Wayward Wren

22Jan14

Wayward Wren canedAudrey stood at the end of the long concrete road with a sense of trepidation. The wire gate looked as flimsy as a Christmas decoration, but the seaman in blue with a 303 at his shoulder said otherwise. Beyond him were a row of poplar trees standing as sentries on either side of the driveway that led to the red brick buildings further on.

For the first time Audrey Coleman wondered if she had done the right thing. But it was too late now, she decided and seizing up her bag she put her best foot forward and marched up to the sentry. The Women’s Royal Navy Service needed her if they were ever going to win the war whatever her husband had said.

Thoughts of Edward and what he might say when he found out set her nerves tingling again so she decided not to dwell there.

“I say,” she called to the sentry who pulled himself upright even as his eyes narrowed to regard her with suspicion. “I am looking…”

“You have a chit ma’am?” he said brusquely.

“Oh that old thing,” Audrey said in irritation and put down her bags.

She patted down the elegant curves of her pre-war skirt suit, hoping that her neatly tied back hair said that she meant business. But if it did, her girlish expression and crinkled brow spoilt the effect as she searched for the letter she had been given.

“Oh it’s…” she said suddenly as she brightened.

It took a moment more to retrieve the document from her hip pocket before offering to the man.

“I can see it ma’am, so you can come ahead,” he told her, “But you have to show it to the duty POW.”

“The… I say, isn’t that a prisoner of war Sir?” she asked in puzzlement.

The sentry looked suddenly uncomfortable and risked a glance around.

“Don’t Sir me, ma’am, I’m just an Ordinary Seamen see. And POW stands for Petty Officer Wren, but come to think of it at this time of day the Chief Wren may be on duty,” he explained. “You’ll soon get the ‘ang of it see.”

“Oh I see,” Audrey replied, not at all sure that she did.

“Straight down the road and turn right past the inner guard room,” he said quickly, “Just show your chit if you’re stopped again, but there are still other recruits drifting in so they won’t be too surprised. You did know that you were late ma’am?”

“Oh am I?” she said in exasperation, “Only a day or two I expect. I had better hurry then.”

*

After glancing at the letter the woman at the desk said over her shoulder in a bored voice, “Another officer cadet gone astray chief.” Then to Audrey she said, “Just stand there… ma’am, someone will see you in a moment.”

It didn’t take long for the matronesque martinet to emerge from the inner office with a face like thunder. She was a heavy-set woman in immaculate blue and her eyes flashed with danger.

“Name?” she said sharply.

“Oh… I… its Audrey… eh… ma’am is it?” Audrey ventured.

The woman gave up at once and launched her gaze at the seated woman at the desk.

“Officer Cadet Coleman, Chief, assigned to B Block,” she shot back.

“Coleman you’re late,” the Chief barked, “And stand up straight when you talk to me, ma’am.”

“Sorry ma’am I…” Audrey said with a wince.

“Attention ma’am,” the Chief screamed, “And don’t call me ma’am, I call you ma’am, ma’am.”

“Oh terribly sorry, I just knew I would have trouble…”

The Chief leaned forward and fixed Audrey with a stare that drove her to silence.

“Officer Cadet Coleman, shut up, ma’am,” she whispered harshly, then to the seated woman she snapped, “Give her, her papers and get her doubled over and kitted out. Then double her over to the CO’s office.”

“Yes Chief,” the woman replied and began to scribble something down.

*

The uniform didn’t fit and Audrey tugged at it trying to make it stretch here and then by way of a futile improvement. The women in the little shop with all the uniforms and hats weren’t very friendly and although there was no one else waiting she had been served and ushered out in less than five minutes; much less. She had then been given 15 minutes to find her block get dressed and report to the CO’s office. Now she was late again.

“Excuse me…” she ventured to the man inside the outer office.

“Coleman isn’t it ma’am?” he said at once. “You’re late aren’t you?”

He smiled indulgently.

“I know…” she began, but he cut her off.

“Commander…” then he paused as if he had just noticed something and then carefully added, “He’ll see you in a minute ma’am.”

Then he picked up the phone and said, “There is an officer cadet to see you Sir, one of the late arrivals… yes another one Sir. By the name of… yes Sir.”

Audrey looked at the man expectantly and he obliged by nodding significantly at the door. To confirm she pointed in the same direction and waited until he gave another nod. This was going to be fun, she thought, and held a small satisfied smile to herself, much to the puzzlement of the Leading Seaman at the desk.

For effect she managed to find her military soul and for once straightened up before marching in great ceremony into the office where she came to something like attention.

“Cadet Officer Coleman reporting for duty,” she snapped out while saluting, well after a fashion.

Commander Edward Coleman looked up in horror at the sight of his wife in uniform; worse still, in uniform and in his office.

“Great God,” he gasped.

“Hello Eddie,” she grinned. “Surprised?”

The officer who had been leaning on the table briefing the Commander on some papers slowly straightened himself up and quietly slipped away.

