Without a doubt, June moved in the same social circles as Susan Veronica Otto. Susan appeared in The Tatler dining at the Ritz, one of June’s favourite places, for instance, and there is a photo of her weekending with Lord and Lady Shrewsbury. As I say, similar social worlds. They may have met; we don’t know.
Susan was a stage actress who, by the time she died at the age of 28, had achieved moderate success. She did Shakespeare, rep and the London stage.
In late September 1939 when the census taker came to her flat in Lennox Gardens, Chelsea, Susan told him she had enrolled in the London Auxiliary Ambulance Service. She did not last long in the Service, it seems. During the initial phase of the war, the so-called Phoney War, nothing much seemed to happen on the home front (or elsewhere for that matter). Perhaps, like many civil defence workers, Susan grew bored and got out while she could.
According to a newspaper report in Feb 1940, she was signed up with ENSA (Entertainments National Service Association) and had committed to an 8-week tour in France.
By May, when the Nazis pushed west and overran France and the Low Countries, the Phoney War had ended. Real war had arrived. Susan left Chelsea and moved to Ebury Street in Pimlico. On 16 April 1941, one of the worst nights of the Blitz, the street took two parachute mines and three high explosive bombs. Sutherland Terrace was almost totally demolished. All but three of the inhabitants of No. 74 were killed. Among them was Susan.
Her body was cremated at Golders Green. Her parents organised a memorial service at the parish church at King’s Sutton, Northamptonshire. It was packed with mourners.