THE police formed a guard of honour at the funeral of Irene Kathleen Ball, who served the police with distinction on the Island during the Second World War.

Mrs Ball died at her home at Birch Gardens, Newport, aged 96, on November 11, following a short illness.

Her funeral was held on Monday (4) at Newport Mister.

Born in Ryde on August 15, 1921, Mrs Ball was the eldest of two girls to Bertie and Maggie Smith and was educated at Ryde Upper Grade School.

She played the piano and was a Sunday school teacher at Holy Trinity Church, Ryde.

After school, she worked at Dimmers' stationery and book shop, Ryde.

Mrs Ball joined the Women's Auxiliary Police Corps in 1940, after her family dissuaded her from joining the Women's Auxiliary Air Force, serving Ryde and Newport.

She was stationed next to Calverts Hotel, Newport, supplying the prisoners' meals.

She also issued permits for people entering or leaving the Island during the war and activated the air raid siren and 'all clear' signal when required.

She met her future husband, Ryde train conductor Norman Ball, before the war. He joined the RAF and they kept in touch, eventually marrying in 1944.

They had two children and lived in Ryde, then Porchfield.

A life member of the National Association of Retired Police Officers, Mrs Ball enjoyed travelling and attending concerts at the Royal Festival Hall, London, and organ recitals.

Following a move to Somerset and, later, South East London, she moved back to the Island in 1995 when her health began to fail.

Mr Ball died in Orpington, Kent, in 1981.

Following her funeral, Mrs Ball was interred at St John's Church, Ryde.

She is survived by her daughter, Viv Nobbs, son Roger Ball, three grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.