 1975. One quarter of the collection consists of the papers of Dame Katharine Furse (1875-1952), the first Director W.R.N.S. Many of these relate to her period as Commandant-in-Chief, V.A.D. (Voluntary Aid Detachment); during this time, 1914 to 1917, the main subject covered by the papers was the need to co-ordinate women's war work. Correspondents, mostly politicians and administrators, include B. Seebohm Rowntree (1871-1945), Lord Derby (1865-1948), W.C. Bridgeman (1864-1935), Dame Katharine's brother-in-law, Lieutenant-General Sir William Furse (1865-1953), Arthur B. Cane (1864-1939), Neville Chamberlain (1869-1940), Mrs May Tennant (1869-1946) and the future Deputy Director W.R.N.S., Miss Edith Crowdy (d.1947). The rest of Dame Katharine's papers relate to the establishment of the W.R.N.S. in 1917, its development during the remainder of the war and the demobilization. With regard to the setting up of the Service, her correspondents include Lord Northcliffe (1865-1922), Admiral Sir Herbert Heath (1887-1956) and Sir Eric Geddes (1875-1937), First Lord of the Admiralty. The official papers contain memoranda and reports on the administration of the new Service. They cover all aspects of the organization from recruitment and training to accommodation and welfare. Among those papers dealing with demobilization are reports and correspondence, 1919 to 1921, about the possibility of establishing the Women's Royal Naval Reserve. The remainder of the collection contains photographs, printed matter, pamphlets and offprints. Most of this material dates from after the Second World War, although there are a number of earlier miscellaneous papers, such as a file relating to Dame Vera Laughton Mathews (d.1959); statistics and casualties, 1940 to 1947; papers concerning the closure of the Western Approaches Command, 1945; W.R.N.S. copies of Admiralty Historical Section files, 1946, and files and case books for the W.R.N.S. Benevolent Trust, 1949 to 1961. There are many photographs, loose and in albums. A few date from the First World War, but most of them, taken mainly for recruiting purposes, date between the 1940s and 1970s. There are also press cuttings, 1941 to 1946.
Date made

Finding Reference DAU
Catalogue section Artificial collections previously assembled
Creator HMS Dauntless
Credit National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
Hierarchy
Extent Overall: 457 cm
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