“You don’t look very pleased to see me,” she said somewhat sheepishly. She hadn’t really expected him to be.

Edward leaned back in his chair still aghast and looked his wife up and down. He was well used to sudden surprises in his game and now he had another military problem to solve.

The tight dark curls on his head were constrained by the ‘back-and-sides’ cut and the few flecks of silver around his temples. Otherwise he looked every bit the young man in a hurry that war tended to throw up. But Audrey had missed him and his large powerful arms that hung from his broad shoulders, all the broader in uniform.

“So Officer Cadet Coleman,” he drawled sharply and switching his attention to the paperwork on his desk, “You are a day late reporting for duty.”

The papers included her letter of assignment plus a slip attached by the Chief Wren confirming that she had finally turned up and had been put on CO’s report. Edward studied them carefully as he would and had for the other cadets who had reported late.

“Edward…?” Audrey said tentatively, “It’s me…”

“I can see it’s bloody you,” he barked, “And call me Sir when we are in uniform. So you decided to join up after all did you? Or is this some kind of joke?”

“No I… I am really a Wren,” she admitted.

There was a long pause while she tried from the middle of a pained face to catch his eyes with her own.

“Sir,” he bellowed, “You call me Sir.”

“Edward… I mean… isn’t that rather…?”

He gave her a look garnered from his days as number one on a destroyer and her mouth became a tight pensive line.

Then grudgingly she muttered, “Sir.”

Edward continued to regard her sternly as if in the presence of an enemy and at any moment he would shout ‘open fire.’ Then he heaved a heavy sigh.

“I don’t suppose I can get your papers revoked?” he groaned.

“Signed by Daddy… eh… the Admiral,” she said cheerfully, but managing to swallow a triumphal smile and adding a quick and bitter, “Sir.”

“Fine, fine,” he sighed, conceding defeat. “Although what you really need is a damn good spanking.”

This brought on a blush. After all it had happened, but nonetheless her sense of triumph grew. He couldn’t spank her now, not if she were a sailor.

Seeing her expression he frowned and said, “You know I have to deal with you as I would any other cadet?”

“Deal away,” Audrey told him, carefully adding a delayed, “Sir.”

“Very well,” he said brusquely, “Cadet Coleman, you are 24 hours late in reporting. Have you anything to say?”

“I lost that railway warrant thing,” she replied conversationally as if they were at breakfast, and then added; “Besides I needed some shopping before I came. Oh darn it… I mean Sir.”

“I see,” he said icily, “Is that all you have to say?”

Audrey pouted for a moment as she considered his words and then nodded saying, “Pretty much, eh… Sir.”

“Very well,” he intoned, “A CO’s report for absence without leave usually requires 30, but I am always lenient on new recruits, I find it saves my arm, so we will make it just 15. But you were late reporting here at my office today and your uniform and lack of naval decorum is unacceptable. You will report to your cadet captain and take a tick. I suggest you don’t dawdle as he is liable to make it two.”

Audrey was at a loss what to ask first. She might have said 15 what, but she was more intrigued by the phrase ‘take a tick.’

Luckily Edward realised her confusion and offered an explanation. “A tick is like a demerit. Three ticks and you get taps with a wand; between six and 12. Get nine ticks or more in one month and you will see me. Although you are liable for COs report at any time.”

Audrey was scarcely any the wiser, but taps didn’t sound too bad. So she asked about the other instead. “And that requires 30?”

“That’s right,” he said firmly, waiting for a response.

Instead of supplying him with a ‘sir’ she asked, “Thirty what?”

Edward who had already stood up and had started walking towards a tan wood cabinet under the window when she spoke. The furniture had a scroll front that opened all the way down so that tall objects could be stored. Now he turned to regard his wife and latest cadet with a degree of circumspection.

“Strokes, of course,” he said incredulously, “With a cane.”

Audrey’s eyes flew wide open.

*

“Do you want me to summon the Chief?” Edward asked as he tapped the chosen stick on his palm.

“No thank you,” Audrey said with a growing sense of unreality.

He ignored her failure to address him as sir and told her again. “Remove your skirt and slip, then turn about and prepare to lower your drawers.”

“Do you deal with all your cadets like this?” she asked sullenly.

“Yes,” he said crisply.

“Oh,” she gaped.

“Come along Cadet Officer Coleman,” he chided her, “I haven’t got all day.”

Audrey clamped her jaw down hard and scowled at him and then turning her back unhooked her skirt clasp then lowered the zip at the side. It wasn’t as bad as it might be, after all he was her husband, but she still found the need to blush as she neatly folded her skirt and placed on a chair by the door. Her white regulation slip quickly followed and she dipped at the knee to touch her toes as she had in school.

Edward coughed.

Audrey gave him a pout and then with a frustrated grunt slid her drawers down to her knee, exposing her bare bottom behind.

“You know if you did want to play the wife card I could just spank you,” he said with barely concealed amusement.

“No thank you Sir,” she said tartly.

Edward shrugged and moved behind his wife and eyed her bare bottom wistfully. He was already missing her enough and now she was oh so near and yet a thousand miles away from him. Didn’t she understand? On top of that it seemed a pity to mark her beautiful bottom as he must.

Oh well, he thought, at least it would probably do her good.

“Remember cadet, next time it will be 30 from me,” he said as took the first practiced swing.

The crisp line of pain that assailed Audrey’s bottom was a revelation. Instantly she was sorry and heartily wished she had taken up the offer of a spanking. But it was worse than that; worse even than she remembered from school. This was a military grade caning with a senior grade cane. It began where the old school stick left off, but like that old friend went on cutting for several moments after the slice.

Not that she was going to give the beastly man the satisfaction.

The next stroke tore a grunt from her throat and she jerked at a bend. She had to dance at the knees to ride it out and either she felt it behind her eyes or her jaw was clenching too hard, because now her face ached too. It was hard to contend with two lines of fire at once.

The third made her gasp and then she was breathing like a woman drowned. How appropriate, she thought ruefully.

Edward placed five strokes over about 30 to 40 seconds and then paused. There were plum lines on Audrey’s bottom now, running from cleft top to under curve. They had already begun to raise up a little like a relief map and redness was spilling away from them to colour her whole bottom. He thought of roses and snorted in dry humour.

But so far Audrey hadn’t yelled out over much or broken from position; a legacy of the Spartan school she had attended, he didn’t wonder. But she was struggling rather with her breathing and he knew from how she gripped at her shins that she desperately wanted to stand up and rub.

At the top of the minute he recommenced and began placing the strokes between existing lines.

“Ooh Sir,” she squeaked at the eighth. But she said no more, even though every muscled strained for her to hold on.

At 10 Edward took a step forward and tried to catch her gaze. She didn’t turn but her eyes were rimmed with red and pooled with tears.

He left it then for 20 seconds while she breathed raggedly and swayed at the bend. Had it been any other cadet he would have thought her brave but would have had no further sympathy for her.

The last five were a bitch.

Audrey went bug-eyed for the entire duration of the set, while actual tears rolled down her cheeks. She was altogether silent for these last, but her pain was mainly announced as strained grunts.

“Alright girl, stand up,” Edward barked, for a moment forgetting she was his wife.

Audrey sucked in air at the nose and gingerly gained the upright. She was heedless of flashing her front and Edward looked away unaccountably embarrassed.

“Get your things on and get out,” he said wearily.

“Yes Sir, thank you Sir,” she said miserably.

As she reached the door he said, “Audrey…”

She looked at him lovingly for that one word.

“I told you not to enlist,” he sighed, “And why here of all places?”

“I just had to darling,” she whispered.

He snorted in amusement, partly glad she had and inwardly cursing the frustration of their position.

“As your commanding officer consider yourself dealt with. But I wouldn’t want to be in your shoes when your husband finds out,” he chuckled.

“No Sir,” she said ruefully and then winked.

But as she braved an embarrassing stiff walk across the outer office she began to think about getting a tick and the resultant taps. Somehow she didn’t think it was going to be a good thing on a thoroughly sliced bottom. As it was she wasn’t going to feel like sitting down for a week.



4 Responses to “Wayward Wren”

  1. 1 paul1510

    Damian,
    as fiction, great. 🙂
    Such stories about all three arms of the military in which females served were rampant, not forgetting the land army girls. 😉
    I’ve often wondered how much, if any, truth there is in the stories. ❓
    Paul.

    • 2 DJ

      Well as to its credibility – this brings us to the heart of the enjoyment of misfortune debate recently had here – a point I think you were making.

      I can say with confidence that in both the British army and the RAF such punishments could only have ever been unofficial since they were strictly against King’s Regulations.

      The Aden in the 50s(?) exception was entirely a civilian matter and not an RAF sanction.

      The navy was altogether different as until the 1960s cadets were not formally under King’s (and then Queen’s regs) and it was permissible and usual to cane them; girls as well as boys.

      As unpalatable as it seems now – in 1939 the WRNS was hastily reformed and instead of being incorporated into the Kings Regulations were formulated as a ‘cadet force’ like boys.

      This pertained until after 1945 when instead of disbanding the WRNS as they had in 1919 – it was incorporated into the Navy proper.

      The implications of this is that before this time it may have been permissible therefore to cane serving Wrens and officers! If so then no doubt that it happened.

      This last I also suggest with some confidence as experience (albeit second hand) of the modern military leads me to conclude that many have a very curious ideas of fun, let alone hazing, and that a caning or similar would be tame indeed.

      We can only speculate what it would have been like had all this been legal during 1939-45.

      I have written on this before for those who are curious.

      DJ

      Thanks Paul 🙂

      • 3 paul1510

        Thanks Damian,
        you have obviously done your research.
        I’ve read about navel traditions, they are somewhat repugnant to me
        Having lived in a home where non con beatings were the norm, my feelings on this subject are not entirely rational.
        Paul.

  2. 4 R

    Ugh I love this! Is there more to it?


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