WHEN a Gwent woman lays a wreath this Sunday, she will doing it in honour of the women who have served in the Royal Navy for the last 100 years.

Janine Harris, originally from near Aberbeeg, joined the Navy in 1975.

This year marks the centenary of women serving in the Navy and she was inspired by the milestone for the Womens’ Royal Navy Service (the ‘Wrens’) to lay a wreath at Llanhilleth.

Even though she left the Navy in 1979, her time there is still important to her.

“I did my basic training at HMS Dauntless - a shore base near Reading,” she says. “It was hard but good fun. I’d never left home before, my mum cooked for me and it was very strange, but I had to get on with it,” she says.

She was thrown together with young women from across the country: “There were girls from the top end of Scotland – I shared a room with someone from Glasgow. It was all new,” she says.

After training Janine trained as a signaller., I’d typed in college which was useful.”

She was drafted to HMS Neptune at Helensburgh in Scotland which was a nuclear submarine base. She recalls: “The James Bond film The Spy Who Loved Me was filmed there”. Although, she says they weren’t allowed to get too close to Roger Moore and the rest of the cast.

Janine added: “It was a culture shock for me as I was quite quiet and submariners are not.”

Janine has worked in offices ever since leaving the navy. She said: “In the Navy they teach you to be organised, which has served me very well.”

Women now serve alongside men in ships, in submarines and across the navy and the name of the ‘Wrens’ is no longer used. But on Sunday she will pay tribute to the people she served with and those who served before her. “It makes a statement about the work they did. They’re not called the Wrens any more - so I feel it’s even more important to mark the milestone.