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Detail from a sketch of a Wren at work during the second world war by Gladys E Reed. Photograph: © National Maritime Museum  - From the Guardian

Detail from a sketch of a Wren at work during the second world war by Gladys E Reed. Photograph: © National Maritime Museum – From the Guardian

The National Maritime Museum is showcasing an exhibition of illustrations by a WWII Wren artist Gladys E Reed. She worked in Liverpool as a wireless telegraph operator and her beautiful drawings show women at work, repairing, amongst other things, equipment such as torpedo tubes and depth charges.

“They are very rare in themselves: depictions of Wrens at work in the war are very uncommon, but they are drawn in a very sensitive, intimate way.”

“It is obvious that she knew these women very well, that they were close colleagues who trusted her.”

“They have a quality quite different from the work of official war artists who, however brilliant, would have come in from outside, done the job and left again.”

They are fascinating because they tell different kinds of stories.

 

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