Irene MacBrayne attended the cocktail party, left for work – she was appearing in the West End, dropped in at the Blue Angel and went to Arthur Jeffress’ late night gathering.
She thought there were about thirty people at the earlier party, mostly drinking cocktails although some were drinking whisky – Michael Scott Stephen and (probably) Ruth Baldwin left the party briefly and returned with whisky.
Mrs.MacBrayne was separated from her husband, David, and lived at 88 Brompton Road with a girlfriend. Michael Scott Stephen had rooms in Brompton Road, possibly at the same address. Stephen had rung her up on the morning of May 30th to invite her to the cocktail party.
She was probably born Irene Ruth Potter in 1907 in Stalybridge, Cheshire. Her father was a Chartered Accountant. She refused to tell the police either her stage name or which show she was appearing in. It is more than likely that she was the young actress known to the public as Irene Potter, much seen (in small roles) on the London stage between 1927 and 1935. She starred in the musical “Wild Violets” in 1932 at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. If she was part of the Theatre Royal set-up then there is a good chance that on the night of the shooting she was one of the large supporting cast in “Cavalcade”.
Irene MacBrayne married Geoffrey Holdsworth in 1936 and lived in Chelsea for the rest of her days. She became an author, best remembered for “Little Masks” – a rather twee book about her cats – and some typically 1950s’ travel writing, such as “A Taste For Travel”(1956). In these books, as in her wartime journal of her ATS experiences (“Yes Ma’am”), she adopts the persona of a single, independent,”society” woman.