A former Metropolitan Policewoman, who retired to Yarmouth, has died just four months after celebrating her 100th birthday.
Shirley Margot Reynolds grew up in Ilkley, Yorkshire, where her parents, Alfred and Mary, owned a bakery and restaurant in Brook Street.
On leaving school, after passing her School Certificate, she took up employment as a clerk with an insurance company in Leeds. In 1942, she was conscripted into the ATS and trained in Army administration, eventually being posted to Carnforth, Lancashire, where she was in charge of the Company offices for the 19th Holding Battalion. Within six months of being conscripted, Shirley was made sergeant.
When she was demobbed from the ATS in 1946, Shirley returned to her old firm but looked for an alternative position. A friend’s father, who was a police superintendent, suggested that, as Shirley had enjoyed army life, maybe she should consider the Metropolitan Police as a career. She was accepted and moved to London, joining on November 4, 1946.
After training, she was stationed for some time at Marylebone Lane where she walked the beat around the West End.
At the beginning of 1948, she met Albert Henry Reynolds, also a serving police officer. During the War, Albert had served with the Pathfinder Group as a pilot, flying Mosquitoes, and was a talented sportsman. They married at St Marylebone Parish Church on July 8, 1948. Albert died in 2005, aged 87.
Shirley resigned from the Met Police in 1950 when expecting her first baby, a daughter, Jackie; her second daughter, Beverley, arrived in 1955. Shirley retrained as a teacher and worked in primary education until her retirement in 1981. Her last position was at Orley Farm School, Harrow.
After her retirement, she and Albert moved to Yarmouth where they immersed themselves in local life and were keen travellers.
Shirley supported St James’ Church, Yarmouth, in their fund-raising activities until very recently and would cook for the church fairs and hunger lunches. She was a founder member of the town’s former River Club.
She celebrated her 100th birthday in June, and was able to attend the wedding of her granddaughter, Elisabeth, at St James’ Church on September 25. She died peacefully at the Elms Nursing Care Home, Bembridge.
Shirley is survived by her daughters Jackie and Beverley, six grandchildren and five great grandchildren.