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Sound Advice For Women circa 1940


Lieutenant Commander Peter Gretton circa 1940

Peter Gretton set the standard for young Royal Navy officers in World War Two. He deposited his papers in the archive of Churchill College, Cambridge. One of the reasons I went to England was specifically read through Gretton’s papers which I was able to do.

In 1943, he married a young WREN (women in the Royal Navy) he had met in the course of his duties. She confided to him that when she came of age her father gave her three pieces of advice:

1) don’t drink gin

2) never marry a naval officer

3) never marry in wartime

Whether she observed point one I can’t say but she certainly ignored points 2 and 3.

From the papers of Admiral Sir Peter Gretton, Churchill College, Cambridge University.

About the Author:

Charles McCain is a Washington DC based freelance journalist and novelist. He is the author of "An Honorable German," a World War Two naval epic. You can read more of his work on his website: