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    Frances Provan, c. 1939, courtesy of Australian War Memorial.
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Provan, Frances Betty (1911 - 1963)

Born
17 November 1911
Spring Hill, Queensland, Australia
Died
21 June 1963
Queensland, Australia
Occupation
Servicewoman

Summary

Frances Provan was one of the first 14 females posted to HMAS Harman, the communications station in Canberra, on 28 April 1941, making her one of the first members of the Women's Royal Australian Naval Service (WRANS).

Details

After completing her education, Frances Provan worked as a trainee-teacher, nurse and governess. She moved from Queensland to Sydney and trained as a wireless telegraphist with the Women's Emergency Signalling Corps, which had been established by Florence McKenzie. Provan was one of the first 14 females posted to HMAS Harman, the communications station in Canberra, on 28 April 1941. Her official number was WR/1.

In September 1941 Provan was promoted to leading telegraphist and then petty officer telegraphist in December 1942. She attended the first WRANS officers' training course at Flinders Naval Depot, Victoria and was appointed third officer on 15 February 1943.

In June 1945 Provan was posted as officer-in-charge of the only draft of WRANS to serve in an operational zone, in Darwin. During her time in the navy she also served at bases in New South Wales and Queensland. Provan was stationed at HMAS Lonsdale, Melbourne, when she was discharged on 17 October 1946.

After the war she travelled to England and became manager of the London office of the Melbourne firm, Jackson's United Meat Co. Pty Ltd. In 1963 after Provan had made a business trip to Melbourne, she died (21 June) while on her way to visit her mother.

Sources used to compile this entry: Jennings, Rosemary, 'Provan, Frances Betty (1911-1963)', in Australian Dictionary of Biography Online, Australian National University, 2006, http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/A160043b.htm.

Related entries

Related Organisations

Archival resources

Australian War Memorial Research Centre

  • Members of the first WRANS Officer Training Corp., P00493.001; Australian War Memorial Research Centre. Details
  • SENIOR WRANS FROM HMAS HARMAN NAVAL WIRELESS STATION, April 1945, P01132.005; Australian War Memorial Research Centre. Details

Digital resources

Title
Frances Provan
Type
Image
Date
c. 1939
Control
P01262.023
Source
Australian War Memorial

Details

See also

Title
WRANS at HMAS Harman Naval Wireless Station
Type
Image
Date
c. 1944
Control
P01132.001
Source
Australian War Memorial

Details

Title
Senior WRANS from HMAS Harman
Type
Image
Date
April 1945
Control
P01132.005
Source
Australian War Memorial

Details

Anne Heywood

Site-wide information and acknowledgements

National Foundation for Australian Women The University of Melbourne, eScholarship Research Centre

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