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Irene Rose TotmanMember of the Women’s Police Service
Information supplied through Research Project led by Nigel Crompton.
Full name of worker at H.M. Factory Gretna (and any other names they are known by): Irene Rose Totman
Date and Place of Birth: 28th February 1892, Stevenage, Hertfordshire
Date and Place of Death: 21st June 1947, Hill End Hospital, St Albans
Childhood: 4 siblings.
Parents: William & Charlotte Ann (nee Turner)
Parent’s occupations: William was gamekeeper.
Schools / universities attended and years of attendance: N/K
Occupation: Police Constable
Place of residence at Gretna: Women’s Police Barracks No1, Gretna
Job title at Gretna: Police Constable
Marital status: Married Eustace Lance Bonnet in 1920.
Children: 2 children.
Trivia / any other information:
Irene was born into the family of William & Charlotte Totman. William was gamekeeper on the Woodhall Park Estate, in Hertfordshire. Irene had four siblings but no occupation was given.
Why she joined the WPS and moved to Gretna has not been found plus on the valuation roll her entry says ‘Mrs’. This mistake actually occurred more than once when listing the female officers at Gretna.
When she met Eustace Lance Bonnett her husband has not been confirmed but Eustace had grown up and was living in Watton at Stone so it was possibly from childhood. They married in mid 1920.
Eustace had served in the Great War, volunteering in November 1914. He firstly was in the Hertfordshire Yeomanry, but finished during 1919 being a Corporal in the Labour Corps. On his application, Eustace was described as a baker but on returning to Hertfordshire appears to have decided to go into farming.
After a period learning the ropes, Eustace and Irene moved into Sawtrees Farm, Thundridge a village near Ware in Hertfordshire.
n 1922, the couple welcomed their son whilst his sister was born in 1925.
The family stayed at Sawtrees for many years, but unfortunately Irene passed away on 21 June 1947. She died in a St Albans hospital. Eustace died in 1969 but by then had moved to a property in Hunsdon, Ware.
